Ben Here! Ben Smith and Daxx NielsonI can’t speak highly enough of the friends I’ve made during my travels playing music.  All the musicians, the back line techs, the audio, lighting and video techs and drivers, the caterers, the production people and the fans have supported me and helped me over the years.

When I get tired or lonely on the road, it’s great to see a smiling face and get out of my head by talking to another person about what’s going on with them.  We don’t often get to know each other well out here, but some people you just feel comfortable with, and we reach out to each other.

We finished up the Heart/Joan Jett and the Blackhearts/Cheap Trick Rock Hall Free For All tour a few days ago and it’s got me thinking, remembering and smiling. As Daxx X Nielsen posted, we played 41 shows together for over a half a million people, traveling a whole lot of road miles. We played flat places, hilly places, hot places, rainy places, and more than a few hot, humid, rainy places.

Through all of it we had each other. I personally thanked everyone I could, and was sad to see it end! Cheap Trick and Joan Jett have some very kind people in their camps, it was a pleasure every night to watch them play, work, mix, light and give a great show.

The Solotech audio and lighting folks were so good and so professional. The gear worked, the quality was there, and the fans appreciated it.

I guess the truth is that we all do a job we’re proud of.  We get to share the experience, even when conditions are weird. We come together, make it happen, get over the sore spots and keep moving. And when the last show is over and in the truck, we go to the next place with a different group of people and make more music.

I’m writing this from a bunk on a bus as we finish our short run of The Ann Wilson Thing gigs tonight. We get to go home tomorrow, and actually sleep in our own beds.  A week from now I’ll be back on the road, finishing up the Heart gigs for the year.

I won’t however, forget the kindness, fun and great music I got to experience this summer on our big tour. I send love to all of my friends who were on it, and I wish you all well. To all of our fans, friends and loved ones who had our backs as we all went on the road, I thank you with all my heart.

Let’s do our best to support our friends and families, all those who take time out of their days to see what we’re up to and hold us up as we journey through life.