World’s first-ever female roadie, Tana Douglas


This is rock’n’roll like you’ve never seen it before.

Roadies are the unsung heroes of the Australian music industry, there’s no question about it. They unload the PAs and equipment, they set it all up, they make sure everything is running smoothly before, during and after the gigs. Once the show’s over, they then pack everything up in the middle of the night, put it in the back of the truck and hit the road to another town – to do it all over again.

The backbone of the industry, they’ve seen it all, and Tana Douglas’s memoir, Loud: A life in rock’n’roll by the world’s first female roadie, proves it, taking us on a journey behind the road cases from the perspective of the world’s first rock’n’roll female roadie.

Having begun her life as a roadie at just 15 years old – running away from a broken family and into the welcoming arms of rock’n’roll – Douglas has gone on to work alongside some of the music industry’s biggest names during her career of more than 40 years.

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A true music industry pioneer, she’s done it all, working in the backline, sound, lights, logistics, production, and tour management with everyone from Status Quo, The Who, Ozzy Osbourne, Whitesnake, The Police, Elton John, and Iggy Pop, to Luther Vandross, Ice-T, Ice Cube, Lenny Kravitz, Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers and of course, the band that gave Douglas her first job as a roadie, AC/DC. In those days, it was a matter of learning on the job – not always easy as one of the rare women working in the support crew.

With no previous experience in publishing, Douglas has penned a brilliant and boisterous memoir of much of her early life, providing an honest first-hand account about the trials and tribulations of working with these artists within a male-dominated industry. Having been acknowledged as rock’n’roll’s first female roadie in multiple accounts, Douglas was invigorated to tell her story – the right story – in her own words.

“There were people putting stories out there that weren’t really accurate, or they were correct but were misconstrued; I just didn’t trust someone else to tell my story,” Douglas reveals.

“I also didn’t want to sensationalise the people who I had worked for. There is a code as a roadie that if you respect the people, they open up to you and trust you with their deepest, darkest secrets and they expect that you’re not going to write a tell-all book.”

Read the full story here

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