“Don’t kid me, Barry. You want to know about the book, right?”

“You were supposed to deliver the manuscript six months ago. As your publisher, I am a bit concerned. Are there any problems?”

“I don’t know, Barry. It’s just that… that… I feel like I’ve hit a roadblock. Maybe I need a change of topic.”

“Wait a minute, Phil. When it comes to instructional books for the concert industry, you are the man. You can’t quit now.”

“That’s easy for you to say. You haven’t researched every aspect of this business. You haven’t hung out with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy or Green Day, or traveled on the bus with Aerosmith. It gets old after a while.”

“But you’ve had 10 best sellers in a row. Even your first book, So You Want To Be A Roadie, sold millions. Heck, Sting says he still likes to read it after a show. Says it helps him unwind.”

“Anyone could have written that book, Barry.”

“Maybe so, but what about the One Minute Tour Producer? Or How To Sell Your Company to SFX? You’re at the top of your game. You can’t stop now.”

“There’s more to life than being on the New York Times best sellers list, Barry.”

“Did I ever tell you how much LeAnn Rimes loved Artist Management For Dummies? She even gave her father a copy. And what about that tie-in with HBO, The Sopranos’ Guide To Concert Promotion? That one sold faster than Madonna tickets.”

“That’s my point, Barry. I’ve covered every single aspect of the concert industry. It’s time to move on.”

“I understand, Phil, but think of the children. The kids who want to grow up to become booking agents and tour accountants, the ones who dream of the day they can work with Mindy McCready and Emerson Drive. What about them, Phil?”


“I’m telling you, Phil, it’s more than just sales numbers on Amazon.com. The world needs your books. Think of the kids in Bakersfield who would grow up to become janitors or 7/11 clerks if it weren’t for your books. Think of the children that will be stuck in Fresno if they can’t grow up to manage important acts like the Go-Gos or Cowboy Junkies.”

“Well… Since you put it that way.”

“That’s the spirit, Phil. Now get back to the computer and finish that next best seller. By the way, do you have a title yet?”

“I was thinking of calling it, Elton John’s Guide To Suing Your Manager.”

“Sounds like gold, Phil.”

“Uh, Barry?”

“Yes, Phil?”

“I’m… I’m sorry for being such a pain.”

“Think nothing of it, Phil. I wish all my writers were so easy to work with.”

“You do?”

“Oh, yeah. Anyway, I have to get off the phone.”

“A publisher’s work is never done, eh?”

“You’re telling me. Now I have to call Stephen King and try to talk him into being scary again. Oy, I got the feeling it’s going to be a long day.”