Today I set my alarm four roadie shifts early and headed into the venue to investigate what goes on in the wee hours and stumbled into a cool adventure. My curiosity ended me up in an elevator with a bunch of local up-riggers headed for the high steel. Soon after I was traversing a maze of Cat walks in the roof with heart shuddering views and riggers clipped off
over death defying heights, dropping ropes and pulling chains.
Fun scary stuff, just don't look down:
The black dots are humans, the red squares are chain motor cases and the white chalk marks are where the motor points will hang.
**** Meet a Roadie Campaign Episode 8 Continues ****
Here it is, the last and final installment of this years Meet a Roadie Campaign and teary eyed end to Roadie Awareness Week. None caught the math error including myself but the 8 days of R.A.W. is now hearby revised to end whenever is does. In fact, lets just make it roadie awareness year, every year.
Excerpt from Day 89:
Bus and truck drivers have even earlier call times as they drive all night and sleep all day, these nocturnal roadies like riggers, hold our roadie lives and the safely of our beloved wires in the grip of a steering wheel. An interesting side note is that bus drivers typically get carted off to a hotel during the day, while truck drivers sleep in the micro hotel room located in the cab of their truck. Bus drivers drive straight through to deliver their roadie cargo while truck drivers do showers at truck stops that are setup for exactly that, along the way.
An official definition of 'Roadie':
The road crew (or roadies) are the technicians who travel on tour with musicians who handle every part of the production except actually playing the music. This catch-all term covers Tour and Production Managers, Stage Managers, Front Of House Engineers, Monitor Engineers, Guitar Techs, Bass Techs, Drum Techs, Keyboard Techs, Security/Bodyguards, Lighting Techs, and pyrotechnics technicians, among others. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roadie
From the above description it is clear that truck drivers and bus drivers are not actually true roadies but a clearly a related breed, possibly similar to the koala bear not being a true bear but actually being a marsupial. Regardless these cross country haulers of gear and humans are absolutely critical to our world, so I dub them all honorary roadies. Many of these guys, and we got ourselves one gal as well, are surprisingly specialized and tend to haul almost exclusively musical production. In no particular order and I apologize for the ones I could not capture on film, please say hello to our truck drivers and band bus drivers:
Bobby (Flea Bus), Doug (Crew Bus 1), Kurt (AK Bus) and Bobby Lee (Dimmers and Grid truck)
Now this cool shot with Roger (Sound/Subwoofers truck), Doug (Lights 2) and Nick (Wardrobe truck) standing next to the fuel dude. Why do we have a fuel dude? Well, we converted all the busses and trucks to Bio Diesel in Albany and so now a truck full of Bio fuel comes and fills 'em up at the gigs. How cool is that!
And look! John's bus driver, Eddie is an especially friendly bus driver and can be seen here offering us some food.
Security Dave practicing on our lead driver Scott (Rigging truck) and about to take a head slap is truck driver Vic (Backline truck).
Not shown but no less important and appreciated are Jack (Lighting truck 1), Nancy (Versa Wall truck), Bobby (versa Spines truck), Luc (PA truck), Chris (Truss truck) and Jason (Video truck).
Ok, gasp and wow, this was a much more challenging project than I anticipated but I have to say it has been an incredible learning experience, not only about the roadies but also about the tour. While doing my research and interviews I actually have a solid grasp of what the heck they all really do. Best of all, after five months on the road, the head nods of crossing paths are now hello's with names attached and that rules!
**** End Meet a Roadie Campaign ****
Stayed tuned for the Halloween Special Feature!