The Rock Star is but a rock. With the help of the roadie, these rocks will be polished and shot through space and become the stars that they were meant to be.
The Roadie is an integral — yet sadly unappreciated — part of the rocking process. Roadies tune guitars, replace lights, check mikes, bounce entrances, drive the bus, cater parties, market merchandise and holds the bass player's hair up as they vomit. The music does not just happen by accident after all.
Because of the various jobs roadies are know to do, they are usually portrayed as the "Hyper-Competent Sidekick" type, managing to fulfill every need no matter how grand. Older roadies are portrayed as sagely, veteran types, having been to every corner of the industry, tasted every drug, known every legend and always having a An Aesop to impart in the process.
Note that stage managers and roadies/stage crew are two different things and never should be confused.
- Roadie stars Meat Loaf as a Gadgeteer Genius who becomes a roadie for a traveling rock and roll show.
- Various classmates in School of Rock who did not become a part of the band were assigned the roles of roadies and groupies (albeit a PG-rated equivalent).
- In This is Spın̈al Tap the roadies often have to come on stage to help with the many goofs involving props or improperly done fancy moves.
- The Dude casually mentions to Maude in The Big Lebowski that he worked as a roadie for Metallica for a time.
- The 2016 Cameron Crowe series Roadies are about a group of roadies that help set up for the The Station-House Band.
- The minor Byrds track "BB Class Road" is sung in the persona of a roadie boasting about his skills and lifestyle.
- The Tenacious D song "The Roadie" was made as a thank you letter to all the roadies out there whose work goes unappreciated. In the song's official music video however, the titular roadie Sebastion is portrayed as being a legitimately good roadie that had worked with Van Halen, Metallica and AC/DC in the past, but eventually gets drunk and destroys Jack and Kyle's green room after being rejected by a groupie. He then goes on to buy drugs, reject a boy who comes to him with a paternity test and then cons money out of them in exchange for a hooker (Jack and Kyle to fire him because of it).
- Motörhead's "We Are The Road Crew". Often, the roadies would come onstage and sing backup during that song.
- Jackson Browne mentions the roadies a lot during his life-on-the-road epic, "The Load Out".
- The video for Dire Straits' song "Heavy Fuel" centers on one of their roadies, played by Randy Quaid.
- Eddie Riggs from Brütal Legend is a roadie literally Born in the Wrong Century, famous in the biz for his roadie skills and love of classic Heavy Metal, forced to work under the disrespectful Second Wave of American Tween Melodic Rap Metalcore band "Kabbage Boy." After dying on stage and accidentally summoning Ormagoden in the process, Eddie ends up in a Heavy Mithril world where his rocking and roadie skills help him lead the human resistance army Ironheade against the Hair Metal Militia, the Drowning Doom and the Tainted Coil. Roadies are later presented as a stealth-based infantry in Ironheade's army, wielding incredibly large amps and invisibility skills that allowed them to free Ophelia's Razorgirls from Lionwhyte's pleasure tower. Watt-R-Boys are the Hair Metal Militia equivalent.
- Jem: Rio's career is never that concrete, but he is sometimes Jem and the Hologram's roadie.
- Steven from Steven Universe has expressed that one of his dream jobs is to be a roadie (his father having once been The Rock Star) and gets to live out this dream by helping Sour Cream set up a rave in "Drop Beat Dad". It helps he's a talented musician, and extra-strong thanks to being half-alien.
- Spongebob Squarepants: "Hello Bikini Bottom!" has Colonel Fubster hiring two wrestlers (the same as from "Krusty Krushers") as his roadies. In response, Mr. Krabs sets up Patrick as a roadie...who does his job as one might expect.
- In The Bremen Avenue Experience, Tanner's dad Pete appears to be an Amazingly Embarrassing Parent at first, but then he reveals his backstory. Back when Pete traveled with a popular band back in his day, he was their roadie (and a popular one too!), and he's also a pretty good drummer. This makes Tanner respect his father a lot more.
- Most roadies in the United States work as part of the IATSE union ("International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees").
- 1980s and 1990s Christian Rock band Whiteheart's 3rd and final lead singer, Rick Florian, started off as a roadie for the band before the discovery of his vocal talent led to his being named lead vocalist after the previous lead singer, Scott Douglasnote , was kicked out after a 1985 arrest for aggravated sexual battery; remaining with the band until its final album in 1997.
- Before making it with his own band, Motörhead, Lemmy was a roadie for Jimi Hendrix and The Nice. Keith Emerson credits him as the one who gave him the idea for his trademark stunt of using a knife to hold the keys down while he was playing.