Input/Output - John Stephenson - Operations and Logistics Manager
John Stephenson in five words is:
I hate questions like this. I had to ask my wife! She thinks - friendly, loyal, pragmatic, passionate and flexible. I think diffident, insecure, but honest, faithful and trustworthy.
Pro Audio Systems is:
Accommodating, caring and unique!
How did you become an Operations and Logistics Manager:
Not through choice! Having had a plethora of jobs, I was fortunate, through a fellow band member back in the 80’s, to get a job in a company based in Rotherham. It was like a huge family, (not unlike P.A.S.). I covered pretty much every department and when they needed someone to look after logistics they asked me! From there I eventually become one of three Warehouse Managers in charge of what was then the biggest single span warehouse in South Yorkshire, and I actually enjoyed it! Foolishly, I got into music retail, then through a series of redundancies, (three on the bounce) I ended up here! (Did I mention I can be a bit boring? You asked!)
What’s the first thing you do on arrival at work?
I always start early just to avoid rush hour. Why start work in a bad mood? I open up, H&S stuff, sort out the van(s), empty the dishwasher, then while the kettle’s boiling, do a few weights, then morning ablutions…
And the last thing before you leave?
What a strange question! Close the door behind me? I bring in the vehicles, log off, bid colleagues a good evening then negotiate my way home on the roads of Bradford. The driving! It’s like a challenge on Top Gear, only way harder and much more dangerous!
Like many people who work in the industry, you’re a talented musician. What do you play and who with?
I wouldn’t say ‘talented’. I find it’s a word used far too flippantly these days! I play guitar to a half decent standard I guess. I play in a band called Tin Man. We’re a rock covers band with a bit of a twist. The very same band is also Toto UK, which of course is a tribute band. Now there’s a challenge! I’m also in a band called Breaking Badger which is on a bit of a sabbatical. We may or may not continue. It’s also possible that we may be resurrecting The Blueniks which is more a blues/rock band. My wife plays drums and shares vocal duties. Now she is talented!
Your band can support any band at any venue in the world at any time in history. Who, where and when and why?
Aww, it’s got to be Queen, either Live Aid at the old Wembley Stadium, or the Rock in Rio concert, both in the 80’s. Why? Because personally although in conversation I wouldn’t have a favourite band, there are way too many - Toto, Van Halen, Mr Big, Extreme, Bucks Fizz etc,etc, - Queen undoubtedly have to be up there with the best of the best. Such an eclectic mix of styles and genres and identity, Freddie’s voice (Adam’s doing a great job), Brian’s unique style and sound, and Bohemian Rhapsody! I was 13 at the time and the effect it had on me… What an honour it would have been to support them and then watched them from the side of the stage. Priceless!
If you could make a documentary film to be seen by millions what subject would you choose and why?
Music of course! It would be a no-holds-barred documentary following my band Tin Man / Toto UK. It would make Spinal Tap look like In The Night Garden!
Describe the perfect holiday week?
Easy! Svoronata in Kefalonia. Sun, sea, and beautiful people. We have made such great friends out there. I love the Greek way of life. So laid back - also, genuine people.
And the perfect night out?
Predictably, a concert by one of my favourite artists, or a social night out with family and/or friends, maybe a curry? No mobile phones, just good old-fashioned banter. Alternatively, gigging with the band I love!
Reality TV shows. Great family entertainment or a waste of airtime?
Mmm, difficult one. I do watch a few, but hate the majority of them. It’s the narcissistic ones I can’t abide! Love Island etc, and those awful ones like Made in Chelsea or TOWIE etc. Why give these people celebrity status when they have absolutely nothing to offer? I’m a sap for I’m A Celebrity, Great British Bake Off, Strictly, but my favourite is The Apprentice. I like to see arrogance get put in its place!
Another day at PAS. What’s so good about that?
When you can wake in a morning and be ok about going to work - that speaks volumes. There are very few jobs I’ve had I can say that about, and I’ve had a lot over the 46 years I’ve been working. PAS is up there. As frustrating as it can be sometimes, it’s like working with your bezzie mates. The banter, oh my! We have a laugh, and that’s a big deal in my book.