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Anybody ever hire roadies for remote gigs?


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We've done a few shows recently with some really suck-ass load in/outs. Last one was up two flights of stairs. Since we often travel and stay over night for gigs, having a permanent crew travel with us isn't really feasible/desirable, but the idea came up of---if we know we're travelling to a venue with a {censored}ty load-in, maybe putting an ad up on Craigslist or contact a local music store and see if we can find some guys to pay a few bucks to lug the stuff around for us.

 

Sounds simple enough in a "you never know until you try" sort-of way, but I was just wondering if anybody else has ever tried anything like that and how it went.

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Write it into your contract that they provide some strong backs. One venue down here with a bad load in has guys to grunt the gear up the stairs. Another duo who was doing afternoon and night shows on the same days had a roadie.

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1st red flag is theft.

 

 

That is easy to control. If you have roadies , you station one guy at the trailer , one to be a door man , one at the top of the stairs and one at the stage directing where stuff goes. If you dont give people a chance to steal {censored} it doesnt get stolen. Pay the roadies for the load in and pay them again for the load out. Way more stuff gets left behind and gigs or never loaded up than ever gets stolen.

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Make sure you have your gear properly insured before you let someone move it around. We had a rack of processors and such get damaged by 2 "roadies" we had volunteer to help load out at a wedding reception. They brought out the rack without putting the covers on it and then laid it face down in the trailer and slid it in about 3 feet. The result was a bunch of knobs bent, some broke off and some damge to the circuit boards they were mounted to. I had insurance on the gear but it's a pretty high deductable, so it was a pretty hard hit. I would have a hard time trusting anyone with my gear that I didn't know or that wasn't insured.

Having the club provide someone might be good as long as they are insured by the club for injury and damages.

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I don't travel much to gigs anymore - so I can't add much to the "remote" aspect of your questions. I do however hire roadies on a semi-regular basis for local gigs. I don't much worry about theft - for two reasons - first and foremost I don't allow "roadies" to actually touch any uncased equipment. If I'm using non-band member "help" of any sort - I use them to schlepp from vehicle to dance floor during load in.. I may have 'em pop rack covers and help "box up" the stage (i.e., place big stuff where it needs to go) - but that's done under my watchful eye.

 

If I'm using non-band member "help" during tear down - they don't touch any uncased gear, and nothing leaves the dance floor until EVERYTHING is packed and we start the ant line between dance floor and vehicle. I pack and close all racks myself. Once we fire up the ant line - I "call the pack" from the truck - telling the ant line what I want next. Knowing the equipment list like I do (and having a "great pack" that allows me to tell at a glance if something isn't in its place) - makes keeping an eye on things easy.

 

More often than not, my draw my schlepp laborers from my sons' circles of friends (I own two boys ... ages 20 and 23). For the most part they're kids whom I've known (along with their parents) for years - which has made the theft thing a non-issue for me.

 

The secret to making use of casual labor is being well organized yourself. I'd feel pretty comfident that I could make efficient use of any sober, able bodied labor that I had access to - and do it in such a way that I wouldn't be exposing my gear to unintentional damage - or significant threat of theft.

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I hire roadies. They're called "band members."
:lol:

 

Yeah well..... when I'm able to start "The Guido61 Band", I might be able to pull that off...until then...I'm just one of the band members!

 

Last two gigs we did involved a bunch of stairs and it ended up being all us old dudes huffing the gear down the stairs and the two girls loading up the trailer*. Something about BOTH those pictures just wasn't right.

 

So right now the two main goals are:

 

1) roadies when possible.

2) lighter gear.

 

C'mon dudes---we're playing at low volume through in-ears now. Is that Ampeg SVT and Marshall 1/2 stack REALLY necessary at this point??

 

I've pretty much got the bass player sold on one of these:

 

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MB200

 

Anyone have any thoughts on these?

 

Any suggestions for a small-amp for a guitarist who is ALREADY using a Boss modeling dealeo (GT-10 I think) for his sounds but insists he can't get the "tone" he wants except through that Marshall?

 

 

*Nice thing about our girls--they've both got a bit of a "no man is going to work harder than me attitude"..which I like...problem is--working harder than any of us old men isn't really that difficult....

