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A day in the life of a musician: 4 things you didn’t know about the band tour bus

Ever wonder how your favourite musician handles tour life?

 

Photo: Courtesy of the author

Ever wonder how your favourite musician handles tour life? You will get the first-hand experience of what’s it like living on the band tour bus. From Elvis to the Beatles to Jay-Z, our fascination with musicians has been a staple of pop culture. Many fans are willing to shell out hundreds of dollars to see their favorite stars in concert.

But what about between shows? What’s life like on the band tour bus?
Here are four things you might not have known about life on the road. Take a seat and buckle up.

On-road entertainment

Driving down a highway can be a bit boring if you don’t have anything to keep your mind occupied. While road trips are synonymous with car singalongs, these singers need to protect their voices between shows.

Instead, their tour buses are decked out with the best entertainment possible.

The walls are adorned with hi-def flat screens, Blu-ray players, video game consoles, and whatever other entertainment money you can buy.

Imagine your ideal home theatre, then put it on a bus. Now you have a pretty good idea of what entertainment is like on a band tour bus.

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The facilities

When you’re hopping between cities on a national tour, finding reliable showers can be difficult. And let’s be honest: are we really expecting Beyoncé Knowles to use a truck stop bathroom? The most luxurious tour buses have fully loaded bathrooms, with flushing toilets, sinks, and-yes-showers.

Who wants a snack?

For most people, if you get hungry on the road, that usually means finding a drive-thru and snagging some fast food.
But that’s a little low-brow for the world’s most elite musicians.

Many tour buses are stocked with kitchenettes that you can use while driving. Who needs to stop at Taco Bell when you can make something fresh?

Bunk up

Even Rock stars need sleep. And if they’re driving through the night to the next concert, they need to get that sleep on the road. Upstart indie bands might have couches that fold out into “junk bunks”, but more established artists ride with a bit more comfort. The best tour buses upgrade the sleeping quarters with luxurious beds. Their buses are outfitted with Sealy Mattresses or Serta beds for the best night’s sleep possible.

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Band tour bus means mobile studio

As David Letterman once said, “there’s no off to the genius switch.” And when you’re a musician, you never know when inspiration is going to strike. But if you’re careening down the highway in your tour bus when you get a great idea for a song, how are you supposed to capture it? Many tour buses are outfitted with recording equipment so that musicians can flesh out their ideas before they vanish into the air forever.

This is nothing new: In 1977, Jackson Browne’s band recorded “Nothing But Time” while the bus was driving down the New Jersey Turnpike. More recently, Gorillaz recorded an entire album on tour using an iPad.

Need more music news?

As much as we all love looking behind the curtain at how musicians live on tour, what really matters is the music.
Even President Obama is a huge music fan-with above-average taste. Click here for a look at his favorite songs of 2018.


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