Well, here I go again! This time, I am working for both the Scorpions and Whitesnake. We are doing an 8-week tour of the United States and Canada, a total of 37 dates in 36 cities. We are starting in Jacksonville on January 29th, and we are tentatively scheduled to end on March 22nd in Detroit.

It is a rather busy schedule, averaging about 5 shows per week. The first few days are tech and band rehearsals, then we quickly settle into "tour-mode." Here are the people I will be working with:



  • Klaus Meine- Lead Vocals
  • Rudolf Schenker- Guitar & Vocals
  • Matthias Jabs- Lead Guitar & Vocals
  • James Kottak- Drums & Vocals
  • Ralf Riekermann Bass & Vocals

  • Bill Barclay- Tour Manager


  • David Coverdale- Vocals
  • Doug Aldrich- Guitar & Vocals
  • Reb Beach- Guitar & Vocals
  • Marco Mendoza- Bass & Vocals
  • Tommy Aldridge- Drums

  • Michael McIntyre- Tour Manager


  • Don Dokken- Vocals
  • Alex DeRosso Guitar & Vocals
  • Barry Sparks- Bass & Vocals
  • "Wild" Mick Brown- Drums

  • David Ungar- Tour Manager


  • Robbie- Overall Production Manager


  • Achim- Sound Engineer
  • Andreas- Monitor Engineer
  • Cosmo (yep, I do have a real job out here)- Lighting Director
  • Peter- Rudolf's Guitar Tech
  • Ingo- Matthias' Guitar Tech
  • Francis- James' Drum Tech
  • Malte- Ralf's Bass Tech
  • Jessica- Wardrobe
  • John- Jack of all trades/Silk flame specialist/Production Assistant/Dry Ice Technician/Marley Technician/4 by 12 specialist/General Pain-in-the-Ass


  • Jim- Sound Engineer
  • Brian- Monitor Engineer
  • Cosmo (yes, me again)- Lighting Director
  • Maddie- Doug's Guitar Tech
  • Cris- Reb's Guitar & Marco's Bass Tech
  • Imy- Tommy's Drum Tech
  • Josh- Tour Accountant
  • Lisa- Wardrobe


  • James -Sound Engineer
  • Randall- Lighting Director
  • Tater -Monitor Engineer
  • Chris- Alex's Guitar & Barry's Bass Tech
  • Paul- Wild Mick's Drum Tech


  • Greg- Sound Crew Chief
  • Tater- Sound crew
  • Monkey Boy- Sound crew

  • Attaboy- Lighting Crew Chief
  • Mike Finn- Dimmer man
  • Dan- Icon Tech
  • Mike- Truss Monkey

  • Tim- Scorpions Merchandise
  • Brent- Whitesnake Merchandise

I will be writing when I can, and I will update the Webpage whenever I can, but please understand that I am extremely busy on this tour. Thanks for your patience, and enjoy!

I will be taking many photos throughout the tour, and will be placing them on separate pages in order for the diary pages to load quickly. Wherever you see a highlighted "link," click on it and it will open up either a photo or another Webpage in another browser window. Simply close that window and the original diary page will still be there.

Also, I will be adding new photos to the older diary sections as well, so check back periodically to see new stuff there, too.

DAY 1- Saturday, January 25, 2003


Well, today would be my last few hours at home for 2 months, or more. I did the usual things- getting the house in order, putting away my grill, making sure that my bills were up to date and so on. I packed my suitcase. I decided that I was going to rent a car to drive up to Jacksonville. They were going to fly me, but it is only and hour and a half drive! I wanted to take my car, but it wouldv'e been a problem to get it back.

My neighbor, Pat, picked me up around noon and we went and had breakfast. There is a restaurant called the "Osteen Diner" not far from my house that I love. It is an old fashioned diner, with prices to boot! After breakfast, Pat drove me to Sanford-Orlando Airport and I rented a car and headed back home. It is about a 20-minute drive tomy house through some beautiful stretches of scenery. I was going to miss home.

