The Honeydogs tour diary 3: Meeting a superfan in Chicago

The Honeydogs obviously felt right at home at this gas station.
The Honeydogs obviously felt right at home at this gas station.
Photo by Adam Levy

See Also:
The Honeydogs tour diary 1: Adam Levy's dream

The Honeydogs tour diary 2: Trent Norton reaches out

Minneapolis rockers the Honeydogs have just embarked on a tour out to the East Coast. In this tour diary, frontman Adam Levy is providing a running commentary from the road. This entry "Are You Waiting for the Streetcar?"

Jetting down I-80 into Ohio's armpit transporting 4 guys and something a little shy of a ton of gear . Drive day. It's hard to believe we could cram so much in a Dodge minivan. I even brought a hatbox -- 6 ties, 10 shirts and a few pairs of eyeglasses. I certainly won't be looking like a schlub, whatever the space constraints.

Trent is at the helm and the band is in a good mood with the first night under our belts. We're far from home and responsibilities. I wonder how much of our lives we've spent traveling in vans between cities? How many hours driving and recounting past road victories, defeats and heartbreak stories? How many urinals have we met?

Playlist for the day: St Vincent's Strange Mercy, Television's Marquee Moon, Can's The Lost Tapes, Howard Roberts Good Pickins, Best of Bert Jansch, and Burt Bacharach's Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. The last, a personal favorite for me and Trent, influenced much of the early Honeydogs' records.

Music listening with the band is always interactive, talking about production ideas, hooks -- each of us playing new favorites. It gets everyone thinking about how to improve their onstage game and look forward to future recording. We haven't been able to stop singing the 15 minute "Can" single lyric masterpiece in thick German accent "ARE YOU WAI-TING FOR DA STREET CAR?"

Chicago was a shaking-the-cobwebs-out/scraping-the-rust-off kinda night. The band is traveling with a consolidated lineup, flying without our usual horns and extra guitar. A four piece. Economical... which means everyone has a few extra duties and slack to pick up musically. More singing for Trent. Peter Sands has become a keyboard octopus. For my share, I'm in tap-my-head,-rub-my-belly mode -- more guitar and pedal work, so during the show my mind is in about 4-5 places simultaneously. Am I syncing with everyone on stage? Do I have something to say while I'm tuning up? Does my shit work? You can feel clumsy with the gear dance. Planning is paramount when trying to connect with the band, the song and audience. By the end of the tour I should be in good form. The first night I'm like the new dude on the job. Just like starting over.

Pennies from heaven seem to happen randomly most tours. In Chicago they come in the from of a fan who, after the show, buys his friends our back catalog and t-shirts, and after settling up he gives me an extra $250 cash.

"Write me another nice one about French philosophy.", he says.

I'm not actually sure what song he's referring to... but I appreciate immensely the fact he's actually listened to our last four records and even has a deep track as his iPhone ringtone.

As we careen further eastward my earlier dread starts to dissipate and I am settling into the lulling calm of touring. Your purpose is singular: get to the next show and make sure not to fuck up.

And in between, there's waiting. Lots of waiting.

See Also:
The Honeydogs tour diary 1: Adam Levy's dream

The Honeydogs tour diary 2: Trent Norton reaches out

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