California Highway

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Meeting of a Lifetime

In his hotel room, Tyler was getting ready to meet with Brandy and her boss when his phone started to ring. He looked at the caller ID. It was Robert.

“Hey, Robert. How’s it going?” Tyler was in an excellent mood, knowing he is about to meet with an agent.

“Tyler, you won’t believe what I’ve found out,” Robert said, being serious.

Tyler knew if Robert did not open with a joke or sarcastic comment, something big is going on. “What? What’s up? Good news, I hope. I’m on a high and don’t want to be brought down.”

Robert began to fill Tyler in, “Josh is why you were arrested.”

“What? What are you talking about?” Tyler responded.

“Dude, Josh hired that chick to trick you into being arrested for solicitation. Josh paid her a thousand bucks to make sure you were caught by the police that night. And that girl, she works for the cops doing these solicitation stings. And, I got her to admit that you should not have been arrested that night.” Robert continued. “Josh even showed up at my office, confessing everything.”

“Holy crap,” Tyler reacted. “Does that mean I still need to be in court on Monday?”

Robert replied, “Yeah, I’m assuming so. But this means all charges against you will probably be dropped. I got this chick to say that she would be in court to testify for your innocence.”

“That’s awesome, Robert,” Tyler said. “I really appreciate you looking into that.”

“No worries, dude. I got your back.” Robert said. “So, enough of the crap that’s happening up here. How’s your trip going?”

“Pretty dam good. I’m getting ready to meet with a talent agent and her boss. It sounds like they want to sign me. It might be good to be able to get some work down in this part of the state.”

Robert replied, “That’s cool, dude. I hope that works out for you.”

Tyler looks at the clock. “Me too. In fact, I’m going to be late. I have to go. Take care, and thanks again for the information. That’s great info you got.”

“Okay, have fun, and we’ll see you in a couple of days.”

They end the call. Tyler runs out the door to get to the hotel for the meeting.

* * *

Tyler arrives at the hotel where he is meeting Brandy. She is in the lobby waiting for him and greets him as they walk to the elevator. She presses the top floor button.

“Wow,” Tyler says, “Top floor. This must be serious.”

Brandy giggles, “Oh, it is, Tyler. It is.”

The elevator reaches the top floor, and the doors open. They are greeted by a tall man in a dark suit. “This way, please.” He directs them to a table where a man is sitting. He has a cocktail in front of him and is talking on the phone. He motions for Brandy and Tyler to sit down and join him.

The man on the phone was an older gentleman. Even though he was overweight and balding, he was dressed so nicely that you would not have noticed or cared. He appeared to be highly successful at what he does.

The tall man that escorted them to the table asks Tyler if he would like anything to drink. Tyler replied, “Whiskey, neat.” Tyler thought it was odd the man did not ask Brandy.

A few minutes later, the man returned with two drinks—one for Tyler and Brandy.

“You must be a regular here,” Tyler said to Brandy. “He seemed to know what you were drinking.”

Brandy smiled and waited for her boss to finish his phone call.

As Tyler waited patiently, he looked around. The top floor of the hotel was actually the restaurant and lounge. Nobody else was here, though. But there seemed to be a full staff working.

Brandy’s boss soon ended the call. Brandy does the introductions. “Tyler, this is Bob Bennet. He’s in charge of the western division of our company. Bob, this is Tyler Bishop.”

“Tyler,” Bob stands up and extends his hand. “It’s a pleasure.” Bob’s voice sounds more like an oil tycoon from Texas than it does talent promoter.

Tyler reaches out to shake Bob’s hand. “Nice to meet you.” Tyler knew who Bob was. He has heard his name mentioned in news articles and spoken by several musicians. Tyler, once again, was in disbelief that this was happening.

Bob starts talking. “So, Brandy here tells me you play the guitar and do some singing.”

“Yeah,” Tyler replied. But the way Bob made it sound, Tyler just likes to sit around the campfire and sing camp songs.

Bob laughs, “Well, I guess you do more than that. Brandy sent me some videos of your performances of the last few days. My understanding is all of these have been impromptu, nothing planned. Is that correct?”

Tyler was quick with his reply. “Yes, that’s correct. I’m on a road trip to get away from home for a few days. It seems wherever I stop, there’s an opportunity for me to play. So, I do.”

Bob continued, “Well, I can only imagine what the performances would be like if you had time to plan them out.”

Brandy interrupted. “Tyler has even written some songs this week that he actually played on stage.” She looks at Tyler, “Isn’t that right, Tyler?”

“Yeah.” Tyler was surprised she knew. “There’s been a couple of songs, at least.”

“Really?” Bob said, surprisingly. “That takes guts to write a song and then perform it that soon on stage, doesn’t it?”

