Monday, August 28

Rock'n the Rally

OK back to my real life. I've haven't been blogging lately and I apologize to my regular readers (there are two of you). Here's the deal...I was stuck in a state that wouldn't leave me even after I left it. But let me back up...

I've already done my best to explain the insanity that is the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally with bikers galore and women wearing nothing but chaps and lacy underwear (i know guys, and it would have been hot if they weren't well past mid age).

So the reason I was there was for a particular concert series. More specifically I was working as a Production Assistant for a company that films concerts and turns them into DVDs. We were there to film 5 nights of concerts for a dvd and also Nickelback as their own dvd.

2 weeks of prep...14 days in a row...16 hours a day...4 hour can see why I didn't keep my blog updated.

Technically we finished the wrap last Wednesday, but it's taken me until now to really get my life back. It's been a little crazy.

Basically the concert series was 4 bands a night for 5 nights from about 4:30 - 11:30. The line up included: Shooter Jennings, Keith Urban, Big and Rich (who, I might add are terrible), Steve Miller (who was rained out), REO Speedwagon, Tom Petty, Sammy Hagar, 38 Special, Live, Gin Blossoms, and Nickelback.

Because the entire state was already booked for hotel rooms (perhaps a small exaggeration) we slept on tour busses. Let me tell you what's not comfortable...tour busses. I don't know how those poor bands do it.

The campground we were at had 80,000 RV spots with water, power and sewage. Here's just a tiny portion of it:

I took this picture from the top of the ampitheater the owner had built over the past year by trucking in a giant mountain of dirt.

This is the other side:

That mountain in the distance is a sacred Indian mountain where the men go to pray. Needless to say they were NOT thrilled with the new concert ampitheater that was built in their backyard. Progress marches on, but so do native Americans, in our case shutting down main street for a day, but I digress...

The fellows in that picture are Rick and Jake. They were filming backstage stuff which I helped with by having releases signed. Mostly though, we walked around in the heat and listened to some decent music.

This is what it looked like onstage...

and backstage...

Remember from my blog about Petty, how I talked about the jumbotron screens? This is what they look like on the back:

So basically it was a week of heat and poorly dressed women and watching people get hammered but working so many hours that one couldn't join the party. Which, at the end of the day, was probably not a huge loss.

I did learn however, that if you're a girl standing on stage with a clipboard and headset, rock stars will talk to you and thank you for running such a fun gig. What did I, the least important person there, do in response? Smiled and thanked him for being a part of our show.

But enough with rock and roll...back to my real life of gardening/cooking/writing/filming and soon: dark-rooming (more on that to come!)

Saturday, August 19

Sturgis 2006

So I've returned home from my adventure in Sturgis, South Dakota. To give you a sense of what the motorcycle rally there is like imagine a state in which the population is about 600K. Now imagine 650K bikers descending on one very small town in the middle of nowhere. That's the motorcycle rally.

Here are some pictures of the rally itself.

Downtown Stugis with the Black Hills in the background.

Main street Sturgis is filled with parked bikes and surrounded by vendors selling leathers and t-shirts.

This is what pretty much every street in Sturgis and the surrounding areas looked like. Bikes. Everywhere. And nary a helmet in sight.

Nate, Ed and Davon worked on the show with me. Needless to say the four of us stuck out like sore thumbs around all the bikers. But they were all surprisingly sweet to us.

I'm recounting my journey all out of order. I'll explain about the concert series tomorrow and maybe then share some photos of the real Deadwood.

Freakin' Sturgis Man.

Thursday, August 10


Last night Tom Petty decided that he didn't want to be filmed by us for the DVD that we're making of these concerts. So Production gave the camera guys the night off, only they needed someone to run three of the cameras for the giant video screens for the crowd.

This is me running one of those cameras.

The producers decided they'd give the PAs their time in the spotlight so here Ed (the Coordinater) and I are shooting Petty. On our headsets (cans) there's a director backstage telling us what to do and saying things like "Ready Camera 2, Go Camera 2....3 pull out for wide...1 Camera 2-shot". Everyone decided that since Petty was being lame about us filming, they'd show him by putting the least experienced people on camera and directing the show. The funny part was that the show ended up looking really good on the screens.

That's the stage in the background. 30,000 people watched as I followed Petty around. AND Stevie Nicks came out and joined him for some songs. SUCH AN AWESOME SHOW, mostly because Ed and I are such rock stars.

More about this whole thing will follow, I just wanted to get these up fast!

Wednesday, August 9

I'm not dead

I'm in Sturgis.

As soon as I can get the photos on my computer, you better believe I'm posting them.