“Touring, Touring is Never Boring” – The Ramones

I’m halfway through my East Coast Living Room Tour 2013. It’s been great. But it’s been very tiring and very expen$ive. I tried every way I could to cut corners. But it’s still costing me more than twice as much as I budgeted for — and I thought my budget was entirely too pessimistic. But people have been very generous. So if that keeps up there’s a good chance I will break even, which is all I’m hoping for at this point.

The real killer has been the car rental. I doubt I’ll ever rent anything from Avis again. My friend Dave in Akron offered to drive me around for the rest of the tour in his van and I thought, “Great! I’ll save a lot!” But when I asked Avis about turning in the car early they told me that would cost $300 more! Go figure that one out if you can.

So if any of you folks out there have done this kind of touring and have worked out a solution to this, please let me know. For gosh sakes, I have bought cars that cost less than this rental! I’m toying with the idea of buying a beater car and parking it at my friend’s house in Akron then using Akron as a base of operations for the Midwest and South. But that’s the best solution I’ve come up with so far.

There Is No God And He Is Always With You (available at bookstores and Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Indie Bound) has been selling much better than I expected. So I may spend the rest of the tour talking about my other books instead cuz I don’t want to have to cart them home. And they’re all good. Plus I got those audio skulls. Those are pretty neat!

I’ve spoken to lots of diverse audiences in lots of interesting places. I had two gigs in tattoo parlors, one in a library and two in actual living rooms. If I can work out a way to do things cheaper I’ll do more of these living room tours in the future. The people hosting me have been really great.

We did two Zero Defex gigs which were terrific fun. We played in Akron with Kepi Ghoulie and Dog Party who were fan-frikkin-tastic. Dog Party (this link is a different video, watch them both!) is one of the funnest bands I’ve ever shared a stage with. They’re two adorable teenage girls who travel with their mom who sells their merchandise. After their own set they become Kepi Ghoulie’s backing band. So cool! They are my new favorite band in the world.

Whether I break even or not, this has been a great time. Look for me in your town soon!

EAST COAST LIVING ROOM TOUR

• 25-June    Philadelphia, PA    8 p.m.    1547 E. Berks St., Philadelphia, PA 19125

• 26-June    Newark, Delaware    5:30 p.m.    The Meadow (next to the co-op) 280 East Main Street, Market East Plaza, Newark, DE 19711 https://www.facebook.com/events/138021953061773/

• 27-June    Annapolis, Maryland    7 p.m.    Universalist Unitarian Church of Annapolis 333 Dubois Rd, Annapolis, MD 21401    https://www.facebook.com/events/541018419278312/?ref=14

• 28-June    Asbury Park, NJ    7 p.m. Pure Health Bar & Yoga 701 Cookman Ave Asbury Park, NJ

• 29-June    Long Island, NY 7 p.m.  Clear Mountain Zen Center 519 Hempstead Ave., West Hempstead, NY 11553

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25 Responses

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  1. Anonymous
    Anonymous June 25, 2013 at 9:38 am | |

    Brad,

    I enjoyed your book. Good stuff. I don’t have really much more to say…

    EXCEPT…. you mentioned DAN QUINN (“mixed martial arts fighter from San Diego who claims to be Maitreya”)! Dan’s from Sac-town, but he definitely claims to be Maitreya. This reference, standing alone, justifies triple the listed purchase price.

    http://youtu.be/pz9fqGD8_9A

  2. Alizrin
    Alizrin June 25, 2013 at 9:53 am | |

    About cars: I have heard of people that have managed to travel pretty far by RETURNING rental cars. This was once a way that European backpackers got across the US. For some reason a company like Avis might need to have cars taken from NY to CA and I guess those with clean licensees will be allowed to take them. By the way, you have asked us to open our living rooms, well what about asking us to drive you around? I would certainly go on tour with you if I had the time off!

  3. anon 108
    anon 108 June 25, 2013 at 11:01 am | |

    Here’s my current favourite Dog Party song:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=mZuGOSFLFjI&NR=1

    Fab!

