T ONETIP S
Promo Tour Journal
As soon as Sheryl Crow had completed her
latest album, Detours, due to hit the stores
and download sites February 5, 2008, we
immediately began preparation for promoting the major release, spreading our time
between press, TV, radio and live internet
performances. In early December 2007 we
set out for two weeks of all of the above, so
thought I’d share a bit of our calendar with
be packed and trucked to the West coast for
the TV show we will be taping in L.A. the following weekend.
After rehearsal, Sheryl takes the entire band
and crew out for a celebratory dinner at a
cool restaurant around the corner from S.I.R.,
something she does quite graciously and
quite often, and it’s always a blast.
Friday, November 30 – I flew from my home
in Atlanta, Georgia to New York City.
We’re back at the hotel by midnight.
Remember, our day started at 6: 15 a.m.
Dressing rooms are cordoned off by hanging
curtains. Workers are passing at a fast clip
in all directions and celebrities are being
ushered to their dressing rooms, the “green
room” where they’re held for impending
performances, or onstage to finally perform.
These events are typically characterized by a
lot of “hurry up and wait.” We spend much
of the time hearing, “You’ll be on in five
minutes,” only to have the crew come get us
two hours later!
Saturday, December 1 - Tuesday,
December 4, 12:00-9:00 p.m. Full
band rehearsals begin at S.I.R.
Studios in Manhattan. Our main
focus is to prepare Sheryl’s new
song, “Shine Over Babylon” for a
December 6 performance on the
special CNN Heroes. We also practice our “acoustic” set for live radio
and internet performances. The latter
is a scaled down band of Sheryl, Tim
Smith and me on guitars, and our
drummer Jeremy Stacey.
Wednesday, December 5, 3:00 p.m.
Rehearsal and camera blocking for CNN
Wednesday, December 4, 6: 15
a.m. Lobby call, arrrghh! Sheryl, Tim,
Jeremy and I hop into a van bound
for Philadelphia to perform for NPR’s
Fresh Air and World Café. Both hosts
will interview Sheryl and feature a
handful of songs live. Quite a bumpy
ride between NYC and Philly – , fix
Once on stage, we run through “Shine Over
Babylon” a few times while lighting and
sound is adjusted. The show’s director sits
out front taking notes for camera queues and
the camera men are directed accordingly.
Our monitor engineer runs between us all
asking what we need in our wedges or in-ear
monitors. We answer, “More drums.” “More
of Tim’s guitar!” “More vocal!” It’s always,
“More!” We must be deaf.
Our augmented crew travels separately, arriving earlier to set up our
gear. Acoustic guitars are sometimes
mic’ed, but usually run direct along
with bass and electric guitars. Jeremy
uses a scaled down kit – a floor tom Photo: Chris Hudson
for a kick and brushes on a tambourine
with a head for a makeshift snare. We all sing
back-ups behind Sheryl.
Thursday, December 6
2: 30 p.m. – Depart the hotel for CNN show.
3:00-6:00 p.m. – Dress rehearsal– it goes
well from our point of view
9:00 p.m. – It’s time; the show is on the
air! Live TV is always an adrenaline rush for
everyone. 36 minutes into the broadcast,
they call us to take the stage. The crew rolls
out our backline on moving pallets. My amps
and pedalboard are completely pre-wired
and placed into position. The entire band
has to be set and ready to go within a two-minute “scene change” commercial break.
We take our places. The director gives us the
countdown, “ 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3 – on air!”
Now our hearts are pumping into our necks.
CNN’s Anderson Cooper introduces us,
“Please welcome Sheryl Crow.” The director
points to Jeremy who yells the count and we
launch into “Shine Over Babylon.”
Heroes. The event is being held at the
LeFrak Theater at the American Museum of
Natural History in New York City. We walk
in the stage door to witness the controlled
chaos inherent in making a two-hour live
broadcast happen. Multi-million dollar audio
and visual equipment trucks line the streets
around the museum. There is a staff and
crew of hundreds and a temporary production office taking up half of an entire floor.
To see the performance you can dial it up
on You Tube – search for “Sheryl Crow CNN
Shine Over Babylon.”
2: 30 p.m. – We head back to NYC for an
evening rehearsal at S.I.R. as final preparation for the CNN special. We work in two
back-up singers, Stephanie Alexander and
Lisa Fischer, who will be joining us for the
show’s performance. This evening we’re
using a rented backline since our gear had to
To be continued…
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