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DC Parmet is not joking when he says he has developed hostage negotiating skills and ‘‘cat-like’’ reflexes during his career.
It turns out they are necessary when you are Sir Elton John’s tour manager.
Mr Parmet has soldiered through plenty of cancelled flights, hotel complaints, weather problems and lost luggage, and says those skills have served him well in some darn difficult situations.
His talent for bargaining no doubt comes in handy when making last-second reservations, and he said his cat-like reflexes were useful for making sure ‘‘the boss’’ had what he needed before he even asked for it.
‘‘If he wants Perrier in the dressing room, or if he wants Grey Poupon mustard, we take care of him so his only concern is going out and entertaining.’’
In case readers are wondering, the Perrier and Grey Poupon are just examples; what Sir Elton actually likes in his dressing room is ‘‘top secret’’.
Mr Parmet has spent more than 30 years tour managing and accounting for highly acclaimed musical artists and bands, including Michael Jackson, Ozzy Osbourne, Tina Turner, Soundgarden and Janet Jackson.
But by far, he has worked with Sir Elton the longest.
The recollection of how he first met Sir Elton still makes him laugh to this day, he said.
He had been a fan of Sir Elton since he was a boy.
‘‘The first album I ever got was Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, and I had all the cassettes, I had the CDs ... whatever came out, I bought because I was a huge Elton fan.
‘‘He was one of the artists that really shaped my musical tastes.’’
Mr Parmet’s first meeting with Sir Elton was when he was his tour accountant.
‘‘Of course I was nervous. I mean it’s Elton John — come on.
‘‘I must have had a look of sheer terror on my face because he patted me on the cheek and said, ‘No wonder you look so nervous, my dear boy — you’re the accountant’.
‘‘I could have used those cat-like reflexes back then.’’
He said it broke the ice and a 23-year relationship started.
Although Mr Parmet said it was sad this was Sir Elton’s last tour, there was still plenty of time to say goodbye.
‘‘We’re only on show 168 out of 300. So we have a lot of goodbyes left.
‘‘But I’m sure once we get that final schedule, we’ll get that lump in our throats and a tear in our eye.’’