Punk rock troubadour Frank Turner just did something only two artists before him have ever accomplished. He played 50 shows in 50 days in 50 different cities across the United States – an endeavor that was no doubt excited and exhilarating all at the same time.
The other two brave acts to attempt the journey were George Thorogood and The Melvins. Thorogood made the trek in 1981, while The Melvins climbed the mountain in 2021.
Speaking with NME while in Hawaii, Turner said he was “shell-shocked” from the experience and, “I had the idea of playing 50 states in 50 days prior to the pandemic, and it’s been on ice for the last little while. In the context of post-pandemic touring, it seemed like a cool way to hit the ground running and a re-statement of intent. I’m on my ninth record and my 17th year of touring as a solo artist, and this isn’t a bad thing to have a hook to hang a tour off.”
Turner also described the start of the tour as brutal, revealing he got COVID just before it was set to kick off:
“For that reason, I had to play some two-show days in order to buy travel time down the West coast of the country. Those two-show days were genuinely quite front-loaded, so I recovered from COVID, jumped on a plane, and then did something like 20 shows in 12 days. That was brutal. It would have been brutal at any point of my career, but after having had two years off and having turned 40, that proved quite challenging!”
To celebrate completing the journey, Turner got a tattoo on his leg, a forever reminder of an accomplishment that puts him in rarefied air. Are you a Frank Turner fan? Are you surprised he was able to complete the gauntlet?