I got back to the house; double checked everything, finished packing, said my goodbyes to the cats and loaded up my rental car. I was on the road by 6:30.

It is a quick trip to Jacksonville from m y house; I was there by 8:30. I checked into the hotel, the Adam's Mark, and proceeded to unpack my bags after getting to my room. I called Attaboy, my lighting crew chief and we agreed to meet in the bar.

It was great to see Atta, we hadn't seen each other since last summer, and the last time we toured together was over a year ago. We had a drink in the bar and decided to go to Hooters for dinner.

It was a short walk to Hooters from the hotel. The weather was clear, but it was downright cold, especially walking along the St. John's River. We just walked faster.

Since tomorrow is the Superbowl, I had called ahead to this particular Hooter's a few days ago to arrange a party of some sort for any of the crew who wanted to watch the Big Game. I found that most fans have parties at home as opposed to going out on Superbowl Sunday, and that we would have no problem getting some tables reserved, even at this late notice.

Atta and I walked in to Hooter's, and, as usual with Hooter's on a Saturday night, it was heaving. We asked for a table for 6, as I knew that more of the crew would show up. We sat; I ordered beer and chicken wings.

Come to find out, some of the crew were already in the restaurant, seated in the back where we could not see them. Jessica, Monkey and others were there, and we only found out as they were leaving. Lee came in from the hotel and joined us. We stayed a couple of hours and then walked back to the hotel.

I went up to my room and was in bed, as tomorrow was going to be a long day.

DAY 2 - Sunday, January 26, 2003


I got out of bed at 6:30 AM, showered and headed downstairs. I got my car from valet and drove the short distance over to the venue, the Jacksonville Memorial Coliseum. I had to drive past the Maxwell House Coffee factory; the smell was incredible, all that coffee being roasted!

I parked in the backstage compound and made my way into the gig. Atta introduced me to my lighting crew over breakfast. They all seemed very nice and keen. I was happy. Lowell is my dimmer guy, Dan, my Icon tech and Mike is the general lighting guy.

After breakfast, we proceeded to load in. We had four trucks of gear, two of which were for lighting alone. I will give you a description of how load in goes on the road:

Each truck is backed into the loading bay. We generally have about 12 or 16 stagehands to help us at this point, plus truckloaders. The gear is either rolled down the ramp or taken off with a forklift. The lighting crew place themselves in strategic positions so that as each piece is offloaded, there is someone there to direct the equipment so that it ends up in the proper area. Our tour rigger, Lee marks the points where the chain hoists are to hang. The hoists are what hold the trussing up in the air above the stage. The house riggers climb up into the roof of the arena and lower a rope in to pull the rigging up and attach it to the steel beams.

Meanwhile, the lighting crew are doing their various jobs- Lowell, the dimmer man, is running the power cables to the house electrical system. The cables we use are huge, as there is a great deal of power running through them for my lights. The size of the cable is "0000," so we call it "4-ott." Lowell also places the dimmers in their positions on floor next to the stage.

On the stage, the crew are bolting together the lighting trusses, and rolling them in place so they can attach the hoists to them. At this point, they start running the power cables from the dimmers to the various items that need power on the trusses, such as the lamp bars, truss spots, hoist power, moving lights, intercom; there is a lot of stuff on the trusses and it can become a tangled mass of spaghetti if this is not done properly. Not to mention that we have serious time constraints on show days, so it not only has to be done correctly, it has to be done fast.

Once the cables are run and plugged in, the hoists lift the trusses to about waist high so that we can hang the moving lights underneath. There are also many other details that have to done at this point. I walk around the trusses and do a "pre-focus" of all the par cans, so that once it is at trim in the air, it makes the focus easier and faster. It is at this point that all the lights are turned on and checked, to make sure there are no burnt out bulbs and that everything is plugged in properly.

