Further Back and Closer Still…the EAOD Photo Tour Diary
I sat down several times during the course of our tour with a black fine-point sharpie poised above a blank page, mustering all of my intention to capture the experience of touring with Everything Absent or Distorted, to pour amber sap over the things I’d seen and done and crystallize it over time so that I could always have a little piece of narrative to remind me. I would sit and conjure the day’s events, trying to start out with anecdotes to lubricate the ol’ writing muscles and maybe, just maybe, dig a little deeper into what being on tour in a rock band signified at this point in my life. I wanted to write as a way to understand the implications of my luck in getting to play, record, and tour behind this music, to understand it as it relates to getting older, as it relates to my bandmates and friends, as it relates to the music of the city that I live in. I wanted to write to work through it all and as a way to share it.
But I didn’t. My pen never touched the page other than to jot down which transfers on the subway were necessary to navigate from Brooklyn to Coney Island.
I didn’t write about the sheer joy of climbing into a 15 passenger van with a trailer in tow, instruments and underwear lashed down, jostling out of our city limits towards the great Midwest. I didn’t write about how time becomes elastic after several days of driving, unloading gear, eating and shitting in gas stations, pouring our hearts into our music for 40 minutes a night, packing up our gear, getting drunk, sleeping in strange rooms, etc. I didn’t write about what it was like to share tight quarters with seven men, or how the smell in the van matured over the course of the tour to become a cloying presence, like a ninth member of the band. I didn’t write about the dancing or the drunkenness, or of the acts of hope and desperation we took part in. I didn’t write about how humbling and exhilarating an experience it is to play our songs to ten people who have never heard our music and should probably not even give a shit, and to watch them dance and leap and writhe and shout with us anyways. I didn’t write about the anxious phone calls back home, the petty arguments, the non-existent payouts, the venue bathrooms, the equipment malfunctions, the smiles in the audience, the odd high of cough medicine and energy drinks and whiskey, the ratio of fart jokes to non-fart-joke related discussions that took place between Pittsburgh and New York City, the timbre and tone in the Detroit dialect, the beautiful and cacophonous spectacle of sitting alone in a crowded Chinese restaurant.
At this point I don’t think I should even bother putting it into words. You can read all about where to get a good tofu scramble if you are on tour and find yourself in Skokie, Ill. You can read about van troubles outside of Omaha and getting hassled by cops in the middle of Ohio. And there have been countless missives scribed on the merry-go-round of inebriation and redemption that defines a rock and roll tour. Who needs to read another self important tour diary?
We went on tour. It was a small thing and it meant so much. It was humbling and joyous and not at all what I expected it to be. It really happened, although when I stepped off the plane back in Denver, it all seemed questionable. I know that the memory of it will lean back towards forgetting, and as it is with all things that we long for, seem closer still in reverie. Exactly as it should be.