Jump to content
Slate Blackcurrant Watermelon Strawberry Orange Banana Apple Emerald Chocolate Marble
Slate Blackcurrant Watermelon Strawberry Orange Banana Apple Emerald Chocolate Marble
Knebby

The Entourage

Recommended Posts

wow,there are some really neat pics here,glad I found this place

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Cookie that's great, he'll love it :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi MSG - I admit to having no idea! Is there a specific thing about the event that would trigger a memory if I was to ask him - feel free to message me if you don't want to freely discuss xx

Hey, I was just looking at this thread, I'm magnets son so I was wondering your connection to him?

Max Ward

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, I was just looking at this thread, I'm magnets son so I was wondering your connection to him?

Max Ward

PM sent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Old Roadies Never Die -- Kevin McNevins

August 20, 2003, 01:54:28 AM

I just heard (tonight) BBC Sessions and admit to ignorance that this quality stuff existed. I was a Showco (sound only then) roadie in 1970 and 71 both August-September tours - 1970 I joined Bill Heald and ShowSound (later Showco) founder and still Vari-Lite CEO Rusty Brutsche in Detroit at Red Wings hockey stadium and heard the show live for the first time - we went west to Milwaukee gig and then I drove truck to Oakland as gear flew in DC-3 freighter from Winnipeg to Vancouver to California - gigs in Oakland, LA and then gear flew to Hawaii and returned to Seattle where I met it - speakers severely damaged by air freight - Bill Heald and I repaired speakers in parking lot of Holiday Inn while Rusty did Boston gigs and flew back to meet us with repaired gear after doing Three Dog Night Shows in Seattle, Portland and Vancouver - we drove to NYC for Madison Square Garden gigs when LZ was announced "Number 1" by Melody Maker - very exciting way to finish tour - Next year was breaking of "Stairway to Heaven" and listening to CD tonight was remarkable experience that it was so true to memory with a few questions - (I don't remember keyboard/flute sound live on Stairway but could have been John Paul Jones who operated keyboard pedal device in acoustic set) - but otherwise Page's live magic with Les Paul, Binson Echo machine and antenna driven wave device (forgot name) and was hard to believe there was no tape or other tricks - Promoters like Terry Basset of Concerts West probably never believed it was all live - I would love to hear from people on the 70-71 routes - Forum (especially the two girls we trucked to Yuma), Boston Garden -Chicago Stockyards (Stadium?), San Antonio Hemisfair, Buffalo, Toronto Maple Leaf Garden, New Orleans, Miami (actually tin-roof sweatbox in Hollywood) Houston and our home of Dallas - also like to hear from LZ Crew headed by Clyve Coulson with Peter Parry and Mick Hinton with management by Richard Cole and mule work by Johnny Lark - what a great bunch of memories

Kevin McNevins

August 20, 2003, 03:26:50 PM

Thank you all for the warm welcome - I will be working on more recollections - should have written more down but I will get with my co-roadie George W. from the 1971 tour and get an itinerary of the tours to fill in blanks in memory. George still works for Vari-Lite after 30 years and Rusty is still CEO of the now public company - VLPS - After James Taylor, Cat Stevens, Alice Cooper US tours and Jesus Christ Superstar in Germany and Sweden I moved into office and was Treasurer from 1972- 76 and left in 77 - a bit worn from the ups and downs of show-biz. Showco had a great commitment to quality and service but was always over extended in pursuing lighting, PA installations, big screen video, Disco and home speaker systems, and group management (Bloodrock, Freddie King and a group Alexis than opened for a Bad Company tour but never got hot). I have a few recollections that may be interesting - I did not go to Honolulu either time - just Rusty and sound system with local stage help - I agree that the quality of the stage shows of 70 and 71 were probably never equaled - the boys worked very hard to be professional and put everyhing out in the two hour continuous shows - Bonzo worked in such a frenzy he often threw up which made Mick Hinton's job as drum roadie a bit of a to clean up chore - Bonham was nice and seemed humble like a big kid. Robert was very personable although we had to let him know that baiting the police that lined the front of the stage was not such a good idea - he took one of their police caps off in Boston and pranced about stage and the Captain angrily ordered the cops to leave and the crowd swarmed the stage in an ugly melee - grabbing mikes and other souvenirs as Robert leaped over Jimmy's Marshall stack to escape backstage - we were throwing people off the stage as fast as we could without regard for gender - some girl in boots side-kicked Clive in the jaw and he instinctively decked her - the police came back and in the quiet load-out Robert came back to aplologize - my t-shirt was ripped straight down the front with a matching fingernail scratch from neck to navel - and he finally realized that he couldn't always control people's excitement - Security was better at Madison Square Garden and the high stage helped but the second night the kids collapsed the front of the stage and luckily no one was hurt - especially me because I was in the hotel sleeping before an all-night drive to the next gig...

