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Darden with his son, Travis, celebrating a job completed

mother’s hometown of New Iberia, LA. The family later moved back to the Lone Star State, first in Beaumont, then in the Lufkin/Nacogdoches area for high school. He started college at Stanford University in California before transferring to the Paris Institute of Technology to finish his undergraduate degree. He completed his graduate work in theatre at Queen Mary’s Hall of Art which was part of the University of Oxford in England. He interned at the famed Piccadilly Circus in London where he assisted several rock operas. When he returned to the U.S., Darden started working

behind the scenes for rock and roll tours through a company called Concert Lighting. Among the acts he worked with were Pure Prairie League, Amazing Rhythm Aces, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Bachman Turner Overdrive, Judas Priest, Grateful Dead, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and Conway Twitty. He was even considered an official Twittybird, the name the singer gave his crew. He soon joined the stage hand union which gave freelancers union cards because younger people understood modern electronics better than the more experienced workers. By 1980, he bought Concert Lighting; the company has been called Lights of Texas, TDub Lighting, Illumination, and, since 2012, Darden Lighting which is exclusively for bowling. The Illumination branch of his business is for any other kind of event. In 1986, a production truck switcher Darden knew connected him with George Smith, producer of the former Ladies Pro Bowlers Tour on ESPN, and it’s been virtually non-stop ever since. When the PBA moved its telecasts to ESPN from ABCTV a few years later, Darden added them to his client list. Soon thereafter, he was hired by the former American Bowling Congress, Women’s International Bowling Congress, and Young American Bowling Alliance for their shows, a tradition that has continued under the USBC since 2005. Once he became connected with bowling, he stopped doing music tours. While rock tours required one or two semitrailer trucks, bowling has traditionally needed only one truck, Birdseye view of what it takes to make a tournament television-ready

Darden’s final product: a perfectly lit television program 34


September 2019

Profile for International Bowling Industry Magazine

International Bowling Industry 2019 September Issue  

International Bowling Industry 2019 September Issue  

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