tourlife, Nas, and truck diver appreciation week
A Little Appreciation Goes a Long Way
We are back to tourlife again. Yay! Have I mentioned how much I love tours? The tourlife routine is one of being in a different city every night. Sleeping during the day. Driving when it's dark. Backing into difficult docks that were never made for a semi truck to back into, much less one with a big sleeper. Loud music, big crowds, security checks, and little time to stop. It's a hustle from one city to the next.
Of course tourlife comes with perks not often seen in other niches of trucking. All Access venue passes allows us to explore every nook and cranny of the theatre or stadium. It is surreal walking right up on stage during set up, or sitting in the audience during sound check. Clean bathrooms and air conditioned greenrooms with comfy couches and free wifi access are a welcome break from the confines of our truck. Gourmet catered meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner are a treat after truck-stop food or cramped cooking in the truck.
This tour has a little something extra, courtesy of Nasir Jones, aka Nas. Nas, if you didn't know, is a Hip Hop and R&B artist well known for his multi-syllabic lyrical style depicting life on the inner city streets of New York. He's collaborated with many other industry greats, to include his current co-headliner Ms. Lauryn Hill, Dr. Dre, and Sean “Puffy” Combs. Even with all his success Nas doesn't forget the “little guys,” the ones that get him and his show from point A to point B in one piece.
This is truck driver appreciation week, and what better way to celebrate it than to give a great big shout out to someone who is showing appreciation to truckers. And not just this week, but every day, every city, every tour. Nas has given his production assistant, Maria Burmudez the task of making sure each driver has a meal packed for them each night before they pull out of the venue.
While dinner is catered, meal time is usually 6pm. We don't even pull out of the venue until around 2am. That's already eight hours after dinner. Add in another 3-8 hours drive time, and that can be a long time without something to eat when you most need sustenance for energy and alertness. Nas has tasked Maria to make sure each driver has a meal to take with them.
Every night during load out she makes the rounds to each driver's door handing out a packed lunch of home-made sandwiches, fruit, a couple bottles of water, chips, and a little something sweet, a bagged lunch to tide them over until breakfast at the next venue. It's just a little something to munch on in the middle of the night when the drivers still have miles to drive, no time to stop, and their tummy is starting to grumble or their eyes getting tired. To some this may not seem like much. But when you consider this artist is doing more every day for driver appreciation than most companies and truck stops do during driver appreciation week, well, personally I think it's a big deal.
Even if you don't like his style of music, I ask you all to join me in giving a big shout out and props to Nas and Maria Burmudez for taking care of the truck drivers on their tour. A little appreciation and consideration goes a long way.