This page is to thank all those who have shared the ride so far...
Without Starcastle there simply wouldn't have been any of this!
You gave me a shot, and could have left me behind many a time (but didn't).
I'm eternally grateful to you every time that I light a show.
The amazing, wonderful, outrageous Starcastle crew.
Many years and miles down the road together, the adventure of a lifetime!
We learned from the challenges we overcame,
we grew stronger from the suffering that we endured,
so many unbelievable stories...
We invented and built a world for our guys to play in, and for us to survive in...
We lived through long drives, no sleep, horrible weather, little gangsters, evil cops, rude red-necks,
jealous head-liners, hostile crowds, thieving runners, and crooked promoters, to name a few...
But we also saw some amazing sunrises and beautiful landscapes rolling by,
toured with some legendary performers and heard some awesome music,
helped to build an amazing act, and met some wonderful people all over this country.
If I had a penny for every mile we travelled together,
then I'd have about half of what I'd need to give you each a penny for all that you taught me.
Al, Hobbit, BG, Dave, Rob, Tom & Jeff...
I'm blessed to have learned the ropes of the biz and life from you all!
Many thanks to all the thousands of spot ops who helped light all of these performances.
From Daniel running 5 perfect shows one Sunday, all the way back through the thousands of others...
to all the ones who did the great effects on Starcastle's mirror wheel during Lady Of The Lake...
the guys who could keep a carbon arc burning perfectly and change rods in 30 seconds...
to Gaby sitting in the nest he would build off of the catwalk, running a leko at the Christmas shows...
the spot ops stuck at their spots for that 17 hour shift at the High Desert Festival...
the spot op who lit the Steward's giant tomahawk at Chastain Park and made him the happiest guy in Atlanta...
to T. Rat and the guys I got to sit with in Kansas' lighting grid, running the truss spots...
to the amazing Peggy in Thousand Oaks, and all the guys and gals on the roof at the Ford...
the guys in the bunkers at Red Rocks, and all the one's perched on top of scaffold towers in the middle of ice rinks...
to the 2 out of 4 ops who kept going when we lost the entire lighting rig at the top of Bonnie Raitt's set at the Gorge.
The true artistry involved in being easy, steady, and subtle one minute, and precise, hair trigger, and brilliant the next,
all the while hearing what your next task is right before you execute it, is a true gift.
Thanks for all of the beauty and magic that each of you brought to the many lightshows that we made!
Gary Strater, playing bass with the angels.
I have a list in my head of my favorite guitarists, drummers, singers, and so on,
and I've been lucky enough to have heard most of THE best!
When it came to the bass, no one was better than Gary!
The energy, creativity, sound and presence he brought to the stage was awesome.
The riffs and grooves that he made with Tass were amazing,
and the 5 part harmonies he sang with the others were gorgeous.
It was an honor to haul his gear on and of of stages, in and out of trucks, and up and down highways...
it a bonus to get to light him, and the music he made.
One great crew!
Shirley MacLaine's crew.
We had unloaded the trucks, flown the lights, built the set and stacked the P.A.
Everything was tested, focused and ready for Shirley and her band and dancers...
one last thing to test...
OK, all ready!
Jackson Browne's Japan tour lighting crew.
While on a tour of Japan with Jackson Browne, we had traveled with the same lighting crew for 3 1/2 weeks.
Our last show was on the northern island of Hokkaido, in the city of Sapporo. Part of our crew flew with the lighting crew on the 1st flight of the day and met a duplicate lighting rig already there. The rest of our crew, with the band and all of the band equipment were coming on an afternoon flight, with barely enough time to make it for the show.
We had brought the rolled up carpet, which was marked where all of the risers were placed, so we could focus the lighting in time. To help accomplish this focus, without the set being there, we asked some of the crew to stand on some apple boxes where the keys, percussion and drums would be. I only meant for them to be there when we were working on a light for that area, but they were happy to be there through the entire process. They were proud to stand in for each of those musicians to assist in making the best performance possible.
This is one of my favorite photos of all that I have from shows that I've done. You don't have a set, or equipment, or any curtains masking the stage. You can barely see the ladder in the background, and can't even see the man perched at the top, focusing the light. The four men are still and patient, so you don't get to see their usual hurried efficiency as they would unload the trucks, and carry in all of the gear. You don't see them building the trusses, hoisting up all of the lights, and running the miles of cable. You see the patience and attention to the detail of accuratly aiming one light at a time to make sure that every single one is perfect for tonight's show.
I find much to appreciate and learn from this picture, and it's only fitting that it's from a Jackson Browne show.
Jackson is the wonderful artist who wrote "The Load Out", with it's lyrics "let the roadies take the stage"
and "they're the first to come and the last to leave".
This picture is what he was singing about, and I love it because it shows some of the greatest stars of our profession,
the ones most audiences never see.
There's so much that I learned from these gentlemen, and many more like them. Once again, Jackson said it best...
"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!"
The Fleetwood Mac band and crew photo from the "Behind The Mask" tour.
I saw Fleetwood Mac as a high school kid in 1974. Before going to the show,
I went out and bought their latest album, "Heroes Are Hard To Find".
The opening act was a German progressive rock band called "Triumvirat", that I had never heard of.
For their set, they played their latest album "Illusions On A Double Dimple", which was just two long songs,
and it was amazing. I went out and got that album the next day!
Two years later, with Starcastle, another progressive rock band, I would be running the lights for the opening act at some of the shows from 1976's "Fleetwood Mac" tour, and 1977's "Rumours" tour.
Each night, after our set was over and the gear loaded back in our truck, I would stand off-stage right and enjoy their show, watching Stevie Nick's beautiful dancing, and listening to that wonderful music. Who knew then that "Rumours" would go on to be the one of the largest selling albums of all time...
I just knew it was some amazing music, beautifully performed!
4 lighting companies and many different tours later, I would be their lighting crew chief on the
"Behind The Mask" tour, and get to be one of the many smiling faces surrounding them in this photo.
The night before the last show of that tour, John McVie wandered into the hotel lobby bar and bought a few rounds for me and the boys. The next day, Christine McVie gave each of us in the crew a necklace with an engraved pendant, thanking us for our work on the tour. Stevie Nicks had a ring made for us, but it wasn't ready until after the tour was over. A few years later a friend that still worked with Stevie got the ring sent to me.
I wonder, when sitting with my friends in the Assembly Hall, being blown away with Triumvirat's opening set, if I could have dreamed of how the band I was about to see next would wind it's way through my life. Had I tried to imagine my future profession while watching them in 1974, I don't think I could have dreamed anything better!
Antinov flight crew. Tenerife stop on Michael Jackson's Dangerous tour.
This awesome part of Neil Diamond's crew escaped from New York City for some upstate New York rock climbing.
Neil is one of the greatest people ever to work for. The entire crew and band all chipped in to have a custom-made Harley built for the man as our way of saying thanks.
The Church on the Way's Christmas tree rigging crew 2007. The crews that come together to light the Church's holiday events every year are some of the best - always a great way to end the year.
"Just back away from the generator and go about your business..." Greg and Khin-Kyaw guarding the gennie.
A few of the many great people that I've been blessed to have worked with at the Church on the Way.
Mario, my audio brother from the Ford Amphitheatre.
Some of Rachel's amazing gang down at the Beverly Hilton.
Paul B., one of my favorite people... I'm not quite sure about this guy in the middle.
The amazing Star Trek lighting crew.
The New Beetle unveiling crew.
There will always be an empty spot for you in every crew that I'm ever in,
though, having known you, there will also always be a warm spot in my heart.
I'm blessed to have shared the road with you.
Rest in peace, my brother.