Tana Douglas says she was 16 years previous when she took her first job as a roadie with AC/DC within the early 1970s.
Now, she has written a guide, Loud: A life in rock ‘n’ roll by the world’s first feminine roadie.
Douglas mentioned her childhood in Australia was robust and music provided a refuge from life’s exhausting realities.
“4 years previous… that is just about when my childhood completed. I obtained packed up in the course of the evening by my mom… by no means to return to the house we had in Brisbane, leaving my father behind.
“From that time on, it was fixed transferring, fixed travelling.
“Music was like my saving grace – when the whole lot obtained an excessive amount of I’d simply run into my room, lock the door if I may… and simply soar beneath the covers and pull my little radio out … and simply hear,” she mentioned.
As a 15-year-old, she ran away from dwelling and located herself at Nimbin music competition.
The “black gap” of King’s Cross in Sydney almost sucked her in, when she was 16 years previous.
She mentioned an armed man dragged her out of a King’s Cross restaurant at about 2.30am, threatening to drive her into prostitution.
“He simply grabbed me by my hair and pulled me out of the restaurant and confirmed me a gun in his waistband and mentioned: ‘in case you do not include me now, I will shoot you’.”
Though she escaped, she mentioned one other younger girl was not so fortunate and disappeared that evening.
Fortunately, she quickly found her calling as a roadie, a job that mixed her love of music and journey.
“It did not happen to me there weren’t any women doing it,” she mentioned.
Whereas working as a roadie for a band referred to as Fox, she was requested to come back on board with just a little identified band referred to as AC/DC – and determined to make the leap.
“I used to be just about a tomboy, in order that they have been extra like brothers than gents.
“My mantra was to be one of many boys.
“I figured if I slot in and I blended in and I may do the whole lot that they may and hopefully do it higher, then I’d be allowed to remain.”
She not solely stayed, however realized an “unbelievable work ethic” from AC/DC, an Australian band that went onto worldwide stardom.
Douglas has gone on to have a profession spanning greater than 30 years within the music business, mixing with a few of the world’s finest identified musicians.
She remembers being whisked off to a seaside for champagne with Neil Diamond, being electrocuted and thrown throughout the stage at an Elton John gig, and attending a “enormous bash” for Prince Andrew at Windsor Fort in London.
Douglas mentioned she was requested to put on a full size night robe and gloves when invited by the Queen to attend the celebration as a part of Elton John’s crew.
The crew “tortured” her by making her strive on clothes at formal gown outlets for 3 days, earlier than she was lastly granted an exemption by the Queen to put on pants, she mentioned.
Over time, she realised it takes a number of nerve for musicians to face on a stage in entrance of an ocean of faces – and it takes a toll.
“There is a worth you pay on this business and it is a fairly excessive worth.
“Typically it is medication and typically it is alcohol and typically it is only a lack of security.
“It is a hell of a approach to make a dwelling… if it would not kill you.”
Covid-19 has modified the face of the music scene, placing worldwide excursions on maintain, and including new pressures to the lifetime of a roadie.
However Douglas has few regrets about her profession path.
“The factor I longed for was to get away and actually see what’s on the market and I’ve obtained to say I did that.
“I could not think about a unique life.
“It is in your blood – you’ll be able to’t depart it.”