20 QUESTIONS WITH…
Tour Manager To The Stars,
This week we thought we’d do something different because…well…we can. Today we are doing 20 Questions with Larry Morand, who has been the tour manager for such acts as Vince Neil, Warrant, Ratt, Cinderella, Slash’s Snakepit, and has dealt with 99% of the bands that Metal Sludge goofs on. We figured Larry had to have some good stories to tell, and he did. If you pay attention you may even learn something. We don’t have that many photos of Larry because we didn’t get that many sent in, so if you have any to contribute, send them in. Enjoy!
1. What band are you currently working for and how’s it going?
Just completed a tour with Slash’s Snakepit ( "Ain’t Life Grand" CD relase October 10th) , North American leg with AC/DC. Have some west coast solo dates. The band is awesome! honestly the best group of people I have worked with in a long time ( ok…since the last band LOL!). Matt Laug (killer drummer), Johnny G, Rod Jackson, Keri Kelli and of course SLASH! Going to take some time off and spend some needed time with my wife and look at some different offers.
|2. Name all of the bands you have worked for as a Tour Manager.
You have most listed below, but there are a some that elude my memory. Then there are acts like Seventhsign and Intense that did nothing stateside but I gained overseas knowledge in the licensing world. Royal Hunt, Huge in Japan….nothing here, could not get arrested! Actually for real we were in Little Rock and ran into a taping with COPS, however I did introduce these guys to their first Taco Bell. It was a riot to watch a grown man eat a burrrito for the first time. (see how easly amused I am)
Larry and his wife
3. For those that don’t know, what exactly does a tour manager do? What are some of your responsibilities?
Some people would say I am a glorified babysitter and they’re probably right. I do all the day to day business on a tour ( in the trenches with the artist) usaully the first up ( although the occasional..have not been to bed might be still wondering the bus) handling the hotel check-ins and outs, settling the bill, advancing the shows, speaking to label reps, setting up press and radio, guestlists ( yeah you can blame me!) basically being the communication hub of the tour. I am the guy that goes in and gets the money "aka" settle the show…..some tours I feel like dawning a mask and gun before going in… ( expenses, ticket audits, etc.), tour accounting, merchandise, hiring personel for the tour ( vendors: passes, buses, travel agents, trucks, etc.), budgets, after hours entertainment. As your buddy Keri Kelli would say "Making it happen".
4. How many kamikaze’s would Vince drink before a show?
How many you got????…actually, ya gotta ask Vince on that.
5. 2 Part Question: Do you think Stephen Pearcy has any vocal talent and isn’t Robbie Crane just a roadie who plays bass?
1. Ratt has sold 12 million + worldwide! Yes, Stephen with all the nonesense going on is a talented guy, I wish him the best!
2. I always love watching a new tech come in and Robbie schooling him on his gear, nobody knows more about gear then Crane. (Robbie laughed when I told him the question)
6. Describe a typical day for you on the road.
Wake up early (6-7 am) , check us into the hotel. Make sure my guys are settled, pop the day sheets into the rooms, put one up on the bus for the crew and maybe have breakfest. Set up my laptop, do some accouting, check Email and return calls and get a shower.
As it gets later in the morning send the bus down to the venue and have my production guy give me a call with updates ( soundcheck time, dressing room together, Merch, etc.) If we have a press schedule make sure evryone involved is following it at both ends. Maybe advance a few more dates…. Go to soundcheck, while the band is checking meet the person I will be settling the show, get on same page for times, agree on expenses and get a day of audit.
Send band back to hotel, with pick-up time .
Get ready for doors (Merch checked in -oopener on stage-guestlist in- security meeting- etc.) make more call backs show gets closer
My band is there (on time)
ready any paperwork for settlement
get band ready for stage
put band onstage
band off stage- make sure they are comfortable and getting ready for anything that might be going on aftershow
Check with my security guy on aftershow area
get band on over to aftershow (if any)
ready to leave
round troops up
get on bus and leave for next city
watch movie on bus and climb into my coffin for some sleep (2-3am)
all this and I get my own bunk..LOL!
Rev Ron and Larry
|7. Tell us some stories about some stalker fans you have had to deal with and which band had the most obsessed fans?
You know I think Dio had the most hardcore ones back in the day, people would show up at the office, at Ronnie’s house, Some of the letters— Woooooaaa!
