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ONE of the nicest people at MPL is hard-working Road Manager, 28-year-old John Hammel. Born and raised in the East End of London, John left school and went to work first in a hardware shop and later for British Leyland, as a fork-lift driver. It was while working as a van driver for the brewery firm Watney Mann that he first came into contact with the music business, as he moved equipment in the evenings with his van for a band called The Knack (later called The Gun).
He left Watneys to work with the band full time, doing major tour work in the U.K. and Europe until 1969. Then he joined Humble Pie, with whom he toured extensively, doing as many as six tours a year with them from 1970-1974 in the U.S., Japan and Europe. When PA systems got vastly bigger in about 1970, crews began to get more specialised, and John became an expert with guitars. Although never a budding musician, John has always loved guitars, and knows a vast amount about them technically.
John joined Wings in 1975, covering the world tour with them. The most equipment they moved for one concert was for the huge Seattle concert (before 67,000 people), when they used seven 40 ft. ‘semi’ trucks, and 24 ft. ‘bob-tails’ with the special rigging for the lighting and PA systems which were suspended in the air. His comment on the job: “Damn hard work!”From Club Sandwich N°3, June / July 1977
Last updated on March 6, 2020