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getting in the van ii
my second tour
by jeffrey d. walker

March 12, 2010: And so it begins, the Rocko Dorsey Spring tour.

Last year, when I wrote about going on the Rocko Dorsey Texas run, I was totally psyched. I re-read that column from last year just before starting this one, and couldn't help but laugh. The prophetic moments were: (1) my use of some tense of the word "dream" three times, and (2) the culminating sentence towards the end: "If you see me in the next few days, I'll be the rock star that I always wanted to be."

Before that first tour last year, I'd been waiting and dreaming about a chance like that since age 14, when I first picked up a guitar because I was inspired by the Motley Crue Wildside video.

And, apparently, when I was writing "I'll be the rock star that I always wanted to be" last year, what that meant was that I couldn't wait to party, scream until I lost all the upper range in my voice, and drink alcohol like I was touring with Motley Crue circa the Girls, Girls, Girls years. Only, I wasn't in a lavish tour bus; I was sleeping in a van with three other dudes, driving in the same van for hours, eating fast food, hanging around in malls or Wal-Mart stores just to stay out of the heat until the bar we were playing at opened, at which point the heavy drinking began due to boredom, nerves, and the general condition of mayhem and asshattery when 4 dudes are together in one space for that long. We were a mobile would-be Motley Crue-meets-Jay and Silent Bob self-fulfilling prophecy that ended with me feeling sick and miserable. I had never in my life wanted to be an attorney more than I did that first Monday back at my day job.

So, when I said I was going on tour again this year, several of my peeps were like, "Really?"

And sure, it seems puzzling. Why does a 35 year old practicing attorney, with a happy house, a lovely wife, and two dogs and two cats, chose to go out on the road on a low budget rock tour that's more likely to end up with a budget deficit and a case of alcohol poisoning than a record contract?

The answer is not easy. Back when I first dreamed of rock stardom, I dreamed of women and money. Well, now I am married, and I make pretty good money - at least more than I'm ever likely to make playing in a band. So why? Persistence; Stubbornness; Perhaps delusion, but not like delusion as in our ability to tear a house down when we take a stage. We do that. If I'm deluded, it's in the nagging delusion that someone might one day offer me a legit record deal. It's the delusion that the guy who has the power to offer that deal might actually come out to a show we're playing so that we can even have the opportunity to get such an offer. It the delusion that I could or would even take that record deal if it was offered, knowing that a vast majority of record deals offered end with the record companies making most of the money as well as keeping the publishing rights to your songs for themselves.

Maybe that's bitterness instead of delusion.

No, despite the odds that the number of people who will ever see or hear us play are relatively few, and despite the fact that none of those people who do see us ever seem to offer up record contracts, something nags me, nags all of us, to continue. Some voice inside that keeps pushing us despite all reservation. It's probably the same voice who prompted me to start playing years ago. But boy, I hope he knows what he's doing.

Regardless, I'm packing my guitar cases, packing my bags otherwise, and headed out with the boys again this year starting today. This year, instead of 6 shows over 9 days, we're doing 10 shows over 9 days. We've added a fifth to the entourage, which guarantees the need for hotel rooms if we don't have anywhere else to sleep because the van can't hold that many (honestly, this is one of the only reasons I could agree to go this time). We have been given the closing slot on the stage we play at Saturday night in Austin after a three-day rock festival. All in all, this tour should be great for the band.

As for me, I'm not looking at this tour as another chance to try to live out my adolescent rock and roll fantasies. That didn't work out so well last time. This time, I'm taking some work with me to occupy a couple of hours each day. This way, I don't have so much work-guilt when I get back. I am bringing my re-usable coffee mug, my Sigg bottle, a handful of cloth napkins and some bamboo eating utensils to try to be more earth friendly along the way. I can and will drink beer, but I'm not auditioning for beerfest, or reliving college this time. A little balance and moderation will not hurt me. And as for the asshattery...

Well, there's sure to be asshattery. We are a rock band after all, famous or not. Come see us on at the following:

Mar 12 2010 Valentines, Fredonia, New York (8:00 PM)
Mar 13 2010 Indy CD and Vinyl, Indianapolis, Indiana (4:00 PM)
Mar 13 2010 Private Party, Louisville, Kentucky (sorry)
Mar 14 2010 Matty’s Alley, Nashville, Tennessee (8:00 PM)
Mar 15 2010 Rivergate Mall, Goodlettsville, TN -Hot Topic (4:00 PM)
Mar 16 2010 Wolfchase Galleria, Memphis, TN- Hot Topic (6:00 PM)
Mar 17 2010 Hot Springs Mall, Hot Springs AR - Hot Topic (4:00 PM)
Mar 18 2010 Andy's Bar, Denton, Texas (8:00 PM)
Mar 19 2010 Malaia- Texas Rockfest , Austin, Texas (2:00 PM)
Mar 20 2010 Mugshots- Texas Rock Fest Austin, Texas (1:00 AM)


A practicing attorney and semi-professional musician, Walker writes for his own amusement, for the sake of opinion, to garner a couple of laughs, and to perhaps provoke a question or two, but otherwise, he doesn't think it'll amount to much.

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