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Are There Many People Here Who've Been on the Road Full-Time?

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  • Are There Many People Here Who've Been on the Road Full-Time?

    My friend and I were sharing road stories from the 80's, and some of those memories were great.

    When I think about back then, it makes me realize how lucky I was to been able to have those experiences because the music scene is so different today compared to back then.

    For example, back in the 80's you could join a full-time band and play 6 nights a week. Mon to Wed you would play a club, then pack up and drive to another town to play Thu-Fri-Sat.

    Saturday night you would tear down, load up the truck and Sunday mmorning leave for the next town, every 3 or 4 days you were driving to a new city to play.

    Unless I'm mistaken, that type of scenario doesnt exist anymore, everyone plays one-nighters now and it seems that unless you're a recording act, the days of being on the road full-time are a thing of the past and will never return.

    Are there many people here who were on the road in those days?
    The thing I liked about it was how much experience you got in such a short time.
    For example, if you look at today, the average band might play 1 gig a week in a local setting, you know, people who have jobs, wives, kids etc, and a lot of people are in more than one band, so its not always easy co-ordinating to play every week to begin with.

    Back in the old days, you were playing 6 nights a week for 51 weeks a year.
    Thats over 300 gigs condensed into one year.

    The average band around here plays 3x a month, so you would need to play over 8 years part-time to get the same experience as a guy who was full-time.

    The cool thing about it was because you were playing so often, you knew your parts stone cold, no reference sheets, no cheat notes, no nothing, and you could be half asleep, sick as a dog, it didnt matter, you knew your parts so well, it was second nature.

    Today I have to use cheat sheets all over the place with patch settings, and various notes for music tabs just to keep track of everything.

    Plus im older so I cant remember **************** anymore. :lol:
    Rest in Peace Rudy.

  • #2
    You hit it on the nose.

    I missed the 80's road and local gravy train, but did travel the country in the mid 90's 4-5 nights a week but it included playing the weekend.

    I think the guys who made their living that way are older now.

    Also DUI laws are much stricter it makes a difference in turnout at clubs

    The night club has gave way to the honky tonk, sport bar, and bar and grill.

    Most trendy clubs love DJ's now.

    Bands who record their own music in their personal studios flooded the scene in the late 90's and early 2000's and have never gone away. I mean Hipsters and kids of the computer age who record their own material and gig it for free which made way for the underground clubs and small concerts featuring 6 local bands in one night.

    These are just a few thoughts I have.

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    • #3
      Hipsters and kids of the computer age who record their own material and gig it for free


      That pretty much changed the live music scene.
      In a sense you cant blame the clubs, why would they want to pay a band $1500 for the back haklf of the week when they get kids coming in to play for free or $100 a few drink tickets.

      I also dont blame the kids either because they want to play too.

      It's one of those things that isnt anyones fault per se, but it just happened because of your perfect example, and of course technological change.

      The only winners today are the club owners because they get live entertainment for really cheap.
      Rest in Peace Rudy.

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      • #4
        17 years, 6 nights a week. Learned more than a thousand hits. Once played in Chicago til 3am, packed up, drove to Ft.Lauderdale and played Monday night. Agents took 15%, but we had management which was 20%, with 44 weeks guaranteed. Once stayed in flop apartments for three weeks (paid) to learn an entire new list, never to play the others again. Hundreds of great memories. Original bands were mostly scorned because they learned their 10-20 songs but never had a good knowledge of playing hundreds of songs live (its still the same). Saw the Talking Heads & Ramones together at CBGB's and nobody could play or sing well enough to play in an agency band in D.C. or Baltimore. Actually, they were terrible. Richard

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        • #5
          17 years, 6 nights a week. Learned more than a thousand hits. Once played in Chicago til 3am, packed up, drove to Ft.Lauderdale and played Monday night. Agents took 15%, but we had management which was 20%, with 44 weeks guaranteed. Once stayed in flop apartments for three weeks (paid) to learn an entire new list, never to play the others again. Hundreds of great memories. Original bands were mostly scorned because they learned their 10-20 songs but never had a good knowledge of playing hundreds of songs live (its still the same). Saw the Talking Heads & Ramones together at CBGB's and nobody could play or sing well enough to play in an agency band in D.C. or Baltimore. Actually, they were terrible. Richard


          I have noticed this. If you want to form a cover band, 8 out 0f 10 times, you probably have to hire cover band musicians or you are in trouble.

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          • #6
            17 years, 6 nights a week. Learned more than a thousand hits. Once played in Chicago til 3am, packed up, drove to Ft.Lauderdale and played Monday night. Agents took 15%, but we had management which was 20%, with 44 weeks guaranteed. Once stayed in flop apartments for three weeks (paid) to learn an entire new list, never to play the others again. Hundreds of great memories. Original bands were mostly scorned because they learned their 10-20 songs but never had a good knowledge of playing hundreds of songs live (its still the same). Saw the Talking Heads & Ramones together at CBGB's and nobody could play or sing well enough to play in an agency band in D.C. or Baltimore. Actually, they were terrible. Richard


            I bet you have some great stories Richard.
            When I think back, it really was some of the best memories of my life, and since I was so young when I went, it really was a fast way to make a young kid grow up.
            Rest in Peace Rudy.