  4. Fred
    Fred June 25, 2013 at 3:42 pm | |

    Dan the Man:

    “Twenty years ago at Notre Dame, and finally defeating an opponent in another country, and speaking with Muhammad Ali, I had a vision. One day, I’m the richest man in the world, using 98% of profit to share with all employees, ending written slavery on Earth forever. While my ex was pregnant, dreaming that my son would one day need a revolution, to now, twenty years later, that I was touched by God who told me I’m the angel, Maitreya– M-A-I-T-R-A-Y-A”

  5. Harlan
    Harlan June 25, 2013 at 4:11 pm | |

    .. And why are we quoting poor Dan Quinn again??

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBuMFDHkrH8

    1. Fred
      Fred June 25, 2013 at 6:11 pm | |

      Because 5,000 punches to the head and constant weed use causes permanent
      swelling of the brain

      1. Harlan
        Harlan June 25, 2013 at 9:09 pm | |

        Oh.. I knew there was a good reason.

  6. The Grand Canyon
    The Grand Canyon June 25, 2013 at 5:00 pm | |

    I like Dog Party but I think I would like them even more if they had a bass player. Maybe someone who looked like a young Rosario Dawson, for example.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVcGsfq89IQ

  7. Mumbles
    Mumbles June 25, 2013 at 6:15 pm | |

    Dog Party’s okay, but I prefer P.D. Eastman’s “Go Dog Go!” version…

    Harlan, “Mountain”s a gem from end to end, here’s a goodun…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpEn1lWBY7k

  8. Harlan
    Harlan June 25, 2013 at 8:34 pm | |

    I guess I like Dog Party all right.. won’t get too gushy over them tho.
    I have more fun listening to John Hyatt.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_uq5CQG3ZBI

    Mumbles, You’re right about Taneytown.

  9. stn
    stn June 26, 2013 at 4:04 am | |

    When I worked at NH Peace Action we often hosted speakers who were on tours similar to your living room tour and transportation was often part of the deal. Generally our members would house, feed and drive speakers while they were in our care. Someone always stepped up to help and they often felt lucky for the one on one time with the person. Often we could get our speakers a paid event at a local university (student activity fees support speakers the students request for campus groups) and then usually we could find a church or bookstore to co-sponsor other events around the state. They often then used public transportation between cities (busses and trains are cheaper than rental cars). I would imagine this is an exhausting way to travel but also rewarding in other ways. For NHPA it was a win-win since it enabled us to bring more interesting people to the area for our members to meet and enjoy and it gave our members a meaningful way to help support our efforts to wage peace. The speakers got to meet really great local people, sell a few books and promote whatever it was they were working on.

  10. Tattoozen
    Tattoozen June 26, 2013 at 7:56 am | |

    Glad you enjoyed your talk with us, we certainly had as many people as the place would hold. Doing the the “driver from the last gig to the next one” system might be a good one, I would have had no problem carting your ass from Pittsburgh to ohio if that made your life easier.

    Im about halfway through the new book and Im really enjoying it. I would think a lot of athiest zennies who have sat for awhile find themselves “feeling” that sort of connection with “something” after awhile. I know I did, I dont call myself an athiest anymore, but then again I dont call myself anything in particular anymore. Maybe zen doesnt help one “see” god so much as it helps to reveal how blurry our lines of sureness are.

  11. Zafu
    Zafu June 26, 2013 at 9:17 am | |

    Brad,

    You might be looking at the situation in the wrong way. If your purpose for touring is making money then perhaps you shouldn’t be looking at the cheapest way to make a little bit of money, but looking at how to make more money. Valued speakers get thousands per gig. Not in the Zen sphere of course, unless of course you want to be another Genpo. But of course you don’t want to be a Genpo, because you’re brand is partly built around not being a Genpo. So, of course, perhaps, you are thinking rightly. :}

  12. Fred
    Fred June 26, 2013 at 10:08 am | |

    Maybe you aren’t advertising your product the right way.

