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Road crew

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Road crews (roadies) working on the stage construction for a concert in an outdoor amphitheater in Portsmouth, Virginia.

The road crew (also known as roadies) are the support personnel who travel with an artist or 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, lighting directors, lighting designers, lighting techs, guitar techs, bass techs, drum techs, keyboard techs, pyrotechnicians, 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. It is common for guitar, bass and drum technicians (who are responsible for setting up instruments and sound checking them) to be skilled musicians in their own right, and they are naturally familiar with the music being played, so there are many cases where they have stepped in when band members have been injured or otherwise could not perform.

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.
  • Two songs were written about roadie, Ben Dorcy. These were Ode to Ben Dorcy by Waylon Jennings and Big Ben Dorcy the Third by Red Sovine.[1]
  • 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. Jan owns Jan-Al Cases with his partner Muffie Alejandro.
  • 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.
  • 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.[2]
  • 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).
  • In their 2007 DVD All Excess, Avenged Sevenfold brings much attention to roadies Jason and Matt Berry, noting their relationship with the band and their antics while the band is on tour.
  • Tenacious D wrote the song “Roadie” on 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.
  • A picture of The Allman Brothers Band roadies appears on the back cover of their At Fillmore East album.
  • In 2015, Built to Spill roadies Jason Albertini and Stephen Gere became the bassist and drummer, respectively, on the album Untethered Moon.[3]
  • Kasabian's 2017 album For Crying Out Loud features their roadie Rick Graham on the front cover.

Other careers[edit]

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

Prior to establishing an acting career, Harrison Ford was a roadie for The Doors.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Giardina, Courtney Ben Dorcy, Legendary Country Roadie, Dies at 92. Wide Open Country. September 16, 2017.
  2. ^ Matt McGee, Aaron Sams. "U2: U2faqs.com - Live / Concert FAQ". u2faqs.com. Archived from the original on November 6, 2002.
  3. ^ "Review: Built To Spill, 'Untethered Moon'". npr.org. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  4. ^ Rush, Ronnie (January 17, 2022). Life of a Roadie: The Gypsy in Me (Revised ed.). Independently published. ISBN 9798795968162.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: date and year (link)
  5. ^ "Two Steps Back". annotatedfall.doomby.com. Retrieved February 2, 2023.
  6. ^ DeRogatis, Jim (2006). Staring at Sound: The True Story of Oklahoma's Fabulous The Flaming Lips. Broadway Books. p. 69. ISBN 978-0-7679-2140-4.
  7. ^ "Tim Quy". Uncut (May ed.). Retrieved April 2, 2023 – via Facebook.
  8. ^ "Keith Levene, the Clash and Public Image Ltd Guitarist, Dies at 65". Pitchfork. November 12, 2022. Retrieved May 26, 2023.
  9. ^ Baines, Josh (July 15, 2016). "Alex Paterson From The Orb Picked His 10 Favorite Punk Records Ever". Vice.
  10. ^ Jourgensen, Al; Wiederhorn, Jon (July 9, 2013). Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen. Da Capo Press. p. 117–118. ISBN 978-0-306-82218-6.
  11. ^ Whaley, Jack (September 29, 2021). "When Harrison Ford Worked as a Roadie for the Doors". Far Out Magazine.