I found out who their tour manager was and contacted him. Now let's remember, there was no Internet or e-mail back when I did this. I had to be sort of clever. What I wanted to do was go out on the road with them. I figured that I would do anything to be a roadie and haul equipment just to get my foot in the door. Even back then I had a fascination with music and the production side.
After many, many days of calling and trying to track them down I asked their manager for just five minutes in person. He agreed, but the one stipulation was to meet him at the very next show if I was serious. That very night's show was in Denver, Colorado. Off I went, in fact I knew someone that lived in Boulder. I called her and asked if I could stay with her while I was in town. And she said of course. I will identify this person by the word "Bean."
The same friend that camped out with me for the Abilene tickets went with me on this Colorado experience. And what an experience it turned out to be. First off, when we got to Boulder, Bean, as I refer to her, was having a party at her house. Now just for a second, lets put this in perspective. Bean is a college student and going to Colorado University. When we got there this party was in full swing, and we had just driven 16 hours or so and wanted to go to bed. We parked outside of her house and did just that. I slept in the front seat and my buddy got in the back seat. That is where we slept all night.
The next morning when we awoke, I found something underneath my windshield wiper. I figured it was just a note from Bean. Wrong again, it was a ticket and in the violation field he had checked other and hand wrote sleeping in the vehicle? Where was pre-paid legal back then? I now know in Colorado you can get a ticket for sleeping in your vehicle. The next day we headed up to Denver to meet with Tim(the tour manager). We got there and told the armed guards our names and that we were supposed to meet with Tim. This is at the height of Brooks & Dunn mania. Boot Scootin' Boogie had just become number one. So one of the little guards finally takes us in and there I am backstage of the Brooks & Dunn concert. Tim comes out and says, "Which one of you is Johnny?" I said, "That would be me." He said, "You were very persistent. I am very busy and you've got five minutes." And he was nice but I found out that Brooks & Dunn Inc. only employes three people: Brooks, Dunn and Tim.
The reason they do this is because that way they don't have to have insurance and all of the other benefits that go with paying employees. Everyone is contract labor except those three, and they don't even hire the rest of the crew. They use an agency to do that. He was very nice and gave me the names and phone numbers of several agencies they use. We went to the concert and had a great time. Went back down to Boulder and stayed with Bean.
We were due to leave the next day because I had a very important job waiting on me back in San Angelo. I was going to be Santa Claus for the San Angelo Symphony. The next morning the alarm did not go off and we overslept by like six hours. I don't care if we drove 200 mph there was no way we could get to San Angelo in time for me to play Santa Claus. But when I say I will do something, I do it. I had to buy a $350 plane ticket to get there in time to play Santa Claus for the Symphony and earn my $100. And my buddy had to drive my truck home. It was really wild. To buy the ticket, I called American Airlines (keep in mind this is before Internet and cell phones still roamed at two dollars a minute) and I told them I was in Boulder, CO and needed to get to San Angelo, TX by 6 PM. They tell me the only way was to go to the Colorado Springs Airport. So that's what I did and made it just in time, but it was fun and I have a lot of good memories. (Take The Poll On The Home Page Top Right)