Once all of you up-and-coming Iowa musicians have gotten your paperwork properly filed with The Iowa Ministry of Musical Appropriateness, then odds are you’re soon going to start thinking about the next step in the life cycle of a rock n’ roll band: goin’ on tour!
It’s a big moment in the life of a young group when its members all pile into an old panel van with no aux jacks and air conditioning for their inaugural trip outside of the town that spawned them. Are you seeing such a moment in your band’s immediate future? Well, if so, here is a chronology of what you may expect when you do:
Day One: Your drummer will drop part of an Italian Sub (his Mom will pack one for each of you) under his seat, where no one will be able to reach it, and you will all smell like salami for the remainder of the tour.
Day Two: The first big argument about what gets played on the van stereo will occur, and your bassist’s collection of Radiohead CDs from high school will be thrown out a window. There will be tears.
Day Three: You will all be completely sick of each other, and have nothing left to talk about, and wonder why you formed a band with such a pack of boring losers in the first place.
Day Four: You will all get strep throat or the flu, and share the germs in the van for the remainder of the tour.
Day Five: Physical violence between band members will erupt, to be followed by sullen glares and muttering.
Day Six: Your guitarist will want to quit and go home, and you will have to pretend that you like him to make him stay. There will be tears.
Day Seven: You will leave a very important piece of gear on the roadside or in a club, and will not have the time to go back and retrieve it.
Day Eight: You will have an uncomfortable conversation about whether it is okay to look at pornography while other people are in close proximity to you.
Day Nine: A drug acquisition will go bad, with serious financial loss. There will be tears. And Joneses.
Day Ten: You will leave your singer on the roadside or in a club, and will not have the time to go back and retrieve him.
Day Eleven: Your money will run out and the van will break down. This will also be the point where you are furthest from home, requiring someone to call their parents to come retrieve you. There will be tears.
Day Twelve: The local alternative newsweekly who loved you on the way up will go rogue on your ass and publish a humiliating story about your failure to make it through even ten out-of-town gigs.
Day Thirteen: You will learn about this story on Twitter as it goes viral, while you are sitting in the back of the minivan that your drummer’s mom drove out to bring you all home, eating the Italian Sub she brought for you. It will smell just like you do.
Day Fourteen: You will arrive at home, and your band will be no more. There are no more tears to cry.