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Yeah well..... when I'm able to start "The Guido61 Band", I might be able to pull that off...until then...I'm just one of the band members!


.

 

I hear ya! When we do a full PA gig, since all the other band members live in Spokane (outside of it, really, to the north, south and west) I have to unload all my tools out of my trailer, load all my PA and personal gear up myself (subs, mains, monitors, rack, board, cord bags, stands etc ) and then drive it to the gig. I often get there earlier than anyone else as I like to have a lot of time to set up and make sure it all works, so I end up unloading most of it myself too. They all help load the stuff back in the trailer but then I have to unload it all myself and put it away and then put my tools back in the trailer for work. Solo gigs are looking better and better....:cry:

 

Any suggestions for a small-amp for a guitarist who is ALREADY using a Boss modeling dealeo (GT-10 I think) for his sounds but insists he can't get the "tone" he wants except through that Marshall?

 

I bought one of those little Fender Super Champ XDs that has tube preamp and tube output but a digital modeler and FX circuit in the middle. I can get some nice old Fender Blackface sounds or a nice Vox or Marshall-type sound out of it. It's only 15 watts but it sounds good with a mic on it. For bigger gigs, I use the HRD. Sometimes I use the XD but set it on top of the HRD and plug the speaker from the HRD into is, since the XD only has on 10" and the HRD has a 12 .

 

http://www.fender.com/products/search.php?partno=2331100000

 

Reviews of it: http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/reviews/guitar_amplifiers/fender/super_champ_xd/index.html

 

Not the best amp on the market, certainly, but for 300 bucks a great deal and does more than what I need it to do.

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I got rid of my Marshall DSL2000 and 1960a cabinet for just these reasons. I now use a 1990's era Fender Peformer 1000. 1-12" with 100 watts 3-channels, weighs about 35 lbs. Won't say it sounds as good, but it sounds more than good enough and I'm not killing myself lifting the damn thing.

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I don't travel much to gigs anymore - so I can't add much to the "remote" aspect of your questions. I do however hire roadies on a semi-regular basis for local gigs. I don't much worry about theft - for two reasons - first and foremost I don't allow "roadies" to actually touch any uncased equipment. If I'm using non-band member "help" of any sort - I use them to schlepp from vehicle to dance floor during load in.. I may have 'em pop rack covers and help "box up" the stage (i.e., place big stuff where it needs to go) - but that's done under my watchful eye.


If I'm using non-band member "help" during tear down - they don't touch any uncased gear, and nothing leaves the dance floor until EVERYTHING is packed and we start the ant line between dance floor and vehicle. I pack and close all racks myself. Once we fire up the ant line - I "call the pack" from the truck - telling the ant line what I want next. Knowing the equipment list like I do (and having a "great pack" that allows me to tell at a glance if something isn't in its place) - makes keeping an eye on things easy.


More often than not, my draw my schlepp laborers from my sons' circles of friends (I own two boys ... ages 20 and 23). For the most part they're kids whom I've known (along with their parents) for years - which has made the theft thing a non-issue for me.


The secret to making use of casual labor is being well organized yourself. I'd feel pretty comfident that I could make efficient use of any sober, able bodied labor that I had access to - and do it in such a way that I wouldn't be exposing my gear to unintentional damage - or significant threat of theft.

 

 

You hit the nail on the head when you said sober.

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Any suggestions for a small-amp for a guitarist who is ALREADY using a Boss modeling dealeo (GT-10 I think) for his sounds but insists he can't get the "tone" he wants except through that Marshall?


 

 

Yes, a 1x12 combo. If you are in ears, then what's the point? I know I can't hear my amp through the IEMs so there's no point in my "tone" It's going through the PA anyway.

 

You may just have to say "Hey if you want to bring a stack and 8x10, then it's up to you to figure out how to move them."

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A funny story somewhat related. We've had a longstanding gig out of town, about 1 hr and 45 minutes away. A great club and in my opinion one of the best in the Northeast. Big place... 600-800 people thru the doors on an average night. It took us three years to get our foot in the door and in one night it almost came crashing down.

