Handling pay & obligations while on the road


Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Borrowed from another thread...

DaleClark said:
Now one can do pretty much every financial transaction with their phone. Back in the day, how did traveling musicians handle such? Did you get a weekly check on the road? Would you wire, mail the check home to someone handling payments, bills? Were any musicians paid by cash? I've read old stories on how Tom Parker would go to a back room after an Elvis show with cases full of cash from the arena and from merchandise to divide up payment obligations.

I bet it would be difficult to maintain a residence while away on a long tour
I sort of recall giving a bunch of deposit slips to management, and they mailed them with the check to the bank. I think some of the guys had their checks sent home for their wife to deposit. But I was never paid by cash on tours, it was all handled remotely by the manager.

For bills, I had list of acct #s, payment addresses, due dates, and a little form I made saying to apply my payment to the account and that I couldn't enclose the original bill. I'd mail that before the due date from wherever I was at. Over the last several years, I've been paying everything online, so I'm always current while traveling. I still bring the account info and those forms with me, but rarely need to use them. Sometimes I pay quarterly bills (such as my private voicemail account) a few payments in advance, so I don't have to write a check from the road. And since I've been married, anything that's still physical and I can't handle from the road, is handled by my wife (I leave a bunch of checks for her.)

As for an apt or house, I've always had a roommate or wife who looked after things, so my place was never left empty. But if I lived alone and had to travel for several weeks, I'd have the apartment manager look after things, or trusted friends or neighbors if in a house. Having pets would be a real concern though, I'm not sure how single pet owners handle being away. Boarding a pet at $30+ per day really adds up over a long tour!



Gold Member
I would pay everything I could in advance. I became an expert on how far I could push certain services. Phone,cable,power,insurance, wouldn't be interrupted until until a bill was 4 weeks past due date. I was never out more than 6 weeks,while low bucks heavy metal touring. lol


Platinum Member
I was an early adopter of paying bills directly from the bank (due to my time in the military); I could even pre-arrange billing for a certain number of months. Now with so many e-banking options, I don't pay for anything by check, and if I am handed a check, it's deposited within the next few minutes. All of my bandleaders have my email address to which they can Paypal me; if I'm handed cash it becomes walking-around money.


Platinum Member
I was touring for six weeks and paid my bills ahead.
I got paid for those weeks at the end of the tour, but we were given $45 cash every day for whatever we wanted, even though everything was paid for. We ended up getting $35/day after a few weeks because nobody was using their own money for anything. All food and hotels were paid by the band.

When I got back, I was pulled over by the police for having an expired inspection sticker on my car. I apologized and said I was on tour for six weeks and hadn't been home. I could have left out telling him I was on tour because it sounded stupid. What does he care? He came back and didn't give me a ticket.

Living Dead Drummer

Platinum Member
If I get paid by a physical check or cash then finding a bank to deposit isn't too hard. Even overseas, most banks have partnerships with foreign branches. I just call my bank and give them a list of countries I'll be in.

Prior to paying all my bills online I would do what Bermuda said. Have a list of account numbers and due dates written down. Frequently I would mail a check in advance and just date it for whatever the due date was. Only time I ever ran into an issue with my studio. Apparently they don't accept payment in advance, and I had to leave my payment with a friend and ask them to mail it on the appropriate date. Even now, they've switched to online payment only, and I can't even log into the payment section of the website until the actual due date each month.