While rock stars have typically seized the spotlight since the dawn of time, director Michael Cuesta opted to put their helping hands front and center in his recently released film Roadie. Or more specifically, a 45-year-old roadie named Jimmy (Ron Eldard), who, after a 20-year stint with Blue Öyster Cult, finds himself canned and forced to head home to his mother's place in Forest Hills, Queens. From there, we witness his readjustment to real life as he ponders exactly what his next move will be.
You can hear top artists sharing their stories with news outlets any day of the week, but it's far more rare that you get a glimpse into the lives of those more literally running the show. We decided to follow Cuesta's example and talk to some of the behind-the-scenes crew that make your favorite tours tick. From hot sex to even hotter messes, check out the wild tales these eight seasoned rolling stones had to share in our Roadie Diaries.
As told to Lauren Otis (@LaurNado)
"The Power of the Pass"
Jef Hickey, roadie for Queens of the Stone Age, Megadeth, Motörhead, Type O, and Crash Diet, and author of the upcoming autobiography I Thought You Were Dead
"If you were to poll a hundred roadies on why they chose to spend life living out of a suitcase, another life in the back of a truck, and yet another being the unsung hero of that big rock show that entertains billions—never truly getting the accolades they so richly deserve—you’ll get a hundred different answers. The list of reasons is as long as the winding road they live on. I got on the road for one reason and one reason only: pussy.
"Sure, the love of music is what initially attracted me to the bright stage lights, but the moment I discovered the magical, almost hypnotic power that a laminated backstage pass swinging from a lanyard had on wide-eyed, high-heeled, short-skirted women, the love of the spectacle suddenly dissipated.
I held the key that allowed groupies to hang with the band, and to the both of us, sex was a win-win situation... I made myself and my laminate noticeable to anything with a set of t*ts.
"When I was firmly planted on the road, I made it my mission to see, do, taste, visit, experience, and, above all, fuck everything I had only heard about in lyrics and read about in books.
"I started my long journey on the road one month after losing my virginity, so touristy shit was cool, but what I really wanted to do was what any young lad let loose night after night in a room full of girls would: fuck as many of them as I could get away with. Any way, anyhow.
"I was hungry for poontang, domestic and foreign, and best of all? These babes didn’t know shit about me except that I wasn’t from their hometown, so who would know? I held the key that allowed them to hang with the band, and to the both of us, it was a win-win situation.
"I became a relentless hunter of all things groupie. I made myself and my laminate noticeable to anything with a set of tits. From the very first show away from my hometown (where I was 'Ugly Hickey,' the local crew guy, rendering me unfuckable even in the eyes of Boston’s sluttiest), I became a literal porn star thanks to my obvious connection to the band. I was soon worth a sloppy fuck in the back of a truck, behind a dumpster, or if I was truly lucky, a stained mattress in a cheap motel. As I got better and the bands got bigger, I was waking my guests with a hot stream of piss across their naked body. Thanks for the wild and crazy night: I hope you enjoyed the show.
"To pick one single night as the craziest is like trying to pick your favorite child. Each night was special in a unique way. Thanks to that little piece of cloth, I’ve had nauseously beautiful women on dark corners of the stage, in back alleys, fat friends' cars, bathrooms—hundreds and hundreds of filthy shitters—and once, yes, even a port-a-potty that had been baking in the hot sun and abused by hundreds of chili dog-eating punk fans. I was a roadie, goddammit, and I quickly became a master of getting my rocks off anywhere, anytime.
"And so it went, city after city, the power of the backstage pass enticing ordinary women to do extraordinary things, all for a chance to meet the band: anal sex with a stripper and her broken leg, drunken violent fucks with angry hardcore chicks, romps with married women, two girls blowing me while the crowd watched, and two girls who wouldn’t serve me waffles performing acts of debauchery so wicked I’m certain they were illegal in most states. On the road, every day was a holiday—and every night was a porn flick."