August 21, 2003, 03:19:38 AM

The idea of a book is very flattering - I'm afraid the anecdotes from a working roadie turn out to be a bit narrow - with the tour rolling the days kind of blurred together into hurried setups in a bunch of halls that started to look very much alike and not very memorable except for catastrophes like the major electrical hookup error at the Cleveland Auditorium that had the 1-inch thick distribution cables popping all along the stage shorting out and would have burned up the whole PA system except that we carried our own heavy distribution boxes with breakers as a precaution that stopped the meltdown - the shows were great with the edge of equipment failure or riot keeping your attention with a backdrop of great sounds but when everybody else was winding down and pulling chicks we went back to work - the nights were long with a loadout and usually a drive from midnight to dawn to be sure you were in the next gig town, crashing in a Holiday Inn until 10 or 11 and getting to the hall about noon for setup and soundcheck - then maybe a nap on a soft pile of mike cables - not too much time for social life - the routes often seemed insane - I will check details but I recall Boston to Miami to New York was one '71 sequence that didn't seem very efficient - there were only a few times that we had a 2-day stay anywhere - LA and NY - and it was risky to have new girlfriends every day as the entire Cat Stevens entourage discovered in Atlanta - George and I had to head out to the next town, maybe Jackson, Mississippi and when the band and crew got there they all had to go get shots for an epidemic of carnal flu that came from the same source - George and I were the only ones who could drink for about a week. I haven't read Richard's book but I suppose I should - he was always moderately flashy with expensive leather coats and I believe a Ferrari to sport around in - of course there was grat competition to see who could be the most extravegant. The boys chartered the Playboy Bunny Jet and got bored in between LA Forum gigs and zipped to New York for a quick change of scenery - I recall being happy with a good night's sleep. Maybe not so much to be envious of after all - not complaining, mind you, but not bragging either - you all that enjoy the music - the intensity, the innovations, the Blues - are just as much a part of "What is and What Should (Always) Be!" as I ever was - we all just have to play our role the best we can.

August 22, 2003, 01:44:10 AM

I don't have the hang of how the messages and replies are organized but I will try a few items - I got a copy of the tour list for US 70 and 71 from the Underground site and some of the dates don't seem right but I will try to get with George and some others soon and get the facts right - I didn't know there would be so much interest and was initially trying to clear up a few of my fuzzy recollections. I will try to answer some general questions but I don't have any recollection of a John Bindon -

The Zeppelin Roadies were all hard working guys and Clive was the leader - we never had a problem working together - Clive disliked the work rules of union stage crews - especially strong from New York to Chicago where we often weren't supposed to handle gear or do anything but "adjust" the equipment from the time we opened the truck to the time we pulled out. He seemed to look for the first opportunity to criticize them - the 71 crew included Peter Parry, a very nice guy and Mick Hinton was the character - he worked very hard to keep Bonham's set-up straight and constantly looked like Keith Richard on a really bad hangover - droopy eyes, straggly hair and an enormous toothy grin that I think of when I hear the English toothpaste parody - "It tastes so good you don't have to brush every week , but you might WANT to!" - I guess he was early 20's but his liver must have been pushing 40 - lots of mileage - raspy whiskey and cigarrette cured voice and usually looked slightly stunned. The boys yelled at them a few times for messups but nothing too ugly - I remember a little scene during a high enegy number mid show - seemed like Rock n Roll in memory but I don't think that was in set yet - Robert came running back to the bass stacks where Mick was alongside the drum kit frantically waving for... something! You couldn't hear yourself think - Mick had no idea what the problem was and offered maracas, a tambourine, maybe a harmonica, and Robert was getting agitated and he saw and grabbed another tambourine and gave Mick a dirty look and spun back to the front of the stage - Mick had his hands on his hips staring at Robert's back and I could clearly read his lips repeating a very popular English epithet that included a derisive feminine anatomical reference - Mick looked over at me behind the PA stack and could tell I saw him - he shrugged and slipped into that great wicked grin as he turned his attention back to Bonzo. Clive had a strong personality and temper but knew George and I also worked hard to have things right and we all got along great.

