Van Halen Tour Stories with Eddie's guitar tech Tom Weber! - Page 4
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  1. #46
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    First 11 minutes all VAN HALEN road stories!
    Be birds singing in the rose gardens of immortality, lions roaring in the forests of knowledge and wisdom.

    -Baha'i Scriptures

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  3. #47
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    I'm about half way through this podcast. Great stories by these two guys but man I wish Mitch Lafon would just shut up and let them talk. He is so annoying sometimes.

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  5. #48
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    He was Eddie Van Halen's guitar tech, now there's a GoFundMe to save his home.

    Last February, Tom Weber was in Nashville working on Reba McEntire’s tour rehearsal. It was the start of what was to be a big year for him.

    A guitar technician who makes his living on the road, Weber was scheduled to tour with the country star until the end of May. He’d then fly to Los Angeles for tour rehearsals with Poison, the support act on the Motley Crue-Def Leppard tour. When that tour ended, he would rejoin McEntire and also fill in some schedule gaps on smaller tours, giving him work up until Christmas.

    “It was going to be one of those years where my family wasn’t going to see me, but it was going to be a $200,000 year. And I thought, 'This will allow me to pay off my house. It’s going to be amazing,' ” Weber said. “And of course it went from a banner year to zero income overnight.”


    The COVID-19 outbreak ended the McEntire rehearsals. Weber returned to Butler, Kentucky, and hasn’t worked since.

    Stay in touch with your community: Download the Cincinnati.com app.

    On Monday, Weber reflected on the bottoming-out of his livelihood. He was in Butler, waiting on a plumber to arrive because his septic system stopped working – a metaphor befitting Weber’s last 12 months.

    “The music industry, we’re not just out of work. We’re washed off the face of the planet at this point," he said.

    Weber is a music-biz lifer who worked as an audio engineer before becoming a go-to guitar tech. His first gig as a guitar tech was in 1994 for the Cincinnati band Blessid Union of Souls, and his credentials have grown to the point where he was tech-ing for one of the greatest players of all time, Eddie Van Halen.

    Professional guitar technician Tom Weber. (Provided)
    When asked to name his most prominent gigs, Weber replied, “The list isn’t very long, because I’ve gotten called back, which is the ultimate compliment. I went from Blessid Union of Souls to Ronnie James Dio to Poison. I did a run with Billy Corgan from Smashing Pumpkins in a year that Poison didn’t tour. Reba McEntire, Nine Inch Nails, Matchbox Twenty, The Cult and, obviously, Van Halen.”

    Van Halen died last year at the age of 65.

    “As far as special to work with, arguably the greatest guitar player of our time,” Weber said of Van Halen. “As a guy, I don’t want to say we developed a fast friendship, because that’s not how Ed worked, but we were family, and basically he developed a trust in me for what I did for him and my insight into what things should have been on a daily basis.

    "The last conversation I had with him, we were discussing when we would potentially go out again, and he said, 'Whatever happens, you’ll be my first phone call because I’m not leaving the house without you.’ "

    Billy Duffy, from the English rock band The Cult, is another client. When Duffy spoke to the Enquirer in 2016, he made sure to mention his two local connections – his love of Gretsch guitars, as Gretsch was once owned by Cincinnati’s Baldwin Piano Company, and his working relationship with Weber.

    There’s a GoFundMe page on Weber’s behalf to save his home. As of Monday, it has raised more than $10,000 of its $35,000 goal. Sandy Espinoza, of the nonprofit group Rodiecare, organized the fundraiser.

    “She’s 24-7 trying to figure out ways to feed people that are even less fortunate than me at this point,” Weber said.

    Weber lives with his wife of 18 years, Tammy Sester, and Sester’s 15-year-old granddaughter. Sester recently took a job as a cafeteria worker at Northern Kentucky University.

    “Long drive for next to no money,” he said.

    Weber, 63, had planned on eventually getting off the road and making his living in town fixing and building guitars. He opened a shop in the early 1990s on West McMicken Street in Over-the-Rhine but was forced to fold in 2016 when the landlord gave Weber a 30-day notice for return of the space.

    With nowhere to move the business, Weber said he scrapped his equipment and put the rest in dumpsters.

    He applied for Social Security and unemployment benefits after the Reba McEntire rehearsals ended, but because of the on-again, off-again nature of tour work, he had previously tapped into those limited funds.

    “There was some money that came from that but not much,” he said. “The guys at my end of this, we’re not eligible for any of the government funding that’s going to venues or companies."

    Weber is not happy that his financial future relies on a fundraising effort, but he said he is very grateful for it.

    “The important part to stress about this whole thing is this isn’t just me,” he said, referring to his music-industry peers. “Worldwide, there’s almost 18 million of us that are out of work at this point.”
    Be birds singing in the rose gardens of immortality, lions roaring in the forests of knowledge and wisdom.

    -Baha'i Scriptures

  6. #49
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    You hear this all over with the common folks. A friend of mine was just put back on the shift at a company which makes parts for automatic transmissions after a year layed off. I know I say this on here and to others with increasing frequency but Go Fund Me is the new safety net despite the nation dealing out trillions. Maybe Tom should ask Tom Brady , Glen Beck, or some other gozillionaire who got PPP money for a helping hand?
    10-6-2020 RIP King of sixstrings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by edwardv View Post
    You hear this all over with the common folks. A friend of mine was just put back on the shift at a company which makes parts for automatic transmissions after a year layed off. I know I say this on here and to others with increasing frequency but Go Fund Me is the new safety net despite the nation dealing out trillions. Maybe Tom should ask Tom Brady , Glen Beck, or some other gozillionaire who got PPP money for a helping hand?
    He's not asking YOU personally for help. If you don't want to, then don't donate.

    I feel for him. It's not like guitar techs are millionaires. Their income is sporadic. With the industry shut down and no income coming in for 12 months, he's obviously desperate.

    I understand that GoFundMe has become almost clichť at this point. Everyone and their brother sets one up. But, again, just ignore it if you don't want to donate. I hope he's successful. God knows that, sure, I can afford my house now. But if I was unemployed with no income for a year, obviously, I would no longer be able to. And if he sells his home, how does he get another one? Who gives a mortgage to an unemployed person. I know he's not alone in this right now. But I really feel for the guy...as I do anyone who's been unemployed during this pandemic. I mean, cripes, there but for the grace of God go I.

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  9. #51
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    Default Van Halen Tour Stories with Eddie's guitar tech Tom Weber!

    I donít have any problem with people asking for help, thatís what itís for. Itís not like heís asking for 500 bucks so he can buy an Xbox. Nobody is forced to give him anything. I do the same thing here when I ask for donations. Nobody has to give me anything. I wouldnít be too down on the guy. This is a really really tough time for everyone.
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  11. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by edwardv View Post
    You hear this all over with the common folks. A friend of mine was just put back on the shift at a company which makes parts for automatic transmissions after a year layed off. I know I say this on here and to others with increasing frequency but Go Fund Me is the new safety net despite the nation dealing out trillions. Maybe Tom should ask Tom Brady , Glen Beck, or some other gozillionaire who got PPP money for a helping hand?
    I donít know what youíre saying, but it sounds like youíre saying GoFundMe is a program for people who wonít help themselves, but that canít be what youíre saying.

 

 

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