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  #1  
Old 11-16-2017, 02:34 PM
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Default How many travelling pro drummers have kids?

Actually, my question isn't really about how many kids each big-name pro drummer has. But this is the intial thought that made me think of the lifestyle of drummers (and other musicians) whoses careers require them to be journey-men, in other words away from "home" most of the time.

We all marvel at their musical accomplishments and recognise the effort that must have gone into becoming such good musicians. But what about the sacrifices thay have to make? Or is it a sacrifice at all?

I rememebr reading an interview a long time ago with Manu Katch. If I recall, he basically said something along the lines of "the wife stays at home and takes care of the children and I'm there when I have the opportunity".

Eventually he did settle down to become presenter on a live music TV show. I wouldn't be surprised if his family life was a reason for that choice.

So, what's it like in general for those who are on the move all the time?

(and yes, I'd be interested to know if pro-drummers are less likely to have a family life as most people know it... Sunday barbecues with the whole family, going to see the kid's school play, etc)
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Old 11-16-2017, 03:04 PM
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Default Re: How many travelling pro drummers have kids?

Well, the phrase "left the band to focus on his family" is definitely not an uncommon one to see.

I have a son who's almost two, and even though I know my girlfriend is more than capable of taking care of him and our home by herself, I'd feel pretty weird about leaving on tour for weeks or even months on end. I can definitely see how that would put a strain on all parties involved, and also how it would probably make me want to stay closer to home as much as possible.
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Old 11-16-2017, 03:26 PM
Groov-E Groov-E is offline
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Default Re: How many travelling pro drummers have kids?

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Originally Posted by Naigewron View Post
Well, the phrase "left the band to focus on his family" is definitely not an uncommon one to see.

I have a son who's almost two, and even though I know my girlfriend is more than capable of taking care of him and our home by herself, I'd feel pretty weird about leaving on tour for weeks or even months on end. I can definitely see how that would put a strain on all parties involved, and also how it would probably make me want to stay closer to home as much as possible.
^^^

I would never leave for more than 10 days as long as my kids are not done finishing high school. They need us as much when they are 14 as when they are 5, albeit in a different manner. I would rather succed as a father than anything else. I am aware it is easy to say coming from someone who's drums don't pay the bills, but this goes also for my actual job.
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Old 11-16-2017, 04:28 PM
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Default Re: How many travelling pro drummers have kids?

Heck, my musician friends who are pursuing music full time can't keep their marriages together, never mind kids.

The only way I'd do it full time is if my whole family could come with me. I usually drag them all around to my gigs, and they have a good time. Luckily, I'm playing Americana music, so they do their fair share of hanging out at corn mazes, coffee shops, outdoor markets, and festivals in the mid-afternoon while I play as opposed to 2am in a bar somewhere.

I think it all depends on how much money a drummer is making. If you are one of these top-billed guys, you can afford to pay a nanny to help out; however, if you are a regular Joe just trying to make bills, I'm assuming that it's the same as a truck driver or service member who is gone away on long stretches of time.
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Old 11-16-2017, 07:21 PM
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Default Re: How many travelling pro drummers have kids?

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Originally Posted by PorkPieGuy View Post

I think it all depends on how much money a drummer is making. If you are one of these top-billed guys, you can afford to pay a nanny to help out; however, if you are a regular Joe just trying to make bills, I'm assuming that it's the same as a truck driver or service member who is gone away on long stretches of time.
Well, yes. There are many professions that can be damanding in that way. Although many of them will likely allow for some stability and balance like prolonged periods at home to compensate for periods away.
I doubt that a working musician can say "I've just finished a 5-month tour so I'll just hang out at home for two months before taking another gig". I'm guessing that such a decision would be very risky, never sure when the next gig comes along.

Also, even if you're a million-earning member of a band, if you spend your life touring then naturally you're going to miss out on a lot of things.
I just think of Led Zeppelin who basically spent the '70s touring extensively. Robert Plant had just become a father before their first US tour in 1969. I think he spent much of the following decade without seeing much of his young son.That just seems like a tremendous sacrifice to me.
I know that for guys like him life revolved around the music and they did what they had to but I'd be surprised if they didn't feel some regret or pain in regards to their "homelife".

