If someone was to ask me what the most important item I take on tour was, the answer would of course be my kettle. However a very close second is my mixing carpet (also known as The Good Vibes Carpet).
Everyone who’s ever been on tour will know that it’s all too easy to focus on the negative aspects of day to day touring life, and even on the best of tours, moaning about this and that, can become the norm.
About 7 years ago, in 2007, I found myself at a well known gig in San Francisco, leaning on the armrest of my PM5D, with my old friend and many times system tech, Jim, doing just that. So between us we decided that for our own peace of mind and general well being, that it had to stop.
Enter, The Good Vibes Carpet!
The only rule of standing on The Good Vibes Carpet is:
Thou shallt not speak bad or negative things about anyone, or anything, whilst standing on The Good Vibes Carpet
My first foray into using a mixing carpet had been during production rehearsals a year or so earlier in an ice arena, in Gothenburg, in Winter. It was mainly an attempt to keep out the cold and was only a cheap off-cut but I quickly realised it made sense on so many levels. Whether standing on boards covering ice or a hard concrete floor the mixing carpet eased my aching legs and helped create a nicer, more homely environment at FOH.
And so it was that the next day after my conversation with Jim, I found myself browsing around Macy’s in SF where I chanced upon the ideal carpet, and by good fortune, Macy’s were having a Sale. The GVC entered into service the very next day at FOH and is now a very well travelled carpet indeed.
Carpet first Milky san!
It’s now become something of a ritual when setting up FOH that after positioning the console etc, the first thing to be laid is the carpet before anything else is done. I have Flo san in Japan to thank for that, as he insisted every day, “Carpet first, Milky san!”.