Tales From The Road – Harpo’s


This has been a stop on the tour I’ve had circled for months. Harpo’s. Detroit Rock City. There is always a special energy coming from a Detroit audience. Harpo’s is an old movie cinema that now serves as a concert theatre. It is also in a shitty part of town. I remember my first time rolling in and the directions the tour manager had for the driver. Stick on Interstate 94, take a right on Newport, park in front od the door with the awning and don’t fucking move. It’s 1996 and I am now the tour manager for a multi-platinum band a decade past their best before date. From clubs to arenas back down to clubs and theatres.

Harpo’s is an easy load in. The door with the awning is only feet from the stage. Our crew loves the easy ones. Some of the older building have narrow flights of stairs to contend with which doubles our load-in time. Having the door feet from the stage also means I get some fresh air during showtime. A rare treat.

The venue is sold out. It’s going to be a fun night. The band is geeked up, too. The past week has been a blur, 5 shows in 6 nights. We haven’t slept in a hotel in a week. It’s been a series of day rooms to shower and maybe get a quick nap before the show. Not tonight, we get to go back to the hotel and spend the day off recharging before heading off to Chicago.

As the band takes the stage I finally have a few minutes to breathe. I take a few steps outside and see a stunning 21 year old girl walking up to me. I’ve been at this for a decade and rarely find myself with my tongue hitting the pavement but this girl was a 10. She asked if she could get backstage. I remember telling her she was already there. I wasn’t lying, either. She was 4 feet from being on stage and nobody was getting that close.

She wasn’t having it and said she really wanted to get backstage. I told her she was free to stand right where she was and enjoy the show. She snarled at me, turned around and headed towards the front of the club and I watched her the whole way.

3 songs left before loadout and I take my place beside Jim, the guitar tech. I’ve settled the show with a happy promoter and I can finally take a breather. The crowd is eating it up. Shirts are being lifted and breasts exposed all over the venue. Then I spot her. My perfect 10 girl was making her way to the stage. She has the singers attention and he is now singing to her. She lifts her shirt to flash him her perfect breasts and he waves for his assistant Danny to grab her out of the crowd and bring her backstage. She is all smiles as she is brought to my side. She did it her way and there she was- standing in the exact place she was 10 minutes earlier.

road dog