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Author Topic:  Did you quit the road work ?
Richard Tipple


From:
Ohio, USA
Post Posted 27 Sep 2017 9:34 am     Reply with quote

Some years back I did road work with a good friend and up and coming artist. He was booked at Casinos and venues mostly out West. These were mostly one week or two at a time and very profitable. He had an old Blue Bird bus that would beat a man half simple, on the road, LOL

During this time our Bass player was a dear friend of mine and sadly he passed away from cancer.

Things went on and I was fortunate enough to meet and play alongside many great musicians,,Don Helms,,Bob Saxton and many more.

But as time went on I became more and more of a home body and the road didnt appeal to me as much as it once did so I quit the road.

I wanted to play a gig and be able to be home that night,,no more buses and hotel rooms.
I built up my home recording studio and now play with a few local bands.

Im happy and enjoy my time , and oh yea,, my friend on the road now has a big, Silver Eagle, bus LOL,,,

Just wondering how many have been down this road ?
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post Posted 27 Sep 2017 10:29 am     Reply with quote

I was at a steel show and got into a nice conversation with John Hughey.
I asked him if he was still on the road, he said: "No, I did that for 31 years and that was enough!".
I never met a nicer man than John Hughey. Very Happy
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Brett Day


From:
Pickens, SC
Post Posted 27 Sep 2017 11:32 am     Reply with quote

I met John Hughey at the Southern Steel Guitar Convention in February of 2000, and at the time, he'd just gotten off the road with Vince or was getting ready to stop playing steel with Vince-he'd been on the road with Vince for twelve years. At that convention, John and I became friends. I remember telling John that as I listened to his work on Vince's "I Still Believe In You" record, I always wondered what it'd be like to play the steel guitar, and John smiled. I sure do miss John Hughey. He was a great friend, a great steel player, and a hero to so many of us steel players.
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Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 28 Sep 2017 11:22 am     Reply with quote

About 10 years ago I divided the amount of time I was sitting on my butt doing nothing for those endless hours of traveling by the sum total of gig satisfaction and came up with nearly zero. Just as well; road gigs were drying up for the group I was with anyway.

Home gigs don't pay nearly as well and are few and far between, but they fit into my life and my values better.
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Damir Besic


From:
Nashville,TN.
Post Posted 28 Sep 2017 6:41 pm     Reply with quote

no more road for me, they can't pay me enough to be away from my kid... I hung up my road hat 10 years ago after she was born, and never looked back...




this is how I spend my time now days...😎
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Last edited by Damir Besic on 28 Sep 2017 6:44 pm; edited 1 time in total
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b0b


From:
Northern California
Post Posted 28 Sep 2017 6:44 pm     Reply with quote

I tried it for about 6 months. Not for me. Came back and found a day job.
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Bill L. Wilson


From:
Oklahoma, USA
Post Posted 28 Sep 2017 9:00 pm     On The Road Again. Reply with quote

I've been asked recently about hitting the road with a band of young men to open some shows for name acts and I'm seriously considering doing it. At "71" I can't believe these guys are even thinking about having an old coot on stage with them. But, they like my steel playing, so after yrs. of working a real job, playing on the weekends, and now retired, I have options that I haven't had in yrs.
This is a recent gig setup with these guys in OKC. It's still fun to me.
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Bob Grado


From:
Holmdel, New Jersey
Post Posted 29 Sep 2017 4:14 am     Reply with quote

I've been playing weekends for as long as I remember. I'll be retiring from my day job in 3 years
and going on the road "just once" is on my bucket list. I don't believe I'll get the opportunity but it's definitely something I'd like to experience.
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Richard Sinkler


From:
Oakdale, California
Post Posted 29 Sep 2017 7:51 am     Reply with quote

I did about 6 months over the course of a year touring the southwest, playing 5 nights at a club when not on the road. Quit because love was interfering.
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Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 29 Sep 2017 9:37 am     Re: On The Road Again. Reply with quote

