I'm Leaving On A Jet Plane

…and I’ll be back Sunday afternoon. That was the original lyric. Not a lot of people know that.

I’m flying up to Chicago today on account of the Al Stone Traveling Hootenanny headlining the Taste of Randolph festival. In the early days, packing for tours and one-offs was an ordeal. What if I encounter X? I’ll pack Y just in case. But what about Z?! Before you know it, you’re carting around two gigantic bags of bullshit, ostensibly prepared for anything but destined to become the asshole redistributing their pack at check in. 

I’m older and wiser these days. Acutely aware that airports bring out the worst in people, my goal’s being a goddamn ninja, moving quickly and silently, without leaving a trace. Was I there at all? Minimal human contact coupled with inexorable politeness cures a multitude of travel woes.

By federal law, for example, I’m allowed to take my guitar on the airplane. I do not take my guitar on the airplane. I’ve endured too many sneers from entitled business travelers and whack jobs with “emotional support” animals. Better to board with just my backpack and settle into a good book. My flight case is built like a tank, the axe will be fine.  

My fly board (aka the pedal board I use for one-offs) has five things on it - tuner, clean boost, overdrive, some kind of oscillating effect (usually a Univibe), and a delay. It takes up less space than a footlong sub. I’m not the Edge.  

I pack, like, three t-shirts and two pairs of pants. My show cloths are counted in that number. If for some reason I need more shit, I buy it and donate it afterwards. Rarely does the band travel to outer Mongolia - in a pinch, there’re always decent shopping options around. 

Fellow travelers - it’s an empowering feeling, performing cartwheels out of O’Hare, blissful and unencumbered. I highly recommend it.