Photo Blog... July 18-19
Glenn and his best friend, Pat Gray doing the show from Houston at KSEV 700 AM
Marcus Lutrell and Joe Kerry backstage in Houston. He told us he was late because he had chores to complete on the ranch--what a down-to-earth guy!
Making dreams come true. Bridgette called in and asked to meet Marcus Lutrell and we made it happen in Houston
Glenn had this American Flag custom made for the stage show
Does Glenn look like he's had his fill of having his picture taken? Tour manager, Rich, reviews notes with Glenn
Rich doing one last check before Glenn walks out onstage
Glenn backstage with John Carney
Ticket counter for African-Americans during formal segregation. Boarded-up, a reminder of America's progress and potential.
Many heartfelt thanks to the Boy Scouts!!!!
Glenn backstage with the Boy Scouts in Columbia, South Carolina
Any guesses on where Glenn wanted to stop after the stage show in Columbia, South Carolina?
Photo Blog... July 17
Navy Seal Marcus Lutrell, Glenn Beck and Holly (Marcus' mom) following the show
Stu at KLIF manning the boards...
Adam, still not smiling...
Two massive trucks crammed with computer and satellite technology
The Majestic Theater in Dallas
Rich, the tour manager--all business!
Glenn and Jeff, Jeff works with Glenn at CNN Headline News
Inside the technology trucks, I counted over 20 monitors in just one truck!
Glenn and Rich working onstage
Glenn and Stu
Proof that each show is different. Glenn reviewing and changing the notes for the show
Beck '08 Tour Comes to an End
Blogging by Joe Kerry
July 18-19, 2008 (Thursday)
The “Beck 2008 Unelectable Tour” is officially over—and what a great experience it has been!
First, a heartfelt THANK YOU to the Boy Scouts of America from the entire Glenn Beck team. You guys were awesome!
For those who didn’t see the show live or via simulcast, a local Boy Scout troop was asked to help lower and properly fold the massive American flag (see picture) following each stage show. Glenn made it clear that he didn’t want the flag just stuffed into a box at the end of the night after the curtain closed. He wanted the flag to be respected and honored and suggested that the Boy Scouts perform the color guard honors. There were several on the team who were very leery about giving the flag folding responsibility to a group of high school boys but in the end we all agreed to go with Glenn’s suggestion to enlist the Boy Scouts.
In each city I had the opportunity of being on stage while the Boy Scouts lowered and folded the flag and I can tell you that some of the longest applause of the night was when the Boy Scouts presented the flag on stage. It was also tremendous to see the vast majority of the audience rise to their feet and spontaneously begin singing “America the Beautiful”, “The Star Spangled Banner” and other patriotic songs during the flag folding ceremony.
So again, we thank the Boy Scouts for their service!
In Houston it was great to see Glenn and Pat Gray from KSEV 700 AM broadcast together. Imagine what it would be like to go to work and spend the entire day working with your best friend—that’s how it was for Glenn today. Their on-air conversation continued off-air and the off-air conversation continued through lunch, the stage show and eventually ended after our mid-night ice cream snack.
I have to put in a special thank you to Edd Hendee for making our lunch at the Taste of Texas Restaurant something we will never forget (I didn’t know desserts could be made that big) and to Bonny, the station manager at KSEV, who somehow was able to find Fresca in the Republic of Texas!).
Glenn’s in great spirits. He’s worked with Pat all day and Tania has joined Glenn for this leg of the tour—and that just completely changes him. I watch Glenn and Tania together on stage and wonder if Glenn realizes how much he changes when she’s on tour with him. Tania’s focused on finishing a book recommended by her daughter, Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. Tania can’t put the book down. She’s reading it in the plane, car, green room and stage. The Becks deserve each other. They all love to read and I’m convinced that they are physically incapable of putting down a good book.
After Houston we headed to Columbia, South Carolina. We passed a store on the way to the theater, Zesto. It caught Glenn’s attention because they have a giant plastic ice cream cone out front (see picture). As we pass the giant ice cream cone Glenn spontaneously asks John C to make arrangements to have the entire audience, following the show, head over to Zesto’s for ice cream—Glenn’s treat! Tania suggests that it might not be a good idea for several thousand people to show up at a small family owned business at the same time with their cars so those plans are shelved much to Glenn’s disappointment.
