March 19, 2019
photo credit: Yu Pe
Master Tour version: PROFESSIONAL
“I was always printing tour books at Kinkos – 11:00pm when the bus was leaving at midnight! Then the big change came – iPhones were everywhere and the switch to Adobe Air meant no more printing itineraries. I was free! everyone gets all the current information as it is entered.. now the biggest complaint from the tour folks is ‘why didn’t you tell me you changed the time!’”.
Quick Bio: Richard Battaglia has been working on the road for over 35 years – with acts like Emmylou Harris, Hot Rize, Blue Note 7, New Grass Revival, and most notably as the tour manager the legendary bango player Bela Fleck. We were excited to sit down with him for a quick minute to discuss his early days and stand-out favorites from his life on the road.
- What is your favorite venue to play and why? I have a few – but to pick one…it would be Telluride Bluegrass Festival – outdoor – beautiful scenery – 10,000 folks. Always great music for 4 days!
- What three items do you absolutely need when on tour? Laptop, good bus driver, sunglasses.
- What is your secret to staying healthy on the road? Don’t eat after 8:PM, eat quality healthy food, sleep.
- What was your first touring gig and when? My first gig was in 1982. I got hired to do FOH & tour manage the band New Grass Revival.
What’s your ideal city to have a day off? Why? What do you recommend to do here? Again – a few – Big city – New York City – small city – Northampton, Massachusetts. NYC – almost anything you can find to do… movies, museums, shopping, music, just walking around. Northampton, great food – good ice-cream, quiet, good stores.