The thought of being on a road tour with with rockstars and musicians like Kid Rock, Bob Seger, Jimmy Buffett and Cody Jinks may conjure images of raucous parties and unspeakable debauchery, but for Bloomfield Township native John Moffat, life on the road often entails late nights with Microsoft Office and balancing ledgers.
"I like office supplies and spreadsheets, I always have and always have been made fun of for it," said Moffat, who works as road manager for Kid Rock and other musicians. "People come up to me a lot asking about backstage and what happens, and I always laugh. I have a road case with a couple of computers and a monitor. It's basically an office. No old-school party time."
A 2013 graduate of Groves High School, Moffat hoped early on to work in the arts and entertainment field, possibly in audio or theater production. While still in high school, Moffat began working as a stage technician for Advanced Lighting & Sound in Troy and also worked for Stagecrafters.
"I wanted to do theater production or audio for Broadway productions," he said. "That went into high school, and as I got older and started going to more concerts, that's when I knew I wanted to do something in music. I knew I didn't want to sit behind a desk all the time."
Moffat later started doing some work for Bob Seger after a neighbor who works in the business invited him to help with some local rehearsals and shows. That work later led to more shows and an eventual transition into the management side of the music. In late 2014, he became assistant tour manager for Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band.
"At that point, the job entailed things like jet chartering and transportation booking. It's very logistics heavy, and involved some finance as well," he said. "Essentially, I was a logistics coordinator and accountant."
While working for Seger, Moffat learned Kid Rock needed a substitute tour manager for some dates, which eventually led to a position on the tour. As road manager his responsibilities still include accounting and logistics work that ensures that everything is ready for each show, down to security.
In addition to his work with Seger and Kid Rock, Moffat sometimes tours with Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band as a production coordinator and as tour manager and accountant for country star Cody Jinks. The work keeps him busy most of the year, and away from home for many months at a time.
"It's extremely sporadic," he said. "I love being home. There are times when moving from project to project that some days I'm only home for 12 hours. Then other times, this month for instance, I'm home for two weeks, or five days here and 10 days there."
Recently, Moffat moved back to Bloomfield Township from Huntington Beach, California. The move brings him closer to his family, as well as the home base of both Seger and Kid Rock.
While much of his time on the road is spent in a mobile office, Moffat said he still gets to enjoy the shows once the artists are on the stage.
"My favorite thing about the business is meeting all the people," he said. "The people I get to meet are from all over the world. I do like to travel. Anywhere, I just like to go."
Photo: Laurie Tennent