Cinderalla use to have this guy come around with artwork…man he would show up everywhere, and I would be paged by the promoter, or house production manager that some one was up at will-call and did not have their passes…get up there and here would be this guy and his wife ( they would drive hundres of miles)..weird vibe from them.
8. Other than the obvious, what are some of the differences between touring clubs and touring arenas?
When you walk into a arena..the smell of cigerettes, spilled beer and vomit is absent! LOL! More resources at a arena. Clubs will make you think more and you definitely have to be more creative to make the show happen ( not all clubs but some …others ya practically have to be a master turd polisher!)
9. Who’s the bigger drunk? Be honest!
A: Jani Lane
B: Vince Neil
C: Stephen Pearcy
Are we going by height or shear mass LOL! Just kidding! You guys have the wrong three up there for comparison, but then this wouldn’t be metalsludge.
10. This is going to involve a bit of writing on your part, but tell us a good story about each of the following bands you have worked with:
Vince Neil: We were starting a tour in Wyoming somewhere…We fly in on a G4 private jet, limo to a club the size of a corner bar, have two buses and a truck there. After the show the band and I took the limo back to the private airport, got aboard our jet and flew to Denver…What a way to travel..pizzas and a movie, made last call in Denver…and all I could think about was we just played a club and what the hell am I doing on a private jet.Ratt: It was the 1st show back when they re-united, I think we played Albuquerque and the band was awesome! They rose to the show, about 3000 people in this hall, Merch sold out before the band hit the stage..RATT was on cloud 9! We left afterwards and drove over night to the next city , on the way out of town Blotzer was hammered and feeling like a king…."Man, we are back, that show was awesome!!" As the guys opened the second bottle of Capt. Morgans, I kept thinking, you guys are not 22 anymore…slow down and pace yourself, we have a LONG tour ahead of us. The next morning as I was getting the guys off the bus at the hotel…Blotzer looked like he was seventy years old, white as a ghost, moved like he needed a walker…I think he stayed away from booze for a few days..
Slash:Partying with the AC/DC crew. They made these things called "Liver Transplants", we took over the hotel bar at the Woodlands in Wilkes Barre and the next show day nothing but nightmare stories going around about our bands behavior, and how AC/DC did not want the crew to hang with us anymore..LOL!
XYZ: Here is one for the "Trailer Trash" chapter: We were doing an "all ages" show in S. Carolina, after the show was done we were doing a meet and greet by the bus. Terry (vox) comes up to me and asked if he could bring this "chick" on the bus for the overnight ride to the next gig, I told Terry that we had a rule : No riders unless they are goona do everyone! She looked at me and said "I never!! All I want to do is ride and party with you guys". To shorten the story…I told Terry and the "chick" several times "NO", finally I caved and we left ( a quick note: this "chick" showed up with her son (3-4 yrs) which she sent home with a friend..). Anyway, 45 minutes into the journey I notice there is only Marc, Paul and myself in the front lounge of the bus…so I walk back to the feared and dreaded "back lounge", there I found the "chick" ( who only wanted to "Party with us") with a dick in her mouth, one in her pussy, jerking one of the crew off…basically a XYZ gang bang. I look at the "chick" and go…"yeah you really are partying with us now". I left went up front and laughed about it with Marc and Paul. ( note: made the "chick" clean the bus the next day…and how about leaving your kid to go get gang banged on a bus????)
Rough Cutt: There are so many…So little time. I just laugh now everytime I see Amir in Orgy, and think "I wonder if he gets pissed everytime someone comes up to him with a RC album to sign?"
Warrant: Here is a later day Warrant story. So the guys and I are tooling down the some highway in Iowa and the OJ verdict is about to come down on court TV, all of a sudden our driver goes..wooaaaa!!! fellas hanger on!!! We come screeching to a holt …BAM!! I come running up with Scary Larry ( the guys real name is John-go figure) and the driver , all three of us run off the bus to see our trailer half off the road and smacked up on the bus. our driver tells us how the axle ripped off and a two of wheels flew off and actually passed the bus!!…So in Iowa, on the side of a highway we sat til a wrecker came and got us….and that is where we watched the OJ "Not guilty" verdict.
Cold Sweat: They were still Ferrari, and playing the Whiskey, George Lynch comes to the show and heckles the band all night from the balcony ( "Oni!! you want to drive a Ferrari or be in a band called Ferrari!!"). After the show, george got a bit more agressive and confronted Mr. Ferrari and Wendy Dio. Watching this build and get nasty… I could not stand there and let Marc get smacked so I jumped between them….long story short they threw George out of the Whiskey. A week later Oni was in Lynch Mob.
