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They jam econo: Downsizing rockers go from tour bus to van

May 17, 2012|By Richard Fausset
  • Rock-It Ship outfits scaled-down rides for rockers with amenities such as satellite television.
Rock-It Ship outfits scaled-down rides for rockers with amenities such… (Rock-It Ship )

Attention groupies: You may still be able to board the tour bus. Just don't expect ample legroom.

In yet another example of downsized American dreams in the struggling economy, many rock 'n' roll bands are finding that touring the country in a tricked-out, old-school tour bus is just too punishing for their bottom line.

For some, the solution has been to pack it all into a van -- specifically, the custom Sprinter models by a Tallahassee company called Rock-It Ships.

The Tallahassee Democrat reports that the Rock-It Ship company outfits the smaller rides with satellite television equipment, a fridge and Blu-ray DVD player, and sleeping arrangements for up to seven people -- all while getting up to 22 mpg on the freeway.

Funk legend George Clinton and one-hit alternative rock group Marcy Playground are reportedly users.

Underground bands, of course, have long relied on smaller vans to get from gig to gig, with San Pedro's legendary Minutemen transforming their van obsession into a central plant of their self-generated mythology and working-man "We Jam Econo" ethos.

Not everyone is on board with sliding-door wishes and Econoline dreams: In a recent video, rapper Young Jeezy shows off what is touted as a tour bus with a $2-million price tag.

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richard.fausset@latimes.com

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