Archive for the ‘travel’ Category

Trip Tip 7

Posted: June 27, 2019 in Motorcycle, touring, travel, Uncategorized

TripTip7

 

 

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I’m going to need to skip a couple years, a lot happened that I just can’t place.  I’ll refer to things as I go along.  But for right now, I’ve copied a FB post to explain the past 3-years…

WALKER CAINE · WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 22, 2018

Dead Man Walking

This will be my last post/update on the subject and a synopsis to bring others up to speed. I didn’t expect I’d still be here… pretty sure no one else did either

In a nutshell…

It’s now been 2-years (Aug. 2016) since the 3rd time my BP dropped to 50- (maybe 4th, never told anyone about the freeway). Even though I heard a paramedic say “think we lost him” I refused to go to the hospital. The next was an ambulance ride to the hospital but they obviously didn’t find anything.

Instead of behaving myself, and being an adventurous type, I packed up the bike a month or two later and headed east to do a couple make-a-wish kind of things (ironically cancer/leukemia patients) and maybe play some town parks as I do from time to time on the road while touring (I’ve done all my touring by motorcycle since 2009 renting/borrowing/shipping equipment as needed – usually speakers). I stopped in the Ozarks to wait out a wall of some nasty storms sitting between me and the coast, but while sitting there something told me I needed to get home.

Wouldn’t let me go, so I cancelled everything and headed back West through the desert with 2 of the only breakdowns I’ve ever had traveling on a bike. But a couple days after I got home it happened again. Good timing eh? This wasn’t like the others though and I was given no choice, they said I was making no sense (yeah, like I ever do, right?) and I had the biggest headache of my life. Off we went to Dignity’s Chandler Regional.

As it turned out I had 6 brain cancer tumors and stage 4 incurable/inoperable lung cancer. Terminal all the way around. I’m told the Neurosurgeon spent 2 days talking me into removing the largest tumor (fortunately it was also the easiest to get to). I don’t remember most of that week nor a lot of the month that followed. I do remember him saying that if left alone I’d be paralyzed within the week and dead in a couple more. Having nothing to lose I signed the paper & agreed; I mean who would want to be taken care of in a paralyzed state if you have a choice? I still don’t understand how he did it – talk about the detail that must have been involved! 7-hours later they took me back to my room.

What was left is that type of cancer that gives a max life expectancy of 6-months, which in my mind kinda says that, statistically, I should have died 5 times by now and maybe add a couple for those blood pressure drops.

Anyway, a medical Oncologist and a brain Oncologist got hold of me and once the surgeon released me they went to work. I was put through radiation for the tumors and then chemotherapy & immunotherapy to shrink the cancers. As time went by, bone cancer and an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm were found. Also along the way had 2 cataracts removed (prompted by the radiation), and an emergency Pericardiocentesis to drain some 700ml+ (?!) of fluid from that sack around the heart, which added a Cardiologist to the mix.

I had a lung deflate somewhere along the road, fortunately they had a bicycle pump handy. Have osteoporosis and osteoarthritis from 3 fractures in my back (kept touring) Also had other things to deal with but I won’t go there, don’t want to sound like I’m whining… It’s quite a list. Let’s just say I was pretty useless for a few months and dyslexic… yeah that was fun

Fast forward to today…

All my scans say I’m doing well and stable. After dealing with a couple untreated vertebrae fractures the past 10-years and kidney stones for 20, maybe that’s what drove me on, I was already accustomed to pain and wasn’t about to give in to a bunch of petty crap.

We’ve gotten the Chemo down to once a month and I go in for MRI/PET/CAT scans every 3-months for the rest of my life. I should thank Dr. Anita, Dr. Alice and all the nurses & techs at the Ironwood Cancer and Research Centers (Chandler) for looking out for me and ignoring my comments of “we have to stop sometime”, not to mention a flow of some generally bad jokes. Of course other Doctors have some fun with me too – “you’ve beaten the odds”, “are you still alive?”. LOL

And of course my three lovely girls who shifted their schedules to keep a watch over me deserve more thanks than I can give but they still won’t take me to buy a car/truck or go anywhere alone. Working way too much to keep ahead of the game, Lynda was able to telecommute for the first few months and now often for my appointments, spending that much time with me cannot be easy But hey, it was their idea so I stay out of it. Now I hardly ever see them and I’m still equilibrium challenged, keeping me off the bike

My weight keeps going up & down and I could stand to gain a few pounds and more exercise, so still don’t have that internal strength or balance to get an 800-lb bike back out on the road, but hey, everyone needs a goal, right? Also, thanks to the help of friends and past unreleased recordings, I have 3+ CD’s worth of songs I’m trying to get release-worthy. Not my best work but it does occupy the times when I can focus – which is less often than I like to think. My creative side has taken a nose-dive but shows up now & then for a couple days.