I also take this opportunity to focus the "ACL's." ACL's are a type of lamp, the letters signify "Aircraft Landing Light." These are actually the same type of bulbs that aircraft use as landing lights. They are very bright and the beam is very tight, much like a car headlight, but the light reaches a much greater distance. We use these in rock and roll to create a very tight beam of light on stage, and the generally come in banks of 4, as the are each 28 volts, so 4 wired in series becomes a 112 volts. They are focused in what I call a "4-finger fan," and it is a very pleasing and "rock & roll" lighting look. These have to be focused almost perfectly, otherwise they look like crap. Generally, they are focused once the lights are up in place, but I try to do them while the trusses are still hanging low, using the stage deck seams for reference. Usually, I can get a good focus that way, and it save an enormous amount of time if someone has to go up and focus them.

Once things are in order, we attach tape measures to the bottom of the trusses and raise them up to where I want them. This is a decision I make solely based on what I think "looks good." We start at certain heights and then I go out front and adjust the trusses accordingly. Once I am happy with the way it looks, we make a note of all the measurements and we call it "trimmed." We then try to achieve that same "trim" at every venue we play at.

Anyway, that is a brief synopsis of "load-in." This being the first load-in, it takes a lot longer to assemble the lighting rig. Once we get into the tour, the lighting will be up and to trim by around noon every day. Attaboy and the rest of the crew really put the system together well in the shop; that fact coupled with the knowledge that the Superbowl starts at 6 PM has us hoping that the rig will be up and to trim rather quickly.

The backline crew came in around noon, and started working on their gear, which has been sitting in a container on the ocean for the past several weeks.

I think that the band may want pyrotechnics on this tour, therefore I am having Mike, who has done pyro for me on many previous tours come up from Melbourne, where he lives, to bring a couple of effects to show the bands. He also did a rehab on the "Scorpions" sign and drum riser, so he is also bring those up. I have known Mike for several years, and we have become great friends. He is from Florida, but lived in Vegas for a while, but he moved back to Florida a few years ago, so now we are practically neighbors. Mike's nickname is "Otis," and, without going in to detail, I will simply say that it comes from the "Andy Griffith Show," and leave it at that. You figure it out from there…

Anyway, Otis turned up around 1 PM with the sign, drum riser and his pyro package.

The day seemed to be going rather well, and the lighting rig was up to trim around 2 PM. I decided that I would focus the rig tonight after the Superbowl. The plan was to leave the venue around 5:30, head over to Hooter's to make sure our reservation was in order and watch the Superbowl.

I met all the Whitesnake crew, and informed everybody what time the Superbowl party started. A few expressed reservations about being able to get away because of their workload, but they all had hope of being finished before the big game was over.

My lighting console is called and "Icon" desk. It is a computerized lighting console. I can actually "save" an entire show onto a floppy disk and reload it onto another console at a later date. I am using a very similar lighting system to what I used last summer touring with Scorpions/Deep Purple, so I can actually use the same program as a base to get this show going. Since I have most of the Scorpions show already programmed, I can devote a little more time to programming Whitesnake's show, as their show I have to start from scratch.

Tonight, I plan to get the old show loaded, patch all the lighting into their proper channels and go through all my older program cues to make sure they are right. I generally wait until the other crew, backline, production and sound are finished, that way, I can turn off all of the lights and program in peace and quiet. I figured I would go watch the Superbowl and leave the other crew to finishing their gigs, then I'll come back later and get started.

I left at 5:15, piled into the car with Otis and Lee, dropped Lee off at the hotel, Otis and I drove the two blocks to Jacksonville Landing, parked and walked in the cold to Hooter's.

Upon arrival, I found Tony, the manager, and he led us to our tables. It seems that someone else had commandeered our main table, so we were stuck along the side of the restaurant with limited view of the big screen television. I was pretty disappointed, as, with big screen projection TV's, the quality of the picture from the side leaves a lot to be desired. The restaurant was pretty packed, quite the opposite of what I was originally told. Oh well, I was happy to be able to see the game. I ordered a beer and waited for kick-off. Lee arrived, and so did several other crewmembers, Atta, Lowell, Dan and Mike among them.