I think all the glamour obscures that part of the lifestyle, the sacrifices that most people don't have to make. People always look at the rich and famous, how great it is for them, and of course the celebrities keep up the show for us. But at what personal cost?

When you're favourite band has finished soaking up the adulation at a concert, you get to go home. They end up returning to an empty hotel room.

I hope I'm not causing any upset to anyone by addressing a topic for whom this might be a personal issue. I'm just sincerely interested in how working musicians manage this aspect of their lives. It's so easy to only see these people through the prism of showbusiness, that's the nature of it. They toil hard to provide our escapism and happy times, I'd just like to give some consideration to them for a change...
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Old 11-17-2017, 11:16 PM
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Default Re: How many travelling pro drummers have kids?

I am curious to what Bermuda has to say on the topic; albeit no kids but having a wife. Not that I am in a position currently to leave a home life but if/when that day comes I know what to expect. I have no children or plans of raising any.
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  #7  
Old 11-20-2017, 07:35 PM
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Default Re: How many travelling pro drummers have kids?

So, I'm no pro; long-dusty dreams of grandeur never formulated for this guy and in a short bit of subjective irony, here I am discussing a topic that applies to my life.

I've done (8) 6-month+ deployments in my 22+ years of my naval career. I've had a wife and kids for all of them. Obviously I couldn't bring them along as much as I wanted to. The wife bears all the responsibility for everything. House, kids, bills, grass, car maintenance, etc. Now...if it were a professional career involving being on the road (sometimes overseas - if that is included), I believe a (proper) set of spouses would agree ahead of time based on their family needs whether to travel with, or remain at home. I've no doubt that is based on ages and desire of children, length of tours, and probably a bunch of stuff you'll never be able to think of unless its what you're facing in reality.

No matter the profession, there is a sacrifice to be paid. Work is work and the job description usually gets harder the more it pays (usually).

Personally, I've been fortunate to have a great wife and kids that learned to understand what it takes to provide doing my profession for so long. Some looking in from the outside would never understand or determine that they couldn't do the same...much the same, I probably won't ever really know what it takes to be a pro on-the-road but I imagine it to be very much the same process.
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Old 11-20-2017, 08:31 PM
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Default Re: How many travelling pro drummers have kids?

Most of the touring musicians I know over the age of about 30 have kids. They are just people like anybody else. They just have a job that requires them top leave home for long periods of time. No different than the military, traveling sales, or 1000 other jobs people do everyday. Its obvious by most of the responses here that many people havn't had to make that decision. Parenting is about quality not quantity. I know quite a few dead beat fathers who are home everyday.
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Old 11-22-2017, 07:37 PM
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Default Re: How many travelling pro drummers have kids?

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Originally Posted by sticksnstonesrus View Post
No matter the profession, there is a sacrifice to be paid...

Personally, I've been fortunate to have a great wife and kids that learned to understand what it takes to provide doing my profession for so long.
Thanks for your service, Sir!

Sounds like we've got a lot in common, aside from the color of our uniforms. (US Army, Retired). There was a 54 month period in the mid 80's where I was only home for 6 months - not consecutive, thank you. ;-) Mrs Smoke made all my military years possible/bearable. Running two households on E-6 pay isn't easy!! My last 1-year unaccompanied tour to South Korea was a LOT easier with e-mail. Prior to that, communication was via stubby pencil and a ten-minute monthly phone call.

Life is a series of choices: choose carefully, live wisely.
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Old 11-22-2017, 10:12 PM
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Default Re: How many travelling pro drummers have kids?

Some time in the 1980's, I met some members of "The Tubes" in a hotel parking lot. They were touring in station wagons with their families, young children included. It looked like a lot of fun, kind of like the Griswold's vacation.

I suppose not too many bands are in a position to tour like that.
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Old 11-22-2017, 11:08 PM
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Default Re: How many travelling pro drummers have kids?

I just looked over our yearly spreadsheet and counted something like 107 shows that were out of the state (or country) between March and December of this year. I'm married, but we don't have any kids. If we did have kids I'm sure i would just go home and teach full time or something.
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Old 11-23-2017, 03:32 AM
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Default Re: How many travelling pro drummers have kids?