Glenn’s performance took place at the Township Auditorium. It’s a theater with lots of history and one in which Glenn has never performed. When Glenn goes to a theater for the first time he really tries to make time to take a tour of the entire building. He asks lots of questions. He wants to know who performed there, the building’s history and always asks about the architecture.
When we arrived at the theater, we all walked through a long hallway to the green room. About two hours later, Glenn approached me and took me to the same hallway that we originally walked down in order to get to the green room. He pointed to an old boarded-up ticket window located deep inside the building (which was something I had passed earlier but failed to notice). Glenn asked that I take several pictures of it (see pictures) and explained that during the era of formal segregation this was the ticket counter that African-Americans were forced to use to purchase their tickets. Glenn had learned this from his tour of the building. The theater, from that moment on, meant something different to him—a man who loves history, encountered a small disquieting piece of it in an older theater in Columbia, South Carolina, and it moved him to silent reflection as he stood there in the hallway trying to re-create in his mind the hurt that was done to innocent individuals’ rights where he stood and how the shuttering of this window was a reflection of America’s progress and potential. All this from just taking the time to ask a question and listen to the answer.
The show runs 14 minutes longer than scheduled. I think Rich won bragging rights—it was Glenn’s longest performance of the tour. I stopped counting the number of impromptu script changes and ad-libs when I felt Glenn and the audience connect. I knew it was going to be a night where Glenn’s message would be tailored to the individuals in that audience that night.
So, there you have it. My first official Glenn Beck Tour has come to an end. What a tremendous experience. It was great meeting so many of you in the various cities and I hope to share more soon.
Glenn Beck's First National Simulcast
Blogging by Joe Kerry
Well, tonight’s the night—the first ever ‘live’ national simulcast by a radio talk show host to over 300 movie theaters. I guess you never know whether you want to be part of history until you know what history has to say about what you were part of—at least that’s what I’m thinking as I’m watching the preparations for tonight’s show take place at the Majestic Theater in Dallas.
But I’m way ahead of myself.
Glenn, Chris, Stu, Rich and Adam flew in last night and arrived at the hotel around 11:00 p.m. John Carney and I flew in the day before. I must have offended Adam or Kristyn at some point in my last blog because on the flight out I didn’t have an aisle or window seat—but was given the middle seat on a long flight.
This morning we were up by 5 a.m. to make it to the studio by 7 a.m. to prepare for the radio show. KLIF has been a tremendous host and is letting us use their studios in addition to making sure that Dallas feels like a home away from home.
The radio show is one of the high points of my day because I really enjoy watching Glenn and Stu interact. If you’re a regular listener you know that it’s rare to see them completely agree on almost any topic. They usually share a general ‘big picture’ view but have strong differing opinions on the ‘fine print’ of many topics. Sometimes they end up on the same page and sometimes they just agree to disagree. What’s truly impressive is that Glenn doesn’t expect Stu to give in just because Glenn’s ‘the boss’ and Stu doesn’t give any ground just because the show bears Glenn’s name. It says a lot about both of them.
It’s a busy news day with stories about the economy, inflation and the price of oil. But Glenn finds the other stories too. The stories about global warming poetry, drilling finally permitted in ANWAR (for ice, not oil) and a San Francisco programmer who is refusing to tell the city the passwords necessary to open up various software programs he designed and installed on city computers.
Following the radio show most of us head directly over to the Majestic Theater. John and I take a taxi from the hotel over to the theater. I give the taxi driver money for the fare. He tells me that he doesn’t have change but that if I give him my cell phone number he’ll get the necessary change, call me and then give the change to me. Well, he has my money and my cell phone number and I don’t even know the name of the taxi cab company let alone a taxi number. John mentions that I’ll probably never see the driver or the money again. I resign myself to that outcome. Twenty minutes later my cell phone rings—it’s the taxi cab driver asking me to meet him at the door as he has my change. I’m so struck by his ‘doing the right thing’ that I tell him to keep the change that was due–and-owing me (or I should say due-and-owing Glenn since this was corporate money) by convincing myself Glenn would have done the same thing.
