Gus Brandt, tour manager for the Foo Fighters.
Short takes from Brandt
on some of pop culture's biggest stars:
Jimmy Smits, "Star Wars" series alumnus, currently playing presidential candidate Matthew Santos on NBC's
"The West Wing": Brandt
met Smits during a shoot for the band's appearance on the show.
On the lookout for Gus
tonight The polls are closed on "The West Wing," and the Vinick and Santos campaigns are counting the results.And somewhere in the mix is Pensacola's own Gus Brandt
remembers calling up bands as a bored teenager in the 1980s, begging them to come play Pensacola.
, now 37, the rock 'n' roll lifestyle has paid off.For the past decade, Brandt has been tour manager for the Foo Fighters, one of the world's most successful and powerful rock bands.He's
had travel opportunities that even commercial pilots would envy.He's
met all his
idols, hobnobbed with movie stars and attended countless black-tie awards galas.
even shows up momentarily on an episode of "The West Wing" playing -- get this -- himself.The Foo Fighters
will play at an election-day campaign rally on the NBC show. (Part I of the two-part episode, which also featured the band briefly, aired last Sunday.)
In the show, he's
asked by a campaign worker to have the band stop performing for a moment.
"I nod OK and say 'Yeah," ' a bemused Brandt said from his
Pensacola home during a recent tour break.
"I met Nick Flynn and started doing shows," Brandt
said of his early days booking bands.
Between them, Brandt
and Flynn brought some of the best "underground" national acts in the land to Pensacola in the 1980s, including GWAR, Social Distortion, Primus, the Silos, the Offspring, the Flaming Lips, Helmet, Soundgarden, the Mighty Lemon Drops, Jonathan Richman, Bad Brains, the Screaming Trees (one of Brandt's all-time favorites) and dozens more.
...Brandt worked as a tour manager for Soul Coughing before hooking up with the Foo Fighters.And during Foo Fighter breaks, he has worked as tour manager for performers such as blink-182, Cypress Hill, Weezer and even Eminem.
was cool," Brandt
said of the controversial rapper.
"I was in a little town in Belgium, and I had to walk through the countryside to a little store to get (the single 'This Is A Call')," Brandt
said."They're my favorite band."
And a band that commands his
sets the band's daily schedule, works with event promoters and venue operators to ensure all is well with performance contracts and logistics, handles finances, deals with foreign hotels and press and basically "takes care of them."
"I don't put them on a pedestal," Brandt
said."I'm like their mother sometimes.
, the band comes first."
With the band on break, Brandt
spent a few days in London last week working out details for a major Foo Fighters headlining gig at Hyde Park in London.
"I've traveled all of Europe," said Brandt
, whose Pensacola home is filled with hundreds of rock books and even Kiss and Dolly Parton pinball machines."I've been to Japan, Korea, Thailand, Korea, Australia, Israel, Chile, Peru, Argentina.Everywhere.