Still just hanging around to see what happens next. A born philosopher, I’m doing fine. Who knows, I could still be around for a long time but I go to sleep every night not expecting to wake up. I’m pretty sure I must have angels looking out for me, I’ve dodged way too many bullets over the years, but I’ve aged considerably this past year.

But for when the morning comes that I don’t wake up, I’ll just thank everyone now for humoring me all these months. If something should cross your path along your trip through life, have faith in yourself and keep on keeping on.

Sometimes being stubborn works!

 

 

Modern Touring

Posted: June 1, 2019 in entertainment, Music, touring, travel

Wanted to share this, For most, it is is very true. You gotta have a plan for when things go wrong – and they always do lol

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What Touring Looks Like for Unestablished Bands

By Patrick McGuire

When non-musicians think of bands on tour, they typically conjure up scenes of crowded venues, indulgence in the form of sex, booze, and illegal drugs, and thriving young musicians without a care in the world.

The stereotypes associated with touring are often wrong and typically only pertain to established artists with resources and sizable followings.

Look closer at the touring segment of the music industry, and you’ll see a completely different and markedly less glamorous side to touring. Every night around the world, there are thousands of small struggling bands most people have never heard of taking stages to play in front of audiences of little to no people.

The following is a vague outlining of what touring is like for bands who aren’t famous, wealthy, or critically acclaimed.

Booking tours is a hellscape of pure tedium

Bands with big followings usually have booking agents and managers to book and route their tours. Unestablished bands and artists are on their own.

Emailing and cold-calling venues is an essential but typically awful part of DIY touring. Months in advance, bands usually split the duties of contacting venues and asking for shows. Most of the emails and phone messages small bands leave these venues go unanswered, and for good reason.
Even when venues don’t pay small bands to play (they often don’t), they risk losing money by booking them because they don’t have proven followings to show up and drink. This proves to be hugely challenging for small bands trying to build a national following, and they’re often forced to pursue shows for little to no pay wherever they can find them.

All the non-musical details are handled by you, the artist

From asking the venue’s bartender for payment after the show to procuring places to sleep along the tour route, all the non-musical aspects of touring are handled by the musicians playing in unestablished bands.

This means that musicians have the jobs of performing well on stage to think about in addition to a myriad of unpleasant tour obligations to consider. If you and your bandmates just partied till 4:00 AM in New York City, which one of you is going to move the van by 7:00 AM so it doesn’t get towed?

Who is making sure you have enough cash for toll roads?

When the friend you were supposed to stay with backs out at the last minute and you have no money for a hotel, what are you going to do?

Most musicians obviously love the performance aspect of touring, but situations like these often prove to be huge managerial challenges for unestablished bands.

The shows are sparsely attended and often story-worthy

From wretched sound systems to the experience of playing in front of literally nobody save for a venue’s staff, DIY shows can be rough experiences for unestablished bands. It all comes down to the economy of touring, which is heavily not in an unestablished band’s favor.

Unestablished artists and bands don’t always have the ability to bring people, and in turn money, through the door, so they’re left to settle for shows at places not ideal for hosting shows–new venues with no reputation or built-in crowd, raucous dives 30 years removed from their heydays, strip mall coffeeshops that want you and your band to convert to a different religion.

These places almost always lack audiences and the money to pay touring bands and artists. With some exceptions, this means that small bands are forced to make financial sacrifices in order to tour. Not only are they not being paid, they’re also willingly going without reliable sources of income for as long as they tour.

Ask an unestablished band about their experiences touring, and you’re likely to get inundated with tales of wasted audience members, sound monitor feedback horror stories, and the never-ending quest for drink tickets.

You’ll sleep on lots of floors

Since money is hard to come by in DIY touring, booking hotels or AirBnBs is almost always out of the question. Unestablished bands almost always spend their nights camped out on a fan or friend’s floor. This, combined with the fact that many bands drink and drug after shows, inevitably translates to a lack of sleep.