I am thinking about this a lot as I have mostly been doing work which doesn't require much travel since my first kid was born 10 years ago. That is changing now a bit as the band I'm in is starting to pick up a little steam. We'll be in Europe in late winter/early spring for 3 weeks and that will by far be the longest I've ever been away from my family and I'm personally a little sad about that, but that's how it goes sometimes when the opportunity comes. I'm just hoping it's not too long before at least my older son can start running the merch table...
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Old 11-23-2017, 03:58 AM
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Default Re: How many travelling pro drummers have kids?

I used to dream of being a touring musician, and worked hard at it.

Now that I have kids, I wouldn't go on tour for anything. No reasonable band could pay me enough to go on tour and be away from my kids.

There are, of course, many exceptions, but I've noticed many touring drummers (at least on the freelance level) don't have kids.
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Old 11-23-2017, 06:30 PM
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Default Re: How many travelling pro drummers have kids?

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Originally Posted by Smoke View Post

Life is a series of choices: choose carefully, live wisely.
Good moto.

I think I probably started this thread to learn about the choices others have made and how they feel about it.

Thanks for all the replies, keep 'em coming.
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Old 11-24-2017, 01:20 AM
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Default Re: How many travelling pro drummers have kids?

Usually one in each town they'll admit to.
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Old 11-27-2017, 03:18 PM
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Default Re: How many travelling pro drummers have kids?

My memory may be totally failing me, but I think I remember seeing an interview with Jason Newsted about leaving Metallica. He said that the guys had a sort of "pact" where the band ALWAYS came first, no matter what. If I remember correctly, one of his breaking points came one day when he was at a birthday party for one of his kids (I think) and got a call from one of the guys or the manager that basically said, "MTV wants us to come and do a thing." He leaves the party early, taking away time from his family, shows up at some random MTV show to play one song, and MTV only showed about 15 seconds of it while the credits rolled. I think he left shortly thereafter.

And I don't blame him.
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Old 11-27-2017, 03:44 PM
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Default Re: How many travelling pro drummers have kids?

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Originally Posted by PorkPieGuy View Post
My memory may be totally failing me, but I think I remember seeing an interview with Jason Newsted about leaving Metallica. He said that the guys had a sort of "pact" where the band ALWAYS came first, no matter what. If I remember correctly, one of his breaking points came one day when he was at a birthday party for one of his kids (I think) and got a call from one of the guys or the manager that basically said, "MTV wants us to come and do a thing." He leaves the party early, taking away time from his family, shows up at some random MTV show to play one song, and MTV only showed about 15 seconds of it while the credits rolled. I think he left shortly thereafter.

And I don't blame him.
I remember him saying the complete opposite - That he specifically chose to not have kids and a family life because he wanted his bands and music to always come first, and he felt the other guys in the band were not on the same level of commitment once they started having children. Can't find the interview footage now though, so I might be misremembering that.

A quick google search yields no references to him having children though.
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Old 11-27-2017, 03:49 PM
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Default Re: How many travelling pro drummers have kids?

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Originally Posted by Naigewron View Post
I remember him saying the complete opposite - That he specifically chose to not have kids and a family life because he wanted his bands and music to always come first, and he felt the other guys in the band were not on the same level of commitment once they started having children. Can't find the interview footage now though, so I might be misremembering that.

A quick google search yields no references to him having children though.
I actually googled it before I wrote it, but I swear I remember him saying having to leave some sort of family gathering.

Like I said, it may have been someone else entirely. This time of year, my brain is mush.
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Old 11-27-2017, 03:52 PM
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Default Re: How many travelling pro drummers have kids?

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Originally Posted by PorkPieGuy View Post
I actually googled it before I wrote it, but I swear I remember him saying having to leave some sort of family gathering.

Like I said, it may have been someone else entirely. This time of year, my brain is mush.
Found it. Starts at 3:00 in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SLmDD7Pd9A
So he didn't say anything about the other guys not being committed, but he found himself having time on his hands because the other guys had families and he didn't.
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