JD Yorke (born John Duane Yorke; 1963 near the South Shore of Long Island, NY) is an American writer, who established himself as a concert production expert after working over 40 years as a stage manager, lighting designer, and sound engineer, and for major artists and nightclubs as well as the film industry in North America since 1979.
His early career included working as a sound tech at Studio 54, The Limelight, and The Palladium in the early to mid 80’s.
He was the onstage monitor engineer/audio system tech for The Cult “Electric” Tour in North America in 1987. This was also the first arena tour for Guns N Roses to support their debut release “Appetite For Destruction”.
After a brief meeting before their first show opening for The Cult in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Guns N Roses hired him for $80 cash a show to mix their onstage monitors on the tour also.
Yorke took a break from his successful touring career in 1988 and before his 26th birthday enlisted in the military, attending basic and advanced training at the United States Army Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia. His military occupational specialties were combat arms related, 11B (Infantry), 11BC2 (Dragon Anti Tank Gunner), and eventually commanded 2 TOW anti tank missile vehicles and crews as a sergeant, E-5, while serving with the Oregon Army National Guard. During his service he was the academic honor graduate in the Primary Leadership Development Course from the US Army Region V NCO Academy in Utah.
Yorke rejoined the event production community after his military service, as the Production Manager and Audio Engineer for Peter Gatien's 3000 capacity Club USA in Times Square for 2 years before branching out into Lighting Design for clubs and concerts. He designed and supervised the entire 3 floor installation of Club Speed on 39th street and assisted in the installation and technical operations at the China Club in Times Square.
During this period, Bruce Willis hired Yorke to provide nightclub lighting and special effects for the movie based on the Kurt Vonnegut novel "Breakfast of Champions" filmed in Twin Falls Idaho with Albert Finney and Nick Nolte.
His next project was to tour the United States as stage manager for VH1's Rock Across America in 1998 and stage manager/lighting director in 1999.
During the next 10 years (2000 to 2010) he managed production at countless music festivals in North America, being featured in industry trade magazines like Front of House as "Master of Mayhem" and Pro Lights and Staging News.
He built a recording and rehearsal studio in Midtown Manhattan, "Wolftone Studio" in 2010 and hosted sessions with Killcode, Blue Coupe, Owl, Brand of Julez, Daddy Long Legs, Lightning Raiders, No Valentine, WER, Twisting Tarantulas, Von Frankensteins, She Wolves, Onpoint, Bodyface and others.
He engineered many great recordings, most notebly the Daddy Long Legs "Evil Eye On You" album on Norton Records and Geezer "Psychoriffadelia" on the STB label.
He also mixed well over 800 shows in 2.5 years at BB Kings "Lucille Room" in Times Square.
He was inducted in the NY Blues Hall of Fame in Sept 2016.
He published his first volume of a series "Sarcasm and Glory: A Rock & Roll Testimonial" in 2019.
He currently spends time in both NYC and Los Angeles writing and serving as a production consultant with various artists, most notebly bassist Chris Wyse.
He is working on Volume 2 of "Sarcasm and Glory", plus a collection of horror fiction entitled "The Collected Works of Balthazar Rheingrave" and also an art history text about his ancestors, writer George Seibel, fashion designer Erna Seibel Yorke, and prohibition era writer CB Yorke.
Thank you and have a nice day!