In this Crazy Tour Stories segment, the progressive metal artist, Ashtiani, shares one of his stories from being on the road. You can check out the story, after the break.
Several years ago I was in a band with the current singer of Stone Temple Pilots (Jeff Gutt) called Rival City Heights. We actually went on a 2 1/2 month tour in the middle east, and at the time while on tour we all had daily allowances for food and what not. At the time, I was living in an apartment in LA and was trying to save every dollar. Despite the rather sizable monthly retainer and healthy daily allowances, we were staying in 5 star hotels basically the entire tour. You can imagine how much room service at the Four Seasons would be…. and we didn’t have cars and we were being escorted to most locations by the military (another long story lol). So we couldn’t just go to the store and grab sandwich stuff, and we didn’t speak Arabic to get around easily. The only thing I could do was wait until we got to a liquor store or nearby convenient store and stock up on packs of ramen noodles. So inside of these 4 and 5 star hotels, I had a method to spend virtually nothing daily on this tour. The morning breakfasts are generally complimentary at these types of hotels (and really good), and you can usually grab a piece of fruit and bagel and bring it back to your room. Also, at the spa areas, lounge areas, or sometimes gym facilities there would be a fruit bowl where I would snag an apple daily. So this would account for my breakfast and lunch (and even snack possibly). For dinner every night….. you guessed it! Ramen. So in countries like Jordan, Egypt, Dubai, Turkey, and other similar locations in the middle east, almost every room has a percolator for making hot water for tea and instant coffee. I would use that obviously for the ramen, and I would make it inside the stainless steel ice bucket that each room was equipped with. This wasn’t the typical tour for me, but I ended up pocketing enough for that tour that it eventually became a hefty part of the down payment on my house and recording studio in the valley right now. All from just being a cheap skate on that one fancy tour ;)