Rocking hard or hardly rocking?
August 1, 2007 4:28 PM   Subscribe

How do I become a tour bus driver?

OK, so I'm in love with the rock life. I spent the last three years doing FOH sound for a touring band and they fired me for reasons not entirely made clear to me and then hired a ringer to take my place. I love doing sound, found that I love doing guitar tech, tour management, driving (15 passenger van, RV), merch, and all the other stuff that is involved with a touring rock show. So much, in fact, that I would like to start an artist support company to hook road crew up with needy bands.

Still with me? Good. Now, I'm currently going to school for CDL training (class a + passenger endorsement) and have my road test scheduled for August 18th. I want to get solid experience driving a tour bus so I have another useful skill in my utility belt. Supposing all goes well there and I become a licensed commercial driver, how do I go about finding, getting in touch with, and getting hired by an "artist's motorcoach" company? It seems like a pretty "who ya know" type industry, and as I didn't make very many solid networking contacts in my time with the band (working for friends gave me a false sense of job security), I'm kind of at a loss for where to go and what to do once I'm done with step one.

FWIW- I'm currently based in NJ, willing to relocate, and might just end up driving the big rigs to make money in the meantime, as there seems to be plenty of work there, but I'd love to be a tour bus driver to get the miles under my belt.
posted by knowles to Travel & Transportation (2 answers total)
I have no clue how to get into that particular job...but if you're looking to work while you figure out your way in, you might consider driving for a *regular* tour bus company. I had a long talk once with a guy who went from cab driving to bus driving (this is when I was a cabbie myself), and it seemed like a nice gig. Plus, I think you'd be closer to where you want to be, with better chances for networking and getting into different gigs, than if you were driving trucks.

I would think that Jersey would be a fine place to find such work - buses to Atlantic City & Foxwoods, for starters. If you already have your CDL, so much the better - just call some companies and find out who's looking for drivers.
posted by Banky_Edwards at 5:10 PM on August 1, 2007

holy crap knowles. i don't really have an answer for your question but we knew each other in former lives; just wanted to say hello.
posted by exit at 3:31 AM on August 2, 2007

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