ON THE ROAD
Whether you spend life on the road for pleasure or work, it's nice to have the comforts
of home as you travel the highways and byways.
TRAILBLAZER checks in with folks who spend a fair amount of time on the road to see just what makes their home away from home.
This month, we chatted with recording star, EDWIN MCCAIN
During his highly-successful 20-year career, Edwin McCain and his songs have launched more marriages than many ministers.
With huge hits like "I'll Be" and "I Could Not Ask for More," Edwin knows a thing or two about love. His recent hit, "Walk With You," is now also a favorite for many brides.
His new album, "Mercy Bound," led to another extensive tour across the country in his 2000 45-foot Van Hool T945 bus. Named "African Queen," Edwin got his most recent bus from Four Seasons (www.fsleasing.com), a company in Lebanon, Tennessee, that has a star-studded list of clients.
In speaking of his love of buses (including his love of driving them), Edwin says, "I bought my first bus when I was 18 and I'm hopelessly addicted to owning [them]. It was a 1960 GMC 4104 that had two million miles on it. It was a former Greyhound that had been converted to RV status by a gospel group in South Carolina. And, my career would be at a total standstill without my diesel mechanic, Robby Cauley."
Edwin and his wife, Christy, have three children, and--though his legendary touring schedule of 100+ nights a year often takes him away from family and friends--he loves heading back to Greenville, South Carolina, his hometown.
What's your favorite thing about staying on a bus versus a hotel room?
It's like a womb. I've got my internet. All my stuff is there. It's like a little cocoon. It's comfortable. [My wife] Christy has threatened to build a "bunk" back at our house in Greenville.
What are a few of favorite things onboard?
Our Garmin (www.garmin.com) GPS that's made especially for large vehicles. You put in height and length and it routes us accordingly--and it even includes tight turns. And, I love my ice machine! I love our satellite system. Every tour would be marked with each movie we over watched--the movie that stayed in the VCR the entire time. For our "South Park" tour, everyone would gather in the lounge after a show and sing along with all the songs.
What are some of your favorite destinations and why?
I have to say home is my favorite destination. Greenville is the first thing I would mention. I love Austin, Texas, which has an amazing vibe. New Orleans has such a good character. I've written many songs there.
What do you like to do onboard while enroute?
I'm incessantly on the internet. My wife calls my computer my "girlfriend." I'm kind of an Ebay-er. I'm always amazed that something sold for so little--or so much. I also really like watching the "TED" talks, which are so well done (see www.ted.com/talks). They're addictive.
Do you like taking highways or scenic routes?
I like highways because they're easy to drive on.
What's your favorite meal to make onboard?
We don't really prepare food on the bus. It's a very bad idea [laughing]. If we can pull the bus up to an In-N-Out Burger (www.in-n-out.com), it's non-negotiable. As long as it's not more than a hundred miles out of the way, we'll head for an In-N-Out Burger. It's a good burger.
Have you ever gone camping with your family?
We once went to a football game with me, my kids, and a bunch of other dads and their kids. I was driving home and we pulled up to a toll booth, where the toll collector asked, "Are you towing anything." When I responded with, "A lifetime of regret," she didn't even crack a smile. I got nothing.
Seriously, we did take the kids to an RV park over at Lake Greenwood and they loved that!
Has anyone ever approached you at a rest stop or somewhere and asked to see your rig?
All buses have names and they're usually named for the first driver that drives the bus. We once had a bus called "The Drifter" and this bus had the name in big letters on the back. We were constantly trying to explain to people that came up to us thinking we were the original Drifters that it was just the name of the bus. The same thing happened on "Oasis" when that band from England hit it big.