The following is an interview that Dawn Emerson did with famous tour manager, Jacob Edwards. This interview was nixed from the original 1974 article that Dawn wrote on Hybrid for Creem Magazine.
Dawn: Hi Jacob, thanks for taking a few minutes to sit down and talk with me.
Jacob: Aww, cut the crap Dawn, you’ve been hounding me all day. Can’t even sit on the bloody crapper without seeing your smiling face there.
Dawn: Yes, well, anyway, I know you’re a busy man…
Jacob: Then why are you interviewing me right now? You know the bus leaves in 30 minutes and I have no idea where the hell Robbie went.
Dawn: I thought I saw him take that short, blonde chick around the corner.
Jacob: Well that’s no surprise. I guess if I need him I can go check the rubbish bins in about 10 minutes.
Dawn: I promise this won’t take as long as that. But that brings up a question: You’ve been seen as one of the more vocal and intimidating tour managers out there-
Jacob: Is that so?
Dawn: Uh huh. I was wondering how you manage keeping the boys in Hybrid alive and well.
Jacob: I’m keeping them alive, for now, I suppose. Keeping them well…that’s another story.
Dawn: It must be challenging to let them have their freedom without compromising their performance.
Jacob: As a tour manager, your first job is to manage. If that means I have to find them the prettiest trollops in arse-crack Minnesota in order to keep them in line, then that’s what I’m going to do. If keeping them obedient means letting them snort a kilo of coke up their nose every now and then, then that’s fine with The Cobb. Managing is about keeping the balance. I keep the balance.
Dawn: You keep the balance? Care you elaborate on that?
Jacob: Now you’re just being nosy.
Dawn: I’m a journalist. It’s my job. Just as it’s your job to be evasive.
Jacob: Right. Well, every band, whether it’s Hybrid, Wishbone Ash or someone else, they all have a tendency to over indulge in the bad and ignore the good. It sounds like simple math and it is…I just know that you have to have equal amounts of good and bad in order to keep a band alive. Or, at least successful.
Dawn: So Robbie can go bang the chick around the corner as long as it doesn’t interfere with his singing the next day.
Jacob: Exactly. There’s nothing wrong with them gang-banging groupies in a bathtub full of baked beans if it helps their performance.
Dawn: Hold on…who gang-banged groupies in a bathtub full of baked beans?
Jacob: A good manager never tells. Now if you’ll pardon me, I’ve got some managing to do.
Dawn: Wait, one last thing. Throughout the tour I’ve noticed a sense of urgency and despair from Sage Knightly. He’s yet to open up to me in any way and definitely avoids my many attempts at an interview…I was wondering if you could shed some light on that.
Jacob: Sage? Sage has some issues he’s working on. They aren’t really mine to comment on.
Dawn: What kind of issues? I know that the last album was almost entirely influenced by him and wasn’t perceived as well as the others. Does he feel like he’s let the band down or does he feel like the band is holding him back?
Jacob: I guess you could say both. I wouldn’t go about getting your expectations high about him, though. Sage is always the quiet, mysterious guitarist and that’s the role he’ll play to the bitter end.
Dawn: Who says the end has to be bitter?
Jacob: Welcome to rock and roll, Dawn.
It’s the summer of 1974 and 21-year old Dawn Emerson has only three things she wants to do: compete one last time in the Ellensburg Rodeo, win back her ex-boyfriend Ryan, and become the best damn music journalist at Central Washington University. But all her plans are left in the dust when she’s contacted by Creem magazine to go on the road with one of her favorite groups, the up-and-coming metal band, Hybrid.
At first the assignment reads like a dream come true. Not only will Dawn land some much-needed credibility as a female music journalist, but she'll finally get to experience life from the other side of the stage, and maybe crack the drunken, enigmatic code that is guitarist Sage Knightly. Instead, Dawn finds herself on an aging tour bus filled with ego-maniacs, band politics and a whole lot of sex, drugs and rock n’ roll. When monsters start showing up in dressing rooms and some of Sage’s groupies become increasingly strange and dangerous, Dawn discovers the band is not only going places – they’re going straight to Hell.
And Dawn has a backstage pass.
Karina Halle is a music journalist and all around wino who resides in beautiful British Columbia. When she's not rocking out or taking a nap, she can be found writing her ghost-hunting Experiment in Terror Series.
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