LD Dave Herrman with the Gipsy Kings

by Debi Moen
in On the Road
LD Dave Herrman
LD Dave Herrman

Tour: April-December: U.K., Canada, U.S., Europe.

Design: “It is all ‘big picture’ stuff. Other than my console, we are not carrying gear, so every night is a different show — it may be all par cans one night, moving lights the next or a mix of the two. I take a theatrical approach, trying to keep a consistent look for the Gipsys, lighting the stage of 11 musicians and highlighting vocals or a guitar break as needed. It’s not flash and trash.”

Back Story

Home Base: Portland, Maine

Years with the Band: Three

The Gypsy Kings perform at ACL Live in Austin. Photo by Debi Moen

Lighting Career Spark: “Seeing Queen open a show in the early ‘70s with ‘Now I’m Here.’”

Growing Up: “My interest in lighting started with local bands while I was in high school. I joined the Marines at 17 and it wasn’t until years later that I learned what the military had taught me: discipline, proper preparation and mind over matter will get you far in life. It taught me to do the work you expect other people to do, and to push yourself to find your limits. I returned to lighting after the military.”

Memorable Concerts Attended as a Fan: “The first show I paid attention to was Queen opening for Mott The Hoople. Another early memory is Alice Cooper at the Hollywood Bowl in 1972 with Wolfman Jack and Jo Jo Gunne. I was just a kid; mother gave me money to buy my brothers a souvenir on a trip to Mexico and I used it for Alice concert tickets instead!”

Past/Current Industry Gigs: “I’ve been with the Maine State Ballet for the past 20 years, house LD at the State Theatre off and on since 1993 and site coordinator for Thompson’s Point, both in Portland [ME]. I was also the business agent for 12 years with Local 114. I’m also working with Michael McDonald this summer.”

How’d You Get This Gig? “I got the job sight unseen by answering an ad on an industry crewing website. I needed a break from my union gig in 2013, and they liked my resume.”

Heroes/Mentors: “Hank Decken, a heavy metal guitar player. He’s more than a friend, he’s a brother. He helped me at a difficult time in life, took me under his wing and had faith in me. Hank gave me the push I needed to keep going. He not only taught me about lighting, but about life, and how to work with all sorts of different people in almost any situation.”

Best Career Advice: “Listen more than you talk, pay attention, and ask pertinent questions.”

What Do You Like About What You Do? “It’s my art. It’s playing with electric crayons. I can’t paint or draw, but I can light a stage….We allow people to come escape their problems and enjoy life for a while. It’s fun…The Gipsys are good people; they’re my family on the road. I also like the travel and meeting people I never would have met in any other job.”


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