Bill L. Wilson wrote:
I've been asked recently about hitting the road with a band of young men to open some shows for name acts and I'm seriously considering doing it. At "71"

Okay, here's how I would prepare for a road trip:
-Pack up your steel and a suitcase and go on a Greyhound bus trip for a week.
-Plan a trip that goes to a variety of climatic zones.
-Stay in crappy motels, eat crappy food, and drink crappy coffee.
-Stay up way past your normal bedtime.
-Make sure the alarm clock in the room is set to go off around 3:45am or some other god awful time because this little surprise will happen more than once.
-Oh yeah. Practice the songs and pretend you have to be somewhere for sound check and rehearsal.

Seriously. Road trips are about surviving life off stage.

Maybe you'll get lucky and your agent has booked some nice casinos on a charter bus that gets you there on time and your equipment is set up by the house crew and your bandleader has asked for separate rooms for everyone and a per diem meal allowance and you get to meet some of the Big Names you open for. That can make it fun and I would do it.
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David Mason


From:
Cambridge, MD, USA
Post Posted 29 Sep 2017 8:18 pm     Reply with quote

I have to agree with Mr. Treece here entirely. Like (oblique tangent warning!): The recent fun & games vis-a-vis hurricanes got me thinking. I have long claimed that EVERYONE would benefit from spending a few hours in the eye of a category-5 hurricane, as I did with Andy in 1992 - but ONCE. Only once. And then I realized I was 35 at the time, and with my mo-recent skeletal woes one of them ferkers would quite probably KILL ME now. Coconut Grove was WRECKED, the restaurant I worked at was four feet deep in seaweed and the most disgusting little creatures imaginable that lived in the seaweed, up until they died in the +90-degree weather following, then they got REALLY disgusting. Climbing up and over huge knocked-down trees and stuff was kinda like boy scout camping, except if I didn't do it I had no FOOD.

And while I saw some fantastic examples of human beings helping one another, there was the other kind too. I'm certain I couldn't DO now what I USED to do, which is where Mr. Treece has it right about praticing stuff other than music too. Particularly, concentrate on practice-eating absolute crap, like there may be times when you will have to eat meals devised out of the menu of vending machines. If you're already sleeping lighter as old folks do, count on not sleeping AT ALL until you're so hammered you just pass out wherever, whenever. The older I get, the less I have to do anything WRONG to feel awful. You may love it, who knows? - but you can find out certain aspects pretty well withOUT disappointing anybody INCLUDING yourself.

Another thing you might be able to draw on is the experince of other 71-year-old people still on tour - ARE there any? That AREN'T the star? Or are they all just DAID... Whoa! You may be able to pull off an ancient-wizard-hidden-knowledge kinda thing, which might help - YODA never had to set up his OWN steel guitar, not that I can remember.
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Bill L. Wilson


From:
Oklahoma, USA
Post Posted 29 Sep 2017 9:05 pm     I Don't Need a Bus. Reply with quote

Like I said in an earlier post, I've got options.
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J R Rose


From:
Keota, Oklahoma, USA
Post Posted 30 Sep 2017 2:25 pm     Reply with quote

Hey Bill Wilson, Go for it at least for a little while.
That is if you have a home life that will let that be OK. If you don't do it you will always kick your butt. Things only come around once. J.R.
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Bill L. Wilson


From:
Oklahoma, USA
Post Posted 30 Sep 2017 11:43 pm     When I Was Younger. Reply with quote

I traveled all over the US and Canada in the mid '70's with a gospel group playing guitar and pedal steel. So, I'm familiar with sleeping in the truck or car, 1/4 pounders with cheese for breakfast, white outs on Highway 1 in Canada at midnight, putting tire chains on before the mountains of British Columbia, and the finish on my Les Paul cracking before my very eyes after pulling it out of the case in Edmonton, in the dead of winter. Only thing is, I was much younger then, and I didn't have all of these titanium screws in me. I'm still willing to hit the road as long as my old body can take it.
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Tiny Olson


From:
Tribes Hill, NY, Mohawk River Valley, USA
Post Posted 4 Oct 2017 3:29 pm     Reply with quote

I did the road from the early 70s through the late 80s. I was fortunate enough to work for some name folks and awesome bands. Back then we were often out for 12 weeks, home for 3 days then back out again.

