By Thomas Cowley
Recently guitarist Dan Donegan of Disturbed fame posted a Facebook statement expressing his and many other musicians predicament concerning the sacrifices they have to make when touring.
Donegan statement reads:
“Something a lot of people don't realize about musicians/crew is most of us are fathers/husbands and it never gets easy to leave our families behind! Not easy seeing my kids off to school yesterday and seeing them cry 'cause I have to tour. It is a great life to travel & play music but it can also be very lonely. I am not in anyway complaining about the life I have cuz I'm very fortunate & blessed.”
Donegan also touched on the fact that he personally has missed many aspects of life such as weddings, birthdays, funerals, and much more and that each of their families have to be strong in order to endure long times apart. But his statement wasn't about himself as much as it was those working just as hard, if not harder, who did not have all that he did.
“There's lots of great bands busting their asses that are happy just to make enough money to have gas to get to the next city. They put blood, sweat and tears into giving you their music & a show to help you feel good too. Do me a favor and it doesn't need to be my band (Fight or Flight/Disturbed) but if you hear about a new band, go buy their cd, knowing that all the sacrifices I've mentioned, that they are going thru similar things and missing their families too!”
Apparently several felt that Donegan's statement sounded like a “First World Problem” in comparison to the sacrifices made by members of the military and other law enforcement agencies. And while it is true that many others put far more on the line than musicians, that doesn't undercut his message or the initial point of it all. Anyone who knows anyone who has tried to make music or other equally risky careers work can empathize with the idea that if it is within your power to help and their work is worth it too you, that any help is appreciated. Personally I agree with Donegan. While he has become successful, that doesn't mean his words carry any less weight. He is not even talking about himself, but simply asking that we help others who need a boost in any way we can.
In response to the criticism, Donegan said:
“This is not a sob story! This is not comparing who makes a bigger sacrifice. Obviously, anyone who knows us knows our support to the troops and how hard it is for them and what they do. I also know truck drivers have it hard being away from family. The list can go on with many occupations. The point is that even though you may view us as rich rock stars living the dream that there is a human side to us that is our kids, family and friends.”
“I am also trying to make the point that bands go out and work hard and most with not much to show for it but their love for music is what keeps them going...I'm asking you to find some new bands and remember that they are giving you everything they got trying to make enough to go to the next stop. They, too, make those same sacrifices, so go out and buy another band's CD, go to a small venue and discover someone new.”