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Foo Fighters • Pharrell Williams
Gus Brandt is humble but persistent, saying he got his start by faxing his “resume” to a management company and following up repeatedly – four years later he got a reply.
“I was doing DIY shows at clubs in Florida and the crew of bands that I LOVED were total drunk/high/assholish to me and my friends helping out,” Brandt says. “I thought, ‘I can do that job and not make people want to pee in my cereal,’ so I sought out tour managing.”
Now he’s a celebrated tour manager, most recently and enduringly with the Foo Fighters, whose frontman Dave Grohl joked from The Pollstar Awards stage while presenting Brandt with the hardware for Road Warrior of the Year that the award in this case should actually be called “Road Worrier” of the year. “We said, ‘Nobody sent me a fucking ballot!’ And then he threatened to quit,” Grohl said onstage. “But he can’t quit, because he’s been our tour manager for 25 fucking years.”
What makes Brandt such a good tour manager? “I have a face for radio and no musical skills,” he says. “Also I lack of a sense of smell and no fear of making monumental mistakes in the face of adversity. Plus I rarely wear socks.”
Advice for aspiring tour managers? “Get your face out of your phone and into the show. It is all about the band/artist AND 1,000 times more importantly the fans.” Also, “After the following movies: ‘Almost Famous,’ ‘That Thing You Do,’ ‘Rude Boy,’ and ‘Seabiscuit,’ everyone thinks tour managing is easy. It is not all ball bearings.”