Daily Diary

6/23/00 We are at the New World Music Theatre, Tinley Park IL. Today was the first day. Load in went well. Lots of waiting time. Nothing new. System went up well, had a problem with Aux #2 output. Reset chips, and board as well as adjusted level on Aux #1, everything was fine. Had to repatch the router as someone had hooked it up wrong, and I had not noticed it until now. They put the screens up around 7:30, both were up when a thunderstorm which we had been watching blew in a little faster than we thought. We scrambled to get stage right screen in, and watched the screen warp like a potato chip in the wind. Very scary. Turns out the frame has a twist in it at one of the corners.


Paulie was trying to set up strobing video using the Aladdin and it wasn't working. I pulled the video unit out and field stripped it and cleaned all the connectors and dusted it. Put it back together and everything works fine. I like it when it's a simple fix. Tonight is the first show, Kenny Wayne Sheppard is the opening act and then the Jimmy Page and the Black Crowes. Then we walk away tonight.

Kenny Wayne Sheppard rocked the house! Very good vocals and a great guitarist!!! The screens held up fine, though we only shot it with 2 cameras.

Jimmy Page and The Black Crowes were even better. Chris Robinson does great on vocals! Page of course was great on guitar! Cameras looked good, screens look good! Nice way to start a tour. Here is the set list.

The bad news is I started to feel sick yesterday and now today it's even worse. I am taking 2000mg of vitamin C and echinacea an hour. Plus drinking lots of fluids. I really don't want to get every one on the bus sick.


Came in at 10 am today. Worked on the web page, repaired a triax connector, and replaced a fuse on one of the triax base stations. Tonight is The Who and Unamerican and then we strike and get on the bus to Detroit. Load out should go quickly, I hope. I feel a little better. Not much. I hate summer colds.

We didn't shoot Unamerican as there was still to much daylight for the projectors to make a picture. The Who went on at 8:40 and worked their way through the show. All in all very good, but after seeing Page & the Crowes the night before, The Who was not as energetic as they were. Lights where also different, not as much overall light as well as very little audience light.

Load out went well but slow. We got held up while the"Hospitality" people loaded their stuff on the nose of the truck. It took them long enough. We finished the load, showered, got on the bus and had pizza (Big Surprise) for bus food.


The Palace of Auburn, HillsDetroit MI, Loaded into a hall way not much room but convenient. 1st show went fine


I went riding this morning. I don't know how far I went as the computer is not showing speed or distance. But does do time and stop watch. So I know I rode for half an hour. Felt good to get out again. We had a noon bus call and then I worked on the web site for a couple of hours.

Wow, tonights Who show was totally different then the last one. A hell of a lot more energy, lots of improvising, and they talked to the audience more. They went off on a couple of strange tangents on some of the songs. I hope this is what they are going to shoot for each show. Much more enjoyable.

Strike took an hour, everything boxed and loaded! One of the lighting guys hid the dolly case and track. Mike and Pete did dummy runs and didn't see anything. So we called it a truck and showered and hit the bus. Around 1:30 am Ian the stage manager came on the bus and said that we had forgotten a case. Our truck had left by then so they threw it on the tail of one of the other trucks. Oh well, NEXT!


Star Lake Amphitheatre, Burgeetts Town PA. Easy load in, basically empty the truck and then build the system in the empty trailer. Still having problems with the preset monitor. I will pull it apart in Holmdel and see what's wrong with it.

Show went well. Mike got rushed at his position by the crowd. There was only one security guard trying and stop it, not very effective. They got more guards and were able to get him some space. After the show we brought the screens down into the seats and tied them down and covered them with visquine. Covered everything for the night and headed to the bus. Our bus was supposed to leave early but some how that didn't work out. We waited around for 2 hours until the Black Crowes back line and audio gear got packed and loaded. The whole lighting and video crew sitting around dreaming about sleeping or sitting in the bar. Very silly situation. Then the bus driver missed the exit and we ended up going to the airport. Finally got turned around and to the hotel around 1:50 am.


Went for a 50 minute ride this morning. Part of it was down and then back up a really nasty hill. Felt good to ride.

Made it to site, powered everything up and noticed that camera 3 was braking up. Cut off about a foot and a half of triax at the camera end and rebuilt the end. Still didn't fix it, ARRGH! Noticed that there was a triax butt that wasn't seated all the way. I seated it all the way and it seems to have fixed it.

Robin borrowed the camera to take a picture of the Black Crowes & Zoso logos so that Paulie could make a still for there show. Turns out Robin's pictures were to big so I took some smaller ones, put them on my computer, cropped and resized them in Photoshop and put them on a floppy. I was able to then take them over to the Aladdin and now Paulie is working on them. Here is the finished product.

