How to keep your band on the road

Hey folks!  We finally got around to removing the rest of the hitch from the IdeaVan.  It took some doing, but it finally came off.  We had the van looked at by Shawn Klus, he’s the guy we go to when I don’t trust my automotive know-how.   He says it’s worth keeping around for another year or so, in fact he tried to convince me that we could push it to 300,000 miles.  Next step will be to take it to Phil Millers dad and have him patch up the van frame and the hitch, then put them back together again.  All told it doesn’t look as bad as it…  looked.  I was concerned about the rear leaf springs, Shawn says they are in good shape.  There’s a handful of bushings and joints in the front end that will need replacing, but that’s kid stuff and they’re all cheap parts.

What we learned from all of this, if we had something to share that might be useful – a van and trailer is an essential element of an efficient band.  I didn’t say successful, that is a different battle.  But efficiency is really, really important to a band, on every level.  If your simple conversations are inefficient, you waste time talking.  If your rehearsals are inefficient, you waste time playing.  If your travel is inefficient, you waste money and time driving.  The last show we played was in Chicago, our hometown.  With the trailer unusable we had to take 3 vehicles in order to get all of us and our gear down the street, which really isn’t a big deal – you might think.  We lost money playing that show just paying for gas.  Granted it wasn’t a huge show, it was a comfortable place that we’re familiar with.  We made a reasonable amount in show pay and a decent chunk in merchandise (more than we’d anticipated) – but it still didn’t offset the total cost of gas for the night.  Wow…  We used to do that all the time.  Now I remember why we got a trailer in the first place.

Band + Road = Be Efficient