Jazz guitarist Martin Taylor wrote this hilarious pseudo-contract while bored on a transatlantic flight. Too funny.
Thank you for inviting me to play for you. I have been a professional
musician since 1973 and have spent most of that time touring around the
world as a solo artist.
On the surface my job looks very glamorous, jetting around the globe and
playing to thousands of adoring fans. But the reality is that it is hard
work and very tiring having to deal with hectic travel schedules, crowded
airports, lost baggage and Eastern European hotels. Giving Japanese press
interviews while jet-lagged or hung-over are just some of the tortuous
ordeals that can pay a heavy toll on an artist, both physically and
However you can help me enormously by taking care of a few small, yet I
hope not over-demanding, details. I would therefore like to request that
the following items be available in my dressing room on my arrival. I
would also like you to take a few minutes to read through other
information on the following pages, as these details are very important to
Martin Taylor - Solo Guitarist
MY DRESSING ROOM REQUIREMENTS
1 Electric Fan
1 Large White Towel
1 Bottle of Italian Red Wine
1 Bottle of Still Mineral Water (Not French)
1 plate of Mixed Sandwiches
1 World Band short-wave radio tuned to BBC World Service
1 Racing Post or similar horse racing journal outside UK
1 Local Map
EXPLANATION OF THE ABOVE REQUIREMENTS:
1 Electric Fan.
I am British and therefore not accustomed to temperatures over 38f.
1 Large White Towel.
This must be new, unused and white. I am a bit of a hygiene freak and like
to make sure the towel doesn't have any dirt left on it from the last
1 Bottle of Italian Red Wine.
I have high blood pressure and need to keep my blood thin to avoid a heart
attack or stroke. I find Italian plonk to be the best precautionary
medicine. The wine also comes in handy as I suffer from stage fright and
need to get slightly plastered before going on stage to face my audience.
1 Bottle of Still Mineral Water.
This must not be French, for all the obvious reasons.
1 Portable Radio.
I enjoy the reassuring sounds of home and need the sound of an English
voice to calm my pre-show nerves, so I would like a World Band Radio tuned
to the BBC World Service to be playing on my arrival.
N.B. The Voice Of America is not an acceptable alternative as the
presenters' voices jangle my nerves, particularly when they mangle the
English language with made-up bull**** words like "Normalcy",
"Hospitalization", and " Self-describe-arotory-ization-al-ism". They also
know sod-all about world affairs.
1 plate of sandwiches
A Selection of Mixed Carnivorous Sandwiches plus 1 Banana and 1 Apple are
all the solid fuel I need to give an artistic performance. Please do not
be tempted to force upon me any local speciality foods. From my experience
local delicacies only taste great to local people who have had years to
acclimatise their tastebuds and build up a digestive system strong enough
to deal with such fare. All they do to us foreigners is make us **** our
brains out for the next three days. Please DO NOT include Pretzels in the
rider. There is absolutely no reason for anyone to eat this disgusting,
vile, nutritionless garbage, unless they want to develop an enormous ass
and appear on the Jerry Springer Show with other fat-assed people.
1 up to date edition of THE RACING POST or similar outside of the UK.
My youngest son is a jockey and I need to keep in contact with my bookie
as I make more money as a gambler than I do as a jazz guitarist.
A Map Of The Local Area
Most days I have absolutely no idea where I am, so I would like a local
map covering a minimum 20 mile radius of my concert venue or hotel. In the
UK please supply a 1:50 000 1 inch to 1 mile, sheet measurement 705 mm by
838 mm First Series Ordnance Survey Map available from Ordnance Survey,
Romsey Road, Southampton, SO9 4DH. (Artist will supply own compass). In
the USA please supply a US Rand-McNally Road Atlas indicating all
McDonald's, Arbys, KFC's, Wendy's, Howard Johnson's, and other crap eating
houses to be avoided in the area. In Bangladesh I would just like to know
where my mini-bar is located in my hotel room as I have absolutely no
intention of going outside to have bricks and bottles thrown at me just
because I'm white.
The following item is optional:
1 Life Size Photograph of the US Bassist Eddie Gomez (3'7" high to scale)
to remind me how lucky I am to be working solo.
