For some years now, we here in lauraland have been graciously honored to have one of the best tour managers in the biz working with us. Luckily, we managed to steal some of his preciously sacred time for an exclusive interview. We present our tour-god, Tony Kitmitto.
What does a typical day on the road look like for you?
Well, typically, I’ll start the day off bright ‘n early around 5:30 in the a.m. I like to start a few hours before my travelmates, it helps me clear my mind. After a refreshing 5 mile jog or some sort of muscle building activity I’ll jump on my blackberry and super cool netbook to make important connections with important people. When the time is right I wake up the gents to some fresh locally grown fruit and a warm pot of coffee. Once we have all energized ourselves I somehow make the drive from one city to the next feel seamless to the band, typically filled with rants of extremely hilarious anecdotes and jokes. In the new unexplored city I quickly make a mental assessment of our surroundings and find the most open, free and secure spot for our wondrous rig. Upon venue arrival I locate the people that matter and plan the rest of the evening around a most sock-rockin’ 40 minutes of musical bliss, get paid and, more often then not, meet a gaggle of people that would most graciously be open to hosting a hootenanny with a rock band full of 6 very interesting long-hairs. Before I close out the night, I sip on an extremely expensive, most definitely smooth bourbon in the brisk open air and sing to the moon….just kidding, I don’t do any of that. I usually just sit in the back of the van and read the Rolling Stone wishing I was on the inside.
Some people go so far as to say tour managers are glorified babysitters for spoiled rockstars…how has your experience in lauraland been?
I’d say that’s a very fair and right on assessment of my position. Lauraland has been a journey of life and love and exploration into previously undiscovered paths of my existence.
Do you carry any protective weapons on your person?
I have a box cutter in my backpack…does that count?
What’s the craziest thing you’ve had to deal with so far in your travels?
One afternoon on the road somewhere between the Earth and Saturn I figured, while everyone else was sleeping I would stop to get out and stretch. I noticed something up ahead of me that I just couldn’t not explore. Upon closer investigation, I noticed I had stumbled upon a solo train car, just sitting there. I jimmied the door unlocked and discovered it was a whole freight car full of various circus freaks and animals! Not some Barnum n Bailey circus blokes though… this circus had to have been from some sort of po-dunk town that actually revolved and thrived off the abnormality of these characters. I sat and talked with ‘em for a bit and found out that they were all very sad, having lost their way and the rest of the circus train! I immediately felt their pain and wanted to do nothing but help them find their friends. So I did what I figured anyone would do, I hooked their car to the back of our trailer and towed them all the way home, which indeed was po-dunk. There, we found the rest of the circus preparing a grand celebration for their arrival. It was pretty epic! But everyone was sleeping so, still to this day, no one believes me!
Really great, Tony… really great… congratulations and best of luck!
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Stay tuned for more in-depth profiles of the people that inhabit lauraland, as well as a new column we like to call ‘… by the time I get to Phoenix’; which will either be dedicated to Isaac Hayes or our mother city, or both!