Friday Fun: 10 Tips For Surviving Life On The Road

Duff McKagan knows all about the hard-rocking touring lifestyle. Here's his top 10 tips for surviving life on the road.

Ultimate Guitar

If anyone knows how to survive the hard-rocking touring lifestyle, it's former Guns N' Roses bassist Duff McKagan.

He's just written a guide to surviving life on the road in his latest column for Seattle Weekly. Pay heed, and you'll go far:

1. Don't be a d-ck.

Yes. That simple.

2. Get used to having little to no personal space for weeks at a time.

A tour bus or a van, and traveling through airports together, can be small enough, but add small backstage dressing rooms, rehearsal rooms, and studio control and you have the condition for someone in your band to blow their top.

3. Personal hygiene.

See #2.

4. Respect off-limits places.

For example, when you draw the curtains to your bunk on the bus, no one should be allowed to f-ck with you. No punching in the d-ck, even. Each others' girlfriends/wives/husbands/boyfriends are also off-limits.

5. Share everything.

Clothes, chocolate, drugs, whatever. If it's expendable, it is a "band" item.

6. Hug it out.

Being in a band is the best place I can think of to be as up-front as possible. If you let something stew, it'll grow into a mountain of nonsensical black mud in no time.

7. Read books and keep informed.

The conversation can get old if you don't have some good new topics to bring to the table. Gossip and cock-talk only go so far.

8. Keep in touch with Mama Kin.

Yes, definitely phone home and text as much as possible. It keeps one a bit sane, and leaves one with at least a modicum of a cornerstone.

9. Write a riff.

Keep bringing fresh ideas to your band.

10. Don't poo in the same room that someone else is eating in.

Unless of course said eater gives the "poo OK." If a "poo OK" is granted, you have a band that will NEVER break up!

Got your own touring tips to add? Share them in the comments.

42 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Franko 316
    It all makes sense now, Axl must have broken rule number 10.
    Obama FTW
    You wrote in #4 that girlfriends/wives/husbands/boyfriends are off-limits but #5 is share everything. They could be considered a "band" item. Hah.
    what if a girlfriend is a band member?....huh? Not my case...our drummer's situation anyway...
    I could never imagine someone giving the "poo OK."
    He forgot to mention that bodily fluids should remain on their respective person.
    Number 1 is a general life rule. Number 3 is just a given, and number 9 is essential if you're to be essential in the band. Logical list is logical. Props to Duff.
    Axl at the very least broke rule 1, 5 and 6. Also probably 10. And 3.
    Having gone on tour many times, all of this advice is shit/unrealistic, specially as far as good hygiene goes. I dare you to take a shower more than once a week on tour.