A Dog’s Life? A Roadie Weighs In

As you may already know, I play guitar and sing in a band. Our group is fortunate to get more work than we can handle; in fact, this summer we’re booked to play almost every single weekend. I like to think that practicing my passion for music by being in a band keeps me young. My wife might counter with this joke: “A child says: ‘Mommy, when I grow up I’d like to be a guitar player.’ His mother replies, ‘Well honey, you know you can’t do both.’

dogs life matchmaker logisticsI feel like my best (and youngest) version of me when we’re on stage making music and the crowd is dancing or singing along to the classics (think: Brown-Eyed Girl) they never tire of hearing. But, when the show is over and we’ve chatted with our groupies (yes–we have regular fans who come to many of our shows!), when we’ve packed up all of our equipment, loaded it onto carts, unloaded it into vans, loaded it onto carts again, and lugged it through my buddy’s house to his room over the garage, I feel every single one of my fifty years and then some. Talk about dog-tired!

Like any ‘glamorous’ gig, most people only see musicians in their glory on stage. “You’re so lucky to get paid for doing something you love,” they swoon. The way I see it, we aren’t being paid for playing on stage–heck, I’d pay to do that! We’re being compensated for the dozens of hours of rehearsal, the hundreds of pounds of equipment lifted, rolled, pushed and pulled, and the thousands of dollars we’ve invested in our instruments. This reminds me of another classic musician’s joke: “What’s the difference between a guitar player and a large pizza? A large pizza can feed a family of four.”

Since our band will never be able to afford our own roadies, we’ll continue to lift the amps and drums and microphone stands until we can’t do it anymore. We’re already planning to use my garage as our new equipment storage unit; with no stairs and enough room to keep the equipment loaded on the carts, it will make our set-up and break-down a little bit easier. Or so we hope:

Two roadies were moving the cart of amps and drum cases, in order to load them back onto the tour truck.
The singer came by and said, “You should push the cart instead of pulling it. It’s a lot easier.”
So the roadies turned around and started pushing the cart.
The one roadie said to the other, “You know, this is a lot easier.”
The other replied, “Yeah, but we’re getting farther away from the truck”.

Groove to the beat this weekend,