Touring with a Book (vs. Touring with a Band)

BookTourGuitarMy “book tour,” which has had me adding a lot of miles to my frequent flyer account,has finally started winding down. I’ve got some things still to come, including an upcoming event in this area with Ian Johnson in June and then during the summer some book-related talks across the Pacific, including several Shanghai gigs (details to follow in a future post) and a July 24 presentation at the Suzhou branch of the Bookworm bookstore, and so on. Still, the pace has slowed down, which put me in a reflective mood and gave me time to finish writing a piece that had been forming in my mind since the start of the tour. It explores the contrasts (but also parallels) between touring with a band (something I grew up thinking I’d do some day, but have never done) and touring with a book. If you are interested in seeing the results of my ruminations on this theme, you can find them at the Huffington Post, with an accompanying slide shows made up of three of my own photos and two great shots they came up with to illustrate my “top 5 list” of parallels.

The piece speaks for itself, but I will just note (a special bonus track?) one additional parallel that didn’t make it into the Huffington Post version (think of it as an out-take from the album):

Sometimes switching from singing solo to doing duets has a place. The upcoming Laguna Beach event I’m doing with Ian Johnson is a case in point, but I’ve done earlier “duets” (with Mara Hvistendahl at UCI and with Joseph Kahn in New York) as part of the tour. And I’ve even been part of a couple of ersatz “trios” (with Richard Baum and Zachary Karabell at the Los Angeles Times Book Festival and with Perry Link and, again, Richard Baum last weekend at a panel held in San Gabriel). I expect to learn a lot from sharing a stage with Ian when his own book tour brings him this way, as I’ve gotten a lot from sharing a stage with each of the other people mentioned above in recent weeks.

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