Big time name dropping #03 / Backstage Wall

From then on, the list went on, Sting, Joe Cocker, Dylan, Phil Collins, Johnny Cash. When bumping into one these superstars backstage there are rules, some tacit, some implied, some invented and some plain fucking stupid. With Dylan we were strictly instructed not to look at him in the eyes, so I clearly remember the fine painted grain of the backstage wall of Montreux Casino, which was deemed appropriate to casually gaze at when Bob was around. I still find it a bit silly today though, but I can understand the burden of being looked at as if you are a deity of some sort, with all the beer spilling and the unnatural bullshit these “I am here because I have important things to do on your path” people do when a show business god is around.

The number one tacit rule of pro show guys is simple though: everybody is human and the same, so you address anyone very casually, famous or not. Key here is casually… It means just saying hi to whoever you encounter in these remote recesses that are venue backstages, be it a guitar legend or a stage hand. If someone aims for the fridge or the coffee machine regular daily rules apply, you hand a bear if you reach the fridge first, you trigger the coffee machine for the next guy in line if you feel like it. Plain regular normal shit. And you hand over the coffee to the stage tech or to Sting, whoever, all with the same face, the same “there you go”, the same understated casual smile. Desperately trying not to notice, shake nor spill anything on the bright white shiny stage suit… This rule also implies not bragging about your shit, not asking for autographs and definitely not handing over demos obviously. Just as you would pretty naturally do when addressing a stage hand.

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