If you look up the term “road dog” on UrbanDictionary.com, there are seven different definitions. Most include a “travel” element, one entry mentions “jail,” where I’ve never been, and another references “beer,” which I hate.
The last entry of seven hits closest to my world:
ROAD DOG: A person who is consistently “on the road,” on the go, or someone who travels to and fro frequently.
Yeah, that sounds a lot like me. It’s what I do, who I am, and how I roll. I’ve never been one to sit still for very long, and as I sneak up on twenty years makin’ a livin’ in the music business…I guess I’ve never really had to.
Twenty years. Yep. This March, I will click over my seventeenth year as keyboardist and vocalist for country superstar Tim McGraw. As one of his longtime band, the Dancehall Doctors, we’ve crossed the country numerous times. We’ve taken the stage at Madison Square Garden, played a cruise ship in the Bahamas, rocked the house at the Hollywood Bowl, and performed overlooking some of the world’s greatest historical sites in Rome, Italy.
I have definitely logged some miles with McGraw and the boys. One might think that in the midst of a concert tour, when the planes land or the buses park, I’d blow into the hotel, prop my feet up and just “chill.” But that isn’t usually the way it works.
Because I’m a runner. It’s not just the “travel” that makes me feel more at ease…but the “movement.” And it’s really pretty simple. Grab some shorts and my shoes, get off the bus…and start running.
If it looks dangerous, turn around. If I think I might get lost, stay close to the hotel. If we don’t have much time, run short. No show that night? Run long.
Bottom line? Just run. If things are good, running makes ‘em better. If things are crappy, well, at least they get a little less crappy if I can just get out the door.
And I usually do. No matter how many miles we’ve already covered since our last concert. Because I’ve still got a few more to do on my own.
Road Dog Runner. Yeah.
I like that.