for Concert Technicians and Events Crew
*ATTENTION ALL CURRENT ROADIEJOBS MEMBERS*
I do not even think I can choose. I love every tour that I have done. They are all different but, basically the same. I think the summer fests might be the hardest work but, the most fun overall if I have to pick something.
Any tour with Kotton Mouth Kings... But my favorite time with them had to be the time I just went to see the show, and the backline tech had just been sent home. KMK, Tech9, Hed Pe, Big B & Dirtball and I was working for everyone of them suddenly. 3 buses and a semi, I didn't leave with the tour I met them the next day, when another tech says to me. MAN! I thought we lost you already I was looking for you when I got up, when I arrived for load in the next day. It was a three man crew me being the third member, 4 if you count the FOH guy but we wont go there. :)
It was a whirlwind 3 weeks, and every minute of it was awesome! The venues were all 800-1500 cap. and everyone of them was filled to the rim. Being with an artist that has the type of fans they have, made every day something to look forward to. The more times I went around with these guys, the more of their fans I seemed to recognize and know. There is nothing like arriving at 1PM and seeing the line around the block for a show that doesn't start until 8PM.
Wandering outside was like stepping into another dimension.. Juggalos and Juggalettes, Kotton Mouth Kings and Queens and StrangeMusic Heads, say what you will about the club level tour but I'll take it any day!
The 1970 tour I did with THE WHO as Gemini Light Shows.. I did light show and the TV projection for a concert. I did a live black and white three camera video mix to Kalart Victor TV projector. The video was mixed in with the light show. I used eight Kodak Slide projectors. Shot all the slides myself with the band. Two projectors were metal German Kodak projectors modified with 1,000 watt bulb and used Technamtion slides with polarized discs. I had four Kodak film projectors. Two had reels with films I shot with 16mm Bolex the other two had films loops that would repeat I could control the speed to time with music. I also had three overhead projectors two had clock crystal dishes that you could pulse to the music. One had a speed control hair dryer to blow the liquids around. I found special dyes that were soluble in oil and water and would mot mix. I had to build my own control panel. It had 16 dimmers and momentary switches to control all the projectors and strobes. I used to run the control panel and the three camera video mixer at the same time using both hands. I three years later was using lasers on the tours.
I have now designed and built a state of the art eight robotic camera video mixer which is the size of desktop. It has video modules for each camera, others for video loops that can repeat, I have one of overhead liquids, more modules for stills another one module records and another streams live all with a mouse. The TV 12,000 lumen TV projectors are the size of a small suitcase how far I’ve come doing tours for 47 years.
Hard to say. I guess the best was my very first tour. I landed the gig of bass tech with MANOWAR, loudest band int he world. Travelling all over Europe. Four busses and four trucks. Harley motor bikes on stage with the muffler miced up and running through the PA. I learned a lot on that tour. Got spoiled because they toured with their own catering. I have fond memories of that tour, made lots of good friends. Unfortunately things soured with management afterwards but that's ok.
My current gig has also taken me far and wide so I can't complain. Favorite of the bunch: Gogol Bordello, Throw Rag, and Scotch Greens. Again, the first one in a long line.
That's a hard question to answer, but one of my very favorite was the 1978 Electric Light Orchestra "Out of the Blue" aka the "flying saucer" tour. It began in Europe and ended four months later in Anaheim CA. I can't say enough good things about my fellow backline crew. Brian Jones, Pete Mertins, and Phil Copestake were the most fun to work with, and Richard Tandy was a real gentleman to work for. At the time ELO was pretty cutting edge for 1978, with lasers, Midas consoles, a great PA. Other than the keyboards and drums, the whole band was wireless (Schaffer Vega). The whole band's attitude towards the crew was one of respect. That all came down from Jeff Lynne and road manager John Downs (Upsee). Sadly, Downs past away some years later while on tour, and we lost the FOH tech and brilliant mixer in his own right, Davie Kirwood last year. 1978 was a very good year.
Chickenfoot 2012. Very laidback, everyone got along. 2 busses, 2 trucks (charter plane for the band). I had a great time. The guys in the band were great!
I have two,
1999 was a great year out with Faith Hill. Faith and her band were absolutely wonderful to me (and everyone else) And the crew I had to wrangle didn't need much wrangling. Professional! Sometimes during meet and greets Tim and I would sit inconspicuously in the back or to the side, smoking cigarettes and yakking, watching.
After that was James Taylor, 2003 to 2008. James would grab his plate, walk over and sit down and eat dinner with you and talk carpentry or whatever. . The band and crew, (The crew which signed on to return year after year), were / are, great people, too.
Memories, ah, yes!
I love(d) touring.
I will always thank Ralph Perkins for pulling me on-board for both of them.
I had other tours and worked with some great people, but these two stood out!
Van's Warped Tour 2013, it's my first tour and it's amazing!!!!