“Are you a f*cking Roadie or a Guitarist??!!!”…


 

Jimpppp
“Are you a fucking Roadie or a Guitarist??!!!”…
Came the words spewing out of Chrissie Hynde’s mouth at me in 1982… rather like shit out of a sewer.
I had just auditioned for The Pretenders, after the Death of the talented James Honeyman-Scott, I did rather well too… that is until her Monitor Engineer Dave Edmunds (a different one) who I knew from The Rolling Stones Tour we had both recently done, came over to where we were sitting, slapped me on the shoulder and said “He ain’t bad for a Roadie, is he?!” and wandered off, whence the angry One stood up, hands on hips and hurled the above words at me… that was the end of my Audition.
Considering I had been playing Guitar since I was 12 – I was 25 at the time of The Pretenders Audition in 1982, and had only been a ‘Roadie’ since 1980, which included many sessions and 6x Albums in between, not least of which playing on The Rolling Stones ‘Undercover’ Album, I felt quite hurt and miffed by the nastiness of Ms Hynde’s outburst. But then again, she is a renowned Arsehole. But the word ‘Roadie’, or Tech, or Schlepper, or Road Rat, whatever you prefer, has dogged me for many a year since, even though I am quite proud of those times and I have met some great guys on the Road, many of whom are great friends of mine to this day and will be for ever more.
But equally, I have met some right bags of Shite too, including the scumbag who worked for Thin Lizzy in 1980, who spiked my drink with Acid (twice) because I wouldn’t chip in to buy Cocaine with the rest of the Crew (I don’t, and never have taken any Drugs as those who really know me can testify), or the Cunt who worked for the support Band on Lizzy’s 1980 Australian Tour who stole my week old Nikon F3 Camera along with other bits… he ended up as Shark Bait for Great Whites off the Barrier Reef (but that’s another story). But in general, most of the Crews that I met or worked with were great guys and gals. Not the same can be said for the Musos they worked for… something I once saw summed it up perfectly. When the Monitor Engineer for Level 42 was once asked why he has a Toilet Seat suspended above his head in the pit, he replied “Well, I look up and think that ‘that’ only has to deal with one Arsehole at a time!”. Or was that the guy who worked for Chrissie Hynde?…
jimkkk

Henry Rollins summed it up with this note he once taped to the entrance of a Stage…

jimkk
Recording ‘I Think I must Be Going Mad’, at Pathe Marconi Studios, Paris, 1982, for the Stones’ Undercover Album. Ronnie on Sax (out of shot), Ian Stewart on Piano, Chuck Leavell on Hammond (both out of shot), Charlie on Drums, Keith on Guitar and moi on Bass (Bill was off playing with himself that night). Chris Kimsey Producing, Steve Lipson Engineering. This was our umpteenth attempt at trying the Song in different keys. We had been playing it all night and this was taken around 7.00am, hence we are all playing with our eyes shut. Just a bit of nerdiness… the Blonde Stratocaster to the left of shot is a late ’50’s ‘Mary Kaye’ with Gold parts, it started off as Ronnie’s, then Keith commandeered it for himself, in lieu of a debt… It is a great Guitar. Keith later used it the infamous Film he made about Chuck Berry. It was 10/10 condition back then… I saw it in 2018. I think it is now known as a ‘Relic’..
Author: Jim Barber


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