Virtually everyday, I FaceTime our Tour Manager/Front of House engineer, Ryan “Bear” Drozd.
I do this for three reasons. One, he actually picks up, which is remarkable, given he’s from a generation where most would rather gouge out their own eyeballs than speak to another human being in real time. Two, he tolerates many unbroken minutes of my rambling nonsensically, periodically interjecting “Trev, you’re doing real good,” while continuing to cook dinner, clean his living room or advance a tour, often all three simultaneously. Three, he is a Great Man, a treasure trove of resplendency and general inspiration.
I have a feeble, artsy-fartsy brain, rendered ineffective by years of drinking herbal tea and sitting cross-legged. When I’m scrambling eggs, I require complete sensory deprivation apart from the spitting of a butter-slicked pan, and any suggestion of multitasking reduces me to a pile of skinny jeans and fedoras next to the vinyl collection at Barista Parlor. I am, simply put, a disgrace.
Ryan “Bear” Drozd, on the other hand, is infinitely capable, and I’m not just throwing that around. He’s the perfect touring professional. Sure, TSA’s searched his bag and found unopened cans of Chef Boyardee, but the man can play every instrument, tech each station, is a world-class monitor engineer and legitimately the best front-of-house guy in the game, not to mention a dapper dresser, gifted raconteur and can drink a Siberian grandmother under the table. When the tour bus breaks down, he knows how to fix it. When my pedal board dies, he knows how to fix it. When I’m ordering the “wrong kind of pizza pie,” well, he knows how to fix that, too (Ryan “Bear” Drozd lives in New Haven and understands such things). Touring’s too easy for the man, honestly - sometimes I feel like he puts himself in the weeds just to fight his way back out, proving to the world that, compared to Ryan "Bear" Drozd, Superman’s just Clark Kent in tights.
When the right guy's in charge, touring’s a joy. And I would put Ryan “Bear” Drozd in charge of virtually anything. I’ll be seeing the Great Man on Friday, and this makes me happy. Here we are, rejoicing in front of a ramen shop in Los Angeles.