An Accidental Witness


The True Story Revisiting Behind the Scenes of
A Tour Manager’s 30 plus Year Career

An Accidental Witness is a behind the scenes history of some of the famous and infamous TV, Movie and Musical Artists of my time. There are and were so many musical groups from 1967 – 2002 that will and should never be forgotten. This is my honest recollection of those good, bad and whacky times that mostly only I had a chance to witness first hand, and I am happy to pass along these poignant and obscure memories… Artists from seven decades of musical history with different generational life stories that influenced their self protective decision making, interaction with co-workers dealing with fame (in some cases) badly. Some were absolutely great to work with, but others just had to deal with me…..ha.

Over the years I had to learn other stage crafts to continue to stay employed and sometimes there were two combined jobs to do at the same time. I started as a roadie lifting amps and P.A. stacks, mixing audio, learning to be a lighting director, an accountant, etc… I was elevated into tour management after my first year with Paul Revere and the Raiders and found that I loved it.

I did find out after many years of traveling the world, that there is a form of rock n’ roll PTSD. Dealing with musicians, airlines, promoters, artists had taken its toll on my patience. I became more demanding. Over the years, travel, technology, entertainment norms continued to change and advance, not always for the best. The beginning was just getting somewhere with everyone, the equipment and making music. It started to transform from listening, to watching music of video tape and TV. Then came Milli Vanilli, and Rappers, computers, I Pads and cell phones. I had to make these advances work for me, but each era of change made things less enjoyable for me and music lovers. Less live music on stage became the norm no matter the stature of the artists. Even the best used backup music during their performances to boost their vocal and musical standing.

As Adam Gopnik said it perfectly, the difference between a person’s quality and their art can be miles apart. I have tried my best to go back over the years and find the good moments I enjoyed, but the crazy and awful moments I endured kept overwhelming the stories. So I
decided to just go with the sharp, poignant moments that most music industry people are afraid to recall publicly. It is a tell all. It is truthful as I remember it. It is also rock n’ roll history that cannot be forgotten. As I said about the Coolio Gangsta’s Paradise Tour, you might think that I had a difficult time and hated a lot of it, but the truth is that as much trauma as I did endure from time to time, I wouldn’t have traded it for anything.

One of the things I cherished about traveling around the world were the people and their cultures. Working with the different people and finding that they are the same as me was an eye-opening experience. Actually interfacing not as a tourist made me realize that we are all more alike than people who travel as sightseers around the world have a chance to imagine. You can always find an asshole and someone to hate if you look for them, but there are good people everywhere if you open your eyes and heart.

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