Your contribution of ANY SIZE will enable us to feed our friends the crew who are in desperate need for food. Please contact us if you would like to adopt a roadie directly and send them a food e-gift certificate. I have many single crew as well as families who are in need for any amount at all-I can help you help them
Introducing Master Luthier Tom Weber- Eddie Van Halen’s Guitar Tech
(Intro from the “VH News Desk” Written June 4, 2008)
"Ed is a force of nature. I understand the math behind how a guitar works. Ed does things on the guitar that defy the math," said Weber.
"I've sat with him and watched him do things that you can't do. Ed doesn't play guitar, the guitar submits to Ed's will. It's truly an amazing thing. It's a very inspiring place to be.
For Weber, who logs 14 or 15 hours on concert days setting up gear, stringing guitars, replacing electronic pickups and making sure every instrument is in optimum condition for sound checks and performances, the Van Halen tours represent the latest highlight of a colorful -- and often difficult -- career in music. That "long hard road," as he puts it, includes surviving a battle with cancer in the 1980s. For the past 12 years, he also has served as a guitar tech in stints with Cincinnati rock band Blessid Union of Souls and Poison lead guitarist C.C. DeVille.”
Though in demand in normal times, the last few years have been especially trying for Tom, not just with the passing of Ed Van Halen, an employer and friend, but also with the loss of his business at the hands of a predatory landlord, who successfully forced him out of the building where his guitar repair shop had been located for 25 years, while he was on tour! The loss of the business has been compounded by the sale of two other buildings where what remained of Tom’s business has been stored. One of the buildings was sold recently, which makes it necessary for him to move yet again, at a time where there is no income, and no potential for work on the horizon in the foreseeable future due to the total collapse of the live entertainment industry because of COVID19.
“I’d try to get back into a shop if I wasn’t in a position to lose my home” he says, but with the coming expense of having to relocate, or lose what’s left of what was supposed to be his eventual exit from touring, and ever growing debt on his family’s home, it will soon be a choice between one or the other.
"Things are looking pretty bleak at the moment, I won't lie", says Tom. "I have been looking for employment, but am told I am over qualified for the jobs that are available in the area I live in, or that the job is more suited to a younger candidate, and now with the uncertainty about the house, it feels like I am chasing my tail... I'm most worried about how this is affecting my family and the uncertainty each day brings.. I just don't know.."
As if this would be more than enough for most, Tom is also a cancer survivor, having done 2 years of chemotherapy in the mid-80s, a time when little was known about the long term effects of the treatments he was given. Those effects have found their way into Tom’s life periodically, making normal life difficult at times, and requiring attention that never comes at a reasonable cost for someone who (for cost alone) would be considered uninsurable. Bone density, muscle mass issues, long term compromised immune disorder are all issues that make the current health crisis much more trying. Currently, there are several tests that Tom needs to have that have been put on hold due to finances as well. “It’s just going to have to wait…” he says.
If you are able to assist Tom, please donate to his personal gofundme link below. All donations of ANY size go directly to Tom which in turn allow him to keep a roof over his families head. Tom has helped so many people in the music industry- lets pay it forward and help him during his time of need.
PLEASE SHARE www.gofundme.com/helpdannyoneil
Please visit www.roadiecare.com
Danny aka Borga Is a legend in the music industry and one of the nicest guys you will ever meet. He has worked with Matchbox 20, Rob Thomas, REO Speedwagon, Cyndi Lauper, Styx and so many others. He helps anyone who needs it and is always there to lend a hand or offer his support and never asks for anything in return. He has taught many new crew how to succeed in the touring industry.
Now he needs a hand. Danny has suffered like the rest of us with the pandemic and his tours cancelling. He has tried to pivot and look for a regular job too and has been meet with resistance because he is either over qualified, too old, doesn’t have a degree, etc. He is working on obtaining his real estate license during this downtime. Also, he is struggling like everyone and is behind on his car payment, insurance, rent and other bills, having to alternate month to month paying certain ones. Due to the pandemic and lack of work plus bills, his 401K & Savings are gone.