I also got a 1 hour massage today. Felt very good! When it was over I left the trailer and walked thru a down pour. Major water, with major black clouds, and some lightning and thunder. When it finished up, just before The Who went on there was a double rainbow behind the loading dock.

The Who played even better tonight. It is more enjoyable to see a show again and again when the band is having a good time. Even more improvising, changes to the set list and general horse play.

Load out went quickly. Put away all the loose gear, then put the lids on the cases, then put the cases in the place in the pack. No loaders were mistreated for the first half of the load!!!!! Then then the rest of the cases slid right in, with the majority of the load being done in about 10 minutes. So then it was all over except the for the screens, which came back in short order.

Pizza and wings for bus food, yet again. Though they are starting to add wine to the beverage kit!


PNC Bank Arts Center,Holmdel NJ. Loaded into a small room just off of the truck dock. The building was put up some time around the early 60's. It even has a flyrail located at stage right. You don't see that much in sheds. They actually play the Star Spangled Banner before the show!

I pulled the Preset monitor out of it's rack. Took it apart and reseated some cards, which seemed to fix it. It kept going black and white on Paulie, so he would fix it by using impact maintenance on it to get color again. I put it back together and it seems to still have some issues. I put it back in the rack and it doesn't have any problems.???????? We'll see what happens after bouncing down the road to Boston.

I called Satan today. Actually his name is Tim Halle and he lives in the Boston area. I wanted to see if he and Mary and their little Badger could come down to the shows but they are in Maine during that time so oh well.

Something about tonights spot ops. I don't think they understand english. 3/4 of the time when Chris Robinson was singing there wouldn't be any light at all on him. Maybe it's a new style of lighting. Not sure.

We actually made it to the hotel at a reasonable hour this time. Got to have a couple of beers in the bar. Then went upstairs and check email and spent an hour uploading all the changes that I've done to the site. Asleep by 3:30am.


I wussed out and didn't ride this morning. Woke up around 9:30am and and spent a hurried 30 minutes racing a dying battery to finish some more changes on the site. I left the P.S. at site, my own fault.

I bet a lot of you are wondering how it is that I have all this time out here to futz around with this site or even wonder what it is I actually do for a living. Well, check out A Typical Day and you'll understand, maybe.

Tonight show with the Who was pretty good, though Peter Townsend complained about the spot lights being to bright, that it was video's fault, that all this added stuff was soulless, and could we please do this ONE song with out the spot lights. Following that song the Lighting Director had the spots put a heavy yellow filter in. This changed the the color temperature of the light and affecting the white balance of the cameras. Everything looked yellow on camera. At least all the cameras matched and the screen matched the stage.

Load out went well, and quick. By the time the rack cases were covered and ready to go we had loaders. By the time the truck was loaded the screens were making there way back. Shower time and found a phone line to check email and dump some more stuff. Leave for Boston tonight.


Tweeter Center, Boston MA. We are set up in a small little room with the system. Paulie and I working back to back . Today I asked him if he could refrain from smoking around the system, especially during the show. I got a dirty look for my trouble, we'll see if he is willing. Dabbo the lighting crew chief walked into the room and sat on the couch with a lit cig and looked at me even funnier than Paulie did when I asked him not to smoke. He thought I was joking. Got to love the clueless attitude of some smokers.

JP & BC 's show went well tonight. Had a problem with the Aladdin though. I didn't check the video input and guess what . It wasn't working! Luckily we were only into the 4th song and Paulie doesn't use it until the last couple of songs. I set the iris on all the cameras and got up to fix it. First I had to move a bunch of case lids out of the way of the 1st directors rack . Then I hooked up cable to the second input and went over to the xmission rack and connected the other end of that cable to the same output that was feeding the first input. Problem solved, in less then a minute. I like easy fixes.

Paulie didn't smoke tonight. Wahoo!


I almost got oil spotted today. (Oil spot is what you see where the bus is supposed to be when you're late to the bus call.) I didn't read the memo regarding bus call at 11: 15 as opposed to 12:00. My own stupid fault.

I am tripping over how long the batteries in the still camera are lasting. Most every one I know that has a digital camera complains about battery consumption. I have had the same set of batteries since 6/21. I have taken on average 20 pictures a day. So that would be about 240 pictures and still the same set of batteries.

Show and load out went fine. We had a scare when Paulie couldn't find his computer. He had brought it into the control room to check his email and then went to put it away but he put it down somewhere and it never made back on the bus. After an hour looking for it Paulie found it on a chair at stage right. Talk about relieved . . . . Now we overnight to DC.


