JOHN BECKER - GUITAR TECH
For our last tour highlight series, we interviewed guitar tech John Becker! You might have seen him teching for The Wonder Years at our Holiday Fest, or on the GK Tour with We Are The In Crowd:
GK: What made you decide to tour?
J: I’m really trying to think of an answer that isn’t something 10 million other people have answered this question with, but its truly hard. I can give you the simplest answer that comes to my mind. I love music, I love being around music, I love making friends, I love being social, I love to travel, I love guitars, I love amps, touring gave me an outlet to let me do all of the things I love. I discovered that the first time I toured and haven’t stopped since.
GK: Tour horror story- what’s the worst technical difficulty on stage that you’ve dealt with?
JB: Man, Ive got a few good ones. But I must say, recently I had the worst yet. Long story short, One of the bands I work for uses all wireless systems for their instruments. I quickly line check every thing before they hit the stage, everything was good, everything worked. As soon as the band takes the stage, one by one I begin to lose the instruments, first goes the bass, two songs later, stage right guitar goes, 2 songs after that, stage left guitar goes. I was truly in guitar tech hell. I was paralyzed, wasn’t sure what to do. The guys ended up powering through the show with little to no stringed instruments. It was the worst show I’ve ever worked, and hopefully will ever work. Even thinking about it truly bums me out. But hey, things like that do happen, its all about how you are able to come back from it.
GK: What does a day in the life of tour look for you?
JB: Wake up, go inside the venue, scope out your situation i.e Where you’re going to put a guitar world (Guitar boat and what ever else) How much room you have on stage to work, Introduce your self to the stage manager of the venue and just over all get yourself acquainted with your “office” for the day. After that, load in, get all of your stuff into the venue, de-case it and push it onto the stage. After that, I have a few hours to make sure all of my guitar/bass strings are changed, and whatever else needs to be done. Then, mellow out until about 30 minutes before show time, then, get ready, rip the gig, give some high fives, or sob, depends on how the show goes, load out, close the trailer door and then drink an ice cold beer.
GK: What does a Guitar tech do?
JB: Maintains and Prepares, these are the most important parts to me. Touring can beat the living hell out of everything you have, especially when you are with bands that can’t necessarily afford to spend money to replace everything, every tour. Its a thing you have to constantly be on the look out for, the smallest thing can completely ruin a gig, trust me. Overlooking something that you think will be okay can lead to something devastating. Things will happen, its inevitable, but you can minimize the damage by being prepared for when those things happen.
GK: What are your tour essentials?
JB: Sanity, Patience, Good vibes, A leatherman, my flash light, my drill, my soldering iron, my tuner(s) and an ice cold beer.
Get the CDR Tech Jacket, the essential tour jacket: http://smarturl.it/CDRTechJacket