Behind the Scenes at the Fair

Behind the Scenes at the Fair
By: Holly Brantley

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - Hours before REO Speedwagon arrived at the SEMO District Fair grounds more than 50 people set up everything the band needs to put on a show.
"You would think this is a small fair, but some of the best crowds are in places just like this," said Production Manager Tim Rozner.
According to Rozner, playing in Cape Girardeau is like playing for a hometown crowd.
"A lot of the band grew up in Champaign, Illinois.  We find up and down the Mississippi is a hometown for this band," said Rozner.
Fair crews try to help the band feel at home on and off stage.
"We have to understand this is a home away from home," said Pete Poe with the SEMO District Fair. "We do get some strange requests from time to time.  For the most part they'll stay on the but still close to show time.  This group has a dressing room with a wardrobe case."
But, the life of a rock star has changed a little bit.  Before the show, managers say the band likes to play a round of golf.
"In a place with a lot of great courses we like to do that," said Rozner. "Instead of the bad habits it's golf and health clubs!  They've found a new path."
Now, mangers keep their actual back stage requests very hush hush, but we were able to learn about a few possibilities on one Web site.
REO Speedwagon's list does seem pretty healthy:
  • In their room they request a bowl of chilled fresh tuna
  • one box of low fat wheat thins
  • a bag of plain m&m's
  • They like to sample six bottles of a good local beer.