All in all, it was an enjoyable evening, despite the letdown from Hooters. I only had a couple of beers, as I had a long night ahead of me and needed to stay awake and program. I was happy to see the Buccaneers win the Superbowl, I mean, I am a Miami Dolphins fan, but living in Florida also makes me a Bucs fan. But as far as the Jacksonville Jaguars go, well, I go back and forth. I mean, I am a true home team guy, so I root for all the Florida teams, but that's a whole other chapter…

We left Hooter's at 10:15 PM, I dropped the crew off at the hotel and I ran up to my room to get a couple of things I would need for the all nighter. Dan and I met back in the car and we headed back to the gig.

I stopped by the Production Office, dropped off my bag and jacket and went out to the front to my console to start programming. I went through all the Scorpions cues, refocused all the moving lights and then went to work on Whitesnake.

Around 2:30 AM, I decided to take a break, I had made good progress and was nearly ready to call it a night. Or a morning, anyway. I walked back to Production, and went online to check my email. I decided to call it a night and went to find Dan to tell him to shut down the system. I packed up my computer and started gathering my things, but I didn't see my jacket. I swore I had left it on a chair in the Production Office, but it wasn't there. I decided to go look at the lighting desk area, but I was SURE that I hadn't brought it out there with me. No, it wasn't there, either. I went back to Production. I was SURE that I left it there- someone had taken it! I called Attaboy to see if they may have taken it by mistake- I woke him up and he said no. In disbelief, I finally realized that someone, somehow, had come into the Production Office and actually stolen my jacket!

I grabbed the two security guards, who, of course, saw nothing. Suddenly, I remembered that my rental car keys were in the pocket. Great. Now I couldn't drive my car. After searching everywhere Dan and I possibly could, I called the police to file a report. An officer arrived, I filed a report, and he left, and I knew by his attitude that I would never see my jacket again. I was very disinheartened. I bought this jacket at the Hard Rock Café in New York on September 11th, when I was up there for the Anniversary. I had managed to hold on to this jacket throughout 2 months in Russia, yet here I was in Florida, HOME, and someone rips off my jacket.

Dan and I hitched a ride to the hotel with the House Electrician and I was in bed by 5 AM. It had been a long day.

DAY 3- Monday, January 27, 2003


I woke up at 10 AM. I felt pretty good. Whenever I am in programming mode like this, I seem to survive on 5 hours of sleep a night. Robbie called and said that the Scorpions wanted to have a meeting this morning, at 11 AM at their hotel. I took a quick shower and met Robbie in the lobby.

We took a ride over to the Scorpions hotel and waited in the lobby for a few minutes. Bill Barclay, the Tour Manager showed up, followed by the rest of the band. We went into the lobby bar and sat down.

We spoke mainly about different effects for the show. Pyro was the one they wanted to know about. This is why I had Otis come up to Jacksonville, I guess I know this band well enough to know what they want. We decided that we would have a pyro demonstration tomorrow after their rehearsal. Robbie and I then headed back to the gig. Bill tagged along to set up over at the venue.

Things were progressing back at the gig, but no one had seen my jacket. I decided to forget about it.

The Whitesnake crew had set up all their gear on the stage. I put the rig into the Scorpions configuration and focused the lights.

The band started arriving early afternoon. It was so great to see Doug Aldrich, he played with Ronnie Dio on the summer tour and we had become fast friends. I met the rest of the guys, they all seemed great and I was really looking forward to working with them. David came in shortly thereafter. We had spoken on the phone, but hadn't officially met until today. I cannot begin to tell you what a pleasure this man is to work with. At this point, I am even more excited to do this tour now, working with such wonderful people. The Scorpions are a sheer joy to work with, and in this quick meeting of the Whitesnake band, I feel that they will be the same.

