Example: Rich Bozzett, Tour Manager for Bon Jovi
What people think he does: Go to the same concert every night, sell overpriced band merchandise that no one really wants, take advantage of groupies trying to meet the artists and generally live a very fratty, on-the-road lifestyle.
What he really does: Tour managers help organize many aspects of the musicians life while they are on the road. They are responsible for keeping the band or artist on time for all of their commitments during the tour. If they have a radio interview in New York and a show in Boston they need to get to the station on time so they can leave for the next city on time. The best laid plans can easily be derailed when dealing with an artist's busy schedule. Additionally they are held responsible for ensuring that all of the artists needs are met while he or she is on the road, this includes checking the green room when they arrive at a show and making sure the rider has been fulfilled to checking in at hotels and making plans for their meals.
"As tour manager I never missed a show. The original members and I never missed a show and as tour manager my job is to make sure that band is on stage on time. Unless someone breaks their arm or Jon’s throat is in a critical situation, where he can’t sing and the fans won’t enjoy it; we put that show on. But to have a band member disappear, it was a little scary that day." - Rich Bozzett as told to Lithium Magazine