 

The load in is terrific. Drive up to the club on the street. Back up on the sidewalk. Open the sliding glass doors in front, load right onto the 3 ft stage. The downside is that storage is in the very back of the room, past the bar, in the back kitchen area. The rule is (and there are many rules) stack things nicely. When we travel we always have 1-3 guys who are part of a regular crew with us. One guy is extremely helpful and it's a shame this happened to him. We're loading out after a particularly late show. It's 4am, the streets of this college town are jam packed. Drunk fights are breaking out and we're rushing to get out and packed and back to the hotel. In hindsight I remember this specifically. A hooded sweatshirt came out with all our gear. Appearently it was in the back laying on our drum cases. It came to the stage with the cases and sat. As we were doing an idiot check our 'roadie' grabbed the hoodie and asked if it was anyones? Nope! No one owned it. Before he could put it back on the stage the bouncers closed and locked the door. He knocked on the windows but the bouncers wouldn't return to oepn the door, so he set it outside on the ledge.

 

Monday morning I'm on my way to work and I get a text from my manager... had I seen a sweatshirt. At first I couldn't recall (not remembering or even registering the one that Dan passed around). Nope. Well the owner was looking for it and he was on the war path. He thinks we stole it. Great! :rolleyes: I tell him that I'll nlook through my things but I didn't remember seeing one.

 

About three hours later I get a call from our manager. He askes me for a HUGE favor... can I call the owner and just apologize and tell him we are doing everything we can to locate this sweatshirt on our end. It would mean alot to him since I'm good that way and can talk my way out of anything. LOL GReeeeeeeeat. A little backstory on this owner: "meaner than a junkyard dog" is great way to describe him. He's a drinker, moody, opinionated and generally not great company. He's also a musician so he knows all of the excuses. Think a cross between 'Jim' from Taxi and irate Chef Gordon Ramsay. I call, get voicemail (sigh relief) and leave a thougtful message. I call back our manager and prod him to tell me why this sweatshirt is so important. He says:

 

#1) It's his son's not his (explains why it was left on our gear and not a hanger)... #2) it has all of the bar's keys forcing him to change all of the locks on the entire venue... #3) It has his son's ID and credit cards in wallet #4)- It has an ounce of weed in the pocket and his son is on probabtion for a felony DWI. :facepalm:

 

Needless to say we never had the sweatshirt, we left it on the sidewalk outside the club, with a gazillion city cops on the street breaking up fights and ushering college kids back to their campus. Ugh! When we broke the news to the owner (that we didn't have it, not that it was left there) I thought we were done. This guy is the type of guy that would just pull the plug on us... throw all the blame in our direction and not book us just for that reason. He did state he was pissed the whole thing happened and he would take the the lock change out of our next show's pay. We agreed... after all we were on thin ice.

 

Six weeks later we return and we're all hoping on the drive up that he forgot the incident. The guy is weird. {censored} comes out of his mouth and most of the time he seems like he's shrooming or on something. Maybe, possible, he forgot. Nope!!! We weren't there 15 minutes, setting up the stage when he marches out and tells us to come to his office as soon as we are done. ALL OF US! We get into his cramped office and he turns to us and he goes off. Like a volcano. "You know the {censored}ing rules-stack your gear neatly" "I'm looking over my son's back for weeks" " My son could get pinched he's not even supposed to be near the bar. Do you know the aggrivation of changing all these locks" It didn't matter, right or wrong, accident or intentional, we just had to sit and take it. The he says to our manager, "You know I'm docking tonights pay what it cost me to change those f**king locks" Yep, we agreed to that. How much was it? $250, $300, $400, $1000? Nope.. $73.28 dollars (he has a guy on retainer... must happen alot.) As he started to slow down, cool off and empty the last bit of bile he had been building for 6 weeks he stood silent. Then he quietly apologized. He claimed "I have to do this, get it out of my system. I'm not right until I do. Thanks for letting me yell at you guys. You guys are great" :confused: "Who needs a drink, I know that I do... let me all buy you guys a drink!!!" From that day forward the guy has acted like our best friend. Seriously. Everytime he sees us (it's been 3 years since that incident) he's all smiles. Compliments our singer, song choices. To this day I don't have an explanation for his turn around except that I believe most bands would stand for that abuse and maybe he's endeared himself to us... or he's a bipolar sociopath. Maybe a combination of both.

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It didn't matter, right or wrong, accident or intentional,
we just had to sit and take it
.

