by Regis Boff
For six or seven years, from about twenty-two years old until Peter Gabriel left the band I was the tour manager of the band, Genesis. I was the only American. We were all roughly the same age; they were just starting out as well. We played gymnasiums, bullrings, bicycle racing tracks, almost any open space. All they needed was a stage. They had no money. Mostly we drove everywhere or took trains in Europe.
They stopped touring only to record their albums. I was then out of a job and just waited until they went out again. I wasn’t ambitious. Their manager, Tony Smith, would call from England and play their new stuff to me over the phone as it was recorded. Phones with cords.
It was a family. All the wives and children came on tour. I showed them America and Canada and they introduced me to Europe.
I wasn’t much good at the job, especially in Europe. I could never find the gigs and had difficulty with the strange currencies which changed almost every day as we passed through borders. I ended every tour with bags full of money of different colors.
The road crews disliked me because they understood I could not do what they did yet I traveled with the band. I was supposed to be their boss.
The road manager taunted me for most of my first two tours. He knew he was important because he understood the Byzantine speaker wiring that any beginning band is stuck with. He was correct in that, the show would not happen without him.
During a load-out after a show in Dallas, he hit me with a rolled up ball of gaffer’s tape, I recoiled into part of a truss. It hurt.
I believe I knocked him out but on this I am not sure. I do know that his feet left the ground when I hit him.
He promptly quit leaving the tour in trouble because of me. I figured that I was finished.
We had rented some local speaker bins from an outfit called SHOWCO in Dallas. One of their people locked himself in a room with all our equipment and in a few hours repackaged the whole of our shitty gear. I have trusted Texans ever since. I made them a lot of money over time.
Road crews never fucked with me again.