By Andrew Hampp
The costs of road life for touring bands can get unwieldy — flat tires, fuel shortages and busted gear are just three of the unanticipated expenses that impact artists’ profits on a day-to-day basis. Richard McDonald, executive vp of Fender Brand, is all-too-keenly aware of such hazards, having spent 19 years as a touring guitarist for world-music group Morningstar.
“There’s nothing like being broken down on the side of a highway in some P.O.S. vehicle in the middle of Minnesota, and you don’t know if you’re gonna make the next gig,” says McDonald. “It just feels so good to have a shiny, safe vehicle with safety in mind, so you can get to the next gig.”
Bearing this need in mind, Fender has introduced its first Fender Accelerator Tour, which will provide paid tour support for rising bands: a 15-passenger van, promotional and marketing support, and Fender gear including electric and acoustic guitars, basses, amps and other accessories. Participating bands include Night Terrors of 1927, Priory, Matthew Curry, Marmozets, Deap Vally and Waters on their respective current tours, running this week and extending through June.