Hanging with Nickelback’s drummer at Tiger Woods house in Florida tarpon fishing, big rock shows with a platinum selling artist, what could go wrong? As it turns out… plenty. This is a story of two guys named Dan. Well, just one was really named Dan, or Daniel. The other was a crook who went by many names but for the sake of this story I’ll call him Fake Dan.
In January of this year, just after NAMM, Heil Sound received an email from someone identifying himself as Daniel Adair, saying that he was Nickelback’s drummer and was interested in trying mics for both his studio and touring kits. This email had made the rounds with my clients and they were, quite naturally, pushing for this to happen.
The two of us exchanged a series of emails about his plans and, while at first I was somewhat skeptical, the guy knew a lot about drums and drum mic techniques and soon my doubts faded. He said he was going to be recording in Florida and asked me to put together a box of mics to try with an address in Port Saint Lucie and the name of his publicist there.
Fake Dan liked me and and said that he’d like me to join him in Florida some day for tarpon fishing. Turns out Tiger Woods was a personal friend and we could use his house. Yes, Fake Dan liked me…
To add to this perfect storm and compounding the confusion that later developed, I reached out to Joe Keiser, the band's FOH mixer. I figured it was a good idea to let Joe know that Daniel and I were communicating about Heil Sound mics. Joe responded enthusiastically saying that he was, in fact, using a few Heil mics on Daniel’s touring kit. Okay, it was all coming together!
Not too long after shipping the mics I received an email from Fake Dan saying that the mics sounded great and he was ready to do “the deal.” Now, we had never established what “the deal” might be, and I knew there’d be layers of management, publicistes, permissions, and such to attend to before any real endorsement deal would be in place. I responded with some questions of my own asking if I should speak with someone from Nickelback management in order to proceed. No response. Crickets.
As the days turned to weeks with no further word from Fake Dan, I once again contacted Joe to see if he could shed some light on the situation. Joe replied to my email saying that the band members were on vacation, but he’d be seeing Daniel soon when the band reconvened for rehearsals and would ask him to respond to my emails.
And then I received this link from Joe with the comment, “Greg I hope you’re sitting down.”
It could have been worse, I suppose. My track record with theft and fraud – or lack of - is excellent although Mickey Rooney Jr once walked off with my mic cable at a show in 1979. And the total dollar amount of the microphones was $1200.00, substantial but not earthshaking. Fake Dan had ripped off others for far larger amounts as it turns out, including the city of Miami. Still, I was mad at myself. I had ignored my number one rule - with a few exceptions if you are communicating directly with a high profile artist, something fishy is going on. And it ain’t the tarpon. (Blog originally published in August, 2017)