Monday, July 12, 2021

Babysitting a band on the Rocks by GD Praetorius (Sonicbond Publishing)

This is a bit of a strange book but pretty fun to read.  This is a guy from the NYC area who was really into rock and roll (first real concert was CSNY 1974) and into Jethro Tull!!  He knew he had to do something with rock music and was totally obsessed with music so by 1979, he had made the decision that he was not going to play music but get into management.  This book tells the story of him meeting Ian Anderson finally in 1982 and basically him being quite unfriendly, despite him being the hugest fan of the band. 

The next few chapters are quite interesting (after his few months with a dysfunctional Aerosmith without Joe Perry in 1979-80. Tough time for a band that was playing stadiums and now small clubs.  After this he goes into quite a lot of detail of what was required to manage a major concert venue (Calderone Hall) with a capacity of 2500 or so people.  All the details of how shows are set up, run, load in and load out, what you had to do for the bands, etc..   One of this jobs when Pink Floyd did a run of 6 shows of the WALL, was to pick the band up in his car each evening from a heliport near by.  Fun and he was only like 23 years old…

Eventually, his company that he was part of start doing bigger areas shows in the early 80s and this is a big step up in making these shows happen without problems and it sounds like really hard work and you really have to have dedicated people to pull this all off without problems. I think some people might not find this that interesting. I did though…

Next he describes working with some of the promoters, managers and band folk for Van Halen, AC/DC, YES, Judas Priest, etc.. The last few chapters I did not really find added that much more to the story and felt a bit like filler. Overall, I enjoyed reading the book and I think if you are interested in what it was like to manage a venue, be a tour manager, then you will get some good insight and enjoy this but if you just want good rock stories and dirt.. This book has some but not enough for you, probably. 

http://sonicbondpublishing.com 

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