Category Archives: Tours

Touring Italy 2009 pt. 1

Touring Italy (pt.1)
I am very pleased with my situation now as I sit upstairs from the “video-bar” owned by generous Natalino – my brother.
“Buono sera my brudder” he said for good night.
Centobuchi, the city of Natalino’s video-bar, is east of Rome and the coolest show of the tour. Better still the next day will be our day off here. We arrived around 8:30 to a full house, kind of an odd piece of theatre to set up the show in front of the crowd. A scrunched tiny space that doesn’t accommodate my video screen but we make makeshift solutions.
Coolest part is the French guy asking if I parlez-vous and realizing I can communicate more things in French than in Italian and successfully inform him about the lights, about being vegetarian and about the draft from the door. He’s on the case.
The audience freaks out, the Italian subtitles are working, they laugh they cry. I do 2 encores – we’re definitely not in Hamilton. When it is over and I’m packing up some people buy cds each asks same question – “weach juan ease bitter?” Natalino waits patiently to ask. “Can I ug you Bob?” Sure you can hug me Natalino…brudder.


When things become bigger the advice of many managers is don’t redistribute the money equitably. Just make a salary for everyone else… except of course you the artist and me the manager. Some people think that’s fair after all the artist wrote the damn song and now famous people are covering it or audiences of more than 500 people are attending the shows.

Then why did they share the money when it was a broke operation? If you rewind the tape the money was split. Check the first years playing to audiences of 8 people – you can bet they shared the money (or loss) evenly. That was the cool thing to do so why if it grows bigger shouldn’t the same rules apply?

And what if the reason the song was added to commercial radio wasn’t even directly because of the song? Who can prove why the decision was made that led to a whack of revenue for whoever owns the publishing? Was because the station manager thought the lead guitarist made cool expressions during their solo?

Let the whole band see the publishing statements from BMI or ASCAP or SOCAN etc. When all is said and done spreading around the wealth will make better conditions for the life of the artists’ relationships or to put it another way hoarding will speed up a shitty death. There’s nothing as cool as transparency.



20 Years Ago, Detroit

Line up of cars at the Canadian side of the Detroit border. Inside a clunker van the driver is carefully rehearsing.
Canadian.. Toronto.. 101 Major street.. Chicago.. my friend Matt.. 1631 Henderson, for free.. for promotion.. no cds.. just 2 days..Canadian.. Toronto.. 101 Major street.. Chicago.. my friend Matt.. 1631 Henderson, for free.. for promotion.. no cds.. just 2 days..Canadian.. Toronto.. 101 Major street.. Chicago.. my friend Matt.. 1631 Henderson, for free.. for promotion.. no cds.. just 2 days..
His car pulls up.
Burly USA border guard, brush cut and sparkly mirror sun glasses expressionlessly observes young Canadian rolling down window.
BG: Citizenship?
YC: Canadian.
BG: (slightly annoyed) Where.
YC: Toronto
BG: What’s your address?
YC: 101 Major street. The postal code is M-
BG: (raises voice) Did I ask you for that?
YC: No.
BG: Where you going today?
YC: Chicago.
BG: What’s the purpose of your trip?
YC: I’m a musician and-
BG: Have a visa?
YC: No I.. because I’m not making any money.
BG: (matter of fact) So you are working in America.
YC: No I’m playing for free at a publicity event for my friend.
BG: What’s your friend’s name?
YC: Matt Suhar.
BG: Where is Matt Suhar. (he starts to type on his computer)
YC: Chicago.
BG: Where you staying in Chicago?
YC: 1631 Henderson.
Border guard leans into the van notices something very suspicious on rear seat.
BG: What’s that!
YC: My accordion.
Border guard pauses.
BG: Your what?
YC: I play accordion that’s what I’m doing playing accordion at this music event.
BG: (pitying tone of voice) People actually come to hear you… (starts giggling) on accordion?
YC: Yea.
BG: (sighs and waves him through) Just go, just go.