“That was a pretty good meal. Here, let me get the check.”

“Thanks. I’m a little short of cash.”

“But you’re a concert promoter. Don’t you have some big shows coming up?”

“That’s right. I have a Marilyn Manson concert in San Jose this week, and that Elton John / Billy Joel co-headline in Oakland next month.”

“With names like that, how can you be short on cash?”

“It costs a lot of money to run a promotion company. I gotta pay my staff, office rent, plus insurance, security and operating expenses, not to mention what I have to shell out up front for the shows. It’s not as easy as it seems.”

“I guess not.”

“I mean, Weezer is easily costing me a couple of million.”

“You don’t say.”

“Yeah, and that was right after I handed out over $500,000 for Pantera.”

“That’s a lot of money.”

“You’re telling me. Then there’s Sarah Brightman in March, Bela Fleck & The Flecktones in April and The Doobie Brothers in May. Those shows took a big bite out of my cash flow.”

“I never realized there was so much money involved.”

“Most people don’t. You should see what I’m paying for Sawyer Brown and Toby Keith. Way over seven digits.”

“Sounds like an accounting nightmare.”

“Tell me about it. And I hope to lock down a U2 date later this week. No telling what that’s gonna cost.”

“I’d never guess that those artists are so expensive to book. They must be rolling in dough.”

“Oh, no, you got it all wrong. The artists are reasonably priced. They’re not the ones getting all the money.”

“They’re not?”

“No. I’m paying all that cash to the California utility companies so I can have enough juice to power the shows.”

“I hear you. My Pacific Gas & Electric Bill for December was outrageous.”

“As was mine. Well, I best be going, and… Oh, oh, looks like the lights went out again. You gotta flashlight?”