Touring Essentials:


Why Hotels or Motels across America don’t have bottled water on hand is beyond me. No matter what country I’m in I drink bottled water. I’d love to trust some of the municipal water systems even in the good ‘ol USA, but why risk a show cancellation for it! Off the highway, the first thing I do is find a little shop and stock up on water for the hotel, or load the bus w/ enough water to start another Sea World. Overseas it’s even more important. In Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and some other exotic locale’s, they post a sign over the sink in the bathroom warning you not to drink the tap water! OK! I can take a hint. I stick w/ Evian or some recognizable brand name water overseas-even the bottled water over there can be suspect. And remember: in the bar or restaurant ICE IS MADE FROM TAP WATER! Drink beer.


Depending on your personal hygiene tolerance level (PHTL), clean clothes make being away from home much more tolerable. Hotels can charge MORE THAN THE CLOTHES ARE WORTH NEW to clean them. I try to have a crewmember suss the laundry situation in advance, BEFORE I’m down to my last clean sock(s). I’ve actually had the incredible good luck to have a fan in America offer to do it for me-and everything came back perfectly! I put her on the guest list w/ a friend-a small price to pay. In Japan, the fans are so amazing, one young lady showed up at the gig, took my laundry (4 weeks worth!), did it all herself (perfectly), came back, delivered it to my hotel along w/ a gift-thanking me for letting her do it! That’s after she had already bought tickets to every show I played in the entire country for that tour. At 80 bucks per, along w/ travel, meals & hotels, she must have taken out a loan to do it!

One other band I know had a cool trick – buy bags of brand new white sweatsocks and keep them in a wardrobe case. They’re super cheap, and cost less to throw away after use than most hotel laundries charge to wash them. Also, (trust me on this one) you CAN’T wash socks effectively in the bathroom sink.


Nothing worse than waking up hungry w/ no 24-hour room service. Bring snacks with you! Only don’t tell the other band members. They’ll be hounding you and knocking on your door at all hours in testament to their lack of foresight. Then again, at 3:00 in the morning in some God forsaken unheard of European town, I’ll bet you could sell a bag of almonds for 30 bucks! Make sure you announce that your 24-hour snack warehouse is open for biz AFTER everyone gets their per diem and all the restaurants within a 20-mile radius close. No IOU’s and American cash only, please.


Billy Sheehan