I spent the afternoon programming while the band rehearsed their set. The band sounds great- after a few shows, they will be phenomenal.

I called Avis and they made a new key for my car. The runner ran to the airport to pick it up. It was good to have my car back. It was at this point I was glad that I hadn't driven my car, it might've gone with the jacket!

The band rehearsed into the evening. They ran through the show two times, then they all left. The crew stayed on working for a little while longer, then they all disappeared. Finally, everybody was gone by around midnight.

Again, I was by myself programming away. I finished my work on the Scorpions show and then spent the rest of my time programming for Whitesnake. I have my CD player and headsets, I listen to the songs and write cues. This is a very time consuming process, but I start by laying a base look for each song, then I go back and keep adding cues until I have somewhat of a finished product. It normally takes several hours to program one song, and even though Whitesnake's setlist consists of only 10 songs, I did not have the 30 to 40 hours of time to do spend working on the set. I essentially had about 20 hours, 2 hours per each song. I worked until about 5 AM; Dan and I shut down the system and drove back to the hotel. I was in bed by 5:30 AM. I had gotten a lot done today, but I still had a lot to do.

DAY 4- Tuesday, January 28, 2003


10:30, I was awake. Into the shower and down to the gig. I had a lot to do today, so I had something to eat and got to work. I had Attaboy put the rig back into the Scorpions configuration. I have yet to explain this, but simply put, I have hinges on the trusses so I can put the lighting trusses at different angles so each band has a different "look."

The Scorpions showed up about 1 PM, each band member came out and tweaked his gear, then, eventually, they all made it out and started rehearsal. They ran through the show a couple of times. They went over the set list, made some changes, and finally came up with a viable set. Problem was, that the show would be too long. Whitesnake is playing an hour, Scorpions 1 hour and 10 minutes. As the set list stood now, the Scorpions show would be nearly and hour and a half!

Around 7 PM, we decided to show the band the pyro effects. Otis had three effects to show them. The band gathered in the front row to watch the "fireworks." Otis described each cue before he shot it, then called "Fire in the hole!" and triggered the effect. The band were suitably impressed. We discussed the differences, and also different effects, and eventually decided that they would decide later.

One big problem with pyro is that it is expensive. Oddly enough, the cheapest part is actually the product! The other fees involved are crew wages, equipment rental, licensing, and permits. I have had pyro on many tours in the past, and I always insist on using the best- the best product, the best equipment and most importantly, the best crew. Otis is one of the best, and most of all- I trust him with my life- I have to- pyro can be dangerous, and I want the best to be doing it. I will not put the band, the crews and most importantly, the fans at any risk whatsoever. Otis knows all the laws, the rules, regulations, and most importantly- he has the experience. The downside of this is that all of this comes with a price- and you seriously get what you pay for. I would love the show to have pyro, but I will only allow it if I have Otis doing it- I will not skimp there. I feel that the price is more than the band wants to pay, so I think it will go away. But, we will see.

After the pyro demonstration, I went back to work programming. The band played some more, they played some new songs, and I had to program some new looks for those songs.

Again, I was finally alone around midnight. This was the last night of programming, so I had to go full steam ahead in order to get finished. It would be a long night.

Finally, around 5 AM, I called it a night. I still had some work to do, but I felt I would have enough time to touch the show up tomorrow. I had Dan back up to disk, we shut the system down, headed back to the hotel and I was in bed by 6 AM. I was beat!

DAY 5- Wednesday, January 29, 2003


I slept until 11, a bit restlessly, as it was the first show and I had a lot of things on my mind.

I got up, showered, packed and loaded up my car and drove to the gig. I had to take my rental car back by 2 PM today.

I had lunch and got the runner to follow me to Avis to return the car. I was just going to give it back to them with a half tank of gas, but they wanted to charge me 50 bucks! So, I drove to the nearest gas station, which of course was down the street, where I had to wait on traffic at the light to turn around. Isn't that always the way? I finally got fueled up and dropped the car off. We headed back to Memorial Coliseum. Jacksonville was so beautiful driving over the bridge.

