The Who # 6 Bribing and Tipping
by Regis Boff
A tip can become a bribe if you get caught.
Christians have a technique called “The Laying on of Hands.” I have seen this work. It is both elegant and wonderful. In our church, it is offered every Sunday. Certain people within the congregation perform it. They are empathic by nature. They can sip the hurt of others. Sometimes they can lift a small measure of pain out of the hearts of the wounded. It is not forever, but any relief for some is enough.
I was authorized to give away The Who’s money where I saw fit. I was always a little proud of this aspect of my job. There is no other way to read it but that they trusted me.
Under their banner, many people received more than they expected. The band knew what I did. I lot of small people got more than they ever expected to receive. It made me feel good.
To be sure I was not the only one who did this. One night Bill and Jackie Curbishley, ( the managers of the band) and I wanted to play Scrabble in the hotel but couldn’t find a game and board. Bill called the front desk, and they sent out a young kid to buy one for us. Sure enough, this kid found one and came to the door with it, all pimples and pride. Bill handed him a thousand dollars. I still remember him leaping down the hallway. The English never could beat me at Scrabble. By the way.
I had never really bribed or been forced to hide tips before the Who.
Passing money in a handshake would seem simple. I practiced the motion with the head of our security Jim Callaghan.
The band flew by private jet. If we were leaving immediately after the show, the limos parked very close to the stage, five or six in a row, aimed down the ramp leading out of the building. We were out of the venue just after the house lights went on. We had to beat the audience out, or we would have to stay in the dressing room until the roads were clear.
When the cars exited the building, they would be picked up by five or six motorcycle police troopers who would escort us to the airport tarmac where the plane waited.
No one will ever convince me these cops did not love doing this. They got to see the show, and you could tell the butchness of racing around stopping traffic appealed to them enormously.
They worked like geese forming V’s to head South. Two would speed ahead to stop the traffic at the upcoming intersection then when we passed through, two others would rush ahead towards the next intersection.
In my defense, it was a cold winter’s night. The wind the blowing hard and it was my first tour. While everyone boarded the plane and seated themselves, I hung back having already lodged a ball of hundreds in my hand to tip the head cop.
The police separated themselves, leaving the ranking one seated on his motorcycle on my path to the plane. We had already paid for this escort service, or rather a promoter did for us. He was waiting for me. Police are not allowed to accept tips.
He had taken off his helmet but not yet his thick gloves. I walked over to him thanking him and offered my bulged hand. He took my hand but did not feel the money because of his glove.
When our hands parted, all the cash escaped into the windy air. The six cops and I chased the money for a long time. I vaguely recollect although it might only have been my incinerating invention that two of the cops had started their bikes to chase down the fugitive hundreds.
As I went up the stairs now a wasted emotional shell, I glanced down the side of the plane to see the entire entourage with their faces pushed against the windows laughing.