Box Hill Institute Coordinator for VET Music, Pete Satchell recently completed a two week deployment in the Middle East, playing rock’n’roll in his band, Dallas Crane for Australian and American troops.
Being no stranger to life on the road, Pete explained how this tour was very unlike normal gigs and a very memorable experience. He said, “What made this so very different is that we were basically living as soldiers for the duration of our time. We attended briefings, did some training with the troops and followed strict procedures. Everyone including the soldiers and superiors were incredibly friendly and accommodating towards us.
“The place was barren, dry and hot and the bases were as you see in the movies, big domed canvas tents with bunk beds. Playing live music in the middle of the desert in 51 degree heat isn’t at all a common experience,” he said.
A different form of training was required to prepare for this tour. Putting aside the guitar and microphone, Pete said, “Training included learning combat first aid, spending time on the shooting range, and vigorous fitness exercises.”
Dallas Crane provided troops with invaluable entertainment. Pete said, “Soldiers from all countries were grateful for us coming over and giving them something that reminded them of being at home. They loved us being there and enjoyed our presence.
“We’re hoping to have the opportunity to tour again. Rock’n’roll has a place in the Middle East and I’d go back in a heartbeat.”