Playin’ in a Travelin’ Band: A Playlist

Greg Kot

1 Min Read

Being part of a touring band can be exhilarating, a nonstop string of gigs in a new town every night. But at the start, the material rewards are often slight: Long hours far from home for barely enough dough to pay for gas to make it to the next club, while coping with broken drive shafts, lousy food and surly club owners. Yet generation after generation, this is how bands often begin their journey, inevitably leading to a bounty of vivid memories and hard-won experiences that can’t be acquired any other way. Here are a few songs that put us in the driver’s seat of the tour van. 

Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Travelin’ Band”:

After years of criss-crossing the country in search of an audience, CCR remained a travelin’ band. But instead of a car or van, they were traveling like the rock stars they had become in a Boeing 737. 

Greg Kot is the editorial director of The Coda Collection. He is also the cohost of the nationally syndicated public-radio show and podcast “Sound Opinions” with Jim DeRogatis, and previously the music critic at the Chicago Tribune for 30 years. His books include acclaimed biographies of Mavis Staples (“I’ll Take You There”) and Wilco (“Learning How to Die”) and a history of the digital music revolution (“Ripped”). He also coauthored “The Beatles vs. the Rolling Stones: Sound Opinions on the Great Rock ‘N’ Roll Rivalry” and has written extensively for Rolling Stone, BBC Culture and Encyclopedia Britannica. When he takes off the headphones, Kot coaches in his Chicago-based youth travel basketball program ( In addition, he has coauthored two best-selling editions of the book “Survival Guide to Coaching Youth Basketball.”

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