Black Sabbath And Traffic – Worlds Apart!

Back when I was working as what was known as a “Lighting Roadie” – which means I was one of the guys who rigged the lights and then worked on a follow spot during rock tours and Festivals, I toured with a number of very different bands.

Basically in those days we roadies were mainly self-employed and were hired to work on a particular tour or Festival, in other words we did not work for the bands directly, but for the lighting company (in the case of lighting roadies) who employed us for that tour or event.  So I found myself working with a pretty wide range of bands, some good, some great and many bloody awful to work with.

At those opposite ends of the spectrum there are two bands who stand out, Black Sabbath at the bloody awful end, and Traffic at the truly great end.

Black Sabbath:

I worked on the European section of their 1974 World Tour, which was the start of that huge tour.   So I was involved in the rehearsals for the tour, which took place on the stage of a cinema in London (can’t remember where).  This was all rather odd, as we rehearsed during the day there, and the owners of the cinema also rented the auditorium out to all manner of other people, so you had the ridiculous situation of a bunch of Heavy Metal Rockers on the stage, rehearsing their music with the stage curtains closed, and in the auditorium, a bunch of 6 year old kids having a “kiddie’s Disco” or something similar at the same time.

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