 

 

The f*%k you did.

 

Pretty certain I wouldn't have, and I probably wouldn't have cared how much the gig that night paid, how many future gigs were on the line, etc.

Accepting the quirks of client is one thing.

Letting some clearly unbalanced whack-job with a repeat criminal (and did I mention utter IDIOT?) for a son blast me/mine because of his own offspring's shortcomings is another altogether.

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The f*%k you did.


Pretty certain I wouldn't have, and I probably wouldn't have cared how much the gig that night paid, how many future gigs were on the line, etc.

Accepting the quirks of client is one thing.

Letting some clearly unbalanced whack-job with a repeat criminal (and did I mention utter IDIOT?) for a son blast me/mine because of his own offspring's shortcomings is another altogether.

 

 

Your absolutely right... we didn't have to, but we choose to. Any other band would have walked out, lost the gig, and a key strategic room at top pay and high visibility. Not to mention even more cred with the Agent we worked for. Sometimes you can take a beating for greater gain. The fact is we've raised our price more than $500 since that episode, and it continues to be a source for numerous gig offers in the area both public and private. So you are right, we didn't have to sit and take it, it did lead to a greater gain. Maybe that's why we've been doing this for so long... making those decisions that will keep and grow opportunities, save for a little bit of ego and self respect. ;)

 

I wouldn't expect others to sit through it either. Then most wouldn't have kept the gig either. I work in sales and marketing... I am used to 'staring straight into the sun' when someone is yelling at me and turning them into the most loyal of customers.

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Your absolutely right... we didn't have to, but we choose to. Any other band would have walked out, lost the gig, and a key strategic room at top pay and high visibility. Not to mention even more cred with the Agent we worked for. Sometimes you can take a beating for greater gain. The fact is we've raised our price more than $500 since that episode, and it continues to be a source for numerous gig offers in the area both public and private. So you are right, we didn't have to sit and take it, it did lead to a greater gain. Maybe that's why we've been doing this for so long... making those decisions that will keep and grow opportunities, save for a little bit of ego and self respect.
;)

I wouldn't expect others to sit through it either. Then most wouldn't have kept the gig either. I work in sales and marketing... I am used to 'staring straight into the sun' when someone is yelling at me and turning them into the most loyal of customers.

 

exactly ,, thin skin is not somthing that will make you succeed in business. Its typically a win the battle and loose the war kind of thing. its rookie

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Your absolutely right... we didn't have to, but we choose to. Any other band would have walked out, lost the gig, and a key strategic room at top pay and high visibility. Not to mention even more cred with the Agent we worked for. Sometimes you can take a beating for greater gain. The fact is we've raised our price more than $500 since that episode, and it continues to be a source for numerous gig offers in the area both public and private. So you are right, we didn't have to sit and take it, it did lead to a greater gain. Maybe that's why we've been doing this for so long... making those decisions that will keep and grow opportunities, save for a little bit of ego and self respect.
;)

I wouldn't expect others to sit through it either. Then most wouldn't have kept the gig either. I work in sales and marketing... I am used to 'staring straight into the sun' when someone is yelling at me and turning them into the most loyal of customers.

 

I get what you're saying, believe me.

 

But there are options beyond the extremes, and there is NO gig (or multiple gigs) worth taking that kind of behavior.

The moment the screaming starts, if that guy is clearly not going to calm down when clearer heads attempt to pacify things, the band is out. A follow-up happens, and it's made clear that there is understanding (and maybe even compassion), but under no circumstances can that kind of behavior be taken lying down. Not at all. If the owner is interested in the success (and profit) of his business, he'll see through to that truth. And if the agent is interested in the success (and profit) of HIS business, he'll make sure that the owner does, and is willing to play nice®.

 

I worked in Sales as well and know all the same BS about always smiling to the customer that you're talking.

Difference is, that experience made me realize the customer is RARELY right. I'll work WITH them to get them what they need, but not take the kind of abuse you're describing. That's not an ego thing. That's a :Life's too short for that kind of {censored}" thing.

There were/are other gigs.

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I get what you're saying, believe me.


But there are options beyond the extremes, and there is NO gig (or multiple gigs) worth taking that kind of behavior.

