In The Mix: Part 5 Leaving on a Jet Plane: well, providing he has a Passport.



In the Mix: A few more little snippets from life in the International Music Business – do let me know your thoughts: 

There is one in every band, the one who loses everything, is late for everything, and who lives in a world of their own. And they pick their moments to lose things and forget things. And I was reminded of one such band member recently when he mentioned he’d been searching for his Passport and was in danger of missing a flight.

I should say that I am not picking on him, he was not the only one who used to do this. Sadly it was a frequent occurrence for several of them and for one other artist in particular. More on that another day.

A musician from a band we managed way back mentioned they’d lost their Passport then found it again – recently – where they’d first looked and searching for it almost made him miss his flight.

He reminded me of when we’d been recording in San Francisco with him and his band members, we’d gone to Los Angeles to hang with their record label – as you do – and don’t get me started on what happened there (another story, another time), and on the last day in LA we were to travel back to San Francisco, pick up their gear from the studio, then fly back home from there.

The best laid plans and all that.

We leave the hotel on Sunset Blvd at the crack of dawn, in two cars, and begin our drive to San Francisco. We stop for a comfort break and then continue on. After about two hours on the road we stopped again and our young man decided to get his bag from the trunk. He rummaged around and then got back in the car and we set off, the other car following. After a few miles a voice from the rear of the car casually mentioned he couldn’t find his Passport.

We stopped the cars, searching both – nothing – and it wasn’t in his luggage or on his person. Time was getting on and we had gear to collect and a flight to catch. We decided the rest of the band should head back to SF and collect the gear, take their hire car back and meet us at the airport, and we’d return – at speed – to LA and, fingers crossed, we prayed the hotel had found the bag he’d left behind, with his Passport.

After missing all the rush hour traffic leaving LA, we hit it on the way back.

Eventually we got to the hotel – these were the days before mobile phones by the way, and we didn’t spot any call boxes out in the middle of nowhere. After a lot of searching they found his bag with Passport still inside – a miracle – just where he’d left it; on the floor of the underground garage where apparently ‘someone’ didn’t see it when loading the car!

That ‘someone’ used to keep hold of all the Passports to ensure none were lost but after being accused of infantalising the band members, they were given their Passports back. That ‘someone’ had told each member to load their own gear into the boot of the car. No comment.

Back into the car after leaving messages at the studio in SF re the gear and the band, we sped off into the LA traffic heading for San Francisco Airport. We’d gone about a mile when a voice from the rear of the car announced he’d left the bag on the counter in reception and didn’t have his Passport with him.

We raced back to the hotel and were greeted by the sight of the bag on the reception desk and two very bemused members of staff. We took off at high-speed to retrace our steps to SF with threats of imminent death if our passenger dared mention his Passport again. He, however, was ‘totally chilled’ he told us, and couldn’t see what the problem was!

To cut a long story short, and with lots of drama along the journey to SF, during which time we hit speeds more than 100 mph and had to watch out for spotter planes (cops) overhead, we got to the terminal as they were boarding our flight. He ran off to join his mates leaving us with luggage, we threw the hire car keys at an airline member of staff with a huge amount of cash and managed to check us all in.

Sitting in our seats soon after take-off one of the band eventually announced that they’d not collected their gear from the studio as planned, it was not on the plane – I won’t go into what happened next. It’s not nice.

In future they travelled with their Tour Manager and Crew – much safer!

Hope you enjoyed this little snippet from In The Mix and that you’ll read the others and enjoy them.

More to follow soon.