Mick Jagger part 1
MONDAY 10:00am: RECEIVE PHONE CALL FROM RECORD COMPANY PUBLICIST.
Interview time with Mick Jagger has just become available overseas. Can I be on international flight at 11:00am tomorrow? Bugger. Already have Orlando Bloom interview scheduled for midday tomorrow in Sydney. Is a later flight available? Publicist will check flight availability and get back to me asap.
MONDAY 10:15am: CALL FILM COMPANY PUBLICIST AND ATTEMPT TO RESCHEDULE ORLANDO BLOOM INTERVIEW IN CASE LATER FLIGHT NOT AVAILABLE.
Not possible. Orlando is in Sydney for personal reasons; (to visit former girlfriend Kate Bosworth who is filming Superman Returns). He has agreed to do four hours of publicity ONLY for his upcoming film. Interview cannot be rescheduled.
MONDAY 10:30am: RECORD COMPANY PUBLICIST CALLS BACK: there are no later flights available. Must catch 11am international flight tomorrow or Mick Jagger interview will be given to alternative media person.
MONDAY 10:35am: MAKE DECISION.
Ah… hello! No way I am giving up chance to meet one-of-biggest-icons-in-music-history for the cute elf from Lord of The Rings. Tell Record Company Publicist – WE’RE ON! Agree to pick up new Rollingstones album on way to airport tomorrow. (NB; new album is only copy currently in Australia and is being used for exclusive listening session with key radio personnel tonight).
MONDAY 10:40am CALL BACK FILM COMPANY PUBLICIST
Tell Orlando to shove it; Have date with Mick Jagger! (SIDE Note: In reality, I begged forgiveness and promised to-make-it-up-to-film-company. I need them MUCH more than they need me).
MONDAY 11:00am: PHONE VERY GOOD FRIEND WHO IS CURRENTLY VISITING ITALY. Advise good friend I am coming to London in 2 days to interview Mick Jagger. Can I join her in Italy for weekend of fun and frivolity? Good friend is ESTATIC at prospect of English speaking friend arriving imminently and immediately gets off phone to start planning action packed Italian itinerary. Yippee! Love my job. Love my life!
MONDAY 11:01am EXCITEMENT VIBE IMMEDIATELY DEFLATED BY REALITY OF WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE BEFORE I GET ON PLANE.
(Note, deflated vibe continues until approx. 3am).
TUESDAY 9:00am: CABBIE PULLS UP FOR THE AIRPORT
(Note-to-all-column–readers-who-have-been-with-me-since-epsiode-1: MY PASSPORT IS TAPED TO MY FOREHEAD)! Cab driver is not Lebanese but still lovely.
TUESDAY 9:15am: IN CAB FEELING, FOR-ONCE-IN-MY-LIFE, ORGANIZED.
Flight does not leave until 11:30am. Swing past record company to collect new Rollingstones CD. Publicist has left package waiting for me at reception.
TUESDAY 9:30am: EN ROUTE TO AIRPORT.
Receive text message from friend in Italy: MEET YOU IN ROME SAT. MORN. HAVE GR8 PLANS 4 US. Send text back: UNREAL! CAN’T WAIT 2 C U.
TUESDAY 9:35am: STILL PEACEFULLY EN ROUTE TO AIRPORT.
Open package from publicist. Cab driver asks where I am headed. To London, I tell him, to interview Mick-bloody-Jagger. And then to Italy for the weekend with one of my best friends! Can’t believe am cool enough to utter these sentences (and they actually be true).
Publicist has included copy of itinerary in parcel. (NB, have already printed out copy from email correspondence but have not had chance to look at it yet). Scan itinerary quickly for name of hotel I am booked into in London. (Sometimes record companies book GREAT hotels. Sometimes, they’re not-so-great).
According to itinerary, am staying at La Meridian-TORONTO, CANADA.
TUESDAY 9:36am: MOMENT OF STUNNED SILENCE.
Did I just read the words TORONTO and CANADA?
TUESDAY 9:36am and 5 seconds: Quick Re read of sentence containing words TORONTO and CANADA.
Yes. I. Did.
TUESDAY 9:37am: CALL RECORD COMPANY PUBLICIST – FRANTICALLY!
Me: My itinerary says I’m going to Toronto-bloody-Canada!
Publicist: Yeh. Where did you think you were going?
Publicist: Why did you think that?
Me: Because you bloody told me that’s where I was going?
