August 24, 2016

The Carman Heart of a Champion World Tour

I got the call in 1999 to be a part of this tour. They wanted horn players that could double on stuff like keys or percussion. So I played some keys in addition to the saxophone. It’s funny it was called World Tour because we stayed in the States exclusively. This was by far the biggest production I’ve ever been involved in. The band was robust and Zoe Girl provided background vocals. There was a video crew, a lighting crew, and a pyrotechnics expert. Oh and dancers! We had eight dancers. Guitar tech! We had a guitar tech on the road. That was his gig to make sure all the guitars and basses were good. The stage was crazy with a catwalk that I had to walk across a few times during the show. I hated that damned catwalk! You can see it in the photo above. I’m not sure how many trucks and busses we needed to handle all the people and all the gear. This was the same time that Carman released his boxing movie so he traveled with a bunch of weight training equipment and some of us took advantage of that on the road.

People ask me about artists I’ve worked with. I mean they ask what they are really like backstage and stuff. I don’t know what to say about Carman he was one of the people I worked for that could never remember my name so he called me Charlie. Charlie was the trombone player’s name but its also my grandfather’s name so I just gave up and let him call me Charlie. The one thing that I liked about his ministry was that he spent some time everyday discussing different things¬†out of the Bible to all the band and crew people and we would gather and pray and worship before the show. He had a real relationship with the Lord you could tell and he was all about evangelism and that altar call at the end of the concert. That’s always a good thing. I would say that Carman as a pure heart as a minister and probably some imperfections as a human like all the rest of us.

I was really thankful for the gig. I learned a few things that enhanced my musicianship and showmanship and friendships and bonds were formed on the road. I learned some things about working out and lifting weights because we spent a lot of time doing that. It was good steady work for a couple years even when he trimmed the production down he wanted me on board.

The band was all up in the air on a United Airlines flight out of LA on September 11, 2001. The flight turned right back around and landed. We were all stuck at a hotel in LA for a week with nothing to do and in a state of shock regarding the terrorist attacks.

A video is worth a thousand words so here is a youtube clip of one of the tunes. I’m playing a harmonica solo that starts about 2:52. I look rather pale next to Carman I will admit.

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