Tag Archives: State Theater

Detroit Rock City


I’ve had more than my fair share of jobs. I’ve been working since I was 15 and honestly I don’t have a good excuse for why I’m not a millionaire after nearly 30 years of employment. I’ll chalk that up to questionable choices and poor planning.

I suppose in time I will write about all of the hats I have worn. For now it’s suffice to say that my varied experiences have made me a well-rounded guy and that certainly helps with my role as an educator as well as my writing.

Recently a friend (and former boss) posted something on Facebook that took me back, back to my early 20s and my time at Detroit’s State Theater (now a Fillmore Theater, rebranded and absorbed by the Gelatinous Cube known as Live Nation).

It will always be The State Theater to me. A 1925 Renaissance Revival style movie house, this beautifully restored theater provided the backdrop for many of my misadventures. It was a pirate ship of sorts. I have a love for architecture and old buildings, and I can point to my time at the State for stoking that fire. The sub-basement was right out of Frankenstein, with huge belt driven fans for an ancient air conditioning system and the projection booth still had the original projectors. They were behemoths. So many hidden rooms, passageways, and secret places. I’m fairly certain there was a ghost or two. Just take a look at these nifty pictures and tell me you wouldn’t want to LARP a Cthulhu horror mystery there.

I began as a doorman/bouncer but eventually made my way backstage, working as a stagehand and also serving as the video director for a good chunk of my time there. My time as a stagehand has ruined me for live shows. I spent too many shows watching from the side of the stage or the soundboard. Standing out in the crowd, just a regular dude, is something that I still have difficulty with. I am a spoiled, petulant man-child.

Below is an almost complete list of shows I crewed (thanks to my friend’s post…he called them up via this database). I have a story for every one of them (another book to write). I’m sure that I am forgetting a few (+/- 20). For now, I just like looking at the list and keeping those adventures to myself.

Any favorites of yours on my list?

I look at this list and think, DAMN I LUCKED OUT.

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