John McLaughlin: On The Road, Part 6: Sound Checks and Closing Night by John Kelman.
While audiences see the end results of a group’s labors, there’s much that they don’t get to experience. Even for the relatively spare set-up of guitarist John McLaughlin and The 4th Dimension, hours of work go on behind the scenes at every venue to make sure everything is as it should be when the doors open. McLaughlin’s soundman Sven Hoffman and tour manager Christophe Deghelt arrive on the scene as much as six hours ahead of the show to ensure all the equipment is properly set up and all the necessary rules of engagement with the venue are organized before the group arrives. The primary goal of Hoffman, who has been working with McLaughlin for a decade, and Deghelt, who’s been managing the guitarist’s tours for seven years, is transparency, so that the group needn’t worry about anything but the music.