We’re babysitting our sister’s kid, Samantha Francine Xavier. She’s six-years-old and nuts about the concert business. “Hello, my little SFX. What did you learn in school today?”

“The teacher told us how the concert industry works.”

“Really? That’s pretty heavy stuff for first grade. What did she tell you?”

“No matter if it’s Warren Zevon, Pulp, or The Commodores, the teacher told us that it all starts on Mount Wilshire.”

“Uh? Mount Wilshire?”

“That’s right, Uncle. That’s where all the show business gods live. Like the god of Television or the god of Radio Monopolies.”

“Samantha, are you sure that’s what the teacher said?”

“Uh, uh. And the two most powerful gods of all are the Tour Dates goddess and the Box Office Results god.”


“The Tour Dates goddess spends her days planning all the tours. If a city pleases her they get all the big names like *NSYNC, Backstreet Boys and Janet Jackson.”

“And what if someone displeases her?”

“Oh, you don’t want to do that, Uncle. That’s how Canada lost those Prince shows.”

“That sounds like one powerful goddess, Samantha. Who was the other one? The god of…”

“You mean the Box Office Results god, Uncle. He lives in a little shack at the end of the road and has a 65 Chevy pickup truck up on blocks in the front yard. Every day he sits in the back of the truck and plays blues guitar while figuring out box office grosses. If he’s in a good mood he’ll bless a promoter with a sold-out Radiohead or Travis Tritt concert. But every once in a while he likes to drop a few bombs. You know, just to shake things up a bit. Then he sits back in his truck and laughs while he plays the blues on his guitar.”

“Wait a minute, Samantha. A Tour Dates goddess? Box Office god? Do you really expect me to believe that your teacher told you all this? That this is the way the concert industry works?”

“Well, it wasn’t exactly like that, Uncle.”

“I didn’t think so.”

“But if I told you how the concert industry really works, you wouldn’t believe me.”