if you are ever fortunate enough to be part of a "big" tour,
say, the david bowie sound and vision tour
which traveled first class around the world for nearly a year,
you would have loads of time for shopping in rome,
or visiting the louvre in paris or the prado museum in spain,
or you might take in a movie, have a delicious meal,
nap, read a good book, or send home some corny postcards.
but on the kind of touring we can do you barely have time
to make it from one city to the next in time to set up gear,
change guitar strings, do a quick soundcheck, maybe eat,
maybe shower, play the show, sign autographs for a while,
have a drink, go to bed, get up early, and do it all over again.
many of our show days included an 8-hour drive
which requires a 7:oo wake up (do the math)
before even arriving at the next city,
then doing the soundcheck, etc.
which meant there was pretty much no time for anything.
so what do you do trapped in a stretch van all day?
used to be I would read a lot and I still do
but sometimes that can make you carsick.
in our van, "the fun van", tobias and I share the driving duty
while julie's responsibilities run the gamut
from assistant navigator to our GPS (whom we call "genie")
to soft drink refresher, review reader,
and breakfast finder.
on this tour we mostly tried to amuse ourselves
and each other and did so very well indeed.
lots of talking. lots of laughs.
it seemed the longer we drove the more ridiculous we became.
at the beginning of the tour so many fans commented
on how buff I was and how much weight I had lost that
I began to wonder aloud, "just how bad did I look last tour?"
why was everyone saying how trim I am?
the funny thing is I had done nothing whatsoever
to lose weight or become buff.
so I began joking about having my own fitness camp
revealing the "secrets of my success".
one day tobias was driving, I was in the seat behind him,
and julie was riding shotgun and fiddling with her new iphone
when she caught me in one of my ridiculous modes and filmed it.
next day I tried to top myself with another ridiculous episode.
and then for about a week it became a daily event.
sometime shortly after breakfast each morning
julie would film another fitness camp episode for our amusement.
at some point we decided to put them on youtube. (oops, big mistake?)
we ended up doing six episodes, a couple of minutes long each.
I never rehearsed them; each one is improvised.
now I can add "sit-down comedy" to my resume'.
I realize how silly I am in these but please remember
the circumstances described above and the numbing
effect of riding across texas in a van.
here are the adrian belew fitness camp episodes 1 thru 6:
I'm going to leave this stuff on youtube only a short while longer.
then my self-respect will no doubt get the better of me.