The People Behind the People
This tour is the biggest the Magnetic Fields have ever done, in terms of the number of people traveling. In addition to the five members of the band and one eighteen-month-old baby, there are five members of the crew: me and my husband (merch, blog, Twitter), Jason Thompson (tour manager), Mike Yesenosky (sound), and the very lovely Julia Knapp (nanny). That brings the grand total to eleven people, and with all the suitcases, instruments, and gear, we are a small society all our own. Someone is always holding the leftover snacks from the previous night’s greenroom, and someone is always holding assorted painkillers and stomach remedies. We are all getting very good at traversing airport terminals and hotel lobbies en masse, like a pack of nomads, or zombies, depending on the amount of sleep achieved the night before.
The Hotel Life
This tour is more grueling than the last few I’ve done with the Magnetic Fields, and we are rarely in one place longer than a day. This means less time for exploring the cities and more confused moments in the middle of the night when one wakes up and needs to pee. Stephin Merritt (vocals, harmonium, melodica, kazoo) told me a story about their last European tour, during which he was staying in a room so small that when he opened what he thought was the door to the bathroom in the middle of the night, he in fact had opened the door to the hallway and promptly locked himself out. In the last ten days, we’ve stayed in six different hotels, and so in addition to having no clue what day of the week it is, I also now have no clue where the bed is in relation to the door or what floor my room is on.
Of course, there are perks to staying in so many hotels. At heart, I am not a kleptomaniac, but when it comes to hotels, I can’t help myself.