For me, there was lots of driving of the tour buses in addition to the playing. No hours of service laws applied... they were private coaches. I remember one time with Gene where we played Ponca City, OK and our next gig was 2 days later in Calgary, Canada. I drove the Eagle from Ponca City to Bozeman, MT non-stop except for one fuel stop. That's probably close to 1300 miles. We really beat the road back then. Not much sleep back then either.

I left the road in 1987 when I discovered my Mom was terminally ill. It was absolutely the right choice in every way. No doubt though, for me the road always was and still is in my blood. With family, grandkids and a nice retirement now just months away (from the transportation industry), I'm glad that I left nonetheless.

I've been a lucky man and blessed by God in so many ways. Playing all 50 States and 14 foreign counties was cool. It's all really good and I know there are other guys out there with very similar stories as well.

Chris "Tiny" O.
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Bobby Nelson


From:
North Carolina, USA
Post Posted 5 Oct 2017 2:54 pm     Reply with quote

I did the road in the 80's but, it didn't pay enough so I had to work construction. Construction won out and have been doing it ever since. Although, after 36 yrs of it, it has kind of been hell on my body and lungs so, the road looks a little easier haha.
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Herb Steiner


From:
Spicewood TX 78669
Post Posted 5 Oct 2017 4:41 pm     Reply with quote

I think I finally quit the road work in April of 2015, when I told Gary P. Nunn that his being out on the road 3-4 days a week took too high a percentage of my time at my advanced age. I wanted to do things while I was still physically able to do them. Which didn't include riding around Texas in a band van.

This wasn't road work where the band is gone for weeks at a time, this was just one-nighters around Texas. But still, 3 days on the road is 43% of my life, and at age 70 that's too much time to devote to someone else's bucket list.
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B. Greg Jones


From:
Middleport, Ohio USA
Post Posted 5 Oct 2017 5:46 pm     Reply with quote

I worked the road for a few years. Didn't work for any major artists but got to do a few opening acts. I drove the Eagle a lot which was totally gutted inside. Not a great ride. Did the van and trailer thing too. Got to play 13 weeks on a Carnival Cruise ship and saw hurricane Aaron 1st hand!!! The money was never that good, slept in a bathtub once, ate ketchup soup a few times BUT, I did get to see a lot of the country. I would probably do it all over again but its also nice to be home and sleep in the same bed every night. I left the road work and got hired at the Old Dominion Opry in Williamsburg, Va. Stayed there 2 yrs and went to Renfro Valley, KY. and was there as staff steeler for 12 yrs. But, due to some health problems and the money getting thinner there, I left in 2009 and moved back to Ohio,closer to my family. Just play on weekends now.
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Bobby Nelson


From:
North Carolina, USA
Post Posted 6 Oct 2017 12:03 am     Reply with quote

B. Greg, I slept on the floor next to the bathtub in Richmond for 2 nights one time haha! Ahh, the good old days.
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Bill Sinclair


From:
Hagerstown, Maryland, USA
Post Posted 6 Oct 2017 6:06 am     Reply with quote

I quit my day job in the early 80's to travel with a contemporary Christian artist as his duo-sideman (harmonica, sax & BGVs) for about a year. It was great. Unmarried, in my early 20's, summer camps in Montana, hiking in the Northwest between gigs, playing for polite and appreciative (if somewhat small) crowds, feeling like we were do something worthwhile. Work wasn't steady enough to really make a living though. We finally put together a tour with a band, pulling a trailer behind a bus, big time . Rolling Eyes After the first leg of the very eventful tour, we discovered that the tour manager/bus driver had been trying to stave off personal bankruptcy with the proceeds so we all got stiffed. Thirty-some years later, I bear him no ill-will. It's what convinced me to go back to my day job!
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Art Beard