“Of course,” Tyler replied, “and I’m sure there’ll be some fine-tuning when I get home. But it’s a good way to see if the song has potential. If the audience likes it, then you know you have good bones to work with.”

“That’s awesome,” Bob responded. “It definitely sounds like you know what you’re doing.”

Tyler laughs, “I wouldn’t go that far. But I do have some experience.”

Everyone laughs. Bob continues, “You said you were on this road trip to get away from home for a few days. Would you care to elaborate?”

Tyler was not sure how much detail he wanted to get into. Or how much he felt comfortable divulging. “Well, let’s just say that I need to be back home for court on Monday.”

Bob’s eyes got big, “Oh, nothing serious, I hope?”

Tyler was glad the meeting did not just abruptly end. “No. In fact, I just talked to a friend of mine. It looks like all charges will be dropped.”

“I can help with that if you want me to.” Bob leaned forward. “What city are the charges being held in?”

Tyler was confused. How can an agent for a singer/songwriter help with these charges against him? But he thought he would give him the information he was looking for. “Benicia, California,” Tyler replied.

“And what are the charges for?” Bob asked.

“Solicitation,” Tyler responded reluctantly.

Bob starts to laugh. “And here I thought it was something serious.” Bob picked up his phone and dials a speed dial number. “Margaret. Can you get me the DA’s office for Benicia, California, and then patch me through? Thanks.”

Bob hangs up. “Tyler, you’re about to see a part of an agent’s job that not too many people see.” The phone rings.

“This is Bob,” he answers. “Yes, this is Bob Bennett. I represent Tyler Bishop. I understand he needs to be in court on Monday. I would like to get some more information.” There was a pause as Bob was listening to the other end of the phone call. “I see. And that’s definite? Okay. Okay. Excellent. Thanks for your help. Have a great day.” The phone call ended.

Tyler is trying to grasp what is happening. He looks at Brandy. She smiles back and lifts her eyebrows as if she was saying, “Today’s your lucky day.”

Bob smiles and looks at Tyler. “You don’t have to be anywhere on Monday. All charges have been dropped.”

Tyler’s eyes get big, “What!? Are you serious?”

“Yep,” Bob responded. “Seems no crime ever took place. If you have any trouble with them, you let me know directly, and I’ll take care of it for you.”

“Thank you,” Tyler said, “Thank you, very much.”

Bob continues with the business at hand. “So, back to your singing career, Tyler. I need to know this is something serious for you, and not just a hobby.”

“Yes, yes, it is,” Tyler responds. “I’ve been playing for several years. Just in the past year or so, I’ve decided this is what I want to do. I love writing, and I love performing. But I also think that being in the small town that I’m in right now holds me back. I’m waiting for that big break that will take me further.”

Bob smiles. “Well, if you’d let us, I think our company can help with that journey. And we can take you as far as you’d like to go.”

“What do you mean by that?” Tyler asked.

“Well, if you want to only sing on the west coast, we can book only west coast gigs for you. If you want to do it nationwide or worldwide, we can do that, too. It’s up to you how far you want to go.”

Tyler was in disbelief. He could not believe that he was here talking with one of the biggest agents in the entertainment industry, and he is telling him what he can do for him.

Bob continued. “You just saw a little of what our company can do, or does, for our clients. Believe me, solicitation is small. But we can represent you for just about any problems that you may get into throughout your career… within reason, of course.”

Tyler was not sure what to say. “Yeah. Looks like you take care of your clients.”

Bob continued. “Tell you what, Tyler. If I book you on a gig here in San Diego just so you can see what it’s like being represented by us, will you be willing to sign a contract?”

“What do you mean?” Tyler thought he knew what Bob was saying but wanted clarification.

“Yeah,” Bob continued. “I’ll book you to play a gig at one of our venues. You’ll get the full treatment of what it’s like to be represented by us. That means transportation, meals, costume, everything you need. What’ll you say?”

Tyler was speechless.

Bob continued. “I know you can do the show. I saw your tape of Santa Cruz. You’re pretty dammed good. Tell you what. I’ll even give you access to our event planner to help plan the entire performance. That would include the playlist order, any costume changes if needed, timing, additional band members, if you need them.”

Tyler was in awe. He could not believe what Bob was saying. He looked at Brandy.

“Sorry, Brandy’s not included.” Bob said, “She only finds the talent. We’ll have another agent handle you.” Bob smiles and winks.

Tyler was amazed. “Yeah, let’s do it.”

Bob stood up and reached his hand out. “That’s it! Put her there!” They shook hands. Bob picked up his drink to make a toast. “To the newest star in the industry!”

Tyler and Brandy raised their drinks. CLINK!

“Cheers!” Everyone took a drink.

After some more small talk, Tyler left. He had a feeling of euphoria. He could not wait to get back to the hotel and call Robert. 

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