Talk about a tough itinerary! It's bad enough that Richard Marx's aptly named "Rush In, Rush Out" tour has him playing five cities in a single day, a schedule condensing a cross-country tour into a single 16-hour marathon, all to promote his new "Rush Street" album. But with first performance of the day slated for the ungodly (by rock musician standards) hour of 9 a.m., Marx is in for an unusually exhausting day.
So who's harebrained idea was this?
"That would have to be me," Marx says over the phone from his home in Los Angeles. "I think I hadn't had much sleep the night before or something; I wasn't thinking clearly. . . .
"No," he laughs, "it was just really because there's a demand to promote the album, and the promotion part of it is tedious. It's not like playing gigs, where you can have a good time every night on stage; a lot of it has to be done before the album comes out.
"But I have a son who I want to spend time with, so rather than spend weeks doing a U.S. promo tour, I said to the record company people, 'Look, I think the background information on me over the last few years has pretty much all been said. So rather than just rehash it, why don't I just play songs from the album in as many cities as you can fit in one day? We'll do the whole thing in a day. You guys work it out and see if it can be done.' "
Apparently, it could be done -- and tomorrow, it will be. With a DC-8 on loan from MGM Grand Air and a promotional team spread across the country, Marx will give press conferences and half-hour concerts in Baltimore, New York, Cleveland, Chicago and Burbank. (Tickets for the Baltimore show are being distributed as contest prizes by B104-FM in Baltimore, and WAVA-FM in Washington; most had already been awarded by press time.)
"Now that it comes closer, I realize how unbelievably grueling it's going to be," admits Marx. "But it's really going to be a blast. The only thing I'm worried about is singing at 9 in the morning."
There are a few technical considerations, though. For one thing, the rush-rush schedule means that Marx and his band will have to rely on rented equipment -- there won't be time to unload and set up their own. Consequently, says the singer, "I'm always going to be wondering if the amps are going to blow up.
"But it should be pretty cool. I have the best production manager in the world, a guy named Chris Lamb. He's done everybody from McCartney to you name it. I'm going to trust that he's got it together."
As for keeping the flight on schedule, Marx refuses to worry about the weather, but does wonder a bit about the president of the United States. How so? "Somebody told me that one of the airports we're flying into is also expecting Bush a couple hours later," he says. "I'm wondering what's going to happen there. If we're on the runway doing a gig, and they tell the president that he can't land because Richard Marx is doing a gig -- that would be pretty funny."
When: Nov. 9, 9 a.m.
Where: Butler Aviation, BWI Airport
Tickets: B104-FM and WAVA-FM contest winners only
Call: (410) 466-1104 for information