I got back to the gig, and went back to work touching up my cues. I also had to set up Dokken's LD, Randall, with some lights. Randall is a bit of a character. I shall fill you in more on him later…

I had a lot of people on the Guest List for tonight's' show. It is a double-edged sword when I do a show near home. It's great in the fact that I can do a show for the "Home town crowd" and all of my friends; the down side is that I am limited to the amount of tickets and passes that I can get. As it stands right now, I have over 40 people who need tickets- since we are not sold out, I can probably get that many- but what grief! We shall see. I also had one of my local bars, the Sandbar, have a Scorpions/Whitesnake/Dokken Party last Saturday night. We gave them 5 sets of tickets and a set of Aftershow passes for the show here in Jacksonville. The turnout was great from what I hear.

We actually had only sold just over a thousand tickets as of a few days ago, but I think it that it has picked up a bit since then. I really hope so. It seems that all the Florida shows aren't selling the greatest, but hopefully it will pick up, especially with the warm weather coming.

The band decided that we would do some pyro tonight, and gauge the audiences' reaction. We will be doing an effect called a "waterfall." It is the effect that looks like a waterfall made out of fire behind the band. It always makes a great finale.

I got my guest list finished, I ended up getting about 30 people into the show. I was relieved to say the least. Now, another drawback here was that this was the first show of the tour; MY first show and I really didn't have the time nor the mindset to spend any time with my friends. I explained this to them all, but still, I wanted to spend some time with them. I just had to keep my mind on the show.

I called my Mother to say hello, it has been a tradition with me to call her before the first show of every tour I do. Don't really know how it started, I just do it every time. I guess I do it because it is comforting to talk to my Mom before the first show. Helps settle my nerves, anyway.

A few friends started showing up; Brad and Cathy, who own the Sandbar showed up, it was great to see them. We chatted for a bit, they hung out backstage and sipped their beers- they seemed to be having a good time. Otie and John, two great friends turned up. I just wish I had more time to visit...

I had my spotlight meeting at 6:30. I always meet with my spots before the show; I like to see them face-to-face, and also to explain a few things about my show before they head up to their spots.

Finally, Dokken hit the stage. I was very happy about this, as it set in motion tonight's show, and there was only one direction to go in. It is always nerve-wracking, the first show. You always just want to get it over with, get the first one under the belt as they say.

I popped into David's and the bands dressing rooms to wish them luck before the show. I could feel a bit of nervous excitement. It was kinda cool.

Before I knew it, Dokken was done and I headed out front to get ready for Whitesnake. A few more friends turned up, all of them from Deltona. Cheryl, a bartender from another bar in Deltona, Critters, and her husband Tad showed up with Tom and Glenda, more friends. I visited with them for a minute, and then they went back to their seats. I set up my console and spoke with my spotlights over headset. Everything was as ready as it could be. Houselights when down, the crowd cheered and the band hit the stage.

The show was great, especially for being the first one. I was really happy with the way the lights turned out. I still had work to do, but I had a show. I was very relieved.

I ran back to the Scorpions dressing room to wish them a good show. I made my way back to front to ready my console for the Scorpions. This process entails changing the program files to the Scorpions files. Attaboy moved the trusses to the Scorpions look. I then checked all the lights with Attaboy. I had a word with the spotlights about the minor changes I had for the Scorpions. I invited several of my friends to stand at the lighting mix position with me.

Again, the house lights went out, the crowd roared and the Scorpions hit the stage running. This show was much easier for me, as I have done the Scorpions for 7 years now and, as I said previously, the show has been programmed for the most part, so it is just a matter of me jogging my memory. It was fun to be back in the saddle. The show was great, the audience pleased. All in all, a very successful first show. Thank God!

Load out began, and I started to take down my console. All me friends praised my lighting, and commented about how great ALL the bands were. I was happy to hear that. I wanted the audience to come here and say what a great SHOW it was. Not that any band was better or worse than the other. The whole point here is to please the audience, and that we did. The show did rock.

