Traveling the world is one of the major perks of a musician’s lot.

I have been fortunate to tour many places throughout my career. In this episode, I’d like to share a few of the perils of touring, some that involve risky encounters with a wood table, unfamiliar languages, weather and temperature changes, and warning signs. For more photos please visit the news at They might save your life or at least your fingernails and toes.


Speaking of languages, I recently encountered a rather unique situation in Gams, Switzerland.  I was fortunate to stay with my friend Urs Winkler and his family for three days prior to my concert and workshop.  For both fun and a challenge, I attempted to learn Swiss German and adapt some dialogue into my show.  By the time I was finished with the concert the audience was rolling in the aisles – probably due to my multiple mispronunciations and poor inflections.  But the effort was worth it as I apparently endeared myself to them for giving it the good -ole college try.


The following day I was presented with a class of 10 students representing six countries – Switzerland, South Africa, America, Canada, Scotland and Liechtenstein!  Faced with a situation where only half of them spoke English, I was fortunately quick to adapt to the situation and found my beloved interpreters who helped me teach the class.  This is when I suddenly realized beyond a shadow of a doubt that music truly is the universal language.


Regarding weather, I wound up often times in situations with my accommodations where the air was dead still, no A/C and no fan to move the air around. Some nights I woke up out of a sound sleep feeling like a monkey was sleeping in my mouth and I was eating cough drops like Pez candy.


One of the tricks with hotels I have found out (sometimes the hard way) is to locate all the possible places where I can stub my toe, jam a finger or simply clonk my head.  The dangers in each room continuously offer new obstacle courses to contend with and I have to remember to keep  my guard up and my toes down.


And then there was that unique hotel room – with an actual Gym literally right outside my window!


Richard continues to tour despite the obstacles of leaving the safety of this favorite chair. Next up is the UK and Ireland.

Originally posted 2012-09-12 13:41:29.