For the ones real close to me, they all knew I was in the Audio/Visual Industry for a long ass time. After graduating from a Private College that taught Audio Engineering, trying to find a living in the Music part of that world was really hard. So some of us resulted into the corporate A/V kingdom. And what a wild kingdom that it. That industry is a mother fucker… You work long ass hours with barely any sleep, at times you could work 10 hours without any food or water. However, its hard to deny that when the show is on, it’s a pretty sweet experience. The tech geek in me did love having the control of the Microphones, Projectors, and Lighting. Then when the show ended, it went back to the shit show which is what you call The “REAL AV” World.
During busy season, you’ll be working a stretch of days non-stop in a passive aggressive environment that can drain one and break them. However, when you come across someone who shares that same work ethnic and has that same geek mentality, that can really be the spark to help get thorough that 13th or 14th hour. Telling each other that the pay check is gonna look good. Having that same mentality to just get to work, get the job done ASAP, then get the fuck out. When you worked with guys like that, work actually became fun, and you didn’t care how long you worked. Every show was a battle against time that became like a game. Throughout the busy season, you get to know the guys you work with real well that you end up calling them friends.
After a long shift, the only people to hang out with are the ones you worked with, so hitting the pub to get some food and drinks were moments I looked forward too. Finding guys who have the same interests as you then going down a rabbit hole of stuff that we forgot that we had to work. A brotherhood is formed cuz these are the guys you’d spend the most time with. Getting to know there personality and genuinely wanting to be a friend of theirs.
During my time as a A/V tech, I’ve made really good friendships with a lot of the A/V guys from all around the city. I even worked my way up to Sales from a Tech, but you can leave the tech side of things, but the tech will still be in you. Even though I didn’t have to do any labour, I still rolled up my collard shirt and took down a screen in dress clothes. I can honestly say I was sad that I had to leave the industry. I knew that there’s more out there for me to conquer, like I said before, the tech is still in me and can never forget the guys I went to battle with.
When I heard about the passing of 2 A/V Legends recently, I was pretty shook. It’s been years since we spoke, but I can you their were days they were thought about. These 2 guys had that same with work ethic and were good to be around with. Some of my most memorable moments about the industry have those 2 guys in it but on different occasions.
For these 2 Techs that I do proudly call friends, I want to honour you guys with Power of Story and tell others my favourite moments working with you guys.
To Jon Konecny & Scott Nelson. RIP Brothers
My nicknames to him were “Konec the Dots” “Konec 4” or “Koneech”. When I’d be working on a Gig and Jon would be there, I knew that day wouldn’t be as bad. He had this energy that lit up a room and did things to make work easier. He had this dope Bicycle that looked like a Lowrider Motorcycle that he rode everywhere and parked
I’ve already been working there for a few months now, the industry was getting bigger, and the company needed to hire more guys. I remember seeing 2 new names on the schedule and one of the i saw was Jon. After his 2 weeks of warehouse training, he was schedule to do his first D&P (Delivery & Pickup) shift with me. After warehouse, you’d get trained to drop off and pickup equipment for techs waiting at venues around the city.
When that day came, we introduced each other and just showed him what we needed to load in the truck and how the Truck/Van sign in/out sheet worked. When it was time to leave, we hit the road. A few minutes in, I asked the normal question of where are you originally from, what industry, where you worked before, etc… We got into a good conversation and found out he did lighting on cruise ship. He then asked if I was Filipino, I told I was, then he started talking to me in Filipino and his accent was pretty good. I asked were he learned that and he told me that he worked with a lot of them on he cruise ship. Said they were really nice people and always made sure he ate. I laughed and said
“Yeah, that how we rol!l”
I told him that I was born in Canada and the guys you worked with are from the Philippines. He did say that he kinda figured cuz my character was way different that theirs. After a few Stops, I saw there was some time in the middle to go get some coffee and food. He was also down cuz wanted something too. When we both decided to that, he replied back with
I was like what was that you just said? He was like “Cool Beans”, like a way to say Im Ok with that. I remember laughing and told him that was one of the whitest things I’ve ever heard. He laughed back at that too and said yeah it’s a different term. But I liked it and I ended making a new term called “Spicy Rice” We both laughed and someone those names became our call signs on the radio. Jon was Cool Beans, I was Spicy Rice. Always loved saying that over the radio.
“Spicy Rice, Over..”
One of the funniest stories I heard and I wish I was there to experience that first hand. Months went by and Jon became a proprietary lighting specialist within the company and we’d never see him at the warehouse anymore. We had a bunch of new hires that came through and one of them was none other that our Metal Head Brother Aubrey “Aubzilla” Trotter. This guy was forged in 80’s and is hard as they come. Yet he looked realy young too. With how big this guy is, you knew he could do some damage in a Mosh Pit.
Jon was driving a truck one evening trying to get back to the warehouse. Our Trucks had the company name in Huge Fonts Decaled all over the trailer. You’d be able to see it from a good distance. While driving back, he hit some traffic at Rogers Arena (it was called GM Place back then). During that time, a GWAR Concert was just ending off. If you don’t know GWAR, is summary, A Rock Metal Band dressed in these wild prosthetic costumes like evil trolls that Spray fake blood all over the audience. This happens to be Aubrey’s favourite Band and he announced to everyone weeks in advanced that he’s going to this concert and just gonna get FUCKED! He made it his mission to get drenched in the fake blood!