Happy 4th of July. God this year is going quick. We checked into the hotel around 11am. I showered and went walking around Georgetown for an hour or so. Bought some books to read and had sushi for lunch. Went back to my room and napped until 5pm. Then I went to the bus and got the bike out and road 21 miles (The computer is now working fully. Speed, milage and average speed all work.) I followed a path that went thru a park for about 8 miles and then back tracked and ended up at the Mall. I took pictures of the Lincoln Memorial, the Reflecting pool, the Washington and Jefferson Monuments, The Smithstonian, and some outdoor art. I then went back to the hotel and showered and then went back out to watch the fire works. I took abunch of pictures. I ended up having a late dinner at a pub which had Guinness on tap (there is a God!) and then went to bed.


Nissan Center, Someplace VA.We got to site around 8:45am. Had breakfast and then sussed out the site. There are screens already installed. 22'x30' Front surfaces. Plus there are some Hughes 320 projectors already installed. So Mike doesn't have to build screens or put up projectors. Our truck tipped around 9: 45. I had the system wired, fired and checked by around 11am so I went and took a nap until about 2pm. Cameras where finished installing by then. Can't do much until lighting, sound and band gear are installed.

Rabbit, the keyboardist for the Who asked if we could do some stills from video for him. I said that all we had for archive was VHS, which would suck for stills. So I mentioned that I could take some pictures of him with my still camera and he could take them to Kinkos and get them printed. So I just took a bunch and showed them to him and then put the best on a floppy. We'll see how they turn out.

I had to take apart the preview monitor as it is still loosing chroma. I pulled and reseated some daughter cards and applied some contact cleaner. It was being affected just by the sound from the P.A.. Though now that it's reinstalled and the opening band is on there aren't any problems.

I fixed Pete's viewfinder today, it had a loose circuit board floating around inside. Reseated the board, no problem.

Tonights show with The Who had alot more light then normal. Actually the past 2 shows have gotten much better in the way of light. It's the little things in life.

After the show Mike spent some time on the in house projectors, making the local video crew very happy.


Nice slow day . . . . . . Spent a large amount of time redoing the links on the website so that there where no spaces in title names. I was able to do everything except the tour section. That can wait. We have been having detail problems with camera #2. So I brought up the detail gain, and vertical detail gain and brought down the threshold. If that doesn't make the picture sharp I don't know what will.

Show started and I had four cameras that did not match . . . . . ARGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! Camera #2 had to much detail and was too blue. Everything else was only a little bit out. I had them matching before the end of the first song. Still it was a little shocking

Load took about 40 minutes. No screens, no projectors!!!!!!!!


Blockbuster Something or other, Camden NJ. We are across the river from Philadelphia, so close you can smell it. The set up for the system is exactlly the same as the Nissan Center. So I'm having a running case of Deja Vu. As well as a little enui, and some variable joi de vive. Preview monitor needs to be shit canned, replaced or I need to take the whole thing apart, down to the mother board and find the bad solder joint. Hell, I've got an hour or four why not.

I stripped it down to the mother board, did a board inspection and couldn't find anything. I wired it back up and beat, bent, spindled, and mutilated the motherboard and was not able to localize the problem. I found that it held chroma when the board was bent a certain way. Went to dinner and came back, decided that I needed to keep the board bent while installed. I placed apiece of egg crate foam underneath the mother board and put everything back together. It stayed pretty solid. I had it reinstalled about 10 minutes before we had to video tape the opening act. We'll see how long it will hold. 3 more shows that all I ask!

Michael Pentz left us today for less greener (?) pastures. He is going out with Bon Jovi and running the LED wall in Japan. He will be sorely missed.

Tonight in the hotel bar some drunk lady was making rude comments about my hair, earings and sexual preferences as if I couldn't hear her. So I turned around and said excuse me. . . and lifted my shirt and showed her my nipple rings (Very mature way of dealing with it don't you think!). Talk about slightly non plussed. Then she starts talking about her son and how he's got his nipples and belly button pierced, and a tattoo across his back, and "Why do you do something like that, I just don't get it." Her husband was a good old boy form North Carolina who got a big kick out of how I shut his wife up, he kept saying "GOD D-A-M, I ain't never seen her shut up like that." Then bought me and the rest of the video crew a round of drinks. Very intersesting night to say the least.


3 More shows and a wake up call, DO DA. (Sung to the tune of camp town ladies.) Let's see, I need to bring up the threshold on camera #2 and add blue gain to #3 & #4. Threshold is an adjustment that determines when detail information is added to the video signal, either at lower or higher light levels. Blue gain is an adjustment that changes the amount of signal coming from the Blue Charged Coupled Device (image sensor). When the signal level of red green and blue are equal the camera white balanced and sees colors the way they apear to the human eye, we hope. It's a very subjective thing to white balance a camera.