Chuck Ragan has compiled a bunch of tour stories and put them into a book called The Road Most Traveled. The book will feature stories from the road and how to survive on the road from Ragan, plus members of Mighty Mighty Bosstones, The Gaslight Anthem, Flogging Molly, Frank Turner and Social D. Looks like I got another book to add to my collection! Just have to finish James Fearnley’s Here Comes Everybody and then Damien Echols’ Life After Death.
“This book is dedicated to those who have, and continue to live a life on the road, and to our loved ones who’ve dealt with our absence which is result of this way of life and work,” begins The Road Most Traveled, an inspiring assemblage of stories, tales and anecdotes about life on the road and how to survive it. Told by The Camaraderie Collective which consists of members of assorted punk and indie rock bands such as Flogging Molly, Samiam, Social Distortion, Frank Turner, Joe Gittlemen, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Dropkick Murphy’s Al Barr, William Elliot Whitmore, managers, bus drivers, crews, label personnel, and other folks who lived and worked just as long on the road behind the curtains and the lights. These stories were compiled by consummate road warrior, CHUCK RAGAN who himself logs over two thirds of each year on tour with his long-running band HOT WATER MUSIC, his Americana/folk solo career, and his traveling folk multi-artist ensemble THE REVIVAL TOUR. “I chose the road at an early age,” he writes in the foreward. “Although I found amazing places, stories, and people, I’ve lost just as many. I’ll say, looking back on the course of it all, I wouldn’t change a thing.”
Collecting road stories and cautionary tales from Berlin to Boston, Hollywood to Helsinki, each chapter offers a unique perspective on travel and how to survive it. Each chapter has its own voice and its own pearls of wisdom, from Greg Anntonito of The Bouncing Souls espousing the importance of sleep and water (“if you are touring for up to nine months a year, you have to develop endurance and a healthy lifestyle. Especially if you are a lead singer”) while internationally-published journalist Jonah Bayer finds sage advice in Bill and Ted (“the most valuable lesson that I’ve learned is simply to ‘be excellent to each other’”). Yo-yo demonstrator Steve Brown urges the need to explore (“No matter how tired you are, how broke you are, how little you feel loved or appreciated . . . go check out that county fair”) while Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon advocates not taking this touring life for granted (“I realized one day I’m going to be too old, or too tired, or just called to something else, so I need to enjoy this now. Live today. Watch everything, absorb everything, breathe it in”). Narratives such as these and many more from Rise Against’s Tim McIlrath, Chunksaah Records president Kate Hiltz, At The Drive-In’s Jim Ward, and many more offer snapshots into a world than many have never witnessed while, at the same time, providing much-needed advice to those actually living that lifestyle.
The Road Most Traveled is a rollercoaster of a book, from “humorous anecdotes to near- death experiences and everything in between. Summing up the spirit and essence of the book, Chuck Ragan concludes, “Every one of these lives has a story, and every one of those stories has an origin and a reason. And every now and again, someone may be willing to share their story of the joy and tragedy of the road most traveled.”
The Road Most Traveled is available now in hardcover and eBook (146 pages; retail $16.95) at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Millner Crest, and ChuckRaganMusic.com, www.therevivaltour.com as well as at some of your favorite bands’ merch tables.
You can buy the book here.