Friday, August 28, 2009

On the Road - Music - The Stranger, Seattle's Only Newspaper:

A makeup artist I met in Minneapolis said the following rules helped her keep a long-term relationship afloat during the three solid years (!) she spent on a Tina Turner world tour: Make some contact every day without fail, whether by phone, e-mail, or fax, and never go more than three weeks without physical contact. Even if it's just a brief encounter in an airport lounge, find a way to see your bf/gf every 21 days. That way, you're a couple separated by circumstances. Any more than that and you're exes who haven't admitted it yet. This is admittedly both arbitrary and extreme. Plus, not everyone who tours can afford to fly his or her mate out to Winooski, Vermont, for a dirty weekend once a month. However, it does address the fundamental difficulty: remaining engaged. Touring is its own ecosystem, its own time zone. It makes arduous demands on the consciousness even when nothing whatsoever is happening. Abandoning regular life and taking shelter in the hermetic sphere of the van/bus/plane is the blessing and the curse of the experience. You need not have read The Dirt to understand that the road is a hotbed of temptations. But the question of sex with strangers, however complex, is a red herring. The bigger temptation is to check out, rather than fight to straddle two cross-purposeful lives, both of which are entirely real. It's less a question of fighting a war on two fronts than of needing, on some level, to be in two places at once all the time. SEAN NELSON