“In Their Own Words” Rob Roy By SFL Music July 1, 2023 South Florida Concert Memories IN THEIR OWN WORDS We reached out to dozens of South Florida music personalities and industry veterans for their favorite South Florida concert memory. Stay tuned each month for many exciting stories! Want to share yours? E-Mail us at info@SFLMusic.com I began going to concerts in the 1980s. As an aspiring musician, I left most concert events full of motivation. Seeing the epitome of your dream displayed right in front of you was nothing short of a massive dose of energy and drive. It wasn’t until the 1990s that concert experiences honed themselves as memorable experiences other than the obvious. By this time, I was a musician in a self-promoted touring band trying to emulate what I had experienced as a kid in the audience. My motivations for going to concerts, however, had significantly changed. I learned that behind that stage was a world of music industry professionals I wanted to meet. While most people wanted to meet the band, my bandmates and I had bigger intentions. The only issue was that we needed the illustrious backstage pass to gain access. During the summer of ’99, the then-South FL rock radio station, Zeta94.9 was having its annual “Zeta Fest” concert in Ft. Lauderdale featuring acts from headliners “Def Leppard, Orgy, Everclear, and more” to up-and-coming artists like, “Crease, The Livid Kittens, and The Groovenics.” We desperately wanted to meet the management of these bands and get our foot in the door. As hungry musicians, we regularly were present at just about every music event in the area. We’d attend shows, concerts, radio station events, and whatever we could sneak our way into. Often, we’d bring the RV we toured with and park in the back areas where the crews would park. We did just this for Zeta Fest. We set up camp in the parking area and watched the rhythm of the event. We noticed workers coming from the parking field and going to a section where the crew busses would park. They’d flash a pass hanging around their neck and walk right into the backstage VIP area. This area also housed RVs that served as “dressing rooms” for the concert’s headliners. Problem: We didn’t have passes to get in. So, the mission of the day… How do we get into the backstage VIP area? Solution: Let’s make a pass. Or something that looked “like” a pass. In those days, GPS systems weren’t the norm, so we had stacks of maps in the RV. Some of which were laminated. I cut “backstage pass-sized” rectangles and cut a hole at the top. We didn’t have lanyards, so we pulled the laces from our boots and made a backstage pass. A REALLY BAD-looking pass, I admit… But we hung them from our necks and marched towards the VIP entrance with our heads held high – like we were meant to be there. IT WORKED! We pretended to be in a serious conversation as we walked through. As we passed the gate guard, we focused on our conversation, grabbed the pass, and lifted it off our chest as if to show him but kept walking like we owned the place. We were in. We went backstage and did our networking thing. This worked so well that I ended up watching Def Leppard’s set on the main stage, standing next to Phil Collen’s guitar tech. I was literally 15 feet from Phil as he performed on stage to thousands of people. During my time backstage, we met numerous players in the industry. We even met many of the headliners performing. I “accidentally” stumbled into the RV that Def Leppard was using as a lounge. They were super cool, and I got to hang with them for over an hour. A bit later, I stumbled into Zeta94.9’s morning show co-host, “Omelet,” whom I knew from various promotions we attended promoting our band. He’s called us the “rock ‘n roll promo guys.” I told him what I was doing, and he asked me if I could get his girlfriend in to meet Def Leppard. At this point, my face was known as being welcome in the backstage area. I went and escorted his girlfriend backstage, went to the Def Leppard RV, knocked on the door, introduced her to the band, and the mission was done! The moral of the story is to follow your dreams and that confidence (and being cool) will always lead you in positive directions. We met some incredible people and great musicians. On 94.9’s Paul & Ron morning show the next day, Omelet bragged about how his “promo buddies” had gotten his girlfriend in to meet Def Leppard where he couldn’t, even when he worked for the radios station that put on the concert. Lasting memory: What an awesome fun day. But it is being in a young band and being mentioned on the radio in the same sentence as platinum rockstars = A PRICELESS MEMORY! Rob Roy is a Producer, Engineer, & Owner of Power Station Recording Studios in Pompano Beach, FL A touring musician turned recording engineer, producer, and audio technology developer. Over the past decade, Rob has earned numerous gold and platinum records alongside legendary producers & engineers and numerous platinum-selling artists. Currently, he focuses on operating Power Station Studios as well as developing the DPS audio technology with Bongiovi Acoustic Labs and CLEAR 360. Studio: www.powerstationstudios.com | Studio Team Member: https://powerstationstudios.com/team/rob-roy/ Tech Page: https://bongioviacoustics.com/ | Product Page: https://clear360products.com/ | Social: FB & INSTA: @PowerstationFL Share It!