Tomorrow I am flying north to Oregon to do a weekend of performances at the Red Hare in Astoria (www.myspace.com/redhare) and Artichoke Music in Portland, where I’ll also be visiting CD Baby (www.cdbaby.com) and KMUN in Astoria.
I am traveling slightly differently this time, as I have all my equipment and cd’s and clothes in one bag and then my guitar, lap top and personal items as my carry on. The suitcase seemed a little heavy and as you know they have a fifty pound limit, after which they bend you over the barrel and promise you this won’t hurt a bit, at about fifty bucks for an extra bag.
They ostensibly did this when fuel was twice as expensive as it is now to offset the increase in costs to them, but somehow they forgot to back off when the gasoline prices did. Very strange...Penny Lane.
I don’t have a scale here at the studio, so I went by the post office and put the bag up on the scale there...forty seven pounds. It’s amazing how you start to realize just how much fifty pounds is when you pick up a suitcase. Been doing this way too long, I suspect.
In any event, I have no need of porters or carts on this weekend jaunt. I recommend that you learn how to pack light and easy for the short tours. And for the long tours, I recommend shipping the CD’s out by ground. Very inexpensive and there’s nothing to schlep around the airports or check at three times the shipping costs. Also, just put a signature required thingy on there and be sure to alert the people you are sending the cd’s to.
The way I break it down in terms of what I bring is to decide which songs I’ll be doing from which cd’s and bringing those. I also know that I usually do around fifty percent of the house in cd sales, so that if there are fifty people, I’d sell around twenty five cd’s.
This isn’t set in stone, but if I figure it that way it seems to work out fine. So you must query the venue and find out what theyusually do doorwise on the night of the week you are playing. Factor in whether you have been there before, or if you have any airplay or media support. If not, err on the side of weight, if you have the help, then err on the side of bringing too many cd’s with you and having to carry some back. But you can relax. Unless you don’t sell one, your suitcase is going to be lighter.
And if you somehow forget to pack something in your suitcase and have it with you when you hit security, there is a way around it.
My father gave me a beautiful buck knife that I always carry, but I have always remembered to put it in my suitcase, except once. They found it at security and demanded that I hand it over. I refused and said I would just go back down to the ticket counter and in the most pleasant manner I could muster, see what they could do. Which was nothing. They said they simply couldn’t do this sort of thing. I stood there for a moment, still being pleasant and then I smiled and said, “tell me, do you have a lost and found?” “of course,” she replied.
And I had her. “I believe that I lost this knife and I believe that when I return on Monday, I’m going to remember where I lost it and find it here at lost and found...if that works for you?” The lady grinined at me, shook her head, and said, “Give me the knife.”
She not only put it in lost and found. She wrapped it up and put my name on it. I reclaimed it with no problem when I returned.
There is always a way, if you leave people their face and you are pleasant. Let your ego loose and surprise, surprise...you lose.
I may get back to the Tommy and Jimmy in Cuba story later, I just wanted to get back to the stuff that helps us out here. See you Friday.