On May 9, Sean McGrann, 31, was killed in a tragic accident in Washington, D.C. He was touring with Marilyn Manson as the lighting crew chief for Upstaging, the tour's main lighting contractor. McGrann apparently fell about 90' from the catwalk in the D.C. Armory, the day before the band performed there. The crew was on a day off and there were no witnesses to the accident.
John Huddleston, Upstaging's general manager, says that he remembers the day in 1986 when he first met McGrann, who had come to the shop to help put together lighting systems part time. "He was wearing an Amoco shirt and we started talking about cars," Huddleston says. "Sean told me that life starts after 100mph, and we had a good laugh."
Soon afterwards, Upstaging hired McGrann full-time, and in his 10 years with the company he worked on hundreds of shows, including tours for Sting, the Eagles, Basia, Little Feat, and James Taylor. "Sean learned fast and worked hard. He quickly earned the respect of the Sting organization. They thought so highly of him that they asked if they could take him to Europe so he could continue working with them. His talents as a lighting technician grew substantially as he faced the challenges of working with other cultures that tested, frustrated, and ultimately taught him."
Huddleston continues, "Sean was ready for the next stage of his life--ready to stay home more, take care of his family, and teach others how to become world-class technicians. He realized that life indeed starts after slowing down under 100mph."
"He was a great friend and colleague of many of Sting's world tours as well as the recent Eagles tour," adds LD Nick Sholem. "He will be missed by all the crews and the artists he worked with. His professionalism, attitude, and spirit live on with all of us who knew him."
McGrann is survived by his wife Janet and infant daughter, Shawna Lynn McGrann. A memorial fund has been set up for Sean's daughter. Donations may be sent to: The Sean McGrann Memorial Fund for Shawna Lynn McGrann, c/o First Star Bank, 536 South York Road, Elmhurst, IL 60126.