Publicist: No I didn’t.
Me: Well you didn’t tell me I WASN’T going to London!
Publicist: But, Toronto, Canada is on the Itinerary.
Me: I know that NOW. I’ve just read it!
Publicist: Oh. You’ll love Toronto. It’s a great city!
Note: Cab driver looks at me as if I am strange moron who could somehow be in cab on way to airport having planned weekend getaway in Italy when am actually booked on flight to Canada! Cab driver asks “who do you work for luv”?
TUESDAY 9:40am: TEXT GOOD FRIEND IN ITALY.
INTERVIEW MOVED TO CANADA! ITALY W/E OFF! CALL LATER 2 EXPLAIN.
TUESDAY 9:45: RECEIVE TEXT MESSAGE BACK FROM FRIEND-IN-ITALY.
JUST SO YOU KNOW…
The publicist and I didn’t actually ever discuss the location of the interview at any point. We were distracted by trying to reschedule the flights around the Orlando Bloom interview. I assumed I was going to London (The Stones are bloody English aren’t they)! She assumed I knew I was going to Canada. I have since learnt that Toronto is a home-away-from-home for The Stones. They often play secret gigs there prior to world tours. But more on all that in Part 2.
MICK JAGGER PART 2
If you missed Part 1 (and it’s really important that you didn’t); I am on my way overseas to interview Mick Jagger. I assumed I was going to London, until I read the itinerary in the cab on the way to the airport and discovered I am actually going to Toronto CANADA! In my defence, when running a production company and getting a weekly television show to air by ones-self, it can be the minor details that slip past unnoticed (like which country one is in)! In any case, the location mishap was just the beginning of what turned out to be a rather problematic, if not memorable ordeal.
MIDNIGHT TUESDAY: AFTER 28 HOURS IN TRANSIT, ARRIVE TORONTO AIRPORT
Have arrived in aftermath of severe hail storms. Airport is bedlam. Can’t find driver booked to transfer me to hotel. Can’t get mobile phone to work to call driver. Am forced to line up for cab – for one entire hour and twenty minutes! Dam Mick Jagger and his stupid-bloody-band.
1:45AM: CHECK IN TO LA MERIDIEN HOTEL, TORONTO
Have stayed in some truly swish hotels doing this job. Have also stayed in some perfectly-adequate-but-nothing-to-write-home-about hotels. This particular hotel – SUCKS. Dust bursts from the curtains when drawn closed and the carpet smells like mould. Not to worry. Have never been more in need of shower. Have frantically stripped off clothes (possibly too much information) and turned on taps only to discover there is NO WATER coming out of them. (SWEAR am not making this up).
2:00AM: CALL DOWN TO RECEPTION TO REPORT WATER CRISIS
Am assured that tradesman on duty is on his way. Notice an envelope at foot of bed with my name on it. Is message from record company advising that Mick Jagger interview will take place tomorrow (I mean today) at FOUR SEASONS HOTEL at 4pm.
2:15AM: I CAN’T GET NO SATISFACTION.
Bill-the-tradesman arrives but informs me that he is in fact an electrician. After turning non-water- producing taps, Bill says “this really is a job for the plumber”. Not just a pretty face, are you Bill. Unfortunately, plumber does not start work until 9am. Will have to change rooms.
2:20AM: YOU CAN’T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT …
Am all-of-a-sudden struck with ingenious idea. I ask Bill-the-electrician if he knows where the Four Seasons Hotel is. Apparently, it’s just a 10-minute drive down the road; (and one of nicest hotels in Toronto). Oh yeh…I’m changing bloody rooms alright.
2:40AM: BUT IF YOU TRY SOMETIMES YOU JUST MIGHT FIND YOU GET WHAT YOU NEED.
Have checked into (5 STAR) Four Seasons Hotel. Made executive, on-the-spot decision to upgrade accommodation arrangements on account of a) previous hotel sucking b) will now only be a short lift ride away from Mick Jagger interview tomorrow (I mean today).
PS: Room is bloody beautiful and has water-producing taps!
3:O0AM: AFTER BEST SHOWER OF MY LIFE FALL INTO VERY DEEP, JET LAGGED SLEEP.
3PM TUESDAY: LOUD KNOCKING ON DOOR
Am woken abruptly from very deep, jet lagged sleep. Loud knocking continues.
