Royalty advances –
His guitar and his harmonica were
on the bed.
The room at Castle Hotel was so small we had to
move the guitar to
make a place to sit.
I was the financial guy at
a Swedish record company and
I came to pay him his royalty advance.
He was a fantastic guitar and harmonica player and
had made many records all
over the world.
He had spent so much time in Stockholm he
even spoke good
I had his money in an envelope and
everything was under control.
He counted the money once and smiled,
a really nice guy, his old hands shaking a bit when
going through the dollar bills.
He counted the money again,
now really slowly and
putting note by note
on his bed.
He was happy and we shook hands but
when I left
I saw him starting to
count the money again.
Later that year we recorded an album
with Chet Baker.
It was a Sunday afternoon and
no one had told me that he should be paid
in cash so I hadn’t brought any money.
The recording was about to finish when
Chet told us he was leaving
I realized we had to find some US dollars.
One guy left in his car to go to the bank at the
they didn’t answer the phone but
there was a slim chance that they were open.
I left for the Jazz Festival
that was taking place in the center of town.
The guy who was in charge
helped us in the end and
managed to lend us the cash.
We rushed back in the car to the studio but
Chet had already left.
We went to his hotel but he was
gone – they thought he could be
at the Italian restaurant
down the street
There we found him, he had
just had his dinner and
was relaxing with a cup of coffee.
We didn’t tell him our problems with the cash but
said we had been looking for him
to pay him
“Good”, he said and
took the thick stack of dollar bills and
put them in his pocket
even looking at them.
click for larger view
HENRY DENANDER lives in Stockholm, Sweden with his wife and young son
and he just turned fifty and he works in the daytime with contracts and negotiations and financial stuff for entertainment people but he is also writing and drawing and painting and his book "I Know What She Will Say" with poetry and artwork is available now through BOS Press. |
He has illustrated a new Gerry Locklin chapbook and his poems and artwork can be seen in Chiron Review, Nerve Cowboy, Bukowski Review, remark, Thunder Sandwich.