On April 26, I was invited to Rockville Music Festival 2014 in Jacksonville Florida, by my friend Jeff G, the Tour Manager of Volbeat, who were opening for the headliner act The Cult on one of two main stages.
The night before, I got to see Volbeat in Tampa with my friend Downtown Lindsey Brown at 98 RockFest, where I sewed up a torn drum riser wrap and fixed Rob’s boot, but that’s another story!! See my later post.
The Rockville event lasted 2 Days and included some pretty heavy hitters from the rock world. More on that later…
I planned on bringing my high school BFF Darlene, but after a crazy unscheduled, last minute, top secret mission I had to make to Tampa, it didn’t work out.
During my 6 hour trek, I decided to call my good friend Chris Snow to see if he’d like to have her All Access pass, since she couldn’t make it. Chris is the drummer for one of the best Orlando based Cult tribute bands in the world called “Cult Revolution”… https://m.facebook.com/pages/Cult-Revolution/126312267519521?_rdr
I figured on the off chance we might get to mingle with the original Cult band members, Chris and Robbie Sinn (former Flock of Seagulls bass player) of all people, would appreciate the hook up.
I arrived at Metropolitan Park around 4 pm, delivered on my mission and finally got to relax a bit.
I snapped this pic of Billy’s famous White Gretsch guitar, as it was being worked on.
Finally Chris, Robbie and Vanessa arrived at the festival in time to catch Volbeat. In between bands, I met them stage left and took Chris backstage first.
As it turns out, we were in perfect sync with catching the members of The Cult as they began to emerge from their dressing rooms and we had All Access Passes.
First was Chris Wyse, the bass player, who chatted frequently with Chris online and recognized him from his Facebook photo, which was cool. They chatted about the tribute band and Wyse’s other project “Owl”. I snapped this pic of Chris and Chris.
Then came John Tempesta, former drummer for Exodus, Testament, Rob Zombie, White Zombie and more. They talked drums a bit and John let me take this pic him and Chris.
Surprisingly next, Billy Duffy strolls up. That was when it got cool for me. I recently did a replica of his black Levi vest with a Texas flag
for Bruce Tindle of Cult Revolution.
When I showed him a pic of it, he began to tell us the story about the original vest his former girlfriend made for him out of a Texas Flag Bandana. Billy said the original vest had sadly since been lost, but that a replica is on display at the Hard Rock Cafe.
Hearing that story for me and what I do, was priceless. It’s not often I get to talk to an Original Band Member in regard to Stagewear I am hired to make replicas of, for tribute bands.
For obvious reasons, Ian Astbury came in pretty hot with an entourage of security and only paused briefly next to Chris before he hit the stage.
Chris, Robbie and Vanessa all ran into the band again in the Artist Lounge despite thinking they had all left the building. All in all it was a really great night for them to meet the band they themselves pay tribute to onstage.
It’s exciting for me to be able to “cash in my chips” now and then for events like this and nice to be able to share times like these with my friends and watch them experience meeting the rock star people I get to work with, whom they idolize. I have some well connected friends in this business. It has taken me years to establish relationships of trust with people in the music industry. There is a lot involved in keeping a good reputation in this business.
I’m not lucky… I work HARD at what I do and it has taken a lot of very strategic effort, talent, planning and getting the job done right, repeatedly, to get me where I am today. I am very grateful to those who I know in this business and who’ve helped me along the way. It may all SEEM pretty effortless on my part, but there are a lot of things I do on a daily basis that make weekends like this happen. It takes an ongoing effort to follow your dreams and a great deal of believing it’s even possible.
If you’ve ever wished for times like these, all you have to do is ask… “what would it take…” and the steps it will take you to get there will be laid out before you if you truly believe it to be yours for the taking.
Stay Metal my friends!