Maroon 5 spent three and a half years touring to support their Grammy-winning Songs About Jane. It was a journey filled with backstage naps on dirty couches, new tattoos, sweaty gigs and venues left littered with empty beer cups — and now they have nearly 300 pages documenting the experience.
"Midnight Miles: On the Road Through 5 Continents & 17 Countries," due this week from MTV Books, is the story of the group's lengthy trek, told mainly through photographs taken by Christopher Wray-McCann that take the reader backstage, onstage and just about anywhere else you can imagine — with a few insights from the bandmembers scribbled along the way.
The band is already in the process of making its next album (which frontman Adam Levine promises will be "f---ing good"), and hopes that its next tour will be an even bigger love affair with Maroon 5 fans, even if one of their members may not be able to join them. "Midnight Miles" includes several pages of text from Ryan Dusick as the drummer describes the challenges he faced as he began to experience health problems on the road.
The following is an excerpt of Levine's writings (including his unusual formatting) in "Midnight Miles":
I figure, why not just spout out my real emotions as they come? I'm sure my words will be properly edited and chopped so that I sound coherent and articulate. Anyway, I ... just can't believe this moment is actually upon me.
contributed to writing two number-one hits.
have two new siblings (a brother, Sam, and a sister, Liza).
fell in love.
fell out of love.
won a Grammy.
lost an aunt and an uncle. (Marjorie Williams and Jack Cooper, two people who made indelible impressions on my life in almost completely opposite ways.)
became a relatively well-adjusted adult.
am plagued with that overwhelming pressure of delivering it all again.
have never been more excited, turned on, and energized about life.
am extraordinarily lucky and grateful for the amazing life I've been given.
feel things more than ever.
lost a drummer, but, hopefully, not a friend.
have grown weary of politics and try to avoid them at all costs.
traveled and seen a pretty substantial chunk of the world.
watched the world around me expand.
continue to be a sponge.
continue to try to open my mind more everyday.
have an unbelievable group of friends, my extended family.
(They know who they are.)
got a golden retriever named Frankie who is one of the best creatures in the world.
In his section of "Midnight Miles," Dusick explains what happened to him on the road:
When we returned from Europe to start our first full-length headlining tour of the States, everything came to a head. I was utterly exhausted and jet-lagged to an unreasonable degree, yet our first single was finally starting to take off and ... our schedule only intensified. We played three sold-out nights at the House of Blues, with TV appearances early each day, and by the end of the third show, my right arm was shaking so hard I was incapable of signing my own autograph. By the middle of the tour, exhaustion, intense pain in my right arm, and subsequently deteriorating coordination playing the drums rendered me unable to continue. There we were, finally beginning to experience the success for which we had worked and dreamed about so long, and I couldn't keep up. Before I took my first break from touring, I lived with the daily anguish of knowing that it was just a matter of time before my body would give out on me. Every show was a rush of adrenaline and pain, excitement and agony.
I finally went home for a week to rest, flying in our good friend, Ryland Steen, to take my place for a few shows. When I returned I was so determined to rise above the pain that I somehow managed to keep it together through the end of the tour. ...
Sadly, my difficulties performing lingered. We had another long year of touring ahead of us, and I did anything I could to avoid pondering the worst. We kicked off another European tour with promises of a break when we got home, but it was not to be. When we received our "revised" itinerary, we were at the airport in Milan, and I broke down. I saw another break evaporate and I could barely function. I knew I was near the end and it wouldn't be long before my grip would fail. From there we went to Australia, where my exhaustion and pain reached new depths, and then straight into a college tour of the States, during which my performances were feeble at best.
Halfway through that tour, I deteriorated to such a degree that both of my arms were pretty much useless. Josh Day ... was kind enough to sit in for me while I went home to undergo tests and physical therapy, expecting to have to miss a couple months of touring. There we were, enjoying ever more success, achieving unbelievable things, and I was on my way home. Over the next nine months I underwent every kind of exam and therapy imaginable, all the time thinking about the band performing without me. Matt Flynn ... assumed the drumming duties. No one could get a firm grip on what had gone wrong and how it could be resolved. ... All I knew is that I couldn't play the drums.