The social side of touring

2010 was a year of catching up with people.

I did a twelve-date tour of the northeast and upper midwest U.S. in September 2010. It was notable for more than just the normal travelling and performing that comes with a tour.

It was an amazing, often powerful, experience of meeting people from my past…and it never would have happened without the internet.

Over the past thirty years my tours have included visits with friends and family, usually because they lived near places where I was performing.

But this tour was exceptional for catching up with other people from my childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood…in many cases, people I had only vaguely known back in the day, i.e. they were in the same class, on the same team, had once had a conversation with me etc.

They were not necessarily music lovers, fans, or concert goers…but they came to my shows in places like Hartford, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Milwaukee, Chicago.

They would come up and introduce themselves before I went on, or during the break between sets, or after the show.

Some I recognized instantly. Others required a reconstructive imagination to recall.

The ones I couldn’t remember at all would offer a memory. Sometimes that brought everything back. Sometimes not.

How these people had ended up, who they had become, was fascinating to discover. In every case I was happy to see them.

But why had they sought me out?

I think they were curious.

Facebook and Twitter had caused them to hear about me and remember me.

YouTube had enabled them to see what I do.

And the tourdates page of my website had made it possible to find me when I played in their area.

Incredible.

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