If Roadies Ran the World….

I’ve spent all my working life in the music business and on the road. It’s what I know and love, but I’d never really appreciated just how right we get it most of the time until recently. I had a glimpse of what life is like in the non-touring world, and I have to tell you, it ain’t pretty. Without the pressure of ‘the show must go on’, how does anything ever actually get done??

(Answer: slooooowly!)

I remember reading an article about production manager Charlie Hernandez’s work in getting relief to the people of Haiti after the earthquake in 2010. He and his crew succeeded in getting millions of dollars worth of medical supplies and many medical staff to the disaster-struck zone – fast – and have gone on to provide similar aid to people in dire need in Pakistan, the Philippines and beyond. They bypassed all the crap and just did what needed to be done – something we’re very good at. The name of his organisation? ‘Just a Bunch of Roadies’.

It got me thinking. How would the world look if our lot were in charge? Well hold onto your hats kids, cos things are gonna change around here!

No more flakiness.

When I were a lad, folks did what they said they were going to do, when they said they were going to do it. In these deviced-up days, it sometimes feels like everyone makes plans and then cancels at the last minute. That only happens in genuine emergencies in tour-life; the show has to happen, so we all do what we agreed to when we took the gig. So there’ll be none of that flaky nonsense when it’s us in charge thank you very much.

Email traffic would halve.

Something is a) happening that shouldn’t be, b) isn’t happening that should be, or c) requires discussion as to how and when it should happen at all. Do you, a) send an email cc’ing multiple people who may or may not be involved (just to cover your arse), requesting further email communication to set a date for a meeting which will then be moved a number of times to accommodate the people who don’t actually need to be involved in the first place, then sit back and wait for a response? Or b) speak to the most appropriate person with actual voices and come up with a solution because it needs to be sorted before 6pm? If you answered b, congratulations, you’re a roadie.

No Sick Days

Crying off because you’ve got a cold – seriously? Can you stand up? Then get on with it and don’t be such a wuss. Anyway, everyone else will soon have your ailment too. You’re sleeping with 15 other people in a metal tube full of circulated air, remember? Share and share alike!

Business speak replaced with more ‘straightforward’ language

There’s no ‘I’ in team = You’re being a dick.

Best practice = Stop being a dick.

Think outside the box = Just fix it. No I don’t care how.

Reach out = Ask. The word you’re looking for is ask.

Give 110% = Stop it. Please. Didn’t you go to school?

Take it to the next level = 11

Checking into a hotel in your pyjamas would be completely normal.

And wearing a suit completely wouldn’t.

No bleating about being tired because you’ve worked a 40 hour week.

We do that in a day.

No ‘weekends’.

Instead you will enjoy chunks of time at home, especially after Christmas, which is absolutely lovely – and tempered only by the nagging fear that that was your last gig and you will never work again.

No holiday traffic jams.

Because the last thing you want to do on your downtime is bloody well go anywhere.

And finally….

No slackers!

There’s no place on tour for anyone who expects others to carry them because they’re too damn lazy. But if we all worked together the way a good crew does, I reckon our world would be a better place!

9 thoughts on “If Roadies Ran the World….”

    1. We that do the dirty work that makes the show happen are the Marines of Rock and Roll. First in, last out.

  1. Stephen Russian

    Grandview, Missouri
    Absofuckin’ lutely!
    I’ve only been on two actual tours, but have done a lot of regional stuff
    with local sound cos. Plenty of local fests,Irish, Blues, Reggae, Bluegrass,
    Community stages. Although, Everything you said is true. The biggest problem
    I’ve encountered is people outside our world who have no idea how a show works,
    like the the lady who called me for a microphone and thought she could just
    plug into the wall, like her Pastor does, and a show magically happens!
    Good Stuff, keep up the Good Karma!

  2. Go hard Or go home
    Here for a good time not a long time…..
    Long live the old school roadie not the White glove lazy bitches

  3. Ingrid Watson

    Great article. As a teacher, my motto always was I say what I mean, I mean what I say, and I do what I said I was going to do. And I always asked my students to give me a 110% in class and they would reap the benefits. I know they did! So I agree Roadies are a good example of how to run life – and there are also some great teachers out there that are prime examples of it as well. Enjoyed reading your article. ..

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