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Widespread Panic: Behind the Jam on the Band's Tour Bus

Watch John Bell and Co. discuss 20-plus years on the road and more

May 9, 2008 2:54 PM ET

Singer John Bell shows off his bunk, plus the books and journals he keeps nearby to pass the time on the road (and write a few songs).

What lurks in the cupboard on the Widespread Panic bus? Sardines, Truffle oil and plenty of cereal.

Widespread Panic with their bus in March 1987 — John Bell tells some tales of the old days, when he was the band's driver and mechanic.

WSP discuss what it's like to be tagged as a jam band.

Axeman Jimmy Herring joined the band last year following a couple of replacements for the group's original guitarist, Michael Houser, who died in 2002. Check out Bell discussing his new bandmate's skills and Herring obsessing over chord mathematics.

Take a tour of the back of the bus and find out who does the band's laundry.

Find out why Bell refers to the group's tour itinerary as "The Book of Lies!"

The band has never played the same set twice — hear how they plot their shows.

Bell discusses New Orleans, the city where he met his wife and, after donating money to help rebuild after the Katrina disaster, became buddies with Brad Pitt.

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Song Stories

“Long Walk Home”

Bruce Springsteen | 2007

When the subject of this mournful song returns home, he hardly recognizes his town. Springsteen told Rolling Stone the alienation the man feels is a metaphor for life in a politically altered post-9/11 America. “Who would have ever thought we’d live in a country without habeas corpus?” he said. “That’s Orwellian. That’s what political hysteria is about and how effective it is. I felt it in myself. You get frightened for your family, for your home. And you realize how countries can move way off course, very far from democratic ideals.”

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