Friday, March 29, 2013

Academy of Touring 101...

How many tours have I produced? I honestly cannot recall; hundreds I am certain. I dabbled a bit in show production in my early Metal years in The Bootlegger. I was just getting the hang of it when the carpet was yanked out from below us and our walls came crashing down.

Trying my hand at band management was the next step for me, once I picked myself up from the tangled mess that dominoed after The Bootlegger's was snatched. I had a band, Sacred Reich, but I didn't have any contacts other than Bill Metoyer at Metal Blade, but I called around and soon had a nice phonebook of numbers and addresses.

Getting a tour was not so easy. I needed to find a booking agent who was willing to help develop a band. Most agents want a group that has a big buzz; they are much easier to book and make moola from. 18 months after the release of "Ignorance" and I still could not land a tour! I even wrote a letter to Debbie Abono who was the manager of The Possessed, asking if they would take Sacred on tour! I phoned every person I could think of, and every label that released Metal, trying to sniff out a tour.
Phil Rind

Jason Rainey
Wiley Arnett

I finally found a tiny, unknown agent who booked 5 shows in North America for Sacred Reich. We even went to Canada on this run! Trouble was, he got arrested by the feds for tax evasion and we never received the deposits. Who cared? No one did! We were thrilled to have a tour!
Greg Hall

On this first tour, I began to keep a journal and have continued writing for all these 25 years on the road. I am grateful to have done this because I have a log of my life...68 countries have my footsteps. My university was the road. I sold merch, tour managed, did the tour accounting and managed the band and a family while on my long journey. We had no tools such as cell phones, wifi or even fax machines. Pagers were a whim in the mid 90's but in the 80's you did all the legwork on a landline.
Gotz, Rainer Hansel, and Tommy (Coroner)

With the small buzz beginning in America, I was able to get a European agent who began booking Sacred dates abroad. On my first European tour, which was Christmas dates with Motorhead, I hired a European tour manager because I was tripping out on performing overseas. Were things different there? Would people speak English? Would we know what to do? To my dismay and horror, the tour manager knew less than I did. 24 hours in Europe and I realized shows were basically the same everywhere and I shizzle-canned the TM. The promoter, legendary Rainer Hansel, gave me encouragement in my decision. I scooped my confidence up in my Anvil briefcase, laced up my best Doc Martens and moved on.
Me,  Fan, and Jason

We did this first tour in a Mercedes station wagon that we rented at the airport in Frankfort...with no credit card! We piled our gear, luggage, Sacred Reich and myself in and took off for the unknown. Jason Rainey did most of the driving but we all took a hand at the wheel. We thought we were badasses in our Mercedes!!
Schmir (Destruction)

After this tour, offers for shows came to us regularly, and soon the world was our stomping ground. We spread the word of Metal and Sacred Reich to the far reaches of this planet. Little did we realize the path we would choose would leave a mark on Metal History....
The Sacred touring family
Sacred at Euro Festival

Class dismissed...