September 25, 1992
Chicago, Ill.



Well, I'm sitting in the house of the Arie Crown Theater at McCormack Center in Chicago. I thought I'd take this opportunity (!!) to bash out a few words, since I can't continue my focus...

The local union steward insisted that some of his guys go up on the trusses to focus the conventional lamps. One of them is on the mid truss...the truss with all of those wires on it, including AC to my I-Beams. Not familiar with...well, anything up there, he interrupted power to No. 2. We all know what happens next...

By the time I got down to the stage and figured out what was going on, the thermal sensor was in firm control.

So...  I guess I'll just sit around for 15 minutes or so.


I've really been enjoying working with Spyder Clarke. Spyder is one of the middle managers out here. He's taking care of everything from local crew allotments to catering arrangements.  He's a bright, handsome black man with a quick smile and incisive mind. With incredible experience behind him, he is good at keeping the ball in front of him.

Spyder has a sense of humor which is brightly innocent and straight from the heart. I believe that this "innocence" is born of the fact that he has cheated death twice.

In 1987, he was a production rigger on the David Bowie "Glass Spider" tour. While climbing a steel scaffold rig in Italy, a piece he was holding on to broke free of the rig. He fell over 40 feet. The worst of his injuries, a broken right femur and shattered right wrist, required 14 hours of surgery to repair. He had to learn how to walk again, like a child.

In 1989 he was back in the game. He was working as the stage manager for New Edition. What happened in Pittsburgh is well known in many circles of the business, and extremely ugly.

I don't know all of the details, so I will let it go here to say that Spyder was the target of an attempted murder. He was beaten very badly with a baseball bat. Ron Bird, the production manager, was also very badly beaten. He regained consciousness, however, and eventually shot, and killed, the man who almost killed Spyder. Bird is still in prison. Spyder Clarke was in a coma for several weeks.

Now he is out here with us. He turned up in Charlotte, and it was a great surprise. Duck did the New Edition tour with him, as well as  Glass Spider. It is very cool to have an old pro like him here, especially after he came so close to being gone, twice.


(Later...)

There is no center mix position in this house.  Duck and I are stuck far back in the house left corner. The house has a long rake to it, and we stand at a level almost even with the trusses.  We have a downward, off center view of the stage which is very unusual to us.  I didn't like it at first, but it is really interesting.

We have two shows scheduled tonight. We've done the first one.  During that show, I was able to examine the depth of the lights, and the way that the girls move through it in plan view.  Already, I have ideas for some tweaks in the focus.

Today is the second of four show days in a row.  Tomorrow we go to Detroit for another two-show night in another Fox.


September 25, 1992
Chicago

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