He has a young family member that has a medical condition and has doctors visits and tests that need to be done so he can’t lose his car. He was brave enough to tell his story in Pollstar last week that shed light on the plight of our crews and to help those who can’t ask for help. Please help him with any amount- large or small- it all is gratefully appreciated! (Photo courtesy of Jim Trocchio)
Below is the link to the Pollstar story-
Any amount large or small is gratefully accepted- please help Danny..
PLEASE SHARE www.gofundme.com/helpdannyoneil
Sign up on the CONTACT US page here on this website to join us.
We also have a facebook page and also a fb GROUP called roadiecare.com-
feel free to join them both! See you in the group and please do NOT forget to sign up on the CONTACT US page on the website for upcoming news!
As you can see we have had a lot of publicity lately about us and our situation. I am so grateful to those who are spreading the word about roadiecare and talking about our issues. I have been doing podcasts and interviews shining the light on our situation and how people can help.
I cannot thank Debbie Speer from Pollstar enough for writing about us as well as Bobby Owsinski for the Forbes article. We have has some great podcasts with Michael at Music Combine as well as streaming/podcast with Steven Cuoco . Please feel free to read the articles and listen to the podcasts.
We have a new feature called adopt a roadie above. As you can see, the Roadie for February 2021 is Ed Van Halens guitar tech. Please read his story.
If you are crew in the entertainment industry, you can send us a request for assistance and we will get in touch with you-
ALSO if you want to HELP crew in the industry, please contact us and
we will arrange a call to see what you have in mind, which could include
e gift certificates, jobs, training or?
People in need can use an electronic gift certificate to Target, Walmart, Amazon so they can buy food to survive. These stores are nationwide so people can get help anywhere in the USA. (Currently I'm working on other options for people outside of the USA.) IF YOU WANT TO HELP, please consider an electronic gift certificate in ANY amount that will make a huge difference in someones life. Let us know if would would like to participate in this way to assist and we can match up those in need with those that can assist.
I hope you all are staying safe and taking care of yourselves.There is assistance on the crew assistance link on the site-please use it. If there is anything we can do to make this site more helpful please let us know and we will do our best to add it..
Don't for get to subscribe at the bottom of the page and please use the form on the CONTACT US page to be in touch..
CREWS NEED FROM THE GOVERNMENT:
The Entertainment Industry Crews in every State need:
$600.00 week until the pandemic is over
Rental Assistance-Eviction Moratoriums
Free/Low cost Legal Assistance
Representation in Government for the Entertainment Industry
Health Insurance for ALL until the pandemic is over
Mental Health Assistance
Safety in the Workplace
Providing retraining for Crew (when needed) for new positions
Covid Safety Officers (we train) to keep us healthy and safe at ALL events
Health and Safety Officers to keep us healthy and safe at ALL events
Rapid Covid Screening for Band, Crew and ALL working before each Event
Covid Assistance for ALL Crew that are ill until they are well.
Advocacy for the Entertainment Industry Crews (WE ALREADY PROVIDE)
This time ironically we were the among first ones out and will be among the last ones back in. Unlike days at shows when we are the first ones in, and leave long after the crowd is home in their jammies!
We are worth protecting as an industry and especially the people who make the impossible happen every night and make it look so damn easy!
Venues have people speaking up for them but not crew-and I’ve been an advocate for crew for over 30 yrs..the whole idea behind this is to make sure crew are not forgotten- 600$ a week is what was just removed from the weekly unemployment checks which makes it almost impossible to eat and pay rent almost anywhere- I want crew to be safe, fed and not homeless.
Sign up on the CONTACT US page here on this website to join us.
We also have a facebook page and also a fb GROUP called roadiecare.com-
feel free to join them both! See you in the group and please do NOT forget to sign up on the CONTACT US page on the website for updated info.
