"They're the first to come and the last to leave, workin' for that minimum wage," is how pop star Jackson Browne described the life of a roadie in his 1977 classic, "The Load Out." The song was a tribute to many laborers, technicians and go-fors who work behind the scenes for touring show business acts. They are the ones who "pack it up and tear it down," Browne sings.
Traveling bands and other shows can't function without the constant efforts of the roadie. While the labor and the travel are part of the job, the life of a roadie has also evolved with the times and technology.
Roadies hold many different positions in a touring act's organization. Some roadies take care of and operate equipment, for example, while others drive or provide security. Still others act as personal assistants to members of the show or music producers. To be a roadie, you'll need good communication skills and the ability to work as a member of a team. In some cases, the main qualification will be a strong back. In others, technical training or even a degree might be required.
Becoming a roadie might be a good choice for you if you have the desire to work hard and be part of the behind the scenes of show business. If you want to pursue this career, you'll want to take certain steps to prepare yourself for opportunity.
What does it take to become a roadie? What's the job like? What skills are needed? Read on to find out.