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2003-Apr-21: On the Road with Sir Paul

Today's London Times printed a glimpse into a day in the life of Sir Paul's technical manager, Keith Smith.  Mr. Smith, who is married and has a 12 year old daughter,  says that even though there have only been three major tours in 13 years, each one has taken a year or two of his life.  Here is how he describes his tour routine:
7.30am: Wake in hotel if we're not sleeping on the bus. Get up, go to the venue.

10.30am: Check progress of the "load-in". Grab some breakfast, then off to the production office.

11.30am-2pm: Team gets amps, drums and keyboards on stage before 50 people push the stage beneath it: an epic sight.

2pm-3pm: Late, unrelaxed lunch. I eat on the job.

3pm-4pm: Check all the equipment before the band ambles in at 4pm. They jump on stage, Paul arrives and they launch straight into Matchbox for the sound check.

6pm: Doors open. Grab a bite, head back to my bunk on the bus to chill out and phone my daughter. I miss her a lot. Sometimes she'll come out to see a show.

7pm-8pm: If abroad, I spend time with Paul and a local translator to teach him some phrases for the gig. Then I change -the whole crew wears black -and take up position stage right as the pre-show theatrical performance starts.

8pm: Showtime. I've been working 14 years for Paul and I've never seen one of them. I'm too busy scooping T-shirts off the stage and tuning guitars.

11.30pm-1am: Mayhem. Show ends, Paul does a runner. No time for backstage parties: everybody hits the stage to get the stuff packed as quickly as possible.

1am-2.30am: Idiot-check for things left behind. Shower and collapse in the bus with a pizza and a glass of wine. First relaxing moment of my day.

Time off: Sleeping; few genuinely free days. One or two weeks off after a tour leg, although Paul often dives straight back into it. I work when he does; there's a parallel bond between our lives in that sense. He's a great employer but, for what he gives, he expects 100 per cent.

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)


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