It’s always good to be on tour when you are confident in the show, in the songs and the musicians around you. Right now it’s a real, real pleasure and we are rolling along just fine – we just have to keep healthy, and sane. Touring is never easy and with one stumble things can get difficult.
There have been many stand out gigs over the years but one recent performance really stands out for me. Julie Ragins and Mike Dawes and me were playing the Fox Theater in Tucson in May last year and it was absolutely magical. There was a great vibe in the air, it is a very special old theatre and everything went right for us and the crew. Sometimes everything falls into place beautifully and that warm night in Tucson all the ‘stars aligned’. I don’t remember playing that town before – maybe that’s why the audience swept us along so wonderfully.
Whenever I’m asked the question about a stand out Moodies gig it would have to be Madison Square Garden in the early ’70’s when we did two shows in one day. I think it was the first moment we thought ‘maybe we have made it after all’ and at the end of the night the building presented us with ‘The Golden Ticket’ award for selling more seats in the Garden than anyone else – only because we played it twice in one day – I think it was 5pm and 9pm shows. Me and Ray went outside between shows (nobody recognized us – it was the music that was famous) and gave away our guest tickets to anyone looking for a ticket. The scalpers weren’t too pleased with us!
It’s interesting the changes over the years that have come about around ‘how’ to tour. In the first few years we travelled in a car or a van – we were often late because we usually misjudged the driving, or leaving time, but we always seemed to make it somehow. Then, in the 1970’s we moved up to taking scheduled flights between shows. That was really gruelling – it meant getting up really early, taking connecting flights and falling into bed exhausted knowing you only had about 4 hours before it all started again!
In the 1980’s we moved up to a private plane – which was just great – as soon as we found out that you need a small plane for touring! Big aircraft can’t land anywhere near most gigs. But the downside was that most of the time we were working just to pay for the airplane!
Lately we have been travelling by bus and that’s the best way. American tour buses are fabulous and they become your ‘home from home’ for a tour. That’s why so many artists tour with their own gorgeous buses. So, I think we have got it down now – until the next fad comes along that is.