From:
Camp Verde, AZ
Post Posted 6 Oct 2017 6:36 am     on the road Reply with quote

to Bill Wilson I have say, if those screws are in the lower back, listen to your body and not your mind. for the bodies voice is small compared to brain. at 71, I've had 6 lower back operations, the last 2 on Dec 29th and 31st 'of 2016, so I could stand a chance to be able to walk again. On the military pain scale of 1-10 I constantly live a a level of 6.0-7.5. I do love 6.0 mow, this doesn't account for spikes in pain up to 8.5(don't go there).All of this is do to dicesions that I made in life. no one else to blame. Many have good advise here, but the body can make u pay big time. Think it all thru. Wishing the best for u
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Bill L. Wilson


From:
Oklahoma, USA
Post Posted 6 Oct 2017 7:48 pm     The Old Screws in the Back. Reply with quote

Art, my screws and bars in my back have been in since a serious truck wreck in 2005. They never bother me unless I’m cutting wood, or any job where I bend over to much. Even then, I can take an aspirin, kick back, rest, and the pain goes away. Driving doesn’t bother me, I’ll head out to Phoenix in Jan. for The Steel Guitar Show, The Barrett Jackson Auto Auction, The Grand Canyon, and when I head home I drive straight thru only stop for fuel, food and P-Breaks. I’ve been very blessed that my back surgery has never really been a problem, or caused me very much pain, even setting on a steel seat for 4hrs. a night on Fri. and Sat.
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Bob Hoffnar


From:
Austin, Tx
Post Posted 6 Oct 2017 7:52 pm     Re: On The Road Again. Reply with quote

Bill L. Wilson wrote:
I've been asked recently about hitting the road with a band of young men to open some shows for name acts and I'm seriously considering doing it. At "71" I can't believe these guys are even thinking about having an old coot on stage with them. But, they like my steel playing, so after yrs. of working a real job, playing on the weekends, and now retired, I have options that I haven't had in years .This is a recent gig setup with these guys in OKC. It's still fun to me.


Bill , have fun out there. The road is one of my favorite ways to live. I find it peaceful and fulfilling. Nothing to do but play the gig and look around. There is this unique feeling I get out there sometimes where I feel absolutely anonymous and alone. The world gets still and is kinda sad but in a really sweet way. Hard to describe but I don’t get that perspective in my civilian life. Also if the guys are a good hang you may find yourself with some new lifelong brothers. When was the last time you stayed up all night just talking with a friend ?

Btw, it’s super easy to eat healthy on the road these days. You don’t want to be the guy stuck in the crapper while everybody waits for you !
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Jim Smerk


From:
Ohio, USA
Post Posted 8 Oct 2017 6:45 am     Reply with quote

Did it for 40 years, 4 to 6 nights a week, until the old body said "Enough!"

And since I was one of the few that filed my paperwork & paid my taxes I have a little more coming in now that I need it....
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Roger Rettig


From:
An Englishman in Naples, FL
Post Posted 8 Oct 2017 9:19 am     Reply with quote

I think I've left it too late to become qualified for anything else. Turned pro in '59 and have more-or-less sustained a life of sorts from playing music.

I recently handed in my notice to the folks at the Medora Musical (after thirteen years, and it's a 16-week contract) and, from now on, intend to pick-and-choose a bit more. Lifting even a tiny Roland amp is a challenge (I'll be seventy-five soon) so I'm not too proud to invoke the sympathy clause. I'm currently in rehearsals for 'Lost Highway' (Hank Williams bio piece) but that entails sitting down in one spot for five weeks - comparatively civilised.

These days 'the road' means driving the Lincoln. I did plenty of bus-and-truck tours; not too bad on a sleeper-bus but a trial in a regular 40+ seat vehicle.

I'd like to be at home a bit more. Luckily I've accrued enough 'wealth' to do just the more appealing jobs. I can't imagine not playing in some form or another.
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