Why employers should hire touring musicians
In 2014, you should've already figured it out by now: Your dumpy, forgettable band with few fans should be touring. The need to turn your local bar band into a mobile poverty-stricken disaster unit is of utmost importance. It's your chance to see beautiful rolling landscapes, fall in love with people you'll only talk to on the Internet and learn how to comfortably carry yourself onstage. Tour is where baby takes his first steps -- gaining a new, elevated perspective and examining the world with awe while still shitting his pants.
Tour is a dazzling and magical experience where time freezes in a moment of swirled joy, stress and wonder. But with every enlightening experience comes a brutal return to reality. Namely, when you return home and realize you have no idea how to do things that normal people do, like eat human food and pay rent.
Sure, there's that eternally stocked Little Caesar's dumpster and your friend who still wears raver pants who has always said you could crash with him for free, but shouldn't there be an easier, less potentially diseased way?
There should be. The solution is that more businesses should go out of their way to employ TOURING musicians. Here are six logical, serious and carefully thought-out reasons to hire one of these brave idealists.
(Note: For those of you grubby tour goons out there reading this list and nodding in agreement, remember that you're an ambassador for all this stuff. Don't screw it up for the rest of us.)
6. Touring Musicians Are Reliable
Have you ever woken up at 4 a.m. and driven ten hours just to make it to a place on time where you get paid $125 divided among you and your four friends? Probably not, because that's an insane ripoff. But touring musicians have, because they realize it enables them to continue making art. Touring musicians realize an incredibly vital life lesson that most arrogant and snide youth seem to overlook: In order to do the things you like, you have to do a bunch of things that you don't like. This is a valuable trait in an employee.
5. Touring Musicians Are Loyal
When you tour, you're on your own. You function as a small gang of overgrown kindergarteners with access to alcohol. In every new city you're forced to place your trust in strangers or friends of friends, in the hope that you'll have a place to sleep and that no one will steal the only possessions you will own for the next number of weeks. From there, you either make lifelong friends for whom you will always provide a place to stay and food to eat in your home city, or you have a new story to tell about urinating in someone's laundry machine because they were an asshole.
In the real world, touring musicians function in a similar manner. They recognize that having a boss who allows you to leave for weeks at a time and still come back is a rare gift. It's something to be cherished and nurtured. No one wants to mess that up.
4. You've Already Hired People Who Suck
A recent statistic published by me in this article is that 95 percent of everyone who does anything completely sucks at it. Whether they are just in the wrong field or their brains are made of sewer sludge is of no matter -- most people just suck at everything they do. The worst thing that can happen when you hire someone who tours is that you get another brain-dead jerk who forgets to call and tell you they can't come in today. And you've already hired a bunch of them anyway, so why discriminate?
3. Touring Musicians Are Resourceful
The hardened road dogs of the world know what it takes to keep things going: surprisingly little. These are the people who have rigged up their mufflers with shoelaces, found toilet paper where there is none, talked their way out of being arrested by cops in New Jersey and avoided being stabbed by transients in eastern Washington. They're the people who have managed to walk away with money in their pockets after playing a show they set up on that same day -- and they've done it all while living off of light beer and gas-station hot dogs.
When you hire a touring musician, you have an oracle of scumbag ingenuity within arm's reach.
See also: Six People to Avoid When Forming a Band
2. You're Making Life More Tolerable
This morning, I read an article about a chef who killed and boiled his wife over four days, then pulverized her skull. The world is an awful place filled with tragedy and horribleness. It always has been and it always will be. But you know what? It's OK, because we have honest and pure things like food, the ocean, that pug that rides a skateboard and art to help us remember that everything isn't soul-crushingly terrible. While you're certainly not erasing any of the evils of the world, supporting the people who make art and helping it flourish makes This Toilet Earth reek a little less of sadness.
1. It Makes You Look Cool
What if, like, the band gets famous or something? Then you get to talk about how you helped make it all possible. You're the big hero of the day, aren't you? You can finally get close to obtaining that feeling of importance you were searching for when you ascended to your mighty throne of management. Maybe some day they'll paint a stupid mural of you and the successful musician shaking hands like Elvis and Richard Nixon.
Whatever, man, just stop making life so awful for us losers who are trying to have a good time by sleeping in decrepit vans. It is hard enough out here.
Follow Drew Ailes on Twitter at @CountBakula.
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