By Greg Howard
In my almost 20 years as a touring guitar technician (or roadie) I’ve worked with many artists—the up and coming, the famous and the infamous. As with most roadies I have tons of stories about life on the road. This one is a particular favorite of mine as it involves one of the most influential names in rock, Mr. Jimmy Page.
In 2000, I had the pleasure to work on the Jimmy Page & The Black Crowes tour, teching for guitarist Audley Freed and bassist Greg Rzab. I flew up to NYC in May of 2000 to rehearse with the Crowes for a couple of weeks before we met up with Page in Chicago for a week of rehearsals in an abandoned theater there.
The NYC rehearsals went well, the Crowes were really nailing the Zep stuff, especially drummer Steve Gorman who set-up his kit on the floor John Bonham style.
In Chicago Jimmy seemed to enjoy playing the Crowes material as well. Audley had charted out most of the Zeppelin stuff and divvied up the parts between himself, Jimmy and Rich Robinson. Jimmy would even ask Audley how to play something, if he forgot. He also would stop the band and show how he had played something if the other guys weren’t playing it correctly. It was cool to see this dynamic and a guy who could have had the biggest ego in rock n’ roll was just a normal musician rehearsing his tunes with this band.
We had packed a ton of gear into the rehearsal studio in NYC, but we were in for a surprise once we got to Chicago. We had loaded in our entire backline onto the stage in the theater in Chicago, when a semi pulls up with an entire 53-foot trailer full of Jimmy’s gear. Jimmy’s tech ‘Binky’ said he didn’t know what to bring so he brought it all.
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