The first thing I notice at the theater are the two massive trucks parked at the rear entrance along with a satellite truck (see pictures). These trucks are technological marvels. Inside, there are wall to wall television screens, computer equipment and satellite feeds and dishes (see pictures). They trucks look like those you see in a spy movie—just full of computer and monitoring equipment. I hope the pictures capture that.
The trucks are the first tangible sign that things will be different tonight. The second sign is Glenn’s General Manager, Chris, is on site. Each time I see him he’s working his email and phone. I think of him as the Karl Rove of entertainment. Nothing gets by him and no fact, number or piece of data is insignificant or unimportant. He tracks it all and is always incorporating it into the big picture.
Maybe it’s just because I’m new to all of this but no one else on the team appears nervous that tonight’s show is going to be video broadcast nationally ‘live’. I’ve watched the tv show in the studio. I’ve seen the takes, retakes, do-overs and ‘mulligans’. Tonight, there won’t be any do-overs. It’ll be broadcast as it happens and I ask Glenn if that causes any additional anxiety. His response? A simple, “no”.
Inside, I count 6 television cameras placed throughout the theater and at least two dozen people who are working to make sure that the filming and satellite link-up will be flawless. That doesn’t count the people working in the technical and satellite trucks outside. Glenn talks to Stu about his carbon footprint—not to reduce its size, but to make it bigger!
Then I notice something really odd. I notice what appears to be a platoon of Texas secret service agents on the stage, in the stairwell and lobby. They all have the signature earpiece, suit and just have that look—the same one Adam has--it’s the “I can see right through you and melt you with my gaze” look. The reason for all the security? Texas Governor Perry is going to attend the show. Not just do a quick stop-by, but attend the entire show, from beginning to end. Backstage Glenn tells me that Governor Perry is either very brave or has no idea that this show hammers all politicians, regardless of political party. Even when the hammering starts, I see Governor Perry laughing, enjoying the show and being a good sport. I think we need more politicians that can laugh at themselves.
The tour manager, Rich, has done an excellent job juggling all aspects of this production. In the brief handful of minutes that I was able to observe Rich he had to address the following ‘fires’: Glenn’s television earpiece was missing and some were saying it was left in New York, the microphones on the podium needed to be moved in order to accommodate Glenn’s notes, time was running out for a preliminary rehearsal, and guest ticket requests were still coming in. Rich didn’t miss a beat. He tackled each issue and moved on. Sometimes I forget that this wasn’t only a first for Glenn, but Rich too—he’s never had to coordinate a national ‘live’ simulcast—and he did an awesome job, congratulations Rich!
Even with all the excitement of the national broadcast and having the Governor of Texas here, one of the biggest moments of the night was when Marcus Lutrell, a Navy Seal with an incredible inspiring story of valor and service to the members of his Seal Team and country was introduced. The cheering and clapping had a tangible emotional element to it. You could feel the hearts and thank yous of the audience literally being sent from the people to Marcus. People had tears in their eyes. Glenn got a little emotional and there was a brief moment when I wondered if the audience would ever stop clapping and sit down while simultaneously hoping that it wouldn’t end. After the show, I talked to several people around the country who watched this moment in various movie theaters and even though they were hundreds or thousands of miles away, they told me they could feel the power of that moment.
After the show, in the car ride to the airport, we all had our cell phones out and were receiving emails and text messages from fans, friends and family from across the country about the broadcast. People had a good time whether the theater was sold-out, half-full, or had only a handful of people attending. They had fun. They left the theaters feeling inspired.
Dallas you were great! Stu told me earlier in the day that he loves the City of Dallas. After being here a short 24 hours—I have a better understanding of how come he feels that way! Thank you!
(If you watched the show in a theater I’d like to hear from you. Send me an email telling me what you liked, what worked and what didn’t, the audience size, if you felt like you were in Dallas or whatever else you’d like to share. You can write me at firstname.lastname@example.org).