On G+, Stephen Shankland links to RMS’s travel rules. He faintly praises their transparency but finds them a bit bizarre. For contrast, here are my travel rules, from back when I was accepting a lot of speaking engagements:
Yes, mine are much simpler, but don’t be quick to judge RMS until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes. The kind of constant travel and speaking he does, and that I used to do, is more psychologically exhausting than anyone who hasn’t done it will ever understand. Even the smallest details of comfort start to matter a lot after a few months of it; it’s like your nerves get scraped raw.
I used to think rock bands on tour were just being primadonnas when their tour contracts specified minute details about their dressing room setups and what small luxuries promoters should lay on. Now I know better – it’s a psychological and even physiological survival tactic, minimizing cortisol stress.
So: conditions such as RMS and I insist on may look like we’re demanding to be coddled in odd and arbitrary ways just because we can (IIRC Perl Jam’s tour contract actually specified the color of the M&Ms in the bowl in the singer’s dressing room) but don’t you believe it. After a while such exactness becomes brutally necessary, and even so you still get weary unto death. This is high on the list of reasons I don’t tour any more.
And it’s doubtless harder on RMS than on me. At least I’m an extrovert.