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Life on the Road: The Untold Story of a Touring Musician

As a touring musician, I spent years on the road playing music, traveling across the United States with multiple bands playing in nearly every state except for Alaska and Hawaii. This journey took me from the smallest dive bars to the biggest nightclubs, with each stop adding a new chapter to my story.

Lee Kennedy ~ Hybrid Ice Fiddlesticks
Fiddlesticks 1992

One of my earliest gigs was at "The Oasis" in Hinesville, Georgia, a dive bar that smelled of stale beer and urine. This is where I learned adding ice to the urinals made that smell tolerable...well kind The club barely fit 50 people. Despite its size, the energy in that room was electric. On the other end of the spectrum was Spinnaker’s in Panama City, Florida, where we played to thousands. The sheer volume of people at Spinnaker's was overwhelming, but it was moments like these that made all the hardships worth it.

Being on the road wasn't as glamorous as many might think. We often crammed nine guys into a single motel room to save money, and our meals consisted of whatever we could afford — often potted meat and other less-than-appetizing foods.

Lee Kennedy ~ Tara Thunder 1989
Flying Dutchman 1989

There were times when our booking agent would send us on a 37 hour drive, only to discover he had double-booked us. Then he sent us east, promising another show. Two hours later, we arrived at a boarded-up club in a tiny Virginia town called "The Golden Horseshoe Disco." As an 80s metal band, this wasn't exactly the best situation. That night didn't go as planned, to say the least. LOL.

Despite these challenges, we persevered for the thrill of performing. We would go days without eating or sleeping just to get on stage and play. There was no money, no hope, no food, and often no shelter, yet the rush of performing kept us going. We played venues from Skippers in Norfolk, VA, to The White House in Niles, MI, and of course, Dirty Harry’s in Key West, FL. All great memories…Indeed.

Lee Kennedy ~ High Risk 1988
Danny's 1988

Traveling, playing, and starving our way across the country was tough, but it was all part of the adventure. Looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing. The camaraderie, the unforgettable experiences, and the raw joy of performing made every sacrifice worthwhile. Each show, no matter how small or obscure the club, was a testament to the passion for music and the commitment to living the dream.

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