There are few features of the music industry as mythologised as going on tour. Tales of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll have reverberated down the generations, projecting unrealistic portrayals of glamour lapped up by the international press.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s often plenty of sex and drugs, but any glamour attached quickly wears out when you’re facing yet another 4am check-in after a few hours of alcohol-assisted sleep on the tour bus.
After touring something like 14 countries, I’d lived and learnt rather a lot along the way. Strangely, some lessons learnt on the road are even more applicable in real life. (Yes, real life. Because in all honesty, life on the road isn’t particularly realistic.)
Some of those lessons were small and self-explanatory (always treat the crew with respect, don’t be late onto the tour bus) while others were huge, tough learning curves. Here are some of the insights I gleaned along the way:
1. True friends will always be there, no matter how many thousands of kilometres there are between you.
2. If you’re drinking out of a glass bottle in a moving vehicle, do not rest it against your teeth. Take my word for it.
3. There is no worse feeling than being under-prepared for the task at hand.
4. Giving people joy is one of life’s great pleasures.
5. Age gaps in relationships are almost always very tricky to navigate.
6. Having an accent is a great ice-breaker. If you have a New Zealand accent, make sure to say ‘seven’, ‘pen’ and ‘adaptor’ regularly. ‘Deck’ and ‘six’ should probably only be used among friends.
7. You can never have too many pairs of underwear.
8. It’s not the mistake that matters, it’s how you recover from it.
9. Don’t ever pack more than you can carry.
10. No matter how exhausted you are, or how inappropriate the circumstances, love will always find a way.