Aubrey thought he met everyone in the company cuz he’s worked their for a couple months now. Because Jon had obscure jobs during that time, he was never at the warehouse so these 2 guys have never met or knew about each other.
Just outside the arena, Aubrey happen to see the truck with the company Logo and got excited thinking it was one of us that he already knew. He started running towards it. Jon was just sitting their in traffic and then Aubrey jumped on the step of the cab and got right into the window pouncing on it.
This went on for a bit until both realized that they didn’t know who each other well.
I remember when Jon telling me he was caught off guard and wasnt expecting a guy covered in Blood yelling into the window of the truck telling that he’s fucken wasted. When Aubrey told me he was like “Wait, who the hell is this guy?”. I just laughed my ass off when I heard about this story and still laugh about it thinking about it till this day. These are the memories that will be with me forever.
One of the first times I met Scott, he had this dark Aura around him, but for some reason, I wanted to challenge that energy and see if I could made him laugh. He was a very introverted character and I was that total extrovert, complete opposite. The one thing we had in common was that hustle work ethic, get this shit done ASAP and the hell out. Our first few shifts together, I got to know him a lil bit and noticed he pronounced certain words like a pirate. I then found out that he’s originally from the True East of Canada, New Brunswick. I then told him that when my parents first immigrated to Canada, Newfoundland was their first home. In some way, he appreciated that.
We were working a D&P shift together and I remember we were loading some shit. I was at one end of the heavy box and he was at the other. We timed to lower down to pick up the box and then a heard a pop followed by a tear. We loaded the box up and he paused for a bit. I asked if he was ok and he said “I think I tore my pants”. We then went to Zellers cuz it was close by so he could get a new pair. When we had a gig together in Kelowna and had to bring equipment with us, he always took the wheel. Whenever I’d fall asleep and wake up I’d always get the
“Have a good nap, Princess?” and would just laugh after.
I learned that he loved everything in a correct order and things that didn’t go as planned bothered him. I on the other hand, loved having something to off balance things a bit to give it a unique look. We had these heavy boxes with handles they called “Tech Kits”. They were very uniform but some other techs decorated theirs. I got into decorating other guys kits without them asking or permission. But if they didn’t like, it was easily removable. Scott hated it! He took it upon himself to take all those things off everyone’s tech Kits. One guy even liked what I did and was kinda sad when Scott took it off.
This led to another awesome memory of Scott. During the time at the Ghetto Warehouse in East Van next to Needle Park, we had a testing area for equipment quality check. This area was so dull that I just had to do something about it. There was always old felt markers and flip chart paper lying around and I took some and started creating artwork. I had music quotes in some funky font I made up on the spot
“Don’t Stop Belieiving”
Along with other random shit and other techs nicknames. I knew Scott would be taking this down soon and I wanted to give him another nickname to see how he’s react. He already had "Captain Highlander" cuz of how they resembled by another warehouse guy. So that's when I came up with
I put some effort into it and made it look really good, hoping he might actually like it. I strategically place it just above the doorway so that when you walk into the testing area, the sign is behind you.
One tech Justin that we called “Destroyer” was working with Scott that following day. When they both walked into the testing area, Justin told me he started laughing with how everything looked and new it was there to bother Scott. When Scott walked in, he walked out, then walked in with and an Exacto Knife ready to do some damage. To what Justin told me, he did. At the end of it, he was standing by the doorway still not noticing the sign I made him was still there. He was looking at the room with a sense of pride and then Justin pointed to Scott to look behind him and there was the sign still up and with a Pirate like
He just tore it off with his hands. With that bad guy glare, he had the crumpled up sign in one fist and shaking his other fist in the air and yelled out a
I didn’t even need a nickname for him anymore. For a time, that became a thing whenever someone was caught with one of my pranks. I’d still continue to prank other guys kits or if I knew they were on site, I’d pack a surprise within the equipment. When the prank was uncovered, they’d do the Scott Nelson with the pumping first. I’d like to say that it’s the Greatest nickname someone ever hated
As my time as an A/V tech, I really got to know both of them of a good level and was happy to be a friend of theirs. I still remember the things we did for each other to help boost the attitude of the night. Just helping each other without expecting anything in return. I remember coming back from Kamloops driving through a Snowstorm at night just wanting to go home. Getting to the warehouse and Jon just finished unloading his truck, stuck around and helped me unload mine.
I was a smoker at the time, and one shift being around it’s 12th-13th hour, just finished loading up a truck to end off the shift looking semi-defeated, Scott handed me a Prime Time and said "Let's go smoke" before we head back. We even travelled to Seattle together to Babysit the equipment that was needed for a show down there. Was one of the easiest gigs cuz we didn’t do nothing. What was awesome was we both liked Jack in the Box and that’s where we went.
If things were different, I’d definitely would love to meet up with you guys again. To catch up and see how things are, talk about the times that I just wrote about and many more. These were just a handful of Stories.
To All my A/V guys that I worked with, lets give a Digital Salute to our fellow Techs.