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Vincent Treanor III

Road Manager for The Doors,

December 26 1967-January 19 1972

How does one become a band boy?

©2006 Vincent Treanor III

You got touched by the Fairy Godfather’s Wand. It was really a case of being in the right place at the right time and doing the right thing. Band boys were sort of self appointed. They were guys who were waiting to get into the show. They volunteered to help move in the equipment. This request was granted and in return they got on stage while the group played.

They got fed and – as in the case of Randy and his friend, went on a multi part tour.I can not remember how most of them got picked. But you bet it was just being aggressive and asking – If we (There were usually 2, 3 or 4 guys in a group) help can we get in. When you have 3000 to 5000 pounds of equipment to move and set up, test and guard, you are very glad to have extra hands. But it was also the return people. Yes, sometimes a couple of guys would help, get in and we never saw them again after the show. The Majority were returns. This also limited the number of guys to regional areas. We would be going to Chicago. So we would call the leader of the Chicago team and let him know when and how we were arriving.

They already knew where the performance would be.If we were coming in by plane they would have a truck at the airport, team ready to go and I had little to do. If we were driving they would be at the location waiting for us to arrive.

After 1968 I had people in Boston area, Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Pittsburg, and New York. All by chance meeting, all repeaters.

Remember that in those days everything had to be well planned. There were no cel phones to make communications on the road so easy as it is today.Things had to work well and on schedule. Otherwise, there was chaos.

The pact was simple.

You help with the equipment, you stay with the group, you do not go near the guys except as ORDERED by me, to call them to the stage or to answer some question regarding some part of the show. Only one guy ever violated this respect for the sanctity of the group. In other words, you didn’t use the privilege of being allowed to be involved with the Group and the performance to ask for autographs and try to involve them in chatting.

There were some other rules that were strictly enforced. Absolutely no drugs of ANY kind. NONE!!!
Not before a show, Not during a show and not after a show. Some of the guys smoked.They soon stopped.Drugs included use of alcohol. Drinking at any time was forbidden.

In both these cases it was not necessary for me to see anyone use any drugs, inclusive, all I had to do was Suspect, to guess, to think, without further proof, that someone had violated the rules and they were O-U-T.
That OUT was final and without appeal.
Harsh, you say. Well, think about it. Someone is on a tour and we are driving across country, which we did 16 times.
We get stopped for speeding or out of curiosity or whatever reason a cop invents. We get searched and an open can of beer is found, or some form of illicit material. The crew is taken to jail, perhaps the truck and equipment is impounded and… what happens to the performance?

Someone is drinking. As a result they forget to plug something in or plug it in wrong, or pull out the wrong thing or what ever. Our job was to see that the group went on stage without failure On Time and with all equipment in perfect working order – for the entire show. Who would be responsible is someone made a mistake, did not properly connect something or test properly, or whatever.
With that responsibility on my shoulders I made the rules to fit the situation.

So a Band Boy had opportunity and privilege that few kids ever get. They became regulars at any show no matter where we were performing. They had a position on stage that no one else, even friends of Siddons, could have. They were taken care of, though not directly paid in money. They had respect and they had status. But they had to follow the rules. Did they get Drumsticks – Yes. they got ones that John had actually used. Once in a while one of them that was a guitar player would be allowed to restring Robbies Guitar and keep the used strings. I did not give away used organs or Microphones, however.

So, If you want to be a Band Boy, be there when I arrive, have a couple of friends and be prepared for some hard work and a good time – Oh yes, Lots of Burgers and Pizza.