If you want a good many laughs, and a view into temporary insanity, I can’t recommend Henry Rollins Get in the Van enough. Although the early 80’s hardcore scene is far crazier than anything I have ever witnessed, there is something in the dark fatalistic humor of the book that captures touring better than anything I have ever seen or read. I know I have mentioned it before, but I am thinking about it on my way to Oklahoma city.
When you tour it is like living in dog years. Time slows to a crawl. I am not trying to romanticize touring, quite the opposite. There may be some that love every moment of it, but to me my passion for music makes it something that I tolerate. I am not saying that there aren’t great moments, nor am I complaining. It simply is a mountain that needs to be climbed to reach the golden city of music. It is mostly my ability to disconnect, to float away into books and records, that allows me to keep climbing.
I am an introvert by nature. Being in a crowd, even if I am having a great time, diminishes my energy instead of restoring it. I purposely need to retreat into an autistic cave of solitude at times to make it through the day. (Hat pulled down over eyes and headphones on.)
But lord I love being creative, playing with great musicians, and diving into the world of music. I can never hear enough of the stuff. I live with headphones on. I could play a two hour set and the first thing I want to do after is listen to a record. I love the world of recorded sound. I have ever since I was a kid. While some friends obsessed over sports stats, I was up in my room reading music magazines and listening to albums.
When some people tell me that I am bold to follow my dreams, I thank them, but I know the truth: My passion for music borders on obsession, and I have no other choice. It isn’t much different than an alcoholic slithering over to a bar as soon as it is open. Reason and courage play no part. I give into my addiction and follow it down the rabbit hole.