I heard an interview on the radio today with John Cleese and Eric Idle of Monty Python’s Flying Circus fame. Apparently they’re plugging a new duo act they’re doing. During the spot, Cleese said something I keyed on that has absolutely nothing to do with their act. He said that, whenever possible, he would much rather travel between gigs by car than to fly. As a fellow traveler, I completely sympathize!
In 2000, I think the average traveler would have said just the opposite. Only fifteen years ago, plane travel was ridiculously cheap and the service was still reasonably good. Even though gas prices are (more or less) the same now as then, as a consumer I have a tough time understanding this radical shift. This is progress?
The practical effect for me is that when I started doing whatever ‘this’ is, ease of travel was a large part of what made it possible. Back then I make or could change plans at the drop of a hat and no problem. Now? Everything is a hassle. For example, just bringing a guitar on an airplane has become a major problem (I recently nearly missed a flight with an attendant insisting that I purchase a second seat for my instrument.)
Anyhoo, sorry for whining, but perhaps the most common question I get from people year in and year out is, “Why don’t you tour more?” And travel is one of the biggest challenges. I’m not some kid who can fire up the VW MicroBus and go night after night from Detroit to Toledo to Akron to Cleveland, etc. Now, I spend a lot of time figuring out the ‘logistics’–how we can get the most people to gigs which are as easy to reach as possible. That’s the reason we missed some venues which may have seemed ‘obvious’ last time round. And I know that disappointed a lot of people who (rightly) say that I don’t get around much anymore.
That said, we got lucky with the logistics this summer and D.V. we’ll have the same good fortune next time.
If you have any ideas on how we can streamline this process? I’m all ears! And as always, keep telling me where to go.