They had paid for my airfare, hotel, food, and had agreed to make sure I had transportation to my gigs. By my third day there, I was broke FROM HAVING to pay cab fare to and FROM the gigs, and the man who ran the whole thing hadn’t appeared. So, no one was around to reimburse me for my expenses, and no one seemed to know where the guy was (it turned out he was at a golf tournament and forgot all about me).
I was a starving artist at the time, so at this point I was surviving on hotel room service. About the fourth day, hotel management informed me that if I did not pay my room service bill, I was going to have to speak to the police.
Naturally, I called everyone with the company, and the big guy’s (that’s what they all called him: “big guy”) secretary came and got me. She then deposited me at the big guy’s son’s condo on a golf resort. She said that the big guy wouldn’t be back for a couple of days, and that his son was out of town on his honeymoon, so I could stay there.
It was an awesome place. I waved goodbye to the lady, and went about checking the place out. I was pretty hungry, so I went to the fridge and checked for some food. There wasn’t any.
At this point, I realized there was no point in calling these people any more. I walked down to the beach with my guitar, and talked one of the restaurant owners INTO letting me play to the dinner crowd in exchange for some food.
As I sang, a little old man came in and sat down in front. I paid little heed to him aside FROM a nice nod while I was belting out a note FROM Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel,” and I continued to play. After the song, I took a swallow of my coffee, and began again, not really looking at the little old guy who was sitting at the foot of the stage.
At some point, I noticed a young couple in the corner. The young lady was grimacing horribly at the old man, the young guy with her covered her face, and they collected their things and ran out. Looking down at the old man, I discovered that he was HAVING a party with his anatomy under the table!
I waved to the lady behind the bar, signaling that I needed another coffee, and I began trying to talk to the audience without disturbing the old guy. When the barkeep came over and handed me a cup of coffee, I leaned down to whisper in her ear about the guy. She turned, grimaced, and asked him to put that thing away before he put someone’s eye out. I was shocked, but apparently so was he, and he tucked it away.
As soon as she had turned her back and returned to the bar, he was at it again! This time I piped up, “You know, I’m sure you’re happy to be able to do that at your age. But this might not be the right place for it.”
At this point, a couple of military guys noticed it, and they went to his TABLE and picked him up to take him outdoors. He continued his activity while being carried outdoors, and told me he loved me as they carried him away. Shortly after he was “deposited” outdoors, he tried to come back in. The bartender asked him not to, but he did anyway, this time reverting to a dark corner and continuing his party. They called the police to have him removed, and he left shouting to me that I should take it as a compliment that I could do that to an old man. (Giggle)
I didn’t consider it a compliment. But I have to tell you – of all my many horror stories FROM touring, this one gets me the most. I never got paid for my costs at Myrtle Beach, and never got paid for my work. I was shoved back on a plane with no pay and told that the CHECK was in the mail. HAVING a gig to play in Atlanta, in less than five hours, I couldn’t argue. I’ve not played in the whole state of South Carolina since then.