13 Things I Have Learned on Tour

A little less than a month ago, my band Ego Likeness headed out on the road with our friends from Charlottesville VA, Bella Morte, and a lovely group from Los Angeles called Versailles.

I’ve been touring regularly since 2005, so this wasn’t my first rodeo by any means. It wasn’t the longest tour EL has done, but it did span the country, which is always preferable. I sure do love driving through the desert.

I could take a few moments now to outline the ins and outs of touring, but Martin Atkins already wrote that book, and his anecdotes include things like Japan and John Lydon, and mine do not.

Instead, I figure I’ll just share some of the key observations and learning experiences of the past month. If you are in a band, and are hoping to learn a thing or two about touring from said experiences, you will likely be disappointed. I would suggest you purchase Mr Atkins’ book, or even better…stop fucking around on Facebook and book yourself some shows.

Anyone else…enjoy, or something…


1. I love being the driver of my van for many reasons, but mostly because it means I also get to play iPod DJ. And if that means we segue from Foetus to Justin Timberlake to Toto to Clutch to Leonard Cohen to Whitesnake to Apop to Cheap Trick to IAMX…well then, I suggest rolling with it lest you find yourself on the wrong side of the velvet rope outside my club.
And by ‘outside’, I mean ‘outside’ and by ‘velvet rope’, I mean ‘ the door’ and by ‘club’, I mean ‘of my van’.

2. Little known fact: Interstate 10, which is the southern most route one can take across this great nation, coast to coast, was engineered by The Devil to test man’s physical and mental fortitude. The highway is peppered with various challenges and pitfalls, including The Never Ending Construction Zone, Nearly Fatal Monotony Corridor, The Molasses Swamp, and Texas.

3. Tony: He doesn’t fuck around. He gets shit done.

4. Best cell phone game ever when you are bored or driving? It’s called ‘BZZZZ’ and it involves your front pants pocket and a few equally bored friends who have your number and unlimited text plans. The more players the better, and that’s all I’m saying about that.

5. When Andy asks if you want to see his new ‘belt buckle’, ALWAYS say no.

6. Awesome mirrored cop sunglasses are awesome because you can’t see in, but I can totally see out. Live with that.

7. Everyone has a price. Mine floats somewhere between $35 and $17,000, depending.

8. Next time, Tetanus shot FIRST…THEN drunken pole dancing on the rusty water pipe in the laundry room of your friend’s apartment building in Hollywood.

9. I would not only frequent, but would totally consider working at a club called The Rusty Pole.

10. Drinking an $8 bottle of rum with the grounds keeper in the parking lot of the San Antonio motel under the freeway that gives you black lung?
Eff yeah…cheaper than your hi-brow “Bacardi” or your so-called “Captain” and waaaaay more anecdotal for cocktail parties or at Thanksgiving dinner.

11. Speaking of tequila…you can order a margarita in San Antonio larger than your head. That’s 60oz, 11 shots of tequila, my Chickens! This isn’t some mythological being like Chupacabras or Polar Bears…it’s real. I’ve seen it. Tyler saw it, Dianna saw it, hell…we all saw it…right there, at the river walk in San Antonio TX. Turns out you can procure one for a hefty price and 90 minutes later you’re roaming the streets of downtown SATX (which I still don’t know how to pronounce) randomly riding the elevator at the Hyatt and getting dirty looks from the night watchman at the Alamo…which, ironically, I did not remember the next day.

12. Dear Sketchy Hooker Motel in Kansas City,
If you REALLY don’t want people lounging by your stagnant, sludge-filled swimming pool, drinking beer at 3AM, might I suggest something that is slightly more obvious a deterrent than your CLOSED sign, padlocked gate, and iron perimeter fencing. That was SO not hard to scale, even in the dark, and even after all that whiskey.
A Concerned Guest

13. When you tour with other bands, and the stars line up just right, you get close really fast, and that is exactly what happened here, at least for me. So it’s really jarring that first day after a tour ends when you wake up and the 7 or 12 or however many people you were living with everyday for an extended period of time are gone, as though they all died in a freak coal mining accident or something. It’s quite an adjustment, which is why I’ve found that if you steal something really valuable from each person, it makes the transition a little easier.

And as a side note to Andy…I honestly did not know your insulin was in your suitcase when I took it, so if you want it back just text me. Quickly and repeatedly. And in the subject line, just put ‘BZZZZ’.

(Miss you guys!)


11.25 Steven Archer DJs at Assimilate, The Chameleon Club, Lancaster PA


Early 2010 EGO LIKENESS’ 4th full length album BREEDLESS (Metropolis Records)
and the final EP in the Compass series EAST

More to follow…

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