We all know about roadies, right? They’re the men and women who are responsible from moving artists from concert to concert, transporting, setting up, operating and tearing down all the gear that goes into a gig. Here’s a question I’ve never really wondered about until now: who was the first modern roadie? The answer seems to be a guy named Ben Dorcy who started humping gear for a living in 1950.
He’s toured with everyone from Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash to—well, he doesn’t really remember. It’s Willie Nelson who gave him the title of “first-ever roadie.” Everyone else just calls him “the world’s oldest living roadie. “ The guy turns 90 next month. Everyone from Waylon Jennings to Motorhead to Tenacious D have written songs about this guy. And if you want to go off on a tangent, there’s a 1980 cult movie called Roadie starring Meat Loaf that was inspired by the life of Ben Dorcy III.