What the Road Has Taught Me
Delta Moon is five shows deep into this spring’s European tour, and I’m settling into my road head. We started near Dusseldorf, made our way southeast across Bavaria to Salzburg, Austria, birthplace of Mozart, and then east to Vienna, birthplace of Strauss, Haydn and the hot dog. Today I’m writing this in the back seat of a Mercedes van as we head north through the Czech Republic, past Prague, toward Dresden and Berlin.
The shows have been going great. This band travels well together. We’re having fun.
With every tour the road teaches me more about stripping things down. This trip my wardrobe is minimal, washable and redundant. Every sock is alike. I started the tour with some ambitions for stage gear, but have already ditched them in favor of simplicity. Setting up all that stuff was stressing me out. Now I’ve cut my stage gear to the bone, and by staying relaxed I’m able to perform a better show.
It’s a valuable lesson, and one I’d like to apply to the rest of my life. You try this and try that and learn and grow where you can. But at this age I can look in the mirror and sense all the potential selves that have been stripped away. What’s left is who I am. It’s still a work in progress. I can carve it finer.
Before we left Atlanta I moved out of the Little Five Points studio I’ve had for years and discovered to my horror that I own over 100 guitars. Some are treasures, some junk, but most are the property of those long-gone or nonexistent potential selves. They’ve saddled me with all this stuff, and now I have to pay rent just to store it. Enough! When we get home I’m throwing an eBay party. I’ll cut those instruments down to at most the top 50, then see if I want to keep going.
So here’s today’s lesson from the road: You need what you need, and you should respect what you have. But life’s too short to let yourself be ruled by your stuff. The living is the thing.