Musicians and Health- The Mobile Home
“Traveling at night, the headlights were bright, but soon the sun came through the trees.
Around the next bend, the flowers will send the sweet scent of home in the breeze….”
HOME by Karla Bonoff
The vision of home to a traveling musician will bring him or her to their knees. Touring, while it sounds like infinite amounts of fun, is anything but. Traveling to play music is gruelling and the further from home one tours, the more the place and people of blessed stability tug on heartstrings.
In tour world, the van or vehicle, bus, plane or train becomes home. I often refer to tour vehicles as mobile homes, as bands are in them much of the time.
Be sure your mobile home has some of the creature comforts of a real place. Bunks offer each band member solitude and a place to call his own. Depending on your level of touring, buses can be not only comfortable but homey as well, with sofas, tables and small kitchenettes.
Not all of us are lucky enough to tour in buses. Sometimes a van is our mode of transportation. Each member may seek out a specific area or spot to call their own. Be mindful of the fact that the body chooses where it is most comfortable and allow people to gravitate to their own space. Respect the comforts of personal pillows, music devices, phones, etc. These are often the only connections to friends, family and the comforts of home.
Above all, keep the travel vehicle clean and in good repair. Clean the van twice a day. Have a quick inspection before leaving the parking lot, especially if you’re traveling across the desert or wide expanses during the night. Keep paper towels and antiseptic gel close at hand. Understand vans can be carriers of germs and disease and work to keep them clean inside and out.
Care for your transportation as you would any other facet of your touring.