Touring & Family

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by PhatBasstard, Jul 4, 2005.

  1. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    I, at 40, am now in my 28th year as a professional musician (Started at 13). However, about 7 years ago (When my first Son was born. I also have a 10 month old boy now too.) I made the conscious decision to all but eliminate road work out of a sense of commitment to being a good Husband and a Father who is there, not gone all the time. I haven't done more than a 3 week stretch out of town since (and that almost killed me missing my kids). My workload has dropped off considerably due to this and, of course, has also affected my income (although the Wife makes good money). The one upside to this is being a "stay at home" Dad (Mr.Mom) has saved us tens of thousands on child care, but has severely limited my ability to network even in-town gigs.

    I've noticed, over the years, that many other players seem to be able to still keep touring, despite family.
    My question is: How do you do it?!?
    Am I just too big of a mark for my kids, or would spending time away from them (had I kept more of the road gigs) have gotten' easier?

    At 40 I've got to make some hard decisions. Go back to what I love (touring/playing) despite the pain of being away from my family, or find something else while I still can and become one of those guys that just plays the local clubs on weekends?

    :confused: :confused: :crying:
  2. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    I found touring to be very tiring after a while.

    Sure it's fun, you can get into all kinds of crazy stuff on the road.

    But I'm aligned with your gist, which is that family is more important.

    If you're in a big-name or big-money thing, it's possible that you can do it "a little at a time". But then, you can probably take your family with you.

    In most bands, you can't do that. There's not enough money in it to support that kind of thing. And if your wife is working and needs to keep her job, she's going to have to go through all kinds of gyrations to keep it.

    So my short answer now is, "I don't tour anymore". I do lots of studio work, but I don't venture out for anything more than an overnight gig. The most I'll do is a few days, and then only if there's big money in it.

    There was a time when that kind of thing had an allure, and an appeal of its own, but not anymore. I'm about to become a daddy too, and it's really twisted around my thinking.

    I could tell you some really wild stories about my touring days.... :D
  3. I think you got it right when you mentioned
    Even if you make tens of thousands on the road gigs, you're working for free since the money goes to child care.

    Its like a wife taking a 2nd job that only pays enough for child care, there's not much point. You could end up essentially working for minimum wage or less by the time you factor the extra expenses in, and it's not worth risking your marriage and kid's upbringing for that.

    The first question isn't "how do you do it", but "how do you make it worth your while to do it?". If that answer is yes, then ask "How do you guys do it?".

  4. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    I didn't marry until I was 31, and have my first child until 33 so the life change has been a little harder.

    I've done everything from Big tours with "Big Names" to the smallest "hole in the wall" bars you can imagine (and some you wouldn't believe). If the band is good, the money doesn't matter...I just enjoy playing live. No regrets as far as family goes and I still work quite a bit here in Vegas, especially corporate gigs (great money, but infrequent, and you never know what band/group of players will be there each time) and some studio work, but I just miss playing with the same great band every night.

    Oh well........:(
  5. Bruce B

    Bruce B

    Sep 2, 2004
    As a Mr. mom myself I can sympathize. It's a lot of sacrifice and hard work. Maybe you could put together a killer band of like minded people. There have to be plenty of musicians that are all grown up with families and aren't interested in being away from home much. I know I couldn't stand to be away from my kids for long.
  6. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Dude, I think you're overlooking one massive possibility!


  7. Hahahha, his son is 10 years old dude, what can he play? Tambarine maybe...*grins* Yes, a family band shall be made.
  8. ZonPlyr


    Apr 29, 2003
    Pasadena, CA
    I understand where everyone is coming from on this. My first child was born in 2001 when my touring schedule had slowed down a bit. This was followed shortly by the birth of my son 15 months later. umm, yeah, that's beside the point. After my son was born I was really lucky because the people i was playing with had children also and we all agreed that we would do 8 days on and 5 days off. This worked out really well since the days I was on I was able to take my laptop and web cam and still talk to the kids each night. Now I'm to the point where I am doing all fly gigs so I can be back home most of the week and out during the weekends or vice-versa. Believe me, I am extremely blessed and lucky to be able to do this. The laptop/webcam helped a lot though.
  9. iriegnome

    iriegnome Bassstar style Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2001
    Kenosha, WI 53140
    I toured all over the MidWest for 3 years. If I was less than 3 hours away from home, I came home and went out the next night. Rarley did I stay more than a night anywhere and I am talking about 6 or 8 state radius. It was very tiresome and almost destroyed my marriage. In fact we are still working that stuff out from 5 years ago. Now I go out for a weekend here and there and mostly play within about 250 miles so I can be home. My kids don't even realize anything, cause it has always been this way. Every chance I get, I play my acoustic guitar for them and the sing and dance. It is a way to bring my touring life to my kids without the stress and crowd of the road.
  10. msquared


    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    Victor Wooten started performing professionally at 5 years.
  11. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    Couldn't stand the suits. :p