Night after night of this begins to wear on a band, even if it’s comprised of energetic musicians in their early twenties. But blowing even $50 on a room for a night doesn’t make sense when your band only made $27 the night before and still has to pay for gas to get to the next show.

You might just have the best time of your entire life

Yes, there’s massive drawbacks to DIY touring, but tours for small bands can also bring lifelong benefits.

For new bands without performance experience, playing the same set over and over again is a chance to develop musically and forge a real musical identity. The friends unestablished bands make on tour often end up being important connections and resources later in their careers. And there’s something almost sacred about setting out with a group of musicians to defy the odds and actually find success.

Touring makes or breaks bands because it’s incredibly hard and thankless work. The musicians who can handle the many pitfalls of DIY touring are more likely to embrace music-making over the long-term than those who can’t.

Well … ooops

Posted: September 27, 2017 in Motorcycle, touring, travel, Uncategorized

Well I feel silly.  My last post here was in 2011… I don’t know if I just got tired of writing or I forgot I had this (I did eventually forget, obviously), I’m guessing both.

Folks have been telling me to write a blog; then I remembered I have this one already started.  Sorry I’ve neglected it for so long.

Let me do some thinking, get some memories from between that last post and now, and try to get up to speed on things.

Stick around, I’ll be bach 🙂

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Still alive and well

Posted: April 3, 2011 in Motorcycle, Music, touring, travel

Last post was October eh?

Not much has happened really; I had surgery on my hand to take care of both Basil Joint arthritis in my thumb and carpal tunnel through my arm.  It’s taken quite a while to get it all back in shape, and its still not 100% but its working.  Had a couple age related things done too – I don’t even want to talk about that!  Needless to say its all kept me close to home.

So Arizona Bike Week is over and its time to start packing it up.  Easy part about that is I’m still half packed from last autumn.  I’m holding out for my daughter’s choir concert and then it’s show time.

Something about this year – I’m not sure what it is but I’m feeling especially quiet.  I hope to see everyone out there, but you might have to look for me.  It’s a bad time to be quiet but I’ll come out of it when I start rolling.

My bike will hit 100k this year so I need to start thinking about a new one for next year or maybe just clean it up, I haven’t decided.  It gets a lot of attention so maybe I’ll do some more to it and see how long she keeps up with me.

I’m looking forward to a good season … unusual, but good  Winking smile

Been thinking this morning (the kind of thing that gets me in trouble) and thought I would do a count of all the States I hit between May-June and late August-September of this 2010 season.  I lost my GPS in New Mexico and my nifty Harley map took flight I’m guessing somewhere in Oklahoma, so I really got around during the September trip by just saying “that-a-way”.

I could list Towns, but towns I went through – way too many (I do highways remember?).  Towns I stopped in – still quite a few.  Towns I played in – that’s all relative to ones I was invited to versus the ones I just stopped & set up shop.

I based out of Arizona and Arkansas, so I went in & out of them a lot; and, of course, always cutting through Texas to avoid some of the harsher weather.  I may have also done East Kansas one trip & West Kansas the other … just like North & South Indiana, Eastern & Western Virginia, and so on.  Unfortunately it seemed that every time I had a break to go visit with media-types it would decide to rain; not your everyday rain but a downpour that lasted for days.

I’m less organized than I should be, generally just keeping receipts to jog my memory.  For some reason I learned a lot this year compared to previous years; I’m thinking maybe its because I got it into my head to actually keep track for possible publicity purposes; but I still didn’t do a very good job of it.  I think 2011 will be a whole new ballgame… people are starting to come out wanting to get involved – I like that!

For today, I’ll stick to States… Y’all Ready??

Arizona
New Mexico
Texas
Oklahoma
Kansas
Nebraska
South Dakota
Iowa
Illinois
Indiana
Ohio
West Virginia
Pennsylvania
Maryland
Delaware
Virginia
North Carolina
South Carolina
Georgia
Tennessee
Arkansas
Louisiana
Texas
Mexico
New Mexico
Arizona
New Mexico
Texas
Oklahoma
Colorado
Kansas
Nebraska
Iowa
Minnesota
Wisconsin
Illinois
Missouri
Indiana
Kentucky
West Virginia
Pennsylvania
Delaware
New Jersey
Maryland
DC
Virginia
North Carolina
Kentucky
Tennessee
Alabama
Mississippi
Arkansas
Missouri
Arkansas
Texas
Oklahoma
New Mexico
Arizona

