Joey Shalloe and Eddie Money

I met Joey Shalloe 6 years ago when Elaine and I opened our night club, The Rock Inn. He ran our karaoke, kept our sound system dialed in and the blues band that he sang lead vocals for, Cool Stack, played at our place. Later when we closed the nightclub and went back into construction, Joey worked with us doing carpentry work. Over the course of 20 years in business with more than 400 employees coming and going, none were more interesting and versatile than Joey.
His versatility evolved over the years as he did what he had to do to make ends meet while building a solid career as a sound technician for the likes of Kenny Chesney, Paul Rodger’s of Bad Company, and his current employer Eddie Money. Joey no longer has much time for the likes of me as he serves as sound tech and road manager, organizing a myriad of details for the 150 shows a year put on by the guy they call “the hardest working man in rock and roll”.
It was a long road for Joey to reach the point of being qualified to be road manager for Money. “I started out as a roadie when a friend of mine inherited some money and started an A/C D/C tribute band in 1982 when I was 21,” Joey told me as we chatted recently in my garage office. “They hired me to run their light show and the six of us road in their crew cab pick-up pulling an equipment trailer.”  The band, Dog face, traveled as far as Texas and throughout Canada working 50 weeks a year. “It was brutal,” he said. “It’s something that not just anyone would like to do.”
The band’s entourage dwindled to 5 when the sound tech left, forcing Joey to take over at the sound mixing board, where he discovered he had a natural talent. After a few years of perfecting his new craft, Joey came back to Spokane and set up a sound company in Spokane which ran the sound at small concertvenues like the Met, Silver Mountain and the downtown night club, Gatsby’s. It was during this time that Joey met Kenny Chesney while running sound for the concert he performed at the Spokane County Fair in 1994.

“They called me about 6 months later and wanted to hire me to be their sound man,” he said, adding that he took the job and for the next year Chesney flew him to his concerts

from Spokane. When Chesney eventually asked him to relocate to Nashville , Joey was forced to turn him down in order to retain custody of his young child.

“This was back before he got big and he was just the opening act for George Jones and Tammy Wynette. So I kind of missed out on that one,” he said, referring to the fact that Chesney has gone on to become one of  country music’s biggest stars, performing at stadiums and selling millions of records.

So Joey left Chesney to raise his 5 year old son in Spokane, supporting himself running

sound at local venues and doing odd jobs as a carpenter between gigs. Then his phone rang again in 2002  and he was called back onto the road by a rock star who has a name and portfolio that Chesney is still working to achieve.

“ A friend of mine hooked me up with Paul Rodgers when Paul’s monitor technician

was bitten by a rattlesnake when he came out of a porta potty at a fair concert in California,” Joey said . Though he was only suppose to be a fill-in, for the next 8 years

Joey flew all over the globe working for Paul Rodgers, who has a long list of hits fronting such bands as Bad Company, Free and The Firm with Jimmie Page.

It was during this period that we came to know Joey and it was always exciting to hear this guy who ran our karaoke talking about going to Japan or Belgium to do sound for

Paul Rodger’s sold-out 50,000 seat concerts. I was amazed that Paul Rodger’s , whom I had never heard of before, was able to get a guarantee of $40,000 with a percentage of ticket sales or that large corporations would pay him as much as $80,000 to play at their private parties.

It seemed odd later when Joey was helping me at remodeling and would have to take time off to fly to London for a three week concert tour or go on a corporate sponsored Caribbean cruise that hired Paul Rodger’s for entertainment. How weird was it to have my help riding with Rodger’s and his wife in a limo over the weekend and talking about  it on the jobsite the next week as we put the decking on a patio. It made for interesting conversation.

Then last year in February Joey got a phone call from another rock icon whose sound man had fallen on hard times. “ Eddie Money’s road manager and sound man had a stroke and was suppose to be out for a while. A friend of mine was talking to Eddie in a bar in Nashville and told him about me.  Eddie is a huge Paul Rodger’s and so he called me,” Joey explained, adding that Eddie wanted him to audition at his upcoming concert

at the Couer D’Alene Casino for free, but Joey declined. “About a month later, they called me up and said they had to have me.”

While Paul Rodgers only did 40 gigs a year, Eddie Money does 150 and so that combined with the added workload of serving as road manager meant that Joey would no longer have to work for me to make ends meet. “Eddie Money has a big, beautiful house in California and one in Florida and he has 5 kids to support. He wants to work all the time,” Joey said.

Since March of 2008, Joey has logged 110,000 air miles and countless bus miles doing 120 shows all over the nation. As road manager, Joey schedules the limos, the “meet-and-greets” before each concert and the “phoners” where he sets Eddie up to talk by phone with the local radio dj’s.  He also meets the promoter’s people at the bus to stock it with the $500 worth of groceries they bought from the list he provided earlier as agreed to in each contract so that Eddie Money’s 10 person entourage is well fed after each show.

As long as Eddie stays healthy and wants to work, Joey has all the work he needs.

“The casinos have revived the oldies rock and roll bands and every town has a Pig Out in the Park,” he said, going on to explain that they have several venues they play once every 8 months. But Paul Rodgers, who did a stadium tour throughoutEurope this summer fronting Queen, could tempt Joey away.

“I told Eddie that Paul was going out on tour this year and that I might go back with him and Eddie looked at me and said, ‘you ain’t going anywhere’,” Joey said. “ I’ll probably stay with Eddie, the guy works all the time. He’s where the money’s at.”

And I knew that if Paul Rodgers could not get Joey, what chance did I have to get my fascinating former employee to come back to work? Though he did call last December to see if I had any snow removal work to keep him busy between his Money gigs.

 

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