In this Crazy Tour Stories segment, the pop artist, Johnny Stimson, talks about some of his crazy moments from touring. You can check out the feature, after the break.
Growing up in Texas, I always had a dream to play for people across the ocean. I just thought that would be an incredible way to see the world. I’ve been fortunate enough to do this a few times now, but our first trip was really special.
Somehow I started emailing with a booking agent in the UK. They would book me one gig in London and come and check us out. I wanted to show them we could really bring the heat, so I got my savings together and bought tickets for the whole band and me. I thought maybe if we played stupendously, they would book us another European tour or something. Either way, I would get to fly across the ocean and sing.
Well, it was a pretty heavy strain on the ol’ finances and I REALLY wanted it to go well. Turns out, the agent didn’t put too much into booking this show and what was touted as a very chic new venue, wasn’t really even an open venue on the rainy Wednesday when we played. It was kind of an event space, but there were speakers and mics. They let people in and we played our hearts out. I think we lost a keyboard to some kind of voltage mishap in the process (RIP). Some people actually came and the agent seemed kind of “meh” about the whole thing. Nice guy, but needless to say, I was discouraged.
The band guys are like my brothers, so they could see it on my face. Best guys in the world, they put their arms around me and said they were proud to play with me over here. We went to a pub and just laughed and laughed that night. It was an incredible time and a memory I won’t soon forget.
The next morning in the back of an old church in London, we were setting up our gear for a little live video session. My phone rang and apparently someone from the show the last night had seen it and was impressed. She called to say she sent my music to Elton John and that he has been listening all morning and wanted to speak with me. WHAT. She had me hang up and wait for the call. The phone rang. “Hi, Johnny! It’s Elton.” It was HIS voice. The next few minutes felt like a time warp montage in a sci-fi movie, but I remember he told me he loved my music and wanted to sign me. I was over the moon.
Long story short, we stayed some extra days and got to perform for his team. Elton was extremely gracious to me and we ended up signing shortly after that. We had one of the best experiences of my life on that trip and I fulfilled a long-time dream to play overseas. Worth every penny!