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I hope you enjoy these drawings as much as I do. They’re just light fun for a lightman, the bands, the crew and—most importantly—the audience, without whom nothing would have been possible.
There are bands who believe that they are the beginning, the center and the end of everything, but there are others who openly acknowledge the audience’s and crew’s contribution to the success of every truly great performance. (Not to mention the paycheck.)
Somewhere along the way, I decided to design and direct lighting without meeting the bands, much the same way as an album illustrator designs a record jacket before the recording session has been completed. For me, that makes for less friction and more spontaneity in the creative interaction between the lighting and the band, which means more potential for magic all around.
Also—Jerry Garcia and Warren Zevon come quickly to mind—I might have accidentally seered a retina or awakened a dark memory with lighting or a special effect and suffered consequences that not only were undeserved, but could easily have been avoided with distance and time. I may pass along some of those stories as we go along.
Some bands you just don’t want to know, and their roadies tend to look and act much like them. We often ran across opening acts crews who were absolutely intolerable in their expression of egocentricity. We all bit our tongues and did our jobs but, as the stage crew so eloquently expressed itself, “What goes up must come down” and the load-out can somehow get much harder on the way down. —Moyssi