The moment the screaming starts, if that guy is clearly not going to calm down when clearer heads attempt to pacify things, the band is out. A follow-up happens, and it's made clear that there is understanding (and maybe even compassion), but under no circumstances can that kind of behavior be taken lying down. Not at all. If the owner is interested in the success (and profit) of his business, he'll see through to that truth. And if the agent is interested in the success (and profit) of HIS business, he'll make sure that the owner does, and is willing to play nice(r).


I worked in Sales as well and know all the same BS about always smiling to the customer that you're talking.

Difference is, that experience made me realize the customer is RARELY right. I'll work WITH them to get them what they need, but not take the kind of abuse you're describing. That's not an ego thing. That's a :Life's too short for that kind of {censored}" thing.

There were/are other gigs.

 

 

Life is too short to let your ego get in the way of long term sales. So the guy thows a fit. If you cant just sit though it and keep your focus on the long term goals you are not much of a sales person. The guy goes bazerk on you ,, so you beat yourself up a little bit in front of him and give his child like personality a short term boost and keep selling the product to him. Its a 800 seat venue and a good room. guys like that are easy ,, they just want to feel important. Who cares.

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you are not much of a sales person

 

 

Well, no:

I'm not a sales person at all.

 

I play in bands on the side. I have a fair business sense, and my bands book/play shows that work for us, but we're not putting a ton of effort into 'selling' anything: we have a better-than-average product. Some people love it. Some don't. We do reasonably ok without having to stretch for anybody's fragile superiority complex or anger-management issues. Listen to the audio samples, check out the video and other promo. that's what we are/what we do. You like it? Book us, and you won't regret doing so: you and your customers will have a blast. But some schmuck with a big ego at a venue feels the need to go off on me/us for whatever reason?

I say bye bye.

 

I don't have time to play kiss-ass mind games with some Napoleon-complex MF'er who can't accept the fact that his retarded felon son is who he should be going ballistic on.

 

Really, I'm a swell guy, a personable/friendly guy, a "can do" guy 99.9% of the time, ESPECIALLY when on a gig/at a venue.

But someone crosses that line, I'm out; they can curse me until that big vein in their forehead bursts, and black-list me from their club, and talk {censored} about me to all their venue-owner buddies until the end of time. No skin off my ass if they do. I'll continue to get gigs.

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yes, as some of you know I had some health issues and I now hire an 18 year old neighbor kid to load, set up, and tear down for me. He's going out of town with us next month and got hired on at my recommendation to set up the stage for the festival we're playing.

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I get what you're saying, believe me.


But there are options beyond the extremes, and there is NO gig (or multiple gigs) worth taking that kind of behavior.

The moment the screaming starts, if that guy is clearly not going to calm down when clearer heads attempt to pacify things, the band is out. A follow-up happens, and it's made clear that there is understanding (and maybe even compassion), but under no circumstances can that kind of behavior be taken lying down. Not at all. If the owner is interested in the success (and profit) of his business, he'll see through to that truth. And if the agent is interested in the success (and profit) of HIS business, he'll make sure that the owner does, and is willing to play nice(r).


I worked in Sales as well and know all the same BS about always smiling to the customer that you're talking.

Difference is, that experience made me realize the customer is RARELY right. I'll work WITH them to get them what they need, but not take the kind of abuse you're describing. That's not an ego thing. That's a :Life's too short for that kind of {censored}" thing.

There were/are other gigs.

 

I get it... you never want to set yourself up to be bullied. This wasn't a case where it was our first time in and the guy was a tyrannt from the get go. We had already been playing there for a few years and knew the hair trigger on this guy. We also have known him to be pretty fair and even generous at times. Depends on the mood you catch him or what's he 'on' on that particular day. So we had history with him and we knew going forward would be rewarding. He's a guirky guy and one of his guirks is being a jerk at times. Nothing we couldn't roll with.

 

But you never want to be bullied by a club owner. Had this continued beyond his '11 minute' rant we would have probably packed and left. But there was definitely and endgame.

 

I forgot to mention the song came up to us after the meeting on stage and apologized for his dad. He admitted it was his {censored} up and he was sorry we had to sit through that... but "that's the way my dad is'. Then I think he went to the bar and poured himself a drink. No lie.. lol! ::freak:

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