Top 5 All-time Bands Teachers Would Tour With

By Tom Bowler, Chief Music Thinker

The Survey Says

What could be a more unique and exciting way to spend summer vacation than riding in a deluxe motorcoach across the US with your favorite band? The shows, the parties, the celebrities, and the in-house drama would all add up to a thrilling, unforgettable time for most of us mere mortals.  And no less for us teachers.  For a few weeks the lesson planning, the parent consoling, and the principal avoiding would be forgotten in a rush of guitar solos, screaming fans and pyrotechnics!

According to the ESGI – ThinkFives survey, here are the Top 5 bands that teachers said they would love to tour with.


How could you get on tour with U2? Maybe you’re a guitar tech for The Edge (you could say things like “Hi, The Edge.”  or “I tuned your guitar The Edge.”), or maybe you’re Bono’s EVP of Sunglasses, or maybe you’re the ghost of Nelson Mandela.  No matter,  because every night you’ll be treated to one of the most thrilling stage presentations any band puts on.  U2 is known for their hugely popular repertoire, massive stage designs, and moving graphics with a hearty dose of politics. So don’t be afraid to get your Irish up, but just be prepared for Bono’s post-show grumblings about human rights and deforestation.  Probably better to find Larry and Adam and have a Guinness with the rhythm section. 

Where the Streets Have No Name

Maroon 5

I think touring with Maroon 5 presents an opportunity for us teachers to wear our wise parent hat. Even if we don’t have kids of our own, we know a lot about raising children. And you know those M5 dreamboats are gonna get into a lot of hijinks on the road.  We’re uniquely qualified to be the Road Mom or Road Pop.  We could give the boys advice about dating and teach them how to properly pack a suitcase so their pajamas don’t get wrinkled.  We could also show them how to disinfect their new tattoos. And most importantly we could make sure they quietly go to bed (lights out at 11pm) so they make the early flight to Vegas in the morning.  We don’t want Adam saying, “This tour is taking its toll on me!”



Who wouldn’t want to party on the bus with Justin Timberlake, Joey Fatone, Lance Bass, and those other two guys from NSYNC? Probably not me, but for many of you, this would be a great time. However, in the years since they first made teen girls and boys scream “Bye, Bye, Bye,” NSYNC have been in the news more for their personal lives than their music. Timberlake has had the best post-SYNC career, but most of us only know him as Britney’s ex.  Lance Bass came out as gay back when that wasn’t cool and Joey Fatone is mostly known today as a game-show host. It’s high time they let their music speak for them again.  Leave the drama behind and refresh their souls with a good dose of American road trip!

Bye Bye Bye

Bon Jovi

The other Jersey Boys not named The Boss, and the most successful of all the hair bands that ever were, Bon Jovi has “rocked them all,” since 1986 when “You Give Love A Bad Name” reached number one.  Who could resist their combination of hard-rockin’ power chords, soaring male vocals, catchy songs, and flowing, Farrah Fawcett-level flip-dos? (Well, me.  But again I was outvoted). I’m pretty sure they’ve sown the last of their wild oats, having given the old heave-ho to certified bad-boy Richie Sambora, so touring with them these days is a mostly sober family-oriented affair.  But no doubt the green room will be stocked with top-shelf only, so if there is any partying it will probably include Veuve-Clicquot.  OK I’m in. 

Wanted Dead or Alive

The Beatles

Get your Nike running shoes on, cause we’re going to be spending a lot of time being chased by screaming teenage girls through the streets of London. And New York, and DC, and Paris, and Manila, etc., etc. This is not going to be a chill affair.  This will be hectic, it will be crowded, it will be pushy, it might be maddening,  But to be there when the Fab Four sing “Close your eyes and I’ll kiss you,” on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964 would make it all worth it.  Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!

All My Loving

Honorable Mentions

  • Rascal Flatts
  • Alabama
  • Backstreet Boys
  • Grateful Dead
  • Earth Wind and Fire

As for the also-rans, I’m a bit surprised that Alabama still has such a loyal following. They go way back. I’m happy to see Earth, Wind and Fire on the list, probably the best pop/funk band ever. The Grateful Dead are no surprise at all. Folks have been touring alongside them since the beginning in their own VW vans, not the band bus. But if you do get to ride on the Dead’s tour bus, just avoid the Kool-Aid.  Or don’t.  It’s still summer vacation. 

What do you THINK?

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