Following the instructions relayed to you by a muffled voice on the phone, you made your way to the worst part of town, that area of the city where only the strongest survive and he who hesitates is lunch. You found the unmarked door in the alley, you followed the steps leading down 50, 100, maybe even 200 feet below street level to a cavernous room, the air dank with the scent of the lost souls that have come before you.

But you’re not alone, for there is a man standing in front of you. A man standing well over seven feet tall, stripped to the waist, wearing leather pants, boots and some kind of harness that crosses his bare, muscular shoulders forming an “X” across his chest. His head is wrapped tight in a leather mask, exposing only his nose, mouth and chin. A long metal rod dangles loosely at his side. Before you can react, he grabs you by your collar, lifts you up off of your feet and stares into your eyes. “You’re late,” he growls.

And there you are, face to face, or maybe we should say, face to mask, with the man who runs the concert industry.

He relinquishes his grip, your knees weaken as your feet hit the hard-dirt floor. “I suppose you’re here for the new tours,” he rasps as he shoves a parchment into your hands. “Here’s Michael Franti and Spearhead, Roy Rogers & Norton Buffalo as well that package in the United Kingdom called featuring The Sweet, Showaddywaddy and The Rubettes. Go ahead and take them. That’s what you came for, isn’t it?”

He watches you as you look over the tour itineraries. “Oh, I almost forgot,” he says. “You also wanted the schedules for Supergrass and Newsboys.” He looks over his shoulder and bellows into the darkness, “Igor! Where are you? What am I paying you for?”

A small, gnome-like, hunchbacked man schleps out of the darkness, dragging his right foot behind him. “Here you go, Boss. Also, Bastard Sons Of Johnny Cash and B-Side Players. Just like you wanted.”

The man with the mask laughs a hardy laugh. “Now, begone with you!” he snaps as he grabs the rod from his side and discharges a lighting bolt at the poor soul, blasting him back into the darkness. “Goes with the territory,” he tells you as the smell of ozone fills the air. “When you sit in the big chair you get the big perks.”

Anxious to leave this godforsaken place, you gather up the tour schedules and start to make your way out of the chamber, but just as you’re about to reach the exit, a loud, blood-curdling scream echoes through the air. You stand rooted in fear, your feet unwilling to take another step.

“Pay no mind to that,” says the man in the mask. “That’s just the guy we hired who was supposed to ensure that Axl Rose made it to the stage every night. You see, down here we take care of our own.”