I received Martin Atkin’s Tour Smart earlier this week, and have been digging through it. Talk about digging up memories 🙂 For that purpose along, its a cool read, but alas, there is much more.
For someone who has been there, and done that… well, it pretty much tells you all the things you should have known before you went out on the road. I wish he had written it 30 years ago, it would have saved me a lot of headaches. Alas, such headaches are the sort of things that do stay with you…
As an old codger, I can see youngsters reading this and going, man, thats too much work, too much to worry about, I just wanna play. Well, guess what, touring is work, and if you dont have your ducks in a row, you might not be able to play, or most likely wont last very long.
For those in a successful enough band, who is starting to get serious, this book is a life saver. Do follow his recommendations, and the ones you think are not important, at least consider what headaches you open yourself up too, should you choose to ignore them. It can be a brutal world out there.
For those in a small band, just starting out, there are things of value, but many will seem overkill… ie if you send out riders to a small local club, request dressing rooms catering, equipment, etc #1, they wont read it, and #2, they will likely laugh at you. The book in that regard is not for the newbie… but things like SOP’s for accounting, loadin, loadout, contracts, & basic band management transcend all venues and lifecycles, as does promotion & other areas, albeit they are less generic.
For the Christian Musician… well, the language is a bit coarse, but dont let that be a discouragement. You may think you are immune to sex, drugs, alcohol, fatique, breakdowns, fans, merchandising, member relationships, and getting ripped off etc… but this is the real world, the real mission field. You are not immune, you need to be wise as a serpent, and gentle as a dove, this book can help a ton in the wisdom arena, and knowledge of the potential evils out there is a must.
For the female musician… well, this book is very much male oriented, and as such could be a turn off. Otoh, just as with the Christian musician, there are many things you can run with, albeit you might need to apply them a bit differently.