We are all jonesing to get back to live shows, and I have something that will help tide you over! Specifically, it’s “Memoir of a Roadie” by Joel Miller.
When I first agreed to do a review for “Memoir of a Roadie”, I assumed it would be an expose’ of the band members, by a disgruntled employee. Like maybe he wanted to wring a few more minutes of fame for working for some of the biggest rock stars of our generation. I quickly found out how wrong I was. (Sorry Joel!)
I also stupidly assumed that I would skim through the 486 pages as quickly as possible, to get the gist, and then write a perfunctory review. Wrong again!!! (Sorry again Joel!)
The reality was that I quickly became hooked on Joel’s story and deep-dived into the book. Putting away the rest of my assumptions, I sat and read. And read – until I forgot I was reading.
Seriously, the best books draw you in so deep that it becomes a movie or you feel like you are actually there, living the story…. instead of reading words. So, I was on the bus through the tours, smelling the backstage stench that lingers long after the show has moved on….. and on stage, while RCHP rained popcorn all over the live show.
Was that a spoiler? Sorry, I’ll do better, but understand, that is just the beginning.
The chapters revolve around Joel’s time spent as a roadie for the likes of Stone Temple Pilot, Guns N’ Roses, Poison, and The Cranberries. The travels, the ballbusting, wind-ups, perils, girls, partying and SO much more.
Anyone who’s been in the music industry will find themselves nodding their heads and laughing. We’ve all met similar personalities and been through similar craziness. We understand when hard work is mentioned, just how hard that work really is, and again, I don’t want to spoil anything.
For those who haven’t experienced the nitty-gritty behind-the-scenes activities, Joel did an excellent job of explaining what you otherwise wouldn’t know what he was talking about.
I laughed mostly, and sometimes cried throughout the chapters and couldn’t wait to see what was next. I especially loved how respectful Joel remained about the bands and professionals, and there are many of my all-time favorites that he mentioned. He gave away enough for you to be able to feel like an insider, but not so much that anyone was exploited on any level. Much respect for that!
Overall, Joel’s personal story was compelling and highly entertaining. I hope that story continues in the best of ways. “Memoir of a Roadie” should be put in the Rock Hall of Fame because it is an excellent chronicle of what it’s like to be a cog in the music industry machine.
And you know I’m going to ask you all to tell me what you think. So, get the book, give it a read and get back to me. You’ll find the book or Kindle version here: Amazon Link.
You can learn more about Joel Miller (pictured) here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joel_A._Miller