The following people should not be allowed backstage UNDER ANY
Heavily tattooed relatives of mine with earrings, that arrive in a white
Ford Transit Van towing a caravan with ladders on the roof, and go by the
names of Dwayne, Wayne, Shane, Darren and Dino.
Portly 60-year-old Englishmen who have never married, still live with
their elderly mother, carry old vinyl records in a plastic bag from a back
street specialist jazz record store, wear duffle coats, open-toed sandals
with thick red socks, and like to discuss early Mezz Mezzrow out-takes for
hours on end. These people are potentially dangerous and shouldn't be
encouraged or left alone with small children.
Anyone under 30 with a ponytail, wearing a MegaDeth, Iron Maiden,
Metallica or Black Sabbath T-shirt and says "Totally awesome dude" to
everything while playing an invisible guitar.
Anyone over 30 with a ponytail, and wearing a Martin Taylor T-shirt circa
Anyone with a ponytail.
Australian women who wear their sunglasses on their heads and have voices
that go up at the end of every sentence, thus making it "Sound like a
Overdressed Frenchmen who wear their coats over their shoulders without
putting their arms through the sleeves.
People who claim to have gone to school with me despite being 25 years
younger or older than me and coming from Estonia.
Total strangers who I have never met before but still insist they gave me
my first gig.
Female singers who only sing SUMMERTIME.
Male singers who can only sing LADY IS A TRAMP.
Excessively happy Americans carrying Bibles.
Depressed Welsh people.
Smart assed Cockneys.
Scotsmen who give you knuckle-crunching handshakes and talk at you with
their face one inch from yours, spitting slightly while doing so.
Eddie Gomez can only come backstage if he knocks on my door three times,
waits five minutes then ****s off.
BUT the following people should be ENCOURAGED backstage:
Guitarists' widows who would like to give me their late husband's mint
condition 1942 D'Angelico New Yorker with original alligator case and
valued at $150,000.
Japanese people. They are very nice, respectful, clean, fun loving people
who buy my records by the truckload and like to give gifts to artists,
usually bottles of deceptively clear fluid containing near-toxic levels of
Any jazz critic who has consistently given me undeserved bad reviews and
has written personally offensive and untruthful things about me in the
press, is very welcome backstage to share a glass or two of wine with me
until Dwayne, Wayne, Shane, Darren and Dino show up to beat the crap out
NOTES FOR CAB AND LIMO DRIVERS
If you are sending a driver to pick me up at the airport, it will save
everybody time if I submit the following answers to the following
questions that I know from years of experience he will inevitably ask me.
To save me going through this tedious process every day of my life I
enclose the full set of questions and answers.
I would appreciate it if you could print out a copy of these answers and
give them to the driver in advance. This should save me having to speak to
him. Instead I will be pretending to be asleep in the back seat while
listening to the BBC World Service on large industrial-strength
The questions and answers vary slightly from country to country, so I
enclose a few typical examples. Should your country not be included here,
please contact my management, who will be happy to send you the relevant Q
& A for your country. Please clearly state your country, airport of
arrival, time of year, and whether the country happens to be hosting the
World Cup or any other boring sporting event at the time. Please note that
any attempt by the driver to engage me in a conversation about football or
any other kind of sport, apart from horse racing, will be met with total
DRIVERS IN THE USA
Driver: Hey, where ya from, buddy?
Driver: Wow, you speak pretty good English.
Martin: Yes. Amazing, isn't it?
Driver: I just love your Benny Hill, he cracks me up, totally kills me,
man! I bet you're a big fan too.
Martin: No, actually.
Driver: Ha! Ha! Ha! Your British humour just cracks me up. Ha! Ha! Ha! How
comes all you British guys are so funny?
Martin: Perhaps because we live in a country where the food's crap and it
rains all the time.
Driver: Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Stop it! Stop it! You're killin' me here! Wait
'til I tell the guys down at the bowling alley tonight - the food's crap
and it... what was the other part?
Martin: It rains all the time.
Driver: Yeah, that's it. Ha! Ha! Ha! I see from the nametags on your bags
you're a doctor, right? Dr Taylor? A doctor of medicine, right?
Martin: No, Islamic Fundamentalism, Third World Guerilla Warfare, Cuban
Communism, and 21st Century Urban Terrorism. I graduated at the University
of Tripoli last September.
