Tuesday, July 1, 2008

"Uncle Johnny's Tips for Musicians" (Scene) July 2008

Update: This entry is from my column that originally appeared in the Northern Colorado entertainment magazine The Scene. While I'm not doing this column anymore, I'm still as involved as I can be in the Fort Collins area music scene in general.

This edition’s topic: air travel.

Greetings fellow NOCO musicians! I’ve had the good fortune of touring the globe with my band Cracker for about 18 years now, and Scene has asked me to share some tips with those of you new to the world of the traveling musician. In May, airlines began charging a fee for checking a second piece of luggage. Research online, and you’ll find that fees vary from $10 to $50 each way. So far Delta is the only airline to state publicly that in addition to the standard "one carry on and one small personal item" we working musicians can also carry on a guitar or smaller-sized instrument. I recently flew Delta to Atlanta and back and they were very cool, happily allowing me to carry my ancient, beloved Les Paul onto the plane. Remember that smaller aircraft often don’t have the overhead space for guitars, basses and other instruments. In short: call ahead, make sure you won’t be forced to gate-check your baby in a soft case, and book a seat near the back to increase your odds of getting that overhead space. Happy travels!

Suggestions for next month’s topic? Send a request at www.myspace.com/johnnyhickmanmusic *
* Update: Johnny doesn't really check his MySpace anymore either.