Winky Fairorth is President and CEO of Tait, formerly known as “Tait Towers.”
When you go to see the Stones or U2 or Metallica or Taylor Swift or Lady Gaga or Elton John’s “Farewell Yellow Brick Road”…the stage is built by Tait.
Don’t ask him why he’s called Winky. Actually, after an hour in traffic I once got him to tell me the backstory, but that was years ago and I don’t remember! But he says he never reveals it.
And if you met Winky, you would not think he’s the guy.
The music business has changed. To suits. To image. But Winky looks and acts like you went to summer camp with him. Dressed casually and full of energy, Winky’s one of the guys I connect with most when we do connect.
Then again, you can get away with dressing down and having a personality in the touring business, which gets no respect, even though it’s the main driver of the music industry today. A&R guys come and go, but touring titans are forever.
So Tait was founded by Michael Tait, who worked for Yes and thought up the idea of the band playing in the round, on a rotating stage to boot. Bottom line, you can sell the entire arena, you don’t have to block out the seats behind the stage.
And Winky was going to college and got a summer job in the epicenter of touring infrastructure, Lititz, Pennsylvania, and it wasn’t long before Michael was gone and Winky was in charge.
You see Winky is smart. And what they don’t teach you in the Ivy League is how to be a self-starter, how to build something from nothing. Your grades and degree mean zip in the music business, it’s run by renegades, who probably couldn’t work a straight job anyway, even though they’re working 24/7.
Yup, the longer you listen to Winky, the more his intellect and business acumen shine through.
If you want to know what goes into the show you’re seeing…
Listen to this podcast.