Driver: Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Stop it you're crackin' me up. Ha! Ha! Ha! I see
you got a guitar there Doc, what kind of guitar is it, six string? 12
string? Electric? Acoustic?
Martin: I don't know. All I know is, some guy I never met before called
Mohammed gave it to me at the JFK airport baggage claim. I have no idea
what's in it.
Driver: Uh-huh. (short pause) I bet they were celebrating in the streets
of England when the Yankees won the World Series this year?
Martin: (Total silence).
DRIVERS IN ENGLAND
Driver: Go on, give us a tune, mate! Go on!
Martin: Certainly not.
Driver: Oh go on! Tell me, straight up, are you any good?
Driver: My bruvver's boy's ****in' brilliant, could turn pro if e wanted.
You should ear im on that ****in' lectric guitar of is, 'e can make it
****in' talk, e can. Can you make it ****in' talk? Can ya, can ya?
Driver: What kind of music d'ya play then? Rock? Country? Blues? Middle of
Driver: Argh! **** me bandy, I can't stand jazz. No offence like, but it's
just a ****in' racket innit?
Driver: Ever met anyone famous?
Martin: Yes, Ronnie and Reggie Kray. They were my uncles.
Driver: (after short silence) Did you watch the Arsenal play Spurs on
Martin: (Total Silence).
DRIVERS IN SCOTLAND
Driver: OEy pal, gi' us a wee tune!
Driver: Go on, gi' us Ten Guitars! (Starts singing and dancing to
hopefully encourage me)
Driver: Did ya no see the Rangers-Celtic game on Saturday?
Martin: No, I'm Jewish and I can't find a team to support in Glasgow.
Driver: (Total silence from driver, who thinks I must be gay).
DRIVERS IN HOLLAND
Driver: I think maybe you would like very much to vi**** a shmoking café
for de cannabish shigarettes, no? Den go on to a whorehoush for shum shex
wid our big Dutch gurlsh?
Martin: No thanks.
Driver: But you are a guitarisht no?
Driver: Den what is in de guitar caysh?
Martin: Canadian soft porn.
Driver: Argh! Dishgushting! Canadian shoft porn, it should be banned!
Martin: Yeah, you can't see any action at all, it's all censored out.
Driver: Shtop dish or I call de poleesh. I feel shick. Did you watch de
shocker on TV lasht night? It vosh Ajaksh againsht Inter Milan.
Martin: (Total silence).
DRIVERS IN ITALY
No Q necessary here as I never have time to speak in Italy, being too busy
soiling my pants in sheer terror in the back seat while the driver hurls
us along narrow roads and overhanging cliff-tops while telling me how many
women he shagged last night.
Driver: Hey, you watcha the footaballa lasta night? You-vay versus Napoli?
What wassa da score? I-a meese evrytheeng as I wassa beezy shagging.
Martin: (Total silence, teeth clenched).
DRIVERS IN AUSTRALIA
This is never a problem, since for some reason no driver in Australia
speaks any English and I do not speak Greek or Vietnamese.
REQUESTS FOR TUNES
As a professional musician for nearly 30 years I have worked very hard on
building up a list of great tunes written by the finest composers in the
world. I have also learnt how to make up a varied and well-balanced
programme by playing these tunes in a running order that is both
interesting and entertaining for the listener. Please therefore note that
I do not play any of the following tunes:
SUMMERTIME (with or without local female singer)
LADY IS A TRAMP (with or without local male singer)
STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN
Any songs by CHRIS de BURGH or RICHARD CLAYDERMAN.
Please do not screw up my gig by making me play any of these. I will
however be happy to play any composition by Andrew Lloyd Webber with a
running time not exceeding 1 min 15 sec on the condition that the person
requesting it wires 25 million dollars directly into my Swiss bank
account. This will (only partially) compensate for the emotional stress
and loss of street-cred I will suffer from playing such tripe.
Please do not under any circumstances ask me to bring my guitar along to a
late-night jam session after my concert, as I do not enjoy backing the bar
owner's wife while she sings SUMMERTIME at 3 o'clock in the morning.
Thanks for your co-operation. I look forward to a great gig.
Dr Martin Taylor MBE