As to travelling, by the time I joined the tour in Detroit the itinerary was pretty squirrely - I mainly was needed to drive empty or leapfrogging sites while Rusty and Bill and equipment flew a DC 3 tail-dragging charter from Milwaukee to Winnipeg to Vancouver to Oakland and we didn't have any time staying or travelling together except in LA before gear flew to Hawaii and then we rejoined in after cross country drive to New York. In 71 we were together en-route pretty often and the Zeppelin roadies often convoyed in front of our truck in a Chevy Station Wagon - they used the back to "entertain" travelling companions and George and I occasionally got an interesting view when it was necessary to flash the high beams - they were not shy about showing their emotions (or anything else). More tomorrow...

August 26, 2003, 02:00:22 AM

I apologize for the delay in response - I have been taking this all in and received some interesting personal replies and a very nice phone conversation with someone with many mutual friends and experiences - unfortunately including news of some deaths of a couple of 70's era people from Showco and Concerts West - I got to thinking of the several folks no longer able to put their recollections in - The laser discussion brought to mind the days that stuff was just coming out- a company called Spectra Physics put together some of the first theatrical applications and by then Kirby Wyatt was head of the Showco Lighting operation and brought together a design team to put the stuff on the road - I will have to research the years but 74-75 seem right - I will try to locate Randy Barner who I recall was very keen on lasers and Tom Walsh and several others engineered the spinning mirrors and beam splitting devices that made the cone and pyramid effects work - Kirby was a great friend that Keny Whitright and I met when he was the production designer for the Columbus Ohio based National Rock Opera production of Jesus Christ Superstar in Germany and Netherlands 71-72. Keny and I also worked with John Tedesco, New York based Jules Fischer trained Lighting Designer for the Stigwood JCS tour in Sweden 1972. Keny and I insisted that Kirby should be involved when Showco decided to go into lights in a big way for Zeppelin in 73 - Kirby had returned to Columbus - where he was well known through work in the Theater Dept. at Ohio State (where he had also been Drum Major of the Ohio State Band) and was working as a floor designer for Lazarus Department Stores. Johnny "T" had been putting together proposals for new portable stage lighting products an we felt Kirby was a great company builder and team player that was needed - Kirby risked a "real" job and moved his wife to Dallas and build a legendary department of talented engineers and artists like Allen Branton from the JCS tour, a future multiple Emmy winner for TV productions for Supremes and others - Alan "Goat" Owen, longtime Genesis Lighting designer who was key to the relationship that had Phil Collins investing in the Vari-Lite development that transformed Showco and stage lighting in 1980. Kirby developed the portable cabinet mounted air-lift genie hoist lighting trees and follow spot platforms that let a travelling crew set up and take down theatrical stage lighting in a tenth of the time. Kirby could answer many of the questions raised but he died of AIDS in 1995 and Alan Owen had died suddenly a few years before - Tiny Gosson was also integral to the opeartion of Showco from 1970 as a legendary sound roadie for Three Dog Night and very excited and proud of his role in setup and operation of the early laser equipment - Michael W. Gosson died December 1995 - we recalled many of these folks at the memorial for Showco's long-time Genesis sound engineer Craig Schertz who died very sadly last year.

