The Starving Artists Tour
Excerpt from The Rockstar Remedy
Dr. Gabrielle Francis
After years of large corporate rock tours, I had taken an interest in World Music. I loved the music and the artists seemed more into it for the passion and creativity than the money. I befriended a Brooklyn Afro-beat Band and would occasionally offer them my services as pro bono work. This was my charity contribution and I loved these guys.
One day they invited me to do a mini California tour with them by Van. We packed 14 people into 2 Vans and hit the road. They were mostly skinny urban hipster types but the last year of touring was starting to show around their waists. The stress, lack of exercise and drinking had given a few of them the little spare tire around the middle.
2 days of touring nearly put me over the edge. Dorito’s, Snickers, and Coke were the snacks of choice on the road. Then of course washing it down with Coke, Mountain Dew and Beer. They noticed I was not eating the snacks and I told them that I refused to put such poison in my body. In a sweet offer to make me happy they decided we should stop at a healthy restaurant…In and Out Burger! Apparently, the fries are cut fresh daily and this made it a health food restaurant. I was mortified!
I could really see that these guys were Starving Artists in more ways than one. They had a low budget and could not afford great food. But on the other hand, they were eating all empty calories and getting no nutrition. Anyway, the combination of junk food and tight seating made for some interesting melt downs on the road.
I convinced the manager to make a stop at Trader Joes before we got to the next town. Trader Joes are easily found in California and is a great place to get healthy and convenient food at a very low price. I stocked up on healthy snacks such as nuts, dried fruit, cut veggies, humus, wraps and nitrate free sandwich meats. The next day I packed both vans with the new improved snacks and threw out all the junk food. Being the open and alternative thinkers that they were, they were happy to try these things. They reveled in the fact that the food actually tasted good and did not make them feel tired and toxic.
I took them on a shopping trip to show them how to read labels and find healthy snacks. They were into it. We had some fun with the label reading and decided we could come up with some very good names for Punk or Heavy Metal Bands by reading the labels of the junk food.
Red Dye #5
The Benzoic Acid Test
and so on…
I also convinced them that California had the best Mexican food outside of Mexico and that we could find much healthier fast food by eating at roadside Madre and Padre joints. This went over extremely well as it fit into their budget mentality.
A month after the tour they emailed me to tell me that there was a new Trader Joe’s opening in Brooklyn, and they were going to keep eating these goodies at home and on the road again.
10 years later, the band still lives in Brooklyn and most of them consider themselves “foodies”.