Loudness: We were playing in the South somewhere and my brother was out as production manager…I remember these girls coming up to me and remembering me from another tour. They really wanted to meet the guys, and since these boys were way too shy ( and really did not speak english well) I decided to tell them to come back after the show and my brother would bring them back to our hotel ( was going to be a suprise for Loudness). SO after the show was done the four girls came back and I put them with my brother for safe keeping. I had the runner take the band and myself back to our hotel and let them start partying in a room. A bit later my brother shows up with the girls and I have him bring them to the "Party" room. Finally, after a hour decided to check in and see what was happening….I knock at the door, knock again, knock a third time ( I can hear all sorts of noise) the bass player answers the door ..In pumps!! Not only did they fit Masa, but he looked a little too natural in them. Anyway, I walk in and the band and their Japanese crew members are all kneeling around the bed with handfuls of bills in their hands. The girls are dancing in underwear and snatching up the guys cash…and agian there is Masa walking around the room in high heels…I had to make a fast exit before I fell over laughing! I was their favorite tour manager for about 2 weeks.
11. Of all the bands you have worked with and worked for, who was the most difficult to get along with?
none of them, its all chemistry. I have come out on tours where the manager is telling me how much of a bunch of assholes these guys are and I get there and the band rocks…
12. Who was the cheapest band and which band spent their money like there was no tomorrow.
Cheapiest XYZ, I swear if Pat could have… he would have the crew re-use duck tape. I remember one time we were in Vancouver, B.C and it was right when the 1st record came out, the travel agent kept putting us in hotels way above our means and I would try and hunt down cheapos. I remembered around the corner from the hotel we were suppose to be at there was a OK place ( but far cheaper) I had used before. I walked in did my smooth talking a few minutes later came back to the bus …."OK, motherfuckers! ( a XYZ term of endearment) I got a great deal!…$35 a/night". Pat turns to me and goes.."American or Canadian?"
As far as spending , although they all do that…Vince would be the king, I can’t tell ya the money we would blow at a strip bar in a night. Fred Coury, now this man shops likes its a sport…and we are talking BIG GAME HUNTING!! and let me telll ya, Fred will drag the tightest wad into the game!
|13. How does somebody become a tour manager?
Maybe work with some local bands…maybe get a job with the local promoter How did you become one and what advice would you give somebody who wanted to get into the business? My advice…there is a ton of sacifice: long hours- crap pay, you really need to love what you do…and thats what drives you. As far as how I fell into the mix, I was at Valley College going for a Assoc. Degree and transfer to CAL State. I needed some work study credits, happen to be looking in a local mag (BAM) and saw Niji Management looking for a intern. I called them the next day and it turned out there office was a couple blocks from my office and college. Set up a interview and with in a couple weeks replaced the person who interviewed me. I worked for Niji (Dio/Rough Cutt/Alcatrazz/Cold Sweat/) for around 4 years before moving out on my own.
14. Which band had the best and worst tour bus?
Easy -same tour: Vince Neil We had an old 05 ( 1978 eagle ) for the crew..smelled like piss, and a star coach for Vince and myself. I can remember one club gig on that gig( a place the size of a photo max booth) I had 6 buses out in front and I walked the band on and off everyone of them to decide which we were going to stay on…finally getting rid of the piss bus!
15. Give us a tour memory about the following cities:
Chicago: Home sweet home!! Born and raised in the windy city.
New York: RATT playing NYC and the next day getting not only a write up in the NY TImes, but a good one!
Denver: The place I call home.
Minneapolis: Vince Neil and SHEIKS!! What a Weekend ! a few times!
Pittsburgh: "Blotzburg" …Never know what your gonna get there..
Tampa: The Old Rock-it club…what a dump, and what a great time.
Detroit: Heaven and Hell /
Heaven: Pine Knob or The Palace
Hell: Harpo’s !! Ask anyone I have punched out there!!
Atlanta: Police coming in to bust Scatterbrain. Band would dress up as girls and cover Motleys "Girls-Girls-Girls" for an encore . I guess the city did not dig them shooting milk from their nipples and double headed dildos from under their dresses.
Dallas: Leon and the Dallas City Limits, then just stumble up to Dallas gentlemens club.
