While the pandemic has undoubtedly affected everyone’s life in one way or another, the unseen victims that have been hit the hardest are the road crews and behind-the-scenes production pros that the live music industry relies on to function. The roadies! The hard-working people that make sure the show goes on, make sure the show goes on time, and make sure your favorite artists look, sound, and perform at their best! These people had their entire industry flipped upside down essentially overnight and while the touring machine is back up and running for many, the livelihoods of legions of roadies still hang in the balance of tour uncertainty, canceled gigs, and re-scheduling mayhem still stemming from the early days of the pandemic. These people – who generally never quite get their due respect in the best of times – still need our help! Roadie Relief has sought to ease the financial woes of touring and production professionals since the beginning of the pandemic through a Gofundme and those efforts continue today. Many touring pros are unable to claim unemployment as their expert level trade skills are not recognized by the government, or they operate as contracted workers in order to jump from tour-to-tour and do not qualify.
In an effort to bring both awareness and sorely needed funds to the Roadie Relief campaign, Couch Riffs and Mike Squires [Duff McKagan’s Loaded, Harvey Danger, Ugly Kid Joe] have put together a quarantine performance video of the prog mega-classic “Starship Trooper” by Yes. The performance brings together an unbelievable cast of notable players who donated their time and skills, including Steve Stevens (Billy Idol, Michael Jackson, Vince Neil), Kirk Douglas (The Roots), Alex Skolnick (Testament), Richard Fortus (Guns n’ Roses), Nate Mendel (Foo Fighters), Brandon Yeagley (Crobot), Greg Gilmore (Mother Love Bone), Kurt Bloch (The Fastbacks), Janet Weiss (Quasi/Sleater Kinney), Jeff Pilson (Dokken/Foreigner), Loren Gold (The Who), Tony Reed (MOS Generator), Per Wiberg (Candlemass/Opeth), Amanda Hardy (Bexley), Ty Bailey (Katy Perry), and of course Mike Squires and was edited and mixed by Don Gunn.
The video will include a donation link and as well as 5 unique opportunities for Roadie Relief supporters to record/film themselves and receive audio and video versions of the complete “Starship Trooper” performance with them professionally mixed into the track alongside these heavyweights of the music industry! Think of it as a video version of the rock ‘n’ roll fantasy camp concept!
These 5 guest participant spots for donors will be filled via buy-ins who will be able to choose which of 4 sections of the prog opus they want to perform on. Participants may choose any instrument or voice from one of the 4 sections. These participating donors will receive a stereo mix of the song, minus the part that they are going to perform on. Participants will then need to record and film themselves (you’ll need an audio interface, DAW, and a camera phone to participate) and submit their performance back to Couch Riffs, who will then edit in the winners’ footage to the video. These folks will receive a video and audio version of “Starship Trooper” featuring themselves performing alongside this team of world-class musicians!
Buy-ins are $1000 each and will remain open until 5 slots are filled or June 30, whichever comes first.
The Starship Trooper video will be released on April 20th (4/20), which will coincide with the release of buy-in spots. Participating donors will be delivered instructions and assets to create their performances with and once they have returned them to Couch Riffs, the final audio and video will be delivered back to them as schedules allow, and as soon as possible.