We checked into a high-rise hotel in Schweinfurt with a couple hours to kill before sound check. I took a walk through the pedestrian center of town, inside the old city walls, and had a sandwich and coffee at a sidewalk café. As I stood to return to the hotel, along came Mark striding determinedly down the street.
“What’s up?” I asked, falling in beside him.
“I was heading out for a walk,” Mark said, “when all of a sudden I realized I may have left the hot water running in my shower. I was steaming some shirts. It shouldn’t overflow – do you think?”
At the hotel Mark went up the elevator, and I stopped at the desk for my key. The pretty receptionist was talking in German to a workman in rubber boots.
“Someone on your floor left the water running,” she told me. “This man has turned it off.
“Oh, no,” I said, struggling to maintain a serious face. “He was afraid of that.”
“Yes, it was your friend in 907, Mark Johnson.”
“Is there damage?”
She shrugged. “I don’t know. But there is water all the way down to the sixth floor. They have put buckets out. We have had to turn off the electricity to the whole hotel.”
After an hour the power came back on, and everything was apparently okay. Mark went down and apologized to the receptionist.
“No, please don’t worry,” she said. “You must concentrate on your performance.”
Our co-show with Mark Selby was a blast. He came up and jammed with us, and Mark Johnson and I joined his band on stage for a few songs. Later members of both bands had a nightcap at a small bar across from the hotel, where we taught the bartender how to make an American-style martini. The guys in Mark Selby’s band were calling Mark Johnson “The Legend.”
“That’s what you are now,” said Darryl, the drummer, “whether you like it or not.”