Toronto: HAHA..the difference between American and Canadian beer!!! No Coors lights …so Vince and the band drank Molsens, not many either, but they have twice the alcohol as american beer. Vince fell off stage twice!! Aftershow, Vince came up to me and told me "Larry, I never want to see another Canadian beer!!" Everybody was trashed…it was pretty fuuny. It was like first day beer drinkers rock band.
Cleveland: Lowest of lows…opening for manowar on New years eve at the agora. ( Robbie…back me on this one!)
Boston: Last Summer’s Ratt/Poison tour….waking early and having coffee with Warren (RATT) wondering around the Ampitheatre…happen to notice that Poison guys were no where to be found…turns out they got stopped by Barney Fife ( local law) and he noticed their bus was missing its commerical tags, had the bus towed ( which is a sight to see by itself)and the guys got kicked off the bus ( mid sleep of course) , had to wait for some vans to show up and bring them the rest of the way to the venue. (they showed up in high spirits)
Tokyo: Cool city! Love the fact that you can walk down the street and have a can of perfectly blended coffee…or a beer…or noodles ! Machines everywhere! Fans always in the lobby of the hotel at all hours!! Best behaved fans anywhere!
16. On what tour did you get the most amount of chicks, and do you have a lot of "Tour Manager Groupies"? Hands down…..XYZ! Those french boys knew how to charm the panties off women at twenty meters!! I could write a book on our adventures. As far as groupies…ask my wife…she is my only one. I mean come on I have a face only a mother could love.
Larry and Rev Ron’s Wife
17. What’s the most annoying thing you have to deal with during a typical show?
1. The person that thinks they need to watch the show from the side of the stage. ( plug in: Hey, don’t you know who I am…or … I am a good friend of______)
2. The band girlfriends that don’t get along and decide the place to settle it is a UFC style fight out at FOH…..at the start show.
3. the guy that pisses the security people off and gets thrown out, but decides to take it out on your tour bus!
18. Did you see signs that Stephen Pearcy was going to leave Ratt before he did, such as band fights (Warren vs. Stephen) or any other things of that nature?
yeah, I think we all saw it out there. SEP was just not having a good time, it was shame cause the band was doing good business.
19. Speaking of band fights, is it true on the Vince Neil tour that Robbie Crane punched Vince Neil and knocked him to the ground? What was that all about?
Yeah, was front row for that, I was the one who pulled Robbie off Vince. You know there are about three stories involved in this….kinda a "two days in valley" movie script. The part you are on about…Robbie was in the Equipment truck hanging with his tech, when a wound up Vince ( thanks Brent Woods) ran up to Robbie’s side of the truck, reached in and started threatning Robbie, Vince grabbed Robbie…Robbie countered with a hook…Vince fell hitting a post on the way down ( leaving a cross in his forehead…Robbie was about to pounce on him more…I grabbed Crane, threw him over my shoulder and removed him. Robbie rode to NY on the Warrant Bus and flew home the next day. ( Dana Strum stepped in for a day)
|20. Why did you leave the Snakepit tour? Somebody said you were canned. Is that true?
Hhhmmmm, thats the first I heard of bring "canned". I will say this( and it is really nobodys concern)I was going to leave the tour for some family reasons…I had already brought the FOH/Tour Manager from the Goo Goo Dolls aboard ( after the AC/DC run). What I had planned was to do I think 4-5 shows and then leave for home…anyway, as it got close to the first show Management thought, "why bother..Go home and take care of what you need to do. So if thats what they meant by being "canned", that would be my response.
Larry and his wife
21. Time for Metal Sludge’s Word Association. We list a name and you give us your thoughts.
Vince Neil = Dude! / "What no Coors Light in bottles"
Stephen Pearcy = Hey Hey..wooa…Be nice! -
Union = Mudfest: "Larry I swear if I get hit with one piece of sod…We are out of here". – famous last words from John Corabi
D’Priest = The original darkman
Slash = "All things considered" ( great guy!)
Dana Strum = "Now Larry, what are talking about here, renting Slaughter for the evening….and what do you think its worth?…I was thinking more!" (part of question 19)
Bobby Blotzer = "Jim….whats tee time".
Sebastian Bach = Come on…won’t this guy ever leave our bus. LOL!
Lars Ulrich =who?
Poison =Best aftershow party in the business
See, that was cool. When was the last time you read about XYZ having a gang bang in the back of the bus? You only get that shit at Metal Sludge!
Thanks to Larry for being a Sludgeaholic and making a lot of people nervous by doing 20 Questions with us!