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Background & Info
The Roadie Years
Sir George Martin
and Bonus Audio
The Roadie Years
From 1980 to 1985, Domenic travelled across Canada and parts
of the U.S. as a lighting director for recording artists such as Steppenwolf,
Badfinger, Rick Derringer, David Wilcox, Sheriff, Coney Hatch and many
is a photo of D. from March 1985, at the end of five years of living and
working on the road with various bands. He was known as "Tucci"
in those days, and had many interesting adventures in many far-off places.
He met, travelled, and worked with a lot of rock stars, hung out in some
cool places, and got backstage access at some great gigs.
In his role as lighting director and roadie, D. had a chance to express
his musical creativity through lights, which allowed him to create spaces,
moods, rhythms and textures onstage that enhanced the overall performance.
Pyrotechnics were a lot of fun too! The challenge of hanging the lighting
rig at each venue posed many dilemmas and hours of work along the way -
from tiny bars to concert halls and arenas. Hanging out with top musicians
on a daily basis, and having access to all that excellent stage gear and
the fine instruments also helped further D.'s musical knowledge and ability
to play other instruments. Sound checks were a lot of fun when the roadies
took the stage! A romantic life on the surface, but mostly hard work, to
In the beginning, working for the inevitable Zeppelin - AC/DC - Black Sabbath
cover bands, it was a lot of fun! The band would usually play six nights
in a row at some bar, and that meant only one set up and one tear down
- and one drive - each week. This left plenty of time for - let us say,
"partying". There was a real camaraderie between all members
of the band and crew and management. Tours "down east" and "out
west" were few and far between. They plied the 401 highway at all
points between Windsor and Quebec City, and they had a ball.
When D. started working with recording acts, the one-night
stands of real touring put an end to all that. It was a business - the
music business. The crew drove every night after loading in the gear, setting
it all up, doing the show, tearing it all down and repacking the trucks
- rain, snow, shine, etc. There were literally TONS of lighting, rigging,
PA cabinets, amp racks, stage gear, etc. that had to be loaded in and out
of the venue almost every night for weeks on end. It was real WORK - in
fact, some of the most demanding physical labour D.'s ever done, and he
has had a lot of furniture delivery and moving experience. To this day,
he can pack a box, suitcase or vehicle like nobody's business! Don't get
the wrong idea, there were still many great times that were had, and "perks",
but the emphasis was on the gig and not the partying.
The audiences, of course, were into partying. Crowd control was often an
issue, especially at outdoor shows. D. recalls an incident in Guelph with
David Wilcox where an extremely large, extremely intoxicated guy passed
out under the front of house console table. He was immobile, and laying
on top of many coiled cords, any of which if yanked from its socket, would
halt the show. D. and the soundman were also afraid the guy would vomit
and perhaps short something out. D. had to drag him by the ankles while
the soundman watched that no cords were dislodged. Security at this gig
was abominable; the stage and the front of house station were surrounded
by people pressing right up against the sound and light men, and their
gear. Another example, taking countless empty bear bottles out of PA bins
where they had been deposited by audience members. Playing bars was quite
In Canada, the major cities are far apart, and 18 hour drives were not
uncommon. Nor was driving in -40 degree weather. D. will never forget how
numb his legs got when the heater broke, driving back to Toronto from Elliot
Lake, Ontario in December after a gig with Sheriff. Despite the hardships
and privations, D. wouldn't trade those years or those experiences for
[Coming soon... a page of "Terribly Traumatic Tales of Truck Trouble".
D. quit smoking back in January 1988, but does still enjoy a nice pint
now and again.
|| Check out these 1983 Steppenwolf stage shoes (left), made by Nike in the
U.S. Silver mesh with black patent leather accents, split leather bottom
on foam rubber, nicely padded. Only five pairs like these were ever made
in the world. It has been confirmed that this is the only surviving pair.|
Here's the Coney Hatch road crew relaxing backstage at the Salty Dog Saloon
in Buffalo NY. (right)
Yes, Mike's fist is in his mouth.
L-R: Bobby Wyat (drum tech), Domenic Amatucci (lighting
director), Mike Kay (guitars & monitors), Russ Johnson (guitar tech).
Missing: Ross "the Boss" Tuskey, Road Manager & Sound Engineer
(taking the photo).
All Area Access backstage pass from the Toronto stop on the Jackson's Victory
D. watched this show from the lighting tower, and says, "It was amazing".
Bands Domenic's Worked For
The Rockers /Hard Rock 'n' Metal (with Jerry McGhee late
of Brighton Rock) Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Fire /Jimi Hendrix Tribute (with Tony "Wild T" Springer) Toronto,
The Equators/ Reggae and Ska Kingston, Jamaica
Moonlight Drive/ Doors Tribute Cleveland, Ohio, USA
The Villains/ Ska London, UK
The Ozark Mountain Daredevils/ Pop Ozark Mtn. USA
Eric Burdon/ (late of "The Animals") Classic Rock Los Angeles,
James Cotton/ Blues Harmonica Legend USA
Valdy/ Canadian Folk Legend Vancouver, BC, Canada
Rick Derringer/ Rock & Roll Hoochie-coo NYC, USA
Thor/ Muscle Rock NYC, USA
David Wilcox/ Canadian Blues Guitar King Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Badfinger/ Classic Rock London, UK
John Kay & Steppenwolf/ Classic Rock LA, USA
Downchild Blues Band/ Blues Toronto, Ont., Canada
Sheriff/ Pop Rock (Hit "When I'm With You") Toronto, Ontario
(ex-mbrs formed "Alias"& "Frozen Ghost")
Gargano/ Top 40 Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Urgent/ Rock Toronto,Ontario (former mbrs. of Bayb, Zon)
The Tenants/ Reggae-Pop Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Lawrence Gowan/ "but you can call him Larry" Toronto, Ontario,
Coney Hatch/ Canadian Metal Gods Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Maurice Raymond/ Stones Clones (late of "Blushing Brides") Montreal/Boston
Champion/ wi. Alex Machin (late of "Foot in Cold Water") Toronto,
Check out Wille P. Bennett
in D.'s kitchen!