We’re on our way back to Franklin from a show last night in Iowa. My brother-in-law (drummer) is driving, and Big Jon (guitar) is riding shotgun and working the radio. Jennifer is pulling pages from decorating and style magazines that she’ll put in a box under the bed at home. We’re listening to a CD that the opening band gave us last night. We met them during sound check. They were dressed in their stylish clothes and their skinny jeans and ready for their set later that day. We were in our running shorts and sweaty t-shirts. Same uniforms this morning. Jon is talking about the hard conversation he has to have with his renters when we get back and Brian is thinking about selling cars this week, his side job when he’s not drumming. I’m thankful for the rear A/C unit in the van we are borrowing from a friend of mine at home. There were no feasible flights for this show so we decided to drive; ten hours each way. I’m recovering from a pretty nasty flu so Brian has driven most of the way. I offered to drive at the last stop but he says he’s good until at least St Louis. Jennifer stopped at a Starbucks for her Iced Venti Green Tea (2 pumps classic, one pump peppermint) before we left the hotel this morning so she’s had to pee already. This is a welcome change for me. I’m usually the one making us pull over. She can usually last all day.
Big Jon changes the music to John Mayer – Live in Los Angeles. All of us subconsciously start nodding our heads in rhythm. We’ve been talking about the music business, where I’ve earned my living since I was seventeen. Twenty years now, this has been my job. And it IS a job, lest anyone have other impressions. There are the bookings, taxes, payroll, and the worrying about making ends meet, just like the normal people with the real jobs. There’s pressure to make hit records and sell the ones you’ve already made. But all that noise is quiet this morning. Today it’s just a band in a van talking about music.
Brian’s phone makes the sound of a clown horn and he looks at an incoming text from his brother. Andy Griffith has died. A couple of us whistle the tune to the show and the conversation follows a rabbit trail in another direction. Brian comments that we’re making good time which means we’ll probably have time to grab a decent lunch. An Alanis Morissette song comes on and we are all back in the nineties. I have to pee so we swing into a truck stop. Big Jon and me grab some Big League Chew before we head back out. It tastes and smells and sounds like my twenties in here. Then I hear Jennifer on the phone talking to our friend about making sure Hutch gets his ear drops three times today. (Reality). But still a good reality: My beautiful girlfriend sitting next to me in tight workout pants, my band guys talking about music, me writing thoughts to people who, for some reason, care, and my kids safe at a sleep over with good friends. Right now it’s pretty decent. Remind me of that later.
Peace and Rest,