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  • Writer's pictureSteve Fairclough

Road Rules Pt1:

Ok, Before we start, every touring musician/actor/performer has their own version of the Road Rules, and each is different and personal to them, so I'm not saying mine are anything other than the product of a warped mind, twisted by many years of travel, airports, hotels, venues. bars and restaurants.

However, in over 30 years of touring and being on the road I've never...

a) Lost a passport or tickets or paperwork

b) Left anything behind

c) Had anything stolen or taken from me

So, in this episode of Road Rules, and after a particularly gruelling week at the Gadget Show live at the NEC in Birmingham, here are Steve's Road Rules for Hotels.

1) Do not share with anyone. (especially Drummers and Roadies)

It's bad enough doing the "not knowing which side of bed to get out of 'cos you've forgotten where you are" dance without the possibility of falling on someone else. Also, if I have managed to get myself off to sleep using drink, drugs, self-abuse or a combination of all three, I willl FUCKING KILL anyone who lobs a pillow at my head because "You were snoring like mad etc..whine..whine.."

Seriously, I cannot be held accountable for my actions in that situation.

Anyway, thankfully, as a Solo Fingerstyle guitarist, I usually travel alone, so it usually doesnt apply.

2) Do not unpack your case.

You're not on holiday and you are not your wife.

Wives unpack cases and put shit in drawers etc.

You however should not. Here's why...

The holiest rule of all road rules is....


Seriously, with the exception of a plastic supermarket bag for dirty undies etc, whatever you take out of your suitcase should go back in it once you've found what you are going to wear for that day/night/performance.


Hotel staff.

Not all of them by any means. Indeed nearly all of them are good people, but there are a few in every hotel, just as there are in all walks of life, that are not good.

A few that will take their shit day out on anyone, and if that means your toothbrush is left out by the toilet on the morning that your chamber maid has just had a row with her boyfriend before she left the flat, a bust up with her superior, and the office screwed up her wage again, then your toothbrush is a possibility for being used to clean the underside of the toilet bowl rim.

How do I know? Like I said, I mainly travel alone, and one of the strange things about sitting in restaurants alone with a paper, is that staff seem to think you can't hear them talking to one another, and talk they do.

If you leave your shit out around your room, and leave your stuff in drawers and your case open, you are asking for someone to go through your shit.

Opportunity makes a thief.

I make sure everything is back in the case and locked down.

Of course, if the maid/cleaner really wanted to get to your stuff they could open your case up themselves, but there are supervisors wandering about, and opening a case is not easy to explain away.

Also, the site of a locked case on a bed has a slightly unnerving affect on them I find, and usually they just finish their work and move on quick.

Now, once again, its only a few staff that behave this way, but if you know someone who works in a hotel, they will know a member of staff like this.

3) If you have to complain, try to have a solution worked out in advance, so the member of staff you're complaining to doesn't have to think.

i.e. " Hello, you put me in room 312, but its dirty and it smells, what are you going to do about it....?" relies on the receptionist/under manager or whoever, knowing how to deal with situations, and they dont always have the experience.

However if you say "Hello, you put me in room 312 but I'm not happy with it, could you please find me a different room, away from the shyte farm at the back, and maybe offer me a bottle of wine with dinner to compensate me for my trouble" You are at least offering an instant solution to the problem, which the member of staff knows would be acceptable to you.

4) If you need to know a good place to eat locally, find the restaurant manager.

He's used to weighing people up as to what they're likely to spend, so he'll choose somewhere fitted to your purse, and he's got some professional pride in his choice. Receptionists are useless for this, as they're usually only in restaurants that they're taken to, and they eat nothing anyway.

5) Check that room service includes alcoholic bevarages if you think its gonna be a late one and you'll want a drink when you get back in. Even residents bars close if there's no-one about....

6) Always keep the hotel keycard in your wallet, or the key with your wallet.

Always leave the hotel room with your wallet, phone and key, EVEN if you're just nipping down for breakfast. Keep the Wallet, Phone and key together at all times.

7) Do not, in any circumstances, invite anyone back to your room.

Whether its for food, sex, drugs, beer, or computer games, Go To THEIRS!!!!!

Here endeth the chapter on Hotels.

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