Life is a process of continual learning, from cradle to grave. Approach it any differently, and it stops.
This is certainly the mantra of Rob “Cubby” Colby, an industry vet with so much listed on his professional resume that it’s an order of magnitude easier to list who he hasn’t worked for as opposed to who he has.
Indeed, from Kansas to Prince and among a legion of others in between, countless artists have relied on Colby to manage either their monitor needs, those of the house, or both.
This group now also includes Lindsey Buckingham, whose just-concluded Seeds We Sow tour gained the benefit of Colby’s talents out front.
Critically hailed for his solo work as well as that with Fleetwood Mac, Buckingham is a quintessential voice of his generation, having earned a place in the pantheon of 20th century postwar performers as a guitarist, singer, composer, and producer.
On Seeds We Sow, Buckingham divided his time onstage into three distinct segments, with opening and closing solo sets sandwiching a collaboration with bandmates Neale Heywood (guitars, vocals), Brett Tuggle (keys, bass, vocals) and Walfredo “Wally” Reyes Jr. (drums, percussion).
“It’s a two-hour show,” Colby explains. “The solo performance upfront lasts 30 minutes. As an ensemble, the four-piece band with Lindsey as its frontman plays for an hour and 20 minutes. The last 10 minutes is Lindsey solo again.
Clair crew chief Rich Schoenadel (left) with Cubby Colby prior to a Buckingham show. (click to enlarge)
“We played a lot of 2,000-seaters, and he has a strong following comprising a really diverse audience - everyone from eight to 80,” he continues. “We’ve even had a couple of walkers leaning up against the front of house drawer rack on occasion, because kids are bringing their grandparents.”
Entering The Fray
Associated for the last six years with Latin artist Juanes, Colby was approached by Clair’s M.L. Procise for Seeds We Sow.
Ushered directly into rehearsals in L.A. at the beginning of summer, Colby entered the fray essentially a blank slate, having heard little other than a comment or two about the show’s stage volume.
“When I arrived at rehearsals, first thing I meet everyone,” Colby recalls, “and here, at the center of it all is this guy who is completely old school. A living legend, musical pioneer of the ‘70s, affiliated with one of the largest selling American rock bands ever. I have no idea what I’m in for, but Lindsey set the pace for things to come by telling me I have to have a console with snapshots.
Buckingham performing with bandmates on the recent tour. (click to enlarge)
“On the one hand I look around onstage and it’s totally traditional. There are wedges and acoustic guitars going through amp racks, not a stick of wireless… Then I’m asked about a console with snapshots? Old and new was clearly the dynamic, so I said to myself, ‘now this is going to be interesting’.”
A long-time DiGiCo user, Colby showed Buckingham the desk he brought with, and noted that it did indeed take snapshots. Buckingham’s existing snapshot files, however, were done on a Profile, so within a matter of hours Cubby found himself standing in front of an Avid desk.