I got a call from a close friend last night that Carman Died at a Las Vegas hospital of complications of surgery to repair a hiatal hernia. He had just conquered cancer and was in a state of total remission just a few months ago, he was 65.
I was his tour manager from 1994 to 1997, it was a family affair with my son, Jody, as the production mgr and my daughter, Jill, as the tour assistant. Our entourage was over 70 crew and band members.
I have worked with very few artists as kind and approachable as he was with his fans, which were millions from all ages. We performed in stadiums throughout the US and a soccer field in south Africa. We never had a show that wasn’t packed out.
It’s funny, because of his winning good looks and an artist well-known for his integrity, there was never a lack of women of all ages attempting to get close to him (Christian groupies.. if there is such a thing). He had a policy when he traveled to always request adjoining rooms with his security team, patterned after the late Billy Graham, so there was never an attempt to question his integrity on the road.
I lived in his guest house in Tulsa during many of his tours. I saw first hand how integrity could be lived out, which is hard to come by in the entertainment world.
As his tour mgr, I was the first line of defense in the hundreds of press encounters we had on the road. The constant question for me from the press was, “do you know of any dirt on this artist?” After thinking it through, I would always respond “yes, I have something… we were late for a show because, Carman was in the bathroom vomiting from eating too many Mrs. Fields cookies at the Chicago airport on our way to the concert.” That was it, the only dirt I had on him😊
The following tribute from Toby Mac today says it all: “We remember you Carman……we are grateful for the times we had with you. You were so kind to me, Michael and Kevin. When we were young punks, you welcomed us. You are home now. A Champion for real.”