I did something really great during Dan’s last tour: I asked him to stop talking. Harsh? Yes. Necessary? Heck yes. Let me explain…
The band van, aptly named “Big Red” is a 1998 Ford Econoline 15-passenger van with 250,000 miles on it. They bought it two years ago with less than 100,000 miles on it. It’s seen the entire U.S., north south east and west, more than once. Spoiler Alert: It breaks down a lot. My husband, bless his heart, knows that I stress out about car troubles. He often doesn’t tell me what’s going on with Big Red. They’ve had their transmission go out (multiple times but each time was under warranty, thank goodness!), tires popped, trailers tip over, etc etc etc…. It’s not that they’re bad drivers, they just cover a lot of miles.
So, when he was heading home from his last tour and I was particularly very ready for him to be home I got a call. Something happened with Big Red and I didn’t want to hear it. I said (as politely as I could), “Please stop. I really just want to know when you’re going to be home.” The guys were leaving Big Red in Sacramento, CA and renting a van to finish their tour and be home at the time that I was expecting him. That’s all I needed to hear.
Sometimes as a Road Widow or Musician’s Wife we get too involved with the band. When an event promoter doesn’t treat them well or the show was bad or a fan behaves inappropriately or the van breaks down…again… we get caught up in it. If I had listened to Dan’s entire story of how Big Red broke down and they walked for miles in the middle of the night I would have been upset. I wasn’t ready for that story at that moment. I just wanted to know he was safe and he was coming home.
Being a working musician isn’t a 9-5 office job that they can leave behind, it’s in many ways who they are. But, I think that it’s okay when we, their better halves, don’t know everything. I think it’s healthy to have that separation of job and real-life. Don’t be afraid to withdraw a little if it’s going to be better for your relationship or your well-being.
In case you’re worried about Big Red, dont be. She’s all fixed up for a whopping $25 and they’re back on tour in just a couple weeks!