Smith, who went on to tour manage Herb Alpert, also has a band called Run Run Run that may not be a household name in the States, but has already played to crowds in Russia and could sustain a career there. And its occasional sound guy is one of the most recognizable faces in rock music.

“We’re at the House of Blues, we’re doing our show,” Smith told Pollstar, “and I have a security guard walk over to me as I’m going back to the greenroom and he says, ‘Um, can I talk to you for a second? Is that Steve Perry doing sound right now?'”

The answer is yes, the former lead singer of Journey, who has mentored the band and helped them record, has been known to step behind the board every once in a while.

How did all this come about?

“We were co-headlining at Red Square in Moscow only months after posting a video on YouTube,” Smith said.

He said he launched an indie band from his kitchen, working from his laptop. Eventually, Run Run Run recorded at a studio that had a potential customer in Steve Perry. To sell Perry on the studio, an engineer played him something he was working on, and Perry liked it.

“Then I get a phone call. It’s Steve Perry,” Smith said. “Soon he’s coming down to do sound for us. I mean, it’s just ridiculous.”

Meanwhile, Mumiy Troll used one of the band’s songs as entrance music at their shows in Russia. Mumiy Troll may not have much traction here in the U.S., playing to smaller venues, but is one of the biggest names in Russia. The band brought Run Run Run to its digs, where it took off on its own.

“We’re landing in a city where the runways aren’t complete,” Smith said. “They sent a 737 for us. It was just us, our equipment and one other band. Your Fender Twin is on a seat on a plane.”

One thing about Russia: it’s big. The U.S. has five time zones; Russia has nine. Cities tend to be far apart, and therefore isolated. Planes are necessities.

“We ended up in Kazan, the capital city of Tatarstan. The sun never goes down in the summer. We do soundcheck at two in the morning but it’s daylight. And we walk out on a huge stage; we’ll play first. Then we get the daily sheets, which we can’t read. Someone interprets for us and says we’re in the headliner’s block. And the next night we walk out and play in front of 100,000 people. And we resonated.”

So much so, “this old guy” asks the band to join him onstage to sing John Lennon’s “Give Peace A Chance.” Turns out it’s Andrey Mackarevich, leader of Time Machine and a living legend in Russia. In other words, they go back out onstage and the performance was broadcast to 25 million television viewers.

“And that was our first night in Russia.”

The tour included such highlights as playing to 10,000 in Red Square, but Smith returned to the U.S. where he saw more opportunities for his day job.

“I’ve always been the organized guy who gets the pay, books the show,” he said. He played guitar for Rickie Lee Jones but was a tour manager pro tem as well, and when Herb Alpert decided to go back out on the road, Smith came highly recommended.

“I grew up buying records with A&M on them. I couldn’t believe I was going to get to meet this guy,” he said. “I don’t even know what you’re supposed to say when you sit down with a Clive Davis or a Quincy Jones. I mean, this guy found The Carpenters when they were hanging out in Redondo.”

Still, Smith got the gig. It all came down to telling Alpert’s wife, singer Lani Hall, that he would know, before she does, what she would want to see waiting for her at a venue – because that’s what good tour managers do (“Like a quarterback, seeing down the field”). That and getting up before everyone else and being the last to go to sleep each night.

Run Run Run is readying for a Live Nation tour beginning Sept. 19, but there are things that need to be taken care of first. The band has raised more than $5,000 through, promising private shows or autographed CDs in return for investments, plus other things.

“I have to go to Disneyland five times when I get home from tour because I had the bright idea of giving people personal tours of the park for $200 plus the ticket,” Smith said.

Click here for Run Run Run’s website.