I packed away my console and all the accoutrements that go with it, and headed backstage to the conglomeration of backstage pass holders, many of which were friends and acquaintances. The backstage area is quite small here, and to make matters even worse, the dressing rooms are located between the two loading docks, so you have a large amount of people trying to get from the Aftershow area to the dressing rooms, all going through the middle of load out, disrupting the entire process. It was a bit of a mess to say the least. One of my "friends" kept trying to bring people in through the loading dock, and Robbie tossed him out twice. Then, he just strolled into the dressing room, completely uninvited. This is a guy who told me, "I know how to act backstage." I learned a long time ago that if they have to say that, then they don't know how to act.

I visited with everybody that I could and they all eventually made their way out. I had a great show, it was good to see my friends, but I was tired and looking forward to getting into my bunk and catching up on some sleep.

DAY 6- Thursday, January 30, 2003


Ah, a nice day off after several really long days. I slept like a log on the bus, I was really glad that I decided not to go back to my house, it would've just made for another busy day. I crawled out of my bunk and looked out the window- we were next to a highway and it was raining. We were at the Sheraton, in the middle of nowhere. I got dressed, found my hotel key on the table and headed to my room.

I found my room, dumped my bags and got back into bed. I was beat and decided to catch up on some sleep. I had a lot to do, but I felt sleep would be better to

I finally showered and got dressed. I called Attaboy and we met downstairs. We jumped into the shuttle van and went over to downtown West Palm. This is a very ritzy area, with many expensive shops, bars and restaurants. We walked around and window shopped while trying to decide where to eat. We decided that we needed a little lubricating before eating, so we went to an outdoor bar and ordered drinks. The temperature was perfect, we relaxed in the wonderful atmosphere while sipping drinks and talking. It was a pleasure indeed.

We started our food trek again, and by this time, we decided to hit Legal Seafood, which is always great. There was no wait and the waitress seated us outside, overlooking the area and all the people. Wonderful.

The food was phenomenal. After dinner, we had another cocktail and then headed out. I called the hotel and they said the van was on its way. After 20 minutes, I called back again and they said they had forgotten, and they would send it now. Well, 10 minutes later, we decided to walk back, hell, it was only 5 minutes! We should've walked in the first place, but hey…

We got back to the hotel and stopped by the lobby bar, a few of the crew were there. We both had a nightcap and then headed upstairs. It had been a relaxing day, but I was still tired. I needed more sleep.

DAY 7- Friday, January 31, 2003


Up at 6:30, shower, coffee, and catch the 7:30 bus. This was the first real load in, so I wanted to be there early to make sure everything went okay. There were 3 trips from the hotel to the venue, so I planned on going back, packing and coming in on the 10:30 call.

We are playing the Coral Sky Amphitheater. It used to be known as the Mars Music Center. It's hard to keep up with all the name changes, but nevertheless, it was a gig I have done before and I liked, regardless of the name.

Coral Sky is an outdoor amphitheater, which we in the business refer to as a "shed." We usually tour the "shed" circuit in the summer, but since the venue is so far south, the odds are that the weather will be warm, even this time of year. We also have a show in Phoenix at a shed. The weather today was a little cool, but it would warm up and the forecast for tonight was in the 60's, not too terribly cold.

I walked to the stage, load in was progressing nicely. I said hello to the boys and then went to have breakfast. The catering here is always good. I had coffee, ate and headed back to the stage.

There wasn't much I could do at this time, so I went back to the hotel, packed my stuff and came straight back to the gig.

I got back in time to do my ACL focus and set up my console. There is a very limited amount of room at the mixing area here, but I had enough room for my console and a couple of guests.

I spent a lot of time on the phone throughout the day, as I had a few guests coming to the show tonight. Barry and Cathy, who originally were going to come to the first show, decided to wait until this one to help alleviate my guest list in Jacksonville. They were bringing Elizabeth, a hot little blonde with them.

