Deptford John, guitar technician and lecturer
Deptford John has been a guitar technician for over 30 years, looking after bands' gear and instruments and teaching others how to run a tour.
What job do you do?
I'm a guitar technician with a guitar repair business. I also lecture in technical stagecraft and touring essentials.
What previous jobs have you done?
I was in love with the idea of being on tour from the age of 14. I've done guitar tech for over 30 years. The lecturing is a more recent thing.
My first job in music was on tour as a drum technician for an English punk band called the UK Subs.
I've also been a keyboard tech, local crew hand, stage manager, production manager and tour manager for many artists, from the Spice Girls to Iron Maiden!
"Never be afraid to ask questions."
What qualifications do you have?
I have a PTLLS (Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector) qualification for my teaching – that and a Red Cross first aid certificate.
What do you do at work?
On tour, I do the load in, set up, and maintenance for guitars, amplifiers, pedalboards, radio systems and assorted other instruments that are thrown my way.
I also handle all the endorsements for most of the artists I work for. I'm responsible for the packing up and loading out of all the equipment at the end of each show. My average day on tour is 9am to 1am.
When I'm not touring, I'm in my guitar repair workshop in London three days a week. I lecture the other two days.
What's the best thing about your job?
Seeing virtually every city in the western world. I like meeting new people and new bands, and working with new technology all the time.
How do I get into music?
Be prepared to work hard. Keep your mouth shut and your ears open. At the same time, never be afraid to ask questions or tell the truth.