Road crew

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The road crew (or roadies) are the technicians or support personnel who travel with a band on tour, usually in sleeper buses, and handle every part of the concert productions except actually performing the music with the musicians. This catch-all term covers many people: tour managers, production managers, stage managers, front of house and monitor engineers, guitar techs, bass techs, drum techs, keyboard techs, lighting techs, pyrotechnic techs, security/bodyguards, truck drivers, merchandise crew and caterers, among others.

Road crew appearances[edit]

The road crew are generally uncredited, though many bands take care to thank their crew in album sleeve liner notes. In some cases, roadies have stepped in to help out with playing onstage.

Bruce Berry was a working man
He used to load that Econoline van...

  • Pantera, Motörhead and Godsmack even go so far as to feature their crew in their tour videos, and Motörhead wrote the song "(We Are) The Road Crew" about their crew.
  • Exceptionally, in the former Manu Chao band Mano Negra, the roadies were included as a part of the band when they signed for Virgin.
  • Todd Rundgren and Roger Powell invited roadie Jan Michael Alejandro to play piano with them, Ringo Starr and Bill Wyman on a live broadcast of the Jerry Lewis Telethon in Las Vegas. It was viewed by 33 million people. He also worked the last Led Zeppelin concert in Knebworth 1979, and he was one of the roadies that Jackson Browne wrote about on the Running On Empty Tour.
  • Jackson Browne on his 1977 tour, "Running On Empty", wrote his famous song "The Load-Out" (usually heard in a live version hybrid with a cover of the Maurice Williams tune "Stay") in order to honor his roadies.
  • Perry Bamonte was a long-serving guitar tech for The Cure, before filling in on keyboards during the final leg of the Disintegration tour after Roger O'Donnell's departure in 1991. He went on to play guitar and keyboards on four Cure albums, including major hit Wish.
  • Coldplay's video Life in Technicolor ii features roadie puppets four times: picking up the cymbal dropped by the drummer, operating the rope that widens the stage, moving a ramp onstage and operating the sound mixer. Some, or possibly all, of these puppets are modeled on the band's real-life crew.
  • Tupac Shakur joined Digital Underground as a roadie, backup singer and dancer in 1990, and appeared with the band in the film Nothing but Trouble to begin his rapping career.
  • U2's "One Tree Hill" on the album The Joshua Tree is dedicated to Greg Carroll, who was a stagehand in New Zealand. He joined The Unforgettable Fire tour, and after the tour he stayed in Ireland and became Bono's personal assistant.
  • Stuart Morgan, Adam Clayton's bass tech, filled in for the U2 bassist for a concert in Sydney in 1993.[1]
  • James Hetfield of Metallica has been—at least twice—temporarily replaced in his guitar duties by his roadie John Marshall during his various injuries (such as breaking his arm while skateboarding and after suffering severe burns after standing over a pyrotechnical device).
  • Tenacious D wrote the song Roadie off their 2012 Rize of the Fenix album to pay homage to their road crew. A video for the song featured Danny McBride as a stereotypical, long hair, black leather wearing roadie who grew jealous of the band as he watched their success from the sidelines.
  • Violinist Lindsey Stirling starts off her show by introducing every crew member. Moreover she records videos of interactions within the tour crew and puts them on YouTube.

Other careers[edit]

A number of roadies have gone on to join bands and write music.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.u2faqs.com/live/#2