Parnelli Awards 2015: Another Year of Surprises, Laughs and Emotions
LAS VEGAS, NV – Halloween came early to the 15th Annual Parnelli Awards on Saturday, Oct. 24. Audio Innovator honoree Pat Quilter dressed as Mountain Man with an Egyptian head piece; Visionary honoree David Cunningham came to the stage with two beautiful women and proceeded to change wigs and transform himself into a rock/drag star; and finally there was Chris Lamb, in his trademark cowboy getup.
Otherwise, it was all treats and no tricks at the sold out gala award ceremony.
Perhaps channeling the spirit of Rick “Parnelli” O’Brien, Vans Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman kept the backstage humor going with a speedy progression of sly jokes, heartfelt gratitude and well-deserved recognition, barreling along like an efficiently packed, fully loaded tour truck. “Kevin Lyman was a perfect fit for his audience – his edgy comments on the current state of the industry were spot on and, like a good promoter, he brought the show home on time,” said Marshall Bissett, chairman of the Parnelli Awards.
Lyman also made observations about where the industry has been, and where it might be going. “My life is about doing more with less, and from where I sit 120 [lighting] fixtures will do as well as 160 in the hands of a creative designer.”
When introducing the first award of the night, Trucking Company of the Year, he, said: “I talk at universities a lot and get asked, ‘what’s the most essential skill I can have to be successful in this business?’ And I say it’s being able to drive at night and go six hours without peeing.” Having worked with many in the room over the years, his stories and occasional jabs made for an entertaining evening.
Most of the humbled winners stepped up to the podium, took just enough time to credit supporters and fellow nominees, and quickly exited the stage, which kept the show moving briskly. Rock-It Cargo’s David Bernstein took a moment longer to thank Chris Lamb for taking a chance with his still-fledgling company for a big Queen tour in 1981.