Unsung, unseen and misunderstood, the life of a roadie is a mystery to all but those who rely on their rare skills, night in, night out. But without their efforts behind the curtain, the show doesn’t go on.

After tackling the gregarious creed of Australia’s impresarios in 2003’s The Promoters, and the legendary Michael Gudinski in 2015’s Gudinski, Stuart Coupe turns his attention to those hardworking heroes behind the scenes of concerts and gigs. Those guys and girls who make it all happen, who’ve got the best stories, and whose names you don’t know.

TIO caught up with Coupe for a glance behind the action of his latest work, Roadies.

Stuart, after studying Michael Gudinski, arguably the best-known music industry character in the southern hemisphere, you’ve changed direction and placed the spotlight on those lesser known characters. Why so?

Well, it was because of my research for the Gudinski book that this idea really formed. One person helping me with info about Melbourne in the late 1960s, early 1970s was Adrian Anderson, a key figure in the Australian Road Crew Association (ARCA). Adrian told me about the hideous suicide rate amongst road crew and also the myriad of other mental health issues.

Later, I heard Neil Finn on an ARIA Awards telecast thanking his crew and I also found a 1983 Sun Herald newspaper column I’d written about a female roadie I knew who’d died in a car accident whilst working for The Johnnys.