Nice little run-around eh?  It was roughly 18,000 miles a shot.  I was very pleased with the way the bike held up, in fact not a thing went wrong unless I made it go wrong with my tinkering.  I do have a knocking in my lifters but I think it might just be cheap gas – whenever I add Sea Foam it goes away.  I wanted to rake out the front end this winter while I’m home, but that’s a $1000 project which I just don’t have the spare cash for.  Oh well.  Still hoping one of the bike makers will come through but I’m not holding my breath.  I mean, can you think of a better road test for your bike than one of my road trips??  Everywhere I stop people ask about the bike & the customizing that I’ve done…

Above & beyond list this year… I want to thank Ed at Team Apache in Mesa, AZ for letting me call & pick his brain a little while I was on the road.  There was also a place called Golf Carts for Fun in Aubrey, TX who took the time to try & fit my trailer with new tires.   There was an Auto Zone near Bristol, VA who set me up & let me change my oil in the parking lot (the entire year I used Mobile-One 20/50 synthetic oil and Mobile-One filters so I didn’t have to go searching for a motorcycle shop).  And there was Karen who kept my equipment safe, and Tom in PA who showed me some cool places – including a shop to buy heavy leather gloves that I needed for $3… I bought an extra pair.  Oh yeah, and Sunrise Honda in Searcy, AR who cleaned up my wiring and did a flawless job of hooking up my trailer.

Enough for today.

Yesterday is the past, today is the future.  Things can change in the blink of an eye.

I’ve been giving some thought to going to Bob’s hall of fame ceremony in Omaha this month.  Of anyone up there, they deserve it most.  For some 15-yrs Tight Fit played anywhere from 200 to 300 shows a year all over the country … definitely the hardest working band ever to come out of the Omaha area.

I haven’t been to an awards ceremony since the ‘80s; you might say I grew out of it.  I do miss the yearly MTV & Grammy invites though, it let me know I was remembered.  So should I go to Omaha to see people who won’t remember me for an award that had little to nothing to do with me?

It seems to be important to Bob that I be there.  Despite the fact I have to get limb pullers to get him to help me with anything, he is one of my oldest and best of friends.  In this business when you disappear for a while, you’re usually forgotten and have to start over, it can be depressing.  I should show some support.

If I do that then I’ll also head to Arkansas to pick up a camper/trailer for the bike. It’s relatively big & awkward looking, but at least the bike won’t look like the Grinch’s sled anymore.  I’m also still booked for 2 shows in the South… I should be able to pull that off.  Maybe cut myself off from the world & spend a couple weeks in the gulf.

Come October it’s time for my med follow-ups and get that surgery done on my hand.  Needless to say I won’t have much to talk about, but hopefully I can focus on studio work and get these 2 unfinished CD’s out the door.  Mostly it feels like no one wants to work with me; if I have to beg its not worth it.  Actually, if I have to ask its really not worth it either.

If I focus I can play all the instruments.  It won’t be great but it’ll be done … and getting these done – good or bad – will make me feel better.  On the other hand if I got out of here, problem solved.  People all over the world contact me about helping them or them helping me.  Only one person in Arizona has.  Ever.

I blew out my voice during a show a couple years ago; and for about 6-months I could not hold a note.  A few months later Ghetto from One Dollar Death showed up at my door with his equipment & said we were going to work on my next release.  I found out my voice came back (in some ways better) but my confidence still hasn’t, ‘cause I had told myself it was over.  Once something like that is in your head, its hard to get out – ya know?  I guess that’s why I go through so many ups & downs now, when something goes wrong it reminds me of all the times I had to quit when I didn’t want to. 

I know, I’m sure you’d rather hear: “Wow I rocked a sold-out stadium, trashed a hotel and off to the next town. I’m king of the world!”.  Tough.  If that’s the way I felt I sure as hell wouldn’t be writing anything now would I.  I don’t like talking about myself, but you can only do so much promotional crap before it starts looking pathetic.  So here I am, from me to you.  The good & the bad.

People know me by different names; and I’ve always liked that… it kept them out of my business.  But as I get older it gets harder to change character at the drop of a hat.  Fact is, I don’t want to anymore, but I don’t want to put it all together either.  There’s a lot of people out there who remember me by whatever; I shouldn’t have to explain it to the others right?

I have a lot to think about on this next trip, its what this whole summer was supposed to be about before it got ripped out from under me.  I agree it’s petty and insignificant in the scheme of things; but if you’re not right with yourself, you’re no good to anyone else.