Late Saturday afternoon, in the old shop in London. Dirty great
black Daimler, chauffeur driven, pulls up and double parks in the
street outside, motor running.
Very well-to-do lady gets out with her little daughter in tow
and walks stridently into the shop.
"A clarinet reed please." she booms.
"Any particular make or strength?"
"Oh, I don't know...what do you want?" she says abruptly to her
A timid voice "Vandoren. Strength two."
"That'll be 65 pence please."
"Goodness me," exclaims the woman "if that's how much these things
are going to cost then you're going to have to take far more care
of them from now on."
And she departs as stridently as she entered, into the Daimler,
still ticking over outside in the street.
The worst part of all this is that my associates and I then tried
to calculate how much it costs to leave a Daimler running for three
minutes, and how much a chauffeur earns per hour. The music business
does strange things to you, you know...