This Rock Life - By Nancy Wilson


I'm night riding on a rumbling bus musing about all the varied and random things that add up to our rich pageant of a rock tour life. I always feel like I am missing something in some deep exchange for a bigger reality I may never know. Or just missing home... I always go back in my head to snapshots of my mom and dad and my moms parents Blanch and Jules Verne Dustin... Something about that era ... I guess it's so much like a great Garrison Kiellor story for me...Bruno the Fishing Dog might have been his best. 

We had so many family gatherings growing up there was always great story telling and lots of music. This rock life. It's not something anyone who's not done this can easily explain. You just have to be out here to understand. Home is somewhere else so you make the bus as much like your home as you can. Cooking helps. A typical day is waking up in a bus bunk or hotel... We gather for sound check usually around 3:00 and commiserate with our amazing band of brothers.

Our little rock family is very tight. Most of us have been working together for decades and I'm convinced no one can do the job they do so super professionally and with less additional drama. We've been through everything together from lowest to highest. From losing loved ones to the Kennedy Center. And our assistant Sherri (sister in crime) is just the bomb. She can juggle more pressing details simultaneously than a French Chef in Paris. She however minces no words and simply gets it all done. After some rubber chicken or 'another day another sandwich' we rally for showtime. The best two hours of all. There is such a big powerful sound in rock shows. We have molded in-ear monitors that sound almost like being in the studio. An uplifting inspired celebration of music. We elevate and float in the larger than life energy and space that music creates. We summon the flames and rise from the fire.

Then it's back on the bus to ride through the night to wake up somewhere else. My grandma Blanche would have no context for this life. Her kitchen could not fit on this bus. But it was Blanche Dustin who once said. "You have such a nice little orchestra". She was right!

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