On The Road

Jamiroquai Dynamite European TourI have joined the gym here and finally got my act together to actually get there and work out a routine to accommodate regular visits – it’s always that first one!  I grabbed a towel to take with me and, funnily enough, it is a swag item from a tour I did.  Jamiroquai ‘Dynamite’, can’t remember what year but it was a blast.  Jay Kay is a an absolute enigma all on his own but combined with the venues we did… wow, what a tour.  Everyone on the tour was fun and vibrant including the band, backing vocalists and security. Read the rest of this entry »

Halloween in Budapest, Cirque Du Soleil, Delirium, 2007It’s a really gross Sunday afternoon in Noosa.  It has been grey all day with off and on rain…  the perfect soup making day.  I have just turned the oven off – the pumpkin and garlic are perfectly roasted, ready to be blitzed with stock and served with fresh housemade croutons.  YUM.

Years ago I was confident in the kitchen but living with and being married to a chef caused me to withdraw as I always felt what I was doing was being analysed.  Probably not the case because when we were on tour with Cirque Du Soleil, I spent 3 months in the kitchen, under Justin’s direction, creating a spectacular array of salads, dips, mezze, roasting veges, making dressings… doing all my own prep, Read the rest of this entry »

Beat the Street Tour BusesWhen someone says that they have read my blog from left to right and top to bottom, I take it to mean that I need to get to work and get some more updates written!  The one thing that has come up in conversation lately is life on the tour buses.  Most tours, we travel on a convoy of custom built tour buses with living areas, bunks, toilets and a small kitchen.  Some tours are all flying due to scheduling and others are a combination of the two.  On the Cher tour we even took a train, with Cher, from Moscow to St Petersburg… a fun journey.

The placement of personnel on the buses is strategically arranged according to department, load in and load out timings. Read the rest of this entry »

Hey, You in the Black T--shirt, Michael ChuggTwo things have inspired me to update my blog today.  The first being a long conversation I had last night with another ex-roadie who was hot on the touring scene in Australia in the 80′s and 90′s.  Names like Billy Thorpe and manager/promoter Michael Chugg, whose book ‘Hey You In The Black T-shirt’ I recently read, were thrown around.  It was a fun conversation – no doubt there will be more to compare stories.

Secondly, as I stepped out this morning to walk the dogs, I was wearing my sleeveless body warmer, an acquisition from one of the Michael Ball tours that we did. Swag was one of the perks of the job, and I have a lot… t-shirts – signed and unsigned, jackets, sweatshirts, hoodies, CD’s, tour ititneraries, bags, books, programmes, a cymbal signed by Pink and a tambourine Read the rest of this entry »

Pink - I'n Not Dead TourThere are a couple of stories that I like to tell in particular due to the way that they show the human side to artists that I have toured with.  You hear and read stories via the media which make artists sound untouchable, inhuman, precious and more but when you have the opportunity to talk with them on a level as basic as food and what they need you really do get to experience a normal human being.

I want to say we were somewhere in Austria.  I have clear memories of the venue and the promoter because noone particularly liked her – she was very difficult to deal with – but I never visited the venue again so I am not entirely sure if it was Austria.  Pink ‘I’m Not Dead’ Tour, 2006.  I was working in the dining room when I noticed that people were coming in, past the security guard, through catering and entering the backstage area with no sign of accreditation. Read the rest of this entry »

Starbucks Coffee MugIt’s quite funny how things happen isn’t it?  This morning I finally remembered to take a travel mug to work at the luscious Tangerine Beach (www.tangerinebeach.com.au), at Noosa Marina (www.noosamarina.com.au), so that I could feel better about not paying for, or having to then dispose of a takeaway cup.  I swear the coffee didn’t taste as good, strangely, but I did feel better for the whole exercise.  Now, this is not just any travel mug.  This is one that we got on the road for Barbra Streisand’s dressing room.  Now, not so much a coffee drinker as a chamomile fan, it was there every single day but I am not sure that it even got used once.  I know the mug even says ‘Starbucks’ but since we don’t have a Starbucks in Noosa, Read the rest of this entry »

London Underground SignAh, I need to finish this chapter…. At Singapore airport I sat and quite literally cried in to a computer keyboard at an internet station as I wrote an email back home to my man.  I thought that leaving Justin was crazy.  My best friend in the world was back in Australia and I was about to embark on a very scary adventure alone. I was emotional and excited all at the same time.

I landed at London Heathrow and caught the ‘tube’ to Paddington station where I was met by the owner of the catering company that I would be working for. Read the rest of this entry »

The Finn Brothers Royal Albert Hall March 2005I AM going to start from the beginning, I promise and have told myself.  But this one just came to me today and it will always be alive and well in my memory as it was such a sad time.

Look, we worked with plenty of big names during our time as roadies but I was so excited to hear that I was going to be working with the Finn Brothers at the Royal Albert Hall in London, with Bic Runga as Support Act.  There is nothing quite like fellow kiwis when you are abroad.  It just feels like family.

The Finns were scheduled to do shows at the RAH on 28, 29, 30 March followed by one in Portsmouth on 1 April, all as a prelude to further European dates.  But on 26 March fellow Split Enz and Crowded House band member, Paul Hester, committed suicide.

“On 26 March 2005, aged 46, Hester committed suicide by hanging himself from a tree in a park near his home. He had split from the mother of his two daughters Olive and Sunday (aged 4 and 10 at the time). Read the rest of this entry »

Britney/Brittany Episode Glee with Heather MorrisI recently discovered quite by accident when Justin and I were sorting through our tour paraphenalia that Heather Morris, aka Brittany S Pears of Glee fame, wBrittany in Yellow on The Beyonce Experience 2007as one of the dancers on ‘The Beyonce Experience 2007′ which Justin and I were also on.  (One of the dancers on the tour could not have any of her food groups touching anything else on her plate so was always a challenge to serve but I can’t remember if that was Heather or not…)  And not to be rude or anything but it did take the dancers a longer time than anyone else on the tour to realise that we were the same people serving their food every single day and in fact were part of the touring crew!  Funny.  (The dancers and band were all young and most on the road for the first time ever.)

Oh, and by the way, Heather is an amazing dancer… in my opinion better than ‘the’ Britney and by far the best of the Glee crew.  The Britney/Brittany episode blew me away.

Cher Farewell Tour 2004My Austrian student, Anna, and I have just been looking through some of my old tour itineraries (the last tour I did was 2008 so they are all ‘old’ now), and I came across a memory from the European leg of the Cher Farewell Tour 2004 (that tour lasted 2.5 years!).  We all, including Cher, went for a sail on a Viking boat out in the harbour of Stockholm – the MOST beautiful city I have to say – and had a great time socialising and living it up on our day off.   (Just to note, this was a tour-funded activity from a generous boss).  When the boat docked in Stockholm  we took some group shots whilst the paparazzi had started to gather waiting for Cher to disembark the boat, much to her displeasure and quite rightly so.  The ‘paps’ managed to hone in on some of the group pics before we had finished and the one featured here ended up in a German gossip magazine called ‘Gala’.

We had a German security crew touring with us for our German tour dates and when we headed back from Scandinavia, back in to Germany I was stopped in a corridor by a one of  security guards who had the magazine and had seen me in the latest issue! Read the rest of this entry »