    “A Big Heart Retreat is a unique opportunity to work closely with Genpo Roshi in a small group, including six hours a day of Big Mind and meals and informal time with him. It will allow you to focus on the specific places where you are stuck in your life, to untie knots that may be adversely affecting you for years, and to realize a deep experience of True Self, a profound state of samadhi and an unconditional faith in what is.”

    If you want to make the big bucks, you have to guarantee a ” profound state of
    Samadhi ” in 5 days. ( *or some ego simulation thereof*)

    Since we are already enlightened, and emptiness is all around and within us, it
    shouldn’t be too hard.

  13. bootstudseattle
    bootstudseattle June 26, 2013 at 8:42 pm | |

    Ok, Brad and everyone. Get a Costco card. Use costcotravel.com to book your rental car. I don’t work for Costco but there are no deals on car rentals better than through Costco Travel. This truth has been experienced by me and many other people. Keep up the awesome work! I’m totally loving your new book which I actually bought as a real book rather than Kindle.

  14. SoF
    SoF June 26, 2013 at 9:36 pm | |

    Dang!

    There IS some weirdness.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvHD0WD_Mgk

    “Meet former Notre Dame ballplayer and UFC fighter Dan Quinn, also known as the angel Maitreya, also known as the inventor of cold fission. That’s his face, it’s really big. He stopped playing ball amid an allegedly bogus attepted rape charge, so he instead decided to fight for a living. Nowadays he’s over 40 years old and lives with his mother. God has spoken to him, however, informing him of his angel status and now he spends his afternoons mixing the sweetener stevia with water in a blender, which “explodes into a soup” (the miracle of cold fission) and purifies your body when you drink it, cleansing your body of cancer and excess weight. According to him, he is the toughest man on the planet thanks to stevia’s health benefits, and compares himself to Muhammad Ali regularly. Dan threw his son down the stairs to prove stevia has magic power and compared it to the war in Iraq. The power of stevia brought his nearly-dead cat back to life. He has an imaginary friendship/partnership with Mark Brannon (Mel Gibson from Tequila Sunrise) and he thinks the character from the Bad Boy clothing line was modeled after him because he beat up 5 guys at a bar one time.”
    http://www.somethingawful.com/d/news/dan-quinn.php

    He makes EST look tame!

  15. Harlan
    Harlan June 27, 2013 at 5:17 am | |

    Form does not differ from emptiness: Emptiness does not differ from form.

    Devo drummer Alan Myers died of brain cancer on June 24, 2013. He was 58 and died in Los Angeles Ca.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYwL3SmcnB4

  16. Shodo
    Shodo June 27, 2013 at 6:20 pm | |

    Hi Brad,
    You gave an interesting talk at the Newark Natural Foods Co-Op… Didn’t get a chance to talk to you, as I was working at the time… had to get up and down too much.

    I had a question.
    Who did you write this book for?
    …and…
    What central point did you want the reader to go away with after reading your book?

  17. Fred
    Fred June 28, 2013 at 5:07 am | |

    “Form does not differ from emptiness: Emptiness does not differ from form.’

    That may be, but does it have any validity for the conditioned self living in
    its flesh and blood world of culturally sanctioned words and thoughts.

    It would appear to be some buzz phrase/meme from the Buddhist sanctioned
    body of conditioning.

    Why did Brad right this book?

    Because he can, and he did what he was meant to do.

    What were you meant to do and be?

    1. Shodo
      Shodo June 28, 2013 at 7:28 am | |

      “It would appear to be some buzz phrase/meme from the Buddhist sanctioned
      body of conditioning.”

      It would also appear to be a line from the Heart Sutra…

      “What were you meant to do and be?”

      Who knows. I’ll tell you when I’m done.
      But as for Brad’s thesis – what I gathered from the talk, with me having to get up and all, was that this ineffable experience that occurs in zazen when one gets really really quiet, is what you are calling god.
      Is that correct?

  18. Fred
    Fred June 28, 2013 at 8:00 am | |

    Is he calling it god or God or the underlying ground that is alive?

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