It is too late tonight but I will make a few calls tomorrow - might not be good to wait until the weekend - I'll address some of the other technical and personal questions as best as I can next entry - Thanks again for the interest -

September 12, 2003, 11:55:04 PM

Sorry I got busy trying to make a living and really wanted to track down the details with Rusty and George and Chari and other Showco folks - I don't know where the time goes - I had nice correspondence with cinnamongirl and appreciate the recognition of the amount of dedicated, sometimes scary work involved in transporting equipment under crazy itinerary schedules, high pressure set-ups and lonely take-downs - she reminded me of several friends like Mick Hinton that I need to track down - and another death - Tom Hulett (sp?)of Concerts West based in Seattle or LA that I recall for being a calming influence - very handsome guy with smooth personality - nice to all of us grunts -

A belated response to some of the questions - the union deal was that the travelling crew could not displace any required local stage hand and some places it didn't matter if the local guys did the work or watched as long as they were paid - in Chicago, Cleveland and New York it perhaps was more a pride in doing the work than protecting pay but the stewards would hawk you pretty closely about actually doing anything and Cleveland I recall the steward putting his arms out in a "stand back" move to be sure we knew not to touch the gear as it was coming off the truck - In Chicago I got no response when I suggested the mic guy could move the storage trunk (on casters of course) to the stage instead of carying them 2 at a time from backstage. I was probably lucky I didn't get a grievance.

Loading in old theaters like Chicago (beautiful old place on Michigan Ave I think) was often crazy - dock opened to narrow alley and a truck could only back up perpendicular to dock about a foot higher than dock so you would lower tailgate partway and muscle the gear onto the dock - Hofheinz Pavilion in Houston was all inclined ramps leading down to stage level and Frank Lloyd Wright designed ASU theater in Tempe was among worst with curved service ramp to lower level dock so that truck was inclined at about 15 degrees - gear would roll against door making it very hard to open and then you had to brace everything to keep it from rolling off the truck and crushing you -

We did a sound check almost everywhere but there was no official or professional recording I was aware of - as I mentioned Rusty was stunned when Peter Grant made a joke suggesting we had a fake bass box with a 16 track recorder in it - at least we all laughed like it was funny -

I was intimidated my Jimmy although he was never unpleasant - it just didn't seem like he wanted to chat although I did hear him engaged in pleasant but arty philosophical discussions from time to time - John Paul and Bonzo were more easy-going and Robert was very personable - I believe John Paul had a wife on the tour in 71 - The only time I observed Jimmy really angry was with good cause - he got a new Martin, I think D-28 and carried it in the cheap gray chipboard case that came free from the music store - we carried the band equipment in the 18' Chevy truck on top of the PA and it was a tight fit so the Martin was sort-of wedged between a rib in the roof and the wood PA cases - after one overnight trip Jimmy detected a hairline crack in the face of the Martin near the bridge and blamed the handling on us, assuming the flexing of the roof caused the damage - within an hour the local music dealer delivered a new black hardshell case (and maybe a new Martin- I don't know) and I noticed the old gray chipboard case with an Air Canada luggage tag stuck in a garbage can backstage - I put it aside and it has carried my Gibson J-50 for 30 years, although now it has almost as much duct tape as cardboard - my son is a good blues guitarist and he enjoys the legacy very much. That, and an English 1 Pound note sign by Jimmy, John Paul, Bonzo Robert and the Road crew - Clive, Mick, Peter Parry and Johnny Lark are my main mementos of 70-71.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting details about the behind-the-scenes workings of a rock band tour. Thanks Steve for posting this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tom Hulett (Concerts West), Jimmy Page, Clive Coulson. Honolulu Airport, Sept. 1971

 

1971-09-honolulu_airport_4.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, sam_webmaster said:

Tom Hulett (Concerts West), Jimmy Page, Clive Coulson. Honolulu Airport, Sept. 1971

 

1971-09-honolulu_airport_4.jpg

Nice shot, looks like Jimmy went record shopping at Tower !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎4‎/‎27‎/‎2009 at 3:26 PM, lynn said:

Image2RP78.jpg

 

OK Knebs, finally I scanned it, sorry it took so long!

 

This is the other pic of RP at Richard Cole's wedding 1978.

That's Paul Rodgers??  It looks just like a young Walter Matthau.

Great thread, BTW.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×