Preparations for a month in the life of a Hobo
Sgt Dunbar & the Corp of Discovery, a Tour Journal
To CELEBRATE! the one year anniversary of Sgt Dunbar’s historic “Escaping Winter ” national tour of 2011 I have decided to digitize my tour journal and give all of B3nson’s readers an inside glimpse of what our month on the road felt like, day by day.
Entry dated 7 March 2011 – 4 days prior to departure
Things To Do:
- haircut (Ritmo’s Barber 259 New Scotland Ave) 489-1116 11:30 am
- pay bills : rent: X, credit: , phone: X, car: X, utilities: X
- IRA Contribution
- email San Fran/Seattle/Rachel
- ->Pete’s Club Grill
Carnation, WA (425) 333-4300
- clean cooler
- clean van
- laundry (was CCX hat)
- Ashley flowers/letter
- send Mom itinerary
Things To Buy: Things to Pack:
-fuel canisters -campstove
-stamps/postcard stamps -towel/swim trunks
- water bottle -sandals
- travel mug -envelopes
Credit Card Payment Due: _____
Except from a research proposal written by Jeff, Louis’ friend and a sociologist who traveled with us (in a separate car per the bands “no one who’s not in the band” policy while on tour):
“Lou Apicello, a middle-class white man, quit his high-paying government position overseeing weapons contracts in Washington, DC, two years ago in order to give more attention to playing horns in a rock band called Sgt. Dunbar and the Hobo Banned, work he identified with much more closely. The change was necessary for him to live with the band in Albany, New York, and plan independent music tours of the U.S. east coast with them.
Sociologists who recall that the U.S. economy was in the middle of the Great Recession two years ago, a recession that has yet to recover, might ask how someone could quit a high-paying defense job to become a musician amid extraordinary national economic insecurity.
Buried below family concerns and the life of a rock musician are a few questions. How does an unfunded rock group go about being a rock group? What sort of concrete work do they do, and how do they get resources to do it? What does the work mean to the group members and their conceptions of self? Thinking about the self, how do they imagine happiness in the future? While Lou reports that his parents are supportive, what do parents of the musicians themselves say about these questions? What do they think about their kids trying to make it in music, and how do they see their futures?
I have negotiated access to Sgt. Dunbar and the Hobo Banned for the beginning of their 2011 South by Southwest Tour. Off and on, I will spend one week with them (5 March to 13 March), conducting interviews and participant observations of their workings, travels, and performances. After that, they will travel to Austin, continue on to the West Coast, and return to Albany on 9 April. I then plan on meeting with the band over the weekend of 14 April for their reflections on their first national tour and hope to collect short interviews with a few of their parents.
This small-scale project of microsociology has the potential to shed a little light on my broader concern with non-conforming selves and family reactions to and negotiations of those selves.
This will allow me another pass at researching the role of ambiguity in changing identities, this time perhaps revealing the place of economic sociology in that process.”
Band responses to research proposal:
Ryan: my only concern is that the whole first paragraph focuses on louis. i was under the impression i would be the focus? I AM SO SICK OF THIS SHIT. also, the first thing im telling jeff no matter what question he asks me is that everything is all akward now that me and donna have slept together.
Tim: his first question is going to be: “which one is dan?” and he’s going to think it’s me. then his second question is: “which one plays the saw?” third question: “where’s that red head you guys always hang out with?…oh, she’s not here? i’ll see you guys later”. interview done.
Alex: pretty cool paper really.