Don Crawford

In life, love, and rock 'n' roll, it's not just who you know. It's who knows you. And for many of the biggest, baddest, and brightest, there are two little words that act like a speakeasy's secret password, assuring entry into the hazy, crazy, velvety world of superstardom. Those two words are "Don Crawford."

As commander of the fleet of Gibson's luxurious buses, Don has been there, done it, seen it, and kept it secret. From his days driving for Louis Armstrong to tours with the Grateful Dead and No Doubt, Don has been both eyewitness and smooth-talking participant in a life that musicians and gypsies know all too well.

Bill Murray

"The road offers a life like no other," Don reflects. "I'm extremely nomadic in nature so the road is well-suited for me. I prefer to drive at night and early morning. That's when I see the most wildlife and experience peace and calmness."

With a "what happens on the bus stays on the bus" attitude and a gleam in his eye, Don is as comfortable double-clutching down a steep incline on an icy road as he is charming a leggy blonde over a cocktail. Over the years, Crawford has become somewhat of an insider's litmus test—if you know Don, you're okay—and his legend seems to be growing. Every day, Gibson gets about a dozen e-mails asking about him.

We've kept him under wraps for long enough. Now, without further hesitation, we're answering the question we are so often asked: "Where's Don?!"

"Since we last talked, I've been everywhere. I've been really doing a lot of stuff. After Les Paul's birthday, I went to open up that new Hard Rock Café in Boston. That was marvelous. We had the Blue Man Group there—just a dynamite time. Then I went from there to the concert in Miami with the Police, and then to Nashville for Gibson's Summer Jam. Doyle Bramhall was there, and of course over the weekend at Crossroads Doyle was there too so I got to see him again.

Bill Murray

It's hard to explain Crossroads. Crossroads had this feeling in the air. It was something very special—to me it was. It was special and unique. You have to remember now, they had 20 different artists there and the artists ranged from Eric Clapton to Doyle Bramhall to B.B. King to Willie Nelson to Sheryl Crow. They also had Bill Murray [right] there as the comedian. He's really funny. It was just an incredible cast.

We had Skunk Baxter on the bus again. I've worked with him on Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy Camps, and he's the nicest guy. He used to play with the Doobie Brothers, among other people. And he couldn't wait to come on the bus. He came up and gave me a big hug—"Don! I couldn't wait to get on the bus!"

Show day, which was Saturday, I was busy on the bus. But Friday afternoon I caught sound check. And of course there were maybe 50 people there total, and that's when they really rock out and crack up and have fun. And, oh, that was really exciting. I saw most all of 'em, Eric Clapton included.

We had a lot of people on the bus all day Saturday. It was constant. What I do is I bring eight people on at a time, and I give them a little four-minute tour. And while I'm touring the eight people, I have another eight seated up front. And then I just go non-stop until my voice gives out. But then I just drink some water and keep going again. If don't have a lot of time, I can't answer all the questions.

What I have found is that people are followers, and wherever I go, they go. So I have learned to always move when I'm talking. Just keep moving and they will just follow me in and out of the bus and not even know it."