The lights were up to trim by around 1:30, a lot later than I wanted, but hey, it was the first load in. It will get progressively better as time passes. Mike and I focused the rig and then I did a little programming. It is nearly impossible to program, as this essentially being an outdoor show, there was no way that I could see the lights. So, I did what I could and left it until the intermissions when I could see the beams.

This show was actually selling pretty well, this is one of those venues where the promoter owns the entire building, so the point is to get asses into seats; point being, even if you give away a ticket, that person will still have to pay parking, buy beers and hot dogs, t-shirts and other items, still putting cash into the promoters pocket. I like this way of doing things, as it helps give me work. I am sure there are opposing opinions, but that's mine.

Doors came pretty quickly, and then Barry, Cathy and Elizabeth showed up. Traffic was a nightmare, so I went out to find them and help get them in. After a few minutes on the cellphone, I located them, jumped into their van, guided them into the backstage area and we parked by the busses. I gave them their passes and we went in. There was a carnival right next to the venue, so they went over to eat some "Fair Food" while I went back to work

I have a meeting with the spotlights every night 30 minutes before the show. I have 8 spotlights on this tour, 4 in the front and 4 mounted on the trusses. I meet with all the operators before the show because I like to see them face to face and I fill them in on a few things before the head up to their respective spots. Each show has a new set of spotlight operators, all from the local crew, so I try to give them as much information as possible to ease their jobs. I have a "Spotlight sheet," which is essentially a map of the spots, I write their name down under their position. After they go up, I get on the "intercom," which is how we can hear each other, I give them their numbers and their "Home Positions." A "Home Position" is the person they will be on for that particular act. For instance, spot 1 is on the singer, David Coverdale for Whitesnake or Klaus Meine for the Scorpions. Spot 2 is on the stage left guitar, spot 3 is on stage left guitar, spot 4 is on the bass player and so on. The truss spots are numbered 5 through 8 and are in the same order, 5 on the singer, 6 on stage left guitar and so on.

15 minutes before the show, I get onto headsets (intercom) and do a roll call for the spots. It is at this time I give them their number and their home positions. I also tell them information pertinent to running their spot- the "size" of their spot, or the size of the "circle," which for me is from the top of the head to the ankle of the musician that the spot is on, otherwise called a "full-body shot." I tell them the terms I use during the show, for instance, to set up a cue, I say, "Standing by…Ready…and GO!" I use the terms "bumps" for a fast pick up or black out, and the term "fade" for a slow pick up or black out.

Each spotlight has 6 colors in them, which are called "frames." When I want an operator to go to a color, I don't tell him to go to "blue," I tell him a frame number. Every LD has different colors and frame positions, but for me, my colors are as follows: frame 1- steel blue; frame 2- lavender; frame 3- pink; frame 4- yellow; frame 5- red and frame 6- deep blue. When I don't want a color, but just white, or "no-color," I say "Open-white." So, when I call a cue, it goes something like this:

"Standing by spot 1 and 5 open white, and all other spots will go to a frame 2…standing by…ready…and GO!" or "Standing by all spots to black out…standing by…ready…and GO!"

Are you bored with all this yet?

After my spotlight meeting, I found Barry, Cathy and Elizabeth and we went out to the front. Dokken went on, rocked the crowd and then I was back to work.

Both shows were okay, nothing to write home about. I still had programming to do, and it showed, but I would catch up over the next couple of shows. The bands played well, but even they needed a few shows under their belt to get up to speed.

The first load out went extremely well, less than three hours. I had a couple of beers with Barry, Cathy and Elizabeth, they left to spend the night in a hotel in West Palm, I hugged them all, said goodbye and walked back into the gig.

I had a beer on the bus and got into my bunk. This was the first of three-in-a-row, so I hit the sack. Besides, the Space Shuttle was landing in the morning, and I wanted to be up to hear the sonic boom!

Ahead to Week 2