JACOB BUNTON RESPONDS TO ROADIE!
Plus Poll Results!
To see the Poll Results, scroll down to the bottom of the page.
A few weeks back Mars Electric's Jacob Bunton did 20 Questions with us. In his interview, we asked him what bands treated them like shit. He talked about Alice Cooper's crew giving them a hard time. A couple days after that 20 Questions went up, one of Alice's roadies emailed us and gave his side of the story. That can be found right here, http://www.metal-sludge.com/EOTW15.htm. Now Jacob is sending in his story to counter what the roadie, J. Mann, had to say.
I just read J. Mann's response to my 20 Questions, and I wanted to respond to his statements. But first, I wanted to say thanks to Metal Sludge. I've gotten more feedback and e-mails from people interested in the band than from any interview I've done before.
With that said, here we go. In response to the question "Have any bigger bands treated you guys like shit?," I discussed our experience at the Tabernacle in Atlanta opening for Alice Cooper.
I said: We played with Alice at The Tabernacle in Atlanta, which is a huge venue.
J. responded with: The Tabernacle is a medium sized theatre, not an arena or the Superdome
I never said the Tabernacle was an arena or the Superdome. I said it was a huge venue, which it is to me. I'm used to playing in tiny clubs. A theater with three levels of seating seems pretty big to me.
I said: The backstage area, no exaggeration, had at least 30 different rooms. It was just a huge area. Plenty of room for everyone. They weren't even using all of it.
He said: 30 rooms? I think you ARE exaggerating a little here... I'd say like 10 rooms including catering, production offices, and bathrooms.
Just to make sure I was remembering correctly, I called the Tabernacle to check on this. Their number is (404) 659-9022. I asked them how many rooms were back there and they told me the backstage area includes production offices, catering rooms, dressing rooms, a recording studio and a full apartment with 2,000 square feet of space where Bruce Willis and Demi Moore lived during the Atlanta Olympics. The way I see it, if there's enough room for Bruce Willis to *live* there, there's enough room for two bands to coexist without getting in each other's way.
I said: But as soon as we got done with our set, Alice's road manager came up to us and said "Great set, guys. Now get the fuck out." We said, "Excuse me?" He said. "Great show guys. Get the fuck out. This whole area is reserved for Alice and his >band. You can go out front and watch the show if you want, but you can't be backstage."
He said: Alice has always had a policy of not having ANYONE onstage during his show since there is a lot of stuff going on with all the special effects (hangings, decapitations, etc.). This policy has ruffled a few feathers in the past when opening bands wanted to "hang out" onstage or on the side of the stage and watch the show, so this guy's complaint is an old one.
First of all, we didn't want to be *onstage*. We just wanted time to pack up our gear. Is that really too much to ask? I realize roadies are just doing their jobs, and the last thing I want to do is get in anybody's way. But nobody explained why we couldn't be backstage. They just said "get the fuck out" and treated us like we were scum. A simple request to pack up as quickly as possible would've been fine.
>>The last thing any of us needed that night was the guy from Mars Electric (?)
Yep. Mars Electric. Opening band on the bill.
>> hanging around guzzling beer on the side of the stage while we're trying to work
I don't drink
>> Sorry, dude, this is what we do for a living.
Oh, yeah. And I just do this as a hobby because I enjoy not making any money while touring around the country, living out of a tiny van and being insulted by roadies. This is my job, too.
I said: I told them all of our equipment was still back there, and all of our clothes were in the dressing room. He said he didn't care, and then the crew pushed our equipment out the backstage door.
He said: I know none of OUR crew guys have time to "push" the local band's gear out any doors during changeover.
We were in Atlanta. Mars Electric is from Birmingham. We were not "the local band."
>We're plenty busy with OUR stuff -- the local stagehands probably helped the Mars Electric boys get loaded out so Alice could start his show on time.
I repeat: Nobody "helped" us. They *pushed* our stuff out the door. It may not have been your crew doing the pushing, but you were the guys giving the orders.
I said: Alice Cooper's road crew was also part of the show -- they all wore clown costumes and would go onstage during the set. So while they were onstage, we went into the crew's dressing room, took the wine they'd been drinking, and pissed in it. After the show, we saw them drinking the wine and we just laughed.
He said: How did you get into the crew room if you were kicked out of the backstage area by the mean old road manager?
After the show started, the local crew saw how your crew had been treating us and let us back in to get the rest of our stuff from the dressing room.
>>Second: All the crew gets in the crew room (on those rare occasions we do get one) is beer, water, and towels. And I hate to break it to ya, but NOBODY on this crew drinks before a gig. That's all there is to it.
Oops. We picked the wrong bottle. Guess we shoulda aimed for the Evian.
He said: What probably happened was Mars Electric played their set and broke down their gear by the back door of the venue. Then the guys wanted to watch the Alice show from the side of the stage (which we know is a no-no). Our road manager told the guys to clear out and they got pissed off. While all this was going down the local hands loaded their gear out so Alice could play. The gate was blocked by traffic so the Mars Electric guys had to wait to get out. Boo Hoo. This wine bottle business is just plain b.s. Somebody oughta put this guy in The walls Of Jericho till he confesses his lies. I'm not sure what Mars Electric is up to lately, but I passed Jacob's story along to the rest of the crew guys. For some reason, nobody was very amused. Seeing as these guys work for lots of different bands (right now there are guys on our crew who've worked for Korn, STP, Megadeth, Godsmack, Kiss, and plenty of others...) I hope the Mars Electric boys don't run into any of these guys in the future. If they thought they were mistreated at the Tabernacle, well, they aint seen nothin' yet!
Okay. First of all, your road manager did not tell us to clear out. He said "Get the fuck out." There's no reason for that. We're pretty easy to get along with. I know road crews work hard and have to put up with a lot of shit. But road crews with other bands -- including Great White and Vertical Horizon, just to name a couple -- were extremely kind to us. Yours wasn't. I wasn't trying to start a fight with what I said. You may not like the way it sounds, but that's how it was from our end. I don't expect people to roll out the red carpet for us. But when you're touring with bigger bands, riding in buses and staying in hotels, remember that some of us are living in vans and eating from the 99 cent value menu at Burger King. I love it and I wouldn't trade it for anything, but it makes it even harder when the headliner's road crew treats us like trash. And just for the record, none of this is aimed at Alice Cooper. I just talked to him a couple of weeks ago in Chicago and he is a super nice guy. --
November 9, 2000
The results are in as to which side you believe. The overwhelming response was for Jacob. Jacob had 980 votes while the Roadie only had 70! And a good portion of you could give a fuck either way.
The roadie, J. Mann, saw the poll that we were doing and here are his comments.
My God! I'm getting beaten like a red
headed stepchild in your Sludgeaholic's poll... I may have to tap out or get a
foot on the ropes to stop the count! Jake's response to my retort was very well
thought out and articulate, I must
admit. Hell, I even felt sorry for the guy after reading his hard luck story about eating off the extra value menu. If the Mars Electric guys felt mistreated at the Tabernacle gig that's one thing... but I gotta say that this smells like one of those he said/she said deals to me. I guess we'll have to abide by the all-knowing wisdom of the Sludgeaholics on this one... in which case I foresee a large helping of humble pie with a side order of bruised ego in my immediate future. 99 cent burgers, anyone?
The Mean Old Roadie
So it looks like the Mean Old Roadie learned his lesson! He'll think twice about talking shit in the future thanks to the Sludgeaholics!
Chalk one up for the good guys!