Michael Kaplan of the New York Post reports:

It’s the kind of offer that could make someone kick the habit. 

Tana Douglas had just lit her second cigarette, 30 or so minutes into a conversation with George Harrison, when the former Beatle said, “I would marry you tomorrow if you gave up smoking.”

It was 1979 and the two were hiding out in the kitchen at a party hosted by Harrison’s neighbor Jon Lord, keyboardist for the heavy metal band Whitesnake. In the living room, a stripper — a birthday present to Harrison that embarrassed him — danced to the Beatles’ She Loves You.

Douglas was the only woman there who wasn’t a stripper. The first female roadie in rock n’ roll, she hauled equipment and ran lighting for some of the biggest bands in the world — and often saw them at their worst. Besides Whitesnake, she toured with Elton John (“During his brat years, he did drugs and threw tantrums”), Ozzy Osbourne, INXS, Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Police and the Go-Go’s.

“They would bring a guy into the dressing room [after a show] and take his clothes off — debasing, but the guys loved it,” Douglas recalled of the all-girl group.

As recounted in her new memoir, Loud (HarperCollins Australia), Douglas, now in her early 60s, got into the business early. She ran away from her parents’ home in Queensland, Australia, in 1973 at age 15 and joined a group of hippies. When they all wound up at a music festival, she assisted a local pop band in moving equipment: “Everybody started laughing when the guitar player said I would help with the load-out — and then they kept giving me more and more to handle.” At 17, Douglas was recruited by AC/DC and living with the band.

She was taken in by their crew as family, and she held her own.

“I fit in like a guy. I drank, stayed up late, cursed and loaded trucks just like everyone else,” she told The Post.

Then there was the time that she helped save the life of AC/DC vocalist Bon Scott — during an overdose.

“We all woke up to a girl screaming about Bon not breathing,” Douglas recalled. “I did CPR and kept him alive until the paramedics came. He survived and we never talked about it. When you’re young, you think you are bulletproof…”

…Though she happily retired from the road 20 years ago and has since found new careers — doing logistics for bands, location work for movies and writing — there is one thing Douglas misses: a leather jacket lost to Iggy Pop.

During a late ’70s gig in London, Douglas — with whom the rock icon had become friendly on his TV Eye tour — was summoned to the star’s dressing room. “Iggy held a mirror with three lines [of cocaine] and he said that he wants me to meet somebody,” she recalled. “A guy stood in the corner and I assumed he was the coke dealer. I told Iggy that he’s got to get on stage. He did a line and handed me the mirror. I figured, ‘Screw that guy [in the corner],’ and I did both lines. Then Iggy said, ‘I want you to meet David Bowie.’ ”

Iggy rushed out to perform, and Douglas stashed her beloved leather jacket under a monitor on stage. “The show started, Iggy grabbed my leather jacket — which he’d been unsuccessfully asking to borrow — and put it on for a song. Then he peeled it off, threw it aside and a fan grabbed it. That’s how Iggy Pop caused me to lose my trademark leather jacket. Maybe it was revenge because I did Bowie’s line.”

Photo credit: Lisa Johnson

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  • John Rives on

    This should be turned into a movie script ASAP!

  • Ray Gillen on

    Sounds like a interesting read.

  • Taskerofpuppets on

    Sounds like a great read, hope I can find this at Powells. Thx Dana \mm/

    • Dana on

      Of course, I thought it sounded fascinating myself and told Eddie he should interview her for his show.

  • genesraccoonwig on

    Would be an interesting interview.

    Elton’s addictions are were documented – but I am sure there are some great stories.

    As for the Police/Go-Gos, this must have been during the Zenyatta Mondatta album for the Police and the GoGos released their fantastic debut “Beauty and the Beat”.
    I’m sure we would hear all about Sting’s inflating ego and the GoGos quest to have male fans “perform” for them backstage. (Saw this tour at MSG in 81 – was a fantastic show).

    • Dana on

      I always dug the Go Gos, and used to really like The Police, stil kind of do, but rarely listen to them. I require more testosterone in my music. LOL!

    • genesraccoonwig on


      Yep, GoGos are always a fun listen – mostly their debut plus the hits after.
      Understand the Police are not as manly OR heavy as you would like – I am a huge fan and the influences of punk, reggae and rock. Their heaviest song to me is “Demolition Man” but just love how their songs swing and groove.

    • Dana on

      They’re good, there is no question about it and Stewart Copeland is one heck of a drummer. But, I just outgrew that sound, there is nothing wrong with it, I just don’t find myself listening them that often. It’s Alright For You, is one that I really like, because it is so upbeat.

      Also, I am sure you know this already, but the Go Gos got that opening slot with The Police because Stewart Copeland’s brother, Myles, managed the band.

    • Doug R. on

      Love both The Go-Go’s and The Police! Heaviest Go-Go’s song – “You Thought,” (IMO) and from The Police – “Truth Hits Everybody,” “It’s Alright For You,” “Omegaman,” and both “Synchronicity l” and Synchronicity ll.”

  • genesraccoonwig on

    Agree regarding Copeland – love his approach to the drums.
    I love “Its Alright For You” – Regatta de Blanc is my record record from the band – so much energy. Plus the title track is the one I use while working out.
    Yes, the Copeland Brothers were very influential in the 80s including the GOGOs

    Doug –
    Good choices on the Police side – enjoying Ghost in the Machine more and I prefer the more “atmospheric” songs on Sychronicity – “Tea in the Sahara” and “Wrapped Around Your Finger” plus “Murder by Numbers” such a great band. Andy Summers does not get enough credit on guitar as he should. He was very creative getting the sounds he did for the Police – and his solo work.

    • Doug R. on

      Wiggy, I totally agree with everything you said! 😉 The Police have always been and will always be 1 of my favorite bands. Favorite album (it’s close, love all 5) – Synchronicity! I have a strong connection and love for every song on that album, particularly “King Of Pain,” I relate to that song in more ways than I can say. “O My God,” “Every Breath You Take,” “Wrapped Around Your Finger,” every song! Reggatta de Blanc #2, Ghost In The Machine #3, Zenyatta Mondatta #4, Outlandos d’ Amour #5, but honestly, I love ’em all, they’re all great in their own way. I wonder if Trunk will ever do a Police top 20? Maybe we should… 😉

    • genesraccoonwig on

      Doug –
      The Police come from a genre of music that Eddie rarely associates with.

      He would do the best of Tommy Thayer before he would give a Top 20 to the Police 🙂

    • Doug R. on

      Oh I know, Wigs, and even if Eddie was a HUGE Police fan like we are, I doubt he would ever do a Police top 20.

      Tommy who? 😉

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