I saw the cry for help on their facebook.
One of my favorite progressive metal bands The Ocean had their tour bus break down on the first half of their US tour with Job For A Cowboy and Between the Buried and Me. They didn't have anywhere to stay other than a van and, as always with a tour, cash was tight. (On one of their last European tours, they were even robbed at gunpoint. Now that's bad luck.)
I'm a fan. I had to help.
Within a few hours of texting them, I got a message back from Robin thanking me for a place to stay. Everyone was really humble and seemed incredibly pleased to not be sleeping in a van. With 10 people in their crew, it would have cost a couple hundred dollars for enough hotel rooms to sleep everyone. Losing that much money in one night can destory the profits of a tour, especially when tickets or merch sales are thin.
At times I got the vibe that they thought "I can't believe this guy is letting us just stay with him. Oh well, we'll run with this."
But I was excited to help! This was a perfect night for a fan! I got in on the guest list, bought them some beers and heard stories of life in the band. Nerd-vana.
We both won.
All musicians are family. We help one another. This is the oil that keeps the music industry's engine running. Not fancy promotions, not top-of-the-line gear, not even kickass merch is more important to keeping the musical world turning that people.
Give that guitarist a fresh set of strings if you have an extra. Share some free pizza you got with the other bands on the tour. If you've got space in your van, offer to help take some of the other band's junk and load out. Help, so that one day when you need it there will be someone there for you. Your reputation is all you have.
Similarly, don't be afraid to ask for help. Your fans love you, and love being able to support your art. It's fun for us! I'm glad I was able to do my duty to help the band. (Ulterior motive: this makes it more likely that they'll come back to my town, haha).
What an awesome night. Thanks for coming out to Dallas, y'all.