Open hotel door to find make-up-artist-looking gal standing in doorway holding large black case. “Are you Angela”? asks make-up-artist-looking-gal, “I’m Grace. I am here to do your make up. I am so sorry I’m late. I went to another hotel but they said you had checked out and come here”. Glance at clock. OH MY GOD! It’s 3PM! Need to be standing in front of Mick Jagger in an hour!
3:45PM: GRACE AND I TAKE LIFT TO 22ND FLOOR AFTER FASTEST MAKE UP AND HAIR JOB IN TELEVISION HISTORY.
Security accosts us moments after lift doors open. Entire 22nd floor of Four Seasons hotel has been allocated to Rolling Stones international media junket. Mick, Keith, Charlie and Ron have been set up in separate rooms to face one-on-one interviews every 15 minutes.
3:50PM: GRACE AND I ENTER MEDIA HOLDING ROOM
Room is size of massive presidential suite. Journalists from all over world stand around nervously; awaiting their turn to be received by rock n roll’s greatest living royalty. The four interviews currently being conducted just meters away are being screened on four TV size monitors. Each interview is synced up to commence simultaneously and is terminated EXACTLY after 15th minute with precision of military operation.
3:58pm: AM ESCORTED BY SECURITY TO HALLWAY JUST OUTSIDE MICK JAGGER INTERVIEW ROOM.
Am last interview of Mick Jagger’s day. (NOTE 15 minutes is the shortest interview I have ever conducted). Am advised by publicist-holding-clipboard that wind-up signal will be given 13 minutes after interview commencement. Interview will be abruptly terminated exactly 2 minutes later; ready or not.
3:59PM: WALK INTO ROOM AND INTRODUCE MYSELF TO MICK JAGGER
ME: G’day Mick, I’m Angela.
MICK JAGGER: Angela, thank you for coming all this way.
ME: I don’t mind traveling 28 hours to see you Mick. But it would have been nice to see you for more than 15 minutes.
MICK JAGGER: I know. I am so sorry. It’s just that I’m going straight from here to rehearsal.
ME: What we’re saying now doesn’t count as the 15 minutes does it!
MICK JAGGER: No no. This doesn’t count.
PUBLICIST-HOLDING-CLIPBOARD: Your time starts NOW.
4:00-04:15 THE MICK JAGGER INTERVIEW
What do I remember about being in room with Mick Jagger for 15 minutes?
a) His waist was smaller than mine. The man is TINY.
b) The following exchange:
ME: You have written so many songs about heart break on this latest album. But I have always thought of you as the perpetrator in the love game Mick and certainly NOT the victim.
MICK: That’s because you’re a woman- Angela!
c) Thinking this interview is going REALLY well.
d) Receiving 13th minute wind up signal after what seemed like 4 minutes.
e) Making executive decision to keep talking until physically made to stop.
TUESDAY 4:15pm-4:16: FIRST MINUTE OF OVERTIME
Achieved first minute of overtime by simply ignoring publicist making increasingly panicked wind up signals at me.
TUESDAY 4:16pm-4:17: SECOND MINUTE OF OVERTIME
Publicist signals cameraman and sound guy to also make wind up signal at me; (since they are standing in my direct line of vision). Mick and I continue animated discussion. He seems oblivious to hysterical wind up process taking place behind him.
TUESDAY 4:17pm-4:18: THIRD MINUTE OF OVERTIME
Exasperated publicist, who isn’t brave enough to interrupt Mick Jagger herself to terminate interview, dashes out of room to get security.
TUESDAY 4:19PM: SECURITY GUARD BURSTS INTO ROOM AND ABRUPTLY TERMINATES INTERVIEW
“Couldn’t you see the crew winding you up Angela”? Yes I could, I tell him. But I decided to pretend that I couldn’t. Everyone bursts into laughter, including Mick. I think we can give Angela one last question, says Mick. Want soooo badly to give security dude the bird, but don’t want to waste time.
I was certainly the only member of the international media to achieve interview overtime that day. When I walked back into the media room, the room erupted in applause. Grace-the-make-up-artist was beaming at me like a proud mother and told me “Everyone was standing around watching your interview on the monitor and clapping”!
People came to shake my hand, pat me on the back and tell me “that was the best interview of the day”. In four minutes and twenty seconds I had become somewhat of a rock star myself. I used my newfound status to propose a spontaneous celebration in the lobby bar. After all, we were all a long way from home.
We had all just met a Rolling Stone. If you can’t drink now, when can you?