Travel Diary: Musician's Essentials
Published: June 2009
Road rules for musicians who live for months out of a suitcase: fast-drying clothes, a stash of candy, and tour-bus-tough luggage
Latest Release Mobysongs: The Best of Moby 1993–98 (WEA/Elektra)
lighten up When I first started touring, I'd bring everything I thought I might possibly need. Then I realized that, unless you're going to desperately out-of-the-way places, you can get pretty much anything you want wherever you go.
carry on I just take an EMS knapsack with my iBook, a pair of socks, underpants, deodorant, a toothbrush, and toothpaste.
wash and wear Sometimes I'll throw clothes into the tub and stomp on them to wash them while I'm showering. I have a pair of polyester pants from the army-navy store that I wear when I perform. They dry really easily.
Stephan Jenkins, Third Eye Blind
Latest Release Blue (WEA/Elektra)
luggage Tumi, exclusively. It's the only stuff that doesn't just rip to shreds.
duds du jour I like Final Home from Kosuke Tsumura because it's breathable nylon, and vintage Chrome Hearts leather pants. Leather is good onstage because it doesn't really get dirty and doesn't show sweat.
hotel california The more trippy and funky, the better. The Chateau Marmont in L.A. is great. room ritual The first thing I do in any hotel is get rid of the bedspread, quick. Even in a five-star place, the bedspread gets washed only once a week, if that.
puppy love My dog, a very sweet pit bull named Boo, travels with me. She's a totally all-access dog. We stay at the SoHo Grand so much, we've asked them to name one of the dog statues out front after me or Boo.
Latest Release Righteous Love (Interscope)
luggage A fancy, shiny aluminum Zero Halliburton case with wheels and a lock.
warm reception I'll come offstage and I will have sweated through what I'm wearing. So I keep a plastic bag to throw that stuff in; then it sits in my suitcase and ferments until I get to my hotel room and can hand-wash it. I wear a lot of rayon things onstage–you can wash them, hang them up, and they're dry in a couple of hours.
voice lessons Swimming is really good for my lungs. The Four Seasons in Philadelphia has the best pool. It's in this beautiful underground grotto with palm trees; they must do something to the water so it doesn't have so much chlorine in it.
Latest Release Bachelor No. 2 (Superego Records)
luggage I had this great little Samsonite, and I packed so lightly you wouldn't believe it. But once we were in a really bad accident and my Samsonite went flying out of the van. Its frame was dented, and the hinges got loose. So now I use a soft-shell black Travelpro.
carry on I always bring a serious supply of anti–jet lag herbs with me. The best ones are Siberian ginseng and licorice. I just got Rescue Remedy.
be prepared A little mess kit–a knife, fork, and spoon, like the ones campers use–is a must. If there's food backstage, sometimes there's no way to eat it except with your hands. Often you haven't eaten all day, and when you have to spread mayonnaise with your finger, it's a little discouraging.
Simon Le Bon, Duran Duran
Latest Release Pop Trash (Hollywood Records)
luggage I have a Tumi. It travels well and it's quite innocuous.
dress you up I pack maharishi pants–they're light cotton, with flat pockets in the hip, an elasticized waist with those little snaps. I also bring flip-flops, sandals, Jil Sander Puma trainers, and a nice pair of Gucci or Patrick Cox loafers.
in my dopp kit La Prairie moisturizer–it does everything–and a crystal deodorant, which stops your smelling even if it doesn't stop your sweating. But then, I don't mind sweating; I am known for my wet patches.
room ritual I turn the air conditioner off straight away. There's usually a vent in the bathroom that sucks all the air out, so I get a shower cap and stretch it around the frame of the vent. Then I turn the shower on the hottest it will go, to get the room all nice and moist. The next thing I do is get rid of all those damn hotel magazines they leave everywhere. They've got to go!
Latest Release The Notorious K.I.M. (Queen Bee/Undeas/Atlantic Records)
luggage I prefer Louis Vuitton. I also have one Fendi suitcase and a Fendi trunk case for my jewelry. I always overpack; there's never enough room.
beauty regimen I like Clean & Clear cream for my face and Baby Magic bath gel for my body.
glam slam My favorite designers are Versace, Gucci, Sergio Valente, Iceberg, and Chanel. When I'm relaxing, I like sweatpants or a Chanel spandex jumper.
keeping healthy I drink plenty of water, eat a lot of vegetables–no red meat–and also try to get as much rest as possible.
sweet treats I always travel with candy–Blow Pops, Bubblicious gum, Twizzlers–plus Snapple Lemonade Iced Tea.
Rickie Lee Jones
Latest Release It's Like This (Artemis Records)
luggage I take a large garment bag to Europe if I'm going to be onstage. Porters don't like it, but it keeps my wardrobe and shoes protected.
flight fright one I find the whole flying thing very stressful, so I try to get to the airport early and bring lots of movies and books. I don't travel well: I sneeze a lot, I have to pee every hour, and I'm terrified of crashing.
flight fright two I bought Hannibal in paperback. It's too scary to read at home, though–I'm waiting until I have to take another plane.
service without a smile I avoid United unless there's absolutely no other way to get into a town, and even then I maybe take a bike or something. I have had so many more-than-unpleasant flight attendants on United. But I like American Airlines, and Delta's attendants are spectacular.
Latest Release Invincible Summer (Warner Bros.)
luggage A Swiss Army brand–great suitcases that aren't too expensive.
self-serve I try to keep everything in one bag. Pants on the bottom, shoes around the edges. Then I stack workout gear and T-shirts. But I pack much lighter when I'm on vacation.
constant craving The restaurant at the St. Regis hotel in New York has a great vegetarian tasting menu. For a vegetarian breakfast in Hamburg there's Zorba the Buddha.
tub time The first thing I do when I check into a hotel is take a long bath. Then I put on white boxers and a white T-shirt. I stretch a lot and floss my teeth. It's kind of a spa day in my hotel room.
B. B. King
Latest Release Riding with the King with Eric Clapton(Warner Bros.)
luggage I have an Anvil case for my guitar, Lucille; I check it right along with my luggage. Twice my guitar didn't get there when I did, so I had to borrow one to play.
home movies I have a little Sony video recorder that I carry because I'm a movie freak. My favorites are 007 and old movies like Stormy Weather.
road scholar I carry my computer as a tutor. There's a Microsoft encyclopedia on a CD-ROM that has a dictionary and world history. I get to find out about the culture, the music, the foods of different countries before I arrive.
plane picks I like the level of service on Northwest, KLM, Delta, American.They're always friendly and sometimes they even mention, "We have B. B. King on board." I have to go for them! And I fly first class. At 75, I think I've earned the right.