A note of inspiration to all from a friend who was waiting for his kids......
I was trying to figure out how to thank people last night and started writing this. I don't mind if you use it to forward to adopters, or in any way, but I'd really like it to be "anonymous" , because it was just one of those things that I don't want to be associated with anyone in particular.
If I read it again, I'm sure I'd edit the hell out of it but I won't because it was totally stream of consciousness. You can if u want though.
What was once going to be a thank you template to the wonderful people who are reaching out to help others just seemed to turn into something totally else. I wanted to send it to you so you could have it, before I gave it another minute of thought.
Feel free to forward it as a thank you to people, or not. It was just a mini eruption from my heart. All I ask is that it remain anonymous. Of course, to anybody but you. :)
Sending from a parking lot, jammed with kid logistics for a min. Just saw I missed your call, I'll call you later.
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What Sandy is doing is what she's always done. Taking care of the hardest working teams in our business as if we were all her own family, whether swinging from a structural beam 140' above a venue, producing, mixing, promoting, programming, loading trucks - doesn't matter the role. You knew somebody had their eyes on the ball, knew exactly what you were going through "out there", and always had your back. She even started a non profit to raise money to help feed us when needed and she knows every place to send you to if you need a referral for mental health help and more.
But to see this, to even confront the humility of being a beneficiary of this gathering of our industry, of people looking out for one another, is a degree of brotherhood that rivals even the military elite.
For us, our first shows started falling like dominos on March 13. I know it's been that way for ALL of us, and all throughout the production system to security guards, catering, box office workers, local crews and stagehands, etc. you name it.
And I know all of us are taking it just like any show crisis. Innovating. Brainstorming. Problem solving. That's what we DO. Nevermind the unprecedented global health and economic crisis we're caught in, we are the people who "make shit happen", on time, at curtain, whatever the hell it takes. And despite all that, every one of us CAN'T solve this one right now. Sure, there's drive-up concerts, truss arch video walls to direct traffic at the local COVID drive-thru test sites, but our shows are DOWN, and we're powerless to get them going. Our psyches aren't wired for this. We are the people to whom failure is never an option. And our passion doesn't translate well to stocking grocery store shelves in the middle of the night, though like always, every one of us will do whatever it takes.
The psychological toll that takes on the "magic-creators" is devastating just in itself. Even though we all know it will all come back eventually, we're just going to be the LAST to come fully back online. Believe me when I say, we are everywhere, and none of us is alone in this, and a lot of this family of professionals are struggling, not just economically, but psychologically as well. It's the show-stopper not a one of us was ready for, or has figured out how to FIX. And that can drive people like us to the edge.
For me personally, like anyone of us, I leaned all the way in to the challenge. I started three nonprofits. Volunteered as much time and passion as I would on any production. We've distributed over 3/4 of a million pounds of fresh organic produce and other food to tens of thousands in our immediate and surrounding communities, and we were replicated by sister organizations 3,000 miles away. We brought free medical screenings that weren't available before right to our community. We established a pioneering youth diversion initiative partnering national nonprofits with the juvenile justice systems to mentor and connect with these kids and get them working to help others, developing the kind of self-esteem they often never had. The kind a high-rigger or A2 or pyro tech has, never being seen or noticed but knowing how integral their part in the spectacle really is. They don't need an award or their picture in the paper. They just know. WE all know. So we're trying to make that difference for kids who have no business being tossed into the juvenile justice system. Hell, I even ran for local public office, and am working on a Safe Park initiative for individuals and families who are destined or already are having to sleep in their cars. ALL of us are "wired" to do whatever we can do to Make. It. Happen. Just like we always do. That's what's been keeping me sane.
