Rick Wakeman's Caped Crusades: Oh, The Glamour

I’m driving myself to a show that I’m playing with my band and aiming for a 4pm sound check when the mobile rings.

“Rick, it’s Erik. We’re running about an hour and a half late at the moment because the venue won’t let us park at the back: we’re actually parked two miles away now. There’s also nowhere for you and the band to park, either. The car park we’re in is £46 for the day, but expires at midnight so you’ll have to fork out £92 in total for each car. Oh yes, I forgot to mention that the stage has to be silent and dark between five and six which actually means you won’t get a sound check at all.”

“Any more good news?” I enquire.

“There’s a curfew at 10 o’clock and if you play after that it’s a £2,000 fine. Also they want 30% commission on your merchandise, which I know is tricky as your mark up is only 15%, but they say it’s the standard percentage for them. Also there are no complimentary tickets for tonight. You have to buy them for your friends. They have put tea, coffee and water in your dressing room but you will be charged £100 for that. The piano tuner’s another £150 and if you want any heating in your dressing room, that works on a coin meter. It’s currently about four degrees below freezing on stage at the moment.”

“Anything else I should know about?”

“Only that they are charging you £200 for the spotlight operator, £450 for the lighting guy and the same for the front of house engineer. They’ve also had to bring in extra bar staff as the show’s sold out and you have to pay for them as well.”

“Oh, at least I can use the toilet for free.”

“It’s coin operated.”

“Toilet paper?”

“I suggest you stop at the petrol station on the way and pick

a couple of rolls up. Hold on a minute, though…

I know you had a vindaloo last night so probably best to pick up a pack of nine.”

“Is that it?”

“Just one more thing: the manager said they were really looking forward to welcoming you at the theatre.”

“And I look forward to having a piss in the dressing room sink. See you in a hour.”