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Thursday, June 30, 2005

THE LOAD OUT

I've mentioned Jackson Browne a few times on this blog. Unconciously I have become a fan. One of the songs that worked this spell on me is 'The Load Out' from the Running On Empty album. The past two evenings I worked a load-in and a load-out for a outdoor concert. I am bone tired, sore as all get out, and proud. I kept singing 'The Load Out' to myself as I was working:

"They're the first to come and last to leave
Working for that minimum wage
They'll set it up in another town"

Now, don't let Jackson fool you, stage hands get paid a fair sum better than minimum, I'd venture to say even in 77.

It's hard work, physically. Even the veterans get weary by 5 AM. Why? Why do people do this? The hours suck, home and family become vague notions, the food is bad, and obioulsly mother nature hates you, but yet certain people are drawn to this life.

"Tonight the people were so fine
They waited there in line
And when they got up on their feet they made the show
And that was sweet--
But I can hear the sound
Of slamming doors and folding chairs
And that's a sound they'll never know

Now roll them cases out and lift them amps
Haul them trusses down and get'em up them ramps
'Cause when it comes to moving me
You know You guys are the champs"

Damn straight. You will meet the greatest people on a raod crew, and some of them are the greatest assholes you'll ever meet, but they are champs. When you're flying 3,000 pounds of monitors on each side of the stage, there isn't any room for error, it's gotta be right, every night.

Comments:
Who was it you crewed for?
 
You gotta go and ruin the fantasy huh? Okay, it was the New York Pops. Soundwise it was very interesting, they ran 48 pairs of lavs, each pair clipped to the music stand in front of each musician, except the percusion, I didn't get to see what exactly was going on up there, but I did see a large diaphragm Neuman type mic coming off the stage, probably for the tympani. The vibes were electric, they had pick-ups in 'em. They were using some digital Yamaha board with a bizzillion knobs and a screen. Everything got wet.
 
Great homage to the Road Crew. I remember seeing a great sign on a road crew bus...

"good girls go to heaven, bad girls go backstage".


I'm curious if the NY Pops employ that policy.

did you get your shirt yet?
 
I gotta go by the office, package delivery at the studio is a rough deal. Thank you, I'll put it on immediately.

New York Pops chicks do it with a conductor.
 
And conductors do it with a wand...
 
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