But what's really moved me now, is seeing the gift of those who can, reaching out to our brothers and sisters however THEY can too. It's not trivial. It's also deeply humbling, dare I say even humiliating to the professionals who were born to make-it-happen, not whine about the foreseeable problems - we just FIX them, ATTACK them, and ALWAYS pull the spectacle off. To think that it's these gifted and dedicated pros, now eight or nine months into this thing, busting their asses like always to try to make it happen, who are quietly wondering how they're going to feed the kids on Thanksgiving, or what Christmas is going to look like, or even how they're going to keep themselves afloat or put gas in the car to last another week, is one of the most heartbreaking devastations of this pandemic on our industry.
And yet, there are people coming together. Adopting a roadie. Checking in on their brothers in business. Sending a gift card or dropping whatever they can in a Go Fund Me account or privately sending a check. Maybe it's crew you always work with. Or maybe it's crew you don't even know. But there they are also - doing whatever THEY can to help keep each other alive, moving, hopeful for the day when we're finally coming back (and we ARE, never forget that) -- there's just no way to truly thank those of you who are making those efforts for our brothers and sisters in our industry.
With no warning, I got a gift card in an email the other day. By that time, I knew that Sandy was a part of coordinating all of that effort, making sure her crews were alive. Just like she ALWAYS does. I'm blessed to feel more hopeful for our return-to-new-normal than others I know. But we are ALL suffering each in our own ways. And when I saw that email, I literally cried.
There will never be words to genuinely thank all of our brethren who are participating, and giving in whatever way they can. We are an industry of people who live on the edge. And mainly on the edge of making "the spectacle" happen. But after so long of this pandemic, now it's often on the edge of rock-bottom. And like we would in our crafts, not a one of us is wired to admit it, or show it, or let anyone know we're anything but totally on our game. But the reality is, for nearly all of us, we're not.
To those of you who have taken the time and offered the resources to touch someone in our industry's life to help get through the holidays, over the hurdle, maybe even fed a hungry stomach, or two, or three - for our brothers and their families, there is just NO proper way to express the thanks that you all deserve for that. I couldn't even figure out how to really, truly express the kind of thanks I wanted to share when I saw that email to me. But then it dawned on me, it's all of us in this together. So on behalf of everyone impacted by this beautiful outreach, both as giving and receiving, you are personally and professionally the most amazing people this world will ever know.
Hold on the best you can and hang in there just a little longer. We're all in this thing together. Use your phone. Reach out to a brother or sister. We ALL know. Give whatever you have like you always do, even when your pockets are dry. That's who we are. That's what we do. And DONT hesitate to ask for help, even though that is none of our nature. Sandy has started something remarkable right from where she is. That's what we all do, remember who you are. We're going to get through this. And for those of you so freaking kind to be able to help another, there are just no words to thank each and every one of you enough for helping someone you may not even know in whatever way you can. But you do know them, trust me. No matter where we are or if we've ever worked together, we are ALL on this ship together. And for what is happening and for those stepping up to help one another, and those who are feeling like they're at the end of their rope, I send you EVERY blessing in my heart - of gratitude, of care, and for all of our strength.
The show WILL go on again. That's not even a question. And together, we're going to find a way to make it. JUST LIKE WE ALWAYS do.
And thanks more than anything to you Sandy. You have NEVER stopped looking out for your people. And in the middle of something like this, you are nothing short of a genuine inspiration.
Hold tight my industry brothers and sisters. The storm is gonna pass. And just like we always do, we're going to kick-ass again, and bring the spectacle back to all the audiences who don't even realize that they're waiting for us, and need us to help THEM make it through this.
I will forever be proud to be a part of this huge family of ours, and send my love and blessings to each and every one of you, with the deepest thanks for those helping others, and for peace, health and happiness to every one of you and your families. You are not alone.
You are ALL the real rockstars. :) And all of your production family know it. We're not out of Gaff tape yet, so hang in there. We need every one of you when this finally ends. And I promise, it will.
May the miracle of the season shower each and every one of you. Of all of us. Not only now, but until the curtain call is finally in front of us once again.
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