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By Mike Thiel, Post-Crescent staff writer

The life of a musician isn't all about the glory.

And for those who've never befriended a performer, the image of a touring rock star can seem like a fairytale. However, whether selling out stadiums or being the draw at a local bar, these same musicians are thrown back into reality when their sets are over. Just like the fast food clerk or the lawyer down the street, musicians have friends, family and sometimes significant others, but unlike a regular 9 to 5'er, a musician's time on the road can add a new level of complexity to any relationship.

In the past year, I've had the opportunity to speak with a number of musicians as their tours spilled into the Fox Valley and other parts of Wisconsin. During those conversations, I've made a point to ask them all one question: How do you handle relationships while constantly on the road in pursuit of a lasting music career?

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Robby Takac of the Goo Goo Dolls

Well, my wife, we've been together about 10 years and so when we met and we started dating, which was kind of like 15 years ago, we were already kind of doing this. This was my life already. To me, it doesn't seem any different than what I've been doing. The relationship's grown under this idea that I'm gone a lot. But you've just got to be patient. You've got to have good people around you who understand what this life entails. It's a lot different than a lot of people think. If you have somebody who's at home, who's jealous of you because they think you're out every night doing the conga dance up and down the aisles, throwing confetti around and drinking Mai Tais every night -- that's not what this is about when you do this many shows. And my wife's painfully aware of that. She'd rather be home anyway than driving around in a bus with a bunch of dudes (laughs).

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