I’ve had a lot of time to think these last few days, to look back in retrospect at what I’ve done and how I’ve grown, so for this last installment of “On the Road” (until the next tour), I thought I’d share some of the more important things I learned over the last two months.
13. Never start a water gunfight with someone who has a bigger water gun than you.
12. Always bring flip-flops to wear into the showers. And never say, “I’ll just shower tomorrow,” because that will inevitably be the day the only option is camp showers in the middle of a vineyard.
11. You can get used to water in a can, but Pabst Blue Ribbon will always be disgusting.
10. Classless girls are a dime a dozen. Everyone knows who they are and who they’ve slept with, and they’re usually gone before anyone even knows what their name is. Classless boys are also a dime a dozen, and everyone knows what bands they’re in. Provided they don’t burn themselves out, they’ll at least finish the tour with a nasty case of the clap.
9. Kevin Lyman knows all and sees all.
8. The following bands are comprised of awesomely rad people: All Time Low, Anberlin, As I Lay Dying, the Dear and Departed, Gallows, the Matches, Meg and Dia, Paramore, the Photo Atlas and Still Remains.
7. Rob Dyer of Skate4Cancer was the nicest guy on the whole tour, and possibly in all of existence. Everyone should check out what he does at www.skate4cancer.com.
6. Don’t bring white or expensive clothes on the road. You never come home with everything you left with, and what you do bring home is never as clean as when you left, but somehow you still have more than you can fit in your bag by the end of tour. And if you’re going to lose something, just make sure it’s not your pillow.
5. Nobody on this tour is any more or less important than anyone else, regardless of what your job is or whom you’re friends with. Like them or not, you’re bound to those people as long as you’re on the tour. Most people hold this in the highest regard, and some people just have to learn the hard way when the journalist on the tour blogs about them being douchebags.
4. Everyone should do the following things at least once: watch the fireflies at dusk in D.C., see a show at the Gorge in Washington, watch the thunderstorms over the ocean from the beach in Florida and eat at Freebirds in Texas.
3. It’s indeed the punk rock summer camp everyone makes it out to be. Unless you do merch. Then it’s just shitty.
2. Don’t sweat the small stuff. This was As I Lay Dying guitarist Nick Hipa’s mantra, but it rubbed off on me too.
1. As amazing and exciting as being on the road is, there really is no place like home.