            Comment


            • #7
              I was on the road full time from 1973 until 1981, with the odd couple of years in the middle playing full time but actually having a home. Everything from one nighters to weeks in the same club, Maryland to Tahoe, Michigan to Florida.
              <div class="signaturecontainer">Moe<br><br>---<br><br>It puts the SINES in the basket, or else it gets the hose again.<br><br><a target="_blank" href="http://www.hotrodmotm.com">http://www.hotrodmotm.com</a></div>

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              • #8
                I was on the road full time from 1973 until 1981, with the odd couple of years in the middle playing full time but actually having a home. Everything from one nighters to weeks in the same club, Maryland to Tahoe, Michigan to Florida.


                You were right into the showband era, I missed that, my time was 83 to 89.
                4 years playing 3 nights a week and 2 years playing 6 nights a week.

                I remember one gig, they booked us for 2 weeks straight in a club in Bai Commeau, Quebec, that was a treat, not having to move gear or sit inside a cramped cube van for 2 solid weeks.
                Rest in Peace Rudy.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I played in a band that would play in and around Denver in the late 70s and early 80s. There were plenty of venues back then and no RIAA lawyers harassing club owners. We didn't make much - between $40 and $200 per gig for the whole band, but we had fun. Did a few parties too, but mainly 3.2 bars (beer bars that you could legally drink at age 18.)

                  We did have the opportunity to play a circuit, but passed as a couple of the guys were making good money with their day jobs.
                  <div class="signaturecontainer"><font size="1">Gear: buncha stuff and a couple bazilion cables</font></div>

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                  • #10
                    It's my dream to get to just go on the road. Just play a different city every couple of days. I'm lucky if I can find a place in-town every couple of weeks. ANd you guys said it, the internet has killed music. And not just live music. Every kind, really. Talk is dirt cheap and there's no value to a song when you can just listen to it on demand on YouTube and if you like it enough, just snag it for free. I wish I had really lived in an age where you heard a song on the radio and bought their record the next day. Or if you didn't have money for that cool underground band's CD that night, you'd have to catch them again. No Bandcamp, no CD Baby but merch tables. I miss it and I never knew it.
                    <div class="signaturecontainer"><font size="1">Yamaha MOX8 | E-Mu Emax (SE Upgrade) | Yamaha RX11 | Yamaha TG33 | Yamaha DX7 | Roland Alpha Juno | Roland D50 | Roland JV-2080 | Korg DDD-1 | Oberheim DMX (w/ Factory MIDI)<br />
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                    • #11
                      Can't say I've ever been a professional road musician, per se, but I DID spent a fair portion of the 90's (what I remember, that is) traveling the professional whiskey drinking circuit with a team of professional whiskey drinkers. By some freak coincidence all of us played a musical instrument, however, and sometimes music accidentally broke out. And it usually seemed to be country music, for some reason...go figure:idk:

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                      • #12
                        It's my dream to get to just go on the road. Just play a different city every couple of days. I'm lucky if I can find a place in-town every couple of weeks. ANd you guys said it, the internet has killed music. And not just live music. Every kind, really. Talk is dirt cheap and there's no value to a song when you can just listen to it on demand on YouTube and if you like it enough, just snag it for free. I wish I had really lived in an age where you heard a song on the radio and bought their record the next day. Or if you didn't have money for that cool underground band's CD that night, you'd have to catch them again. No Bandcamp, no CD Baby but merch tables. I miss it and I never knew it.


                        Stop being so depressing.
                        <div class="signaturecontainer"><font size="1">Maybe forgiveness is right where you fell...</font></div>

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                        • #13
                          it usually seemed to be country music, for some reason...go figure:idk:


                          Now there is a surprise! :lol:
                          Rest in Peace Rudy.

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                          • #14
                            It's my dream to get to just go on the road. Just play a different city every couple of days. ...


                            Ya know, I wouldn't do that if you paid me. My twenties adventures were different; though I had chances to tour, I made different choices. Lived in a log cabin in the Yukon for a year, was a camp counsellor for 'way too long.

                            I have a fantasy of how exciting and fun it would be to cross Canada in a rental van with 7 tons of equipment on icy roads playing for strangers every night and sleeping in motels for months. But then I think of my own toasty bed, my family and my friends at home and then I heat up a heating pad and have a nice little nap.
                            Hi Mom!

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                            • #15
                              Been playing out for 50 years, the '60's and the '80s were the best, full time on the road til I turned 40, my wife passed, had to get a blue collar gig and raise kids, still played out, remarried, just retired, STILL lugging gear and playing out, loving every minute (P.S. I was in a group that OPENED CBGBs back in the early '70s when Hilly envisioned a folk club, played the reunion in the '90s, we were supposed to be the last band out when they shut it down but Patti Smith didn't want to share the bill with a bunch of unknowns :>)
                              <div class="signaturecontainer">Steinway (model K, 1917), Korg Triton ProX, Korg T3, Motion-Sound KP200s with SL-200S slave and SW-15 powered subwoofer, Barbetta Sona 41, Hammond Porta B w/Leslie 147, Doric organ, Wurly 200, Fender Twin Reverb (1974), Violin (1921) with LR Baggs pickup, 1964 Guild &quot;parlor guitar&quot;<br />
                              <b><font face="Palatino Linotype"><i>&quot;When facism comes to America it will be draped in a flag and carrying a cross&quot;</i> Sinclair Lewis 1885-1951</font></b></div>

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