Roadie’s stage death - father’s tribute to only son

Scott Johnson, a Drum Technician, who died in Toronto.
Scott Johnson, a Drum Technician, who died in Toronto.

THE dad of a drum technician who died following a stage collapse in Toronto has spoken of the tragedy involving his only son.

Scott Johnson suffered fatal injuries in the horrific incident at Downsview Park, Toronto, just hours before a gig by music giants Radiohead was due to start, that was reported around the world.

The young man was at the peak of his career as a sought-after technician who worked as part of the road crew team for some of the world’s leading bands.

Speaking from his Hickleton home, Ken Johnson, 60, told how a 5am telephone call was the beginning of a day that shattered his and Scott’s mother Sue’s lives.

The first call was from Radiohead’s management team who said Scott was unaccounted for following Saturday’s incident, said Mr Johnson.

Eventually they received their grim news and the Foreign Office linked the distraught parents to Radiohead - the group 33-year old Scott had been touring with, on Sunday.

“There will be an inquest but Scott will come home, probably in seven to 10 days,” said Ken.

Scott’s devastated partner Sarah, originally from Chicago, may prefer a private service, he added. “But so many people have sent messages. We can’t thank them enough. It’s hard.”

The heartbroken dad told how Scott grew up in Whiston, Rotherham and it was when the family moved to Hickleton, and Rotherham College student Scott took a Saturday job at Electromusic, Doncaster, that his career path took shape.

“The men at Electro Music were a huge influence,” said Mr Johnson. “Music was Scott’s passion. He played the viola from being six and the guitar from 11, but he wanted to play drums. He was in bands from 15.”

Read the whole story, plus tributes from band members and friends in this week’s South Yorkshire Times, now on sale.