Michael Devlin at Giants Stadium, Aug.2003
Michael Devlin at Giants Stadium, Aug.2003

Michael Devlin isn't your average carpenter. Take his clients, for starters: ZZ Top, Kiss, John Mellencamp, Bette Midler, Aerosmith, and (his current employer) Bon Jovi. His commute is unique–Wembley, Giants Stadium, Tokyo. Then there's the job. Devlin installs the monster stage assembly for Bon Jovi's stadium tours, and during the show he controls the enormous video screens the crowd watches to see what Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora are doing 500 feet away on stage.

Is it cool hanging out with rock stars? Of course. Except there's little time for hanging out, says the humble Houston-based Devlin. While the performers sign autographs and are adored by fans, Devlin hustles into the night, getting the show–literally–on the road.

"There's no such thing as stopping for bad weather or running to Home Depot for parts," Devlin says, "so I've got tools in triplicate." And they always come in handy, given the amount of improvising he does to make things come together by show time. Devlin credits his background as a framer and remodeler for his "show-must-go-on" attitude. And it isn't just his carpentry and rigging skills these rockers rely on. Devlin also hauls two welders with him on tour, so there's almost nothing he can't fabricate or fix.

And that makes him the go-to guy for big-time bands on the run.

Are you a ToolHound? Do you know one? Contact Katy Tomasulo at 202-736-3303 or ktomasulo@hanleywood.com.