‘The closest thing to a Texas man is a Yorkshire man’

In 1996, gangsta-rapper Coolio was nominated for an Oscar for the film Dangerous Minds and he won a Grammy for the song Gangsta’s Paradise. But who was the man behind the rapper?

Dave Callens was the tour manager of Coolio at the time and has written book telling his story called Putting Socks on the Octopus: The True Story of A Tour Manager’s Nightmare.

We met with Dave and his wife Jaime while they were over in Scarborough visiting friends.

“I got into this in the 60s,” Dave said.

“I liked this much more than being on stage, I liked the control and one thing led to another and I met with the head of William Morris.

“Coolio had the hit and he didn’t treat people very well and when he came over here, he was promoted as a Saturday morning kid’s character.”

Here in the UK, no one had any idea who Coolio was, according to Dave, and he had no idea who he was going to play to.

Coolio was the first gangsta-rapper under the guise of a kid’s entertainer.

“We got here and we did the shows and as soon as the curtain’s opened, he said ‘how y’all m****r f*****s doing?’ and that was just the start,” he said.

“I taped the show a couple of times and I counted 254 times that he said that but I didn’t count all the other ones.

“The show would start full of people and then after about 20mins later there would be around 12 people.”

According to Dave, it was just who these guys were and what gansta-rap was.

Dave was working with the pianist Roger Williams when he was approached for this job and it sounded great to him.

“I got out here and we had to hire a band and it was a band they s**t all over,” Dave said.

“Coolio and the others were in the bus every day playing cards all day long and I sat in the front with the bus driver and it just went on and on and on.”

While in Belgium for a festival, Coolio and the gang came out of the catering and stole all the dishes and they beat up one of the security guards because they didn’t like him.

Dave said: “If they didn’t like someone they would beat them up. It was just their nature.

“They had this one kid with them who would sell T-shirts and he was called Baby Killer.

“This is a gangsta term for a person who wasn’t old enough to be sent to prison and they would be hired to kill people, so I made sure I kept an eye on him.”

Dave used to get all his work from agencies and when this one came around, he made sure he stuck at it and completed it.

His job included sorting out the travel, hotel bookings, money, and the police.

“I dealt with the police a lot more than I thought it would be,” Dave said.

“A girl once got on stage and her bracelet fell off so Coolio pocketed it. It turned out that the girl’s daddy was the chief of police in Toulon.

“Coolio still refused to give the bracelet back and eventually it was his wife who convinced him and he threw it at the guy.

“The police chief looked at me and said ‘he has about an hour to get out of here’ and we went.”

His first job was with Paul Revere and The Raiders where he learnt everything in the first few years.

“Enjoy is a hard word because who knows what they enjoy about work?” He said.

“When I worked with Barry White I had to hire an orchestra and crew and someone suggested an Hungarian band and they have been my friends ever since and we have had three reunions since then.

“Nell Carter was an interesting woman. She was this big black lady who got a TV show and I would describe her as the black version of I Love Lucy.

“She even converted to Judaism to try and get more work and that didn’t happen.”

Behind every good man, there is an even better woman, or so the saying goes and this was the same in Dave’s case.

His wife, Jaime Callens, stayed at home and raised the kids while Dave was on tour.

“Someone had to keep the house tidy,” Jaime said.

“I was a dancer in Vegas in the 60s and when I was 17 I was dancing with the rat pack.

“By the time I met Dave, it was all over with. A dancer’s career ends once you hit 23/24 but I had a wonderful six years but it was a different time in Vegas than.

“It was very small whereas now it’s like the Disneyland for adults.”

As well as working as a tour manager for a large amount of his life, Dave was also a Photoshop artist for a long time and has his own T-shirt business www.cfdavinki.com.

“It started when I did a Mona Lisa with Keith Richards face in it and I got a phone call telling me that he was wearing my t-shirt and a newspaper came and interviewed me,” he said.

“And that’s how it was born. The next thing I knew we had hundred shirts to make for the next day and it has grown from there.”

When Dave started in the tour managing business, he was the youngest person there, and when he finished his last tour with Britney Spears, he was the oldest.

“I had to deal with the artist on a day-to-day basis and deal with their everyday lives,” Dave said.

“It started to get to me. 32 years is a long time but you got to do what you got to do.”

Jaime said: “That was one of the reasons the marriage worked so well, he was gone for the first 30 years.

“I went out to see the Everley Brothers but I stayed away most of the time, he was working 24 hours a day.”

As a tour manager, it was normal for him to visit countries around the whole world and Dave particularly liked Australia as it reminded him of California in the 60s.

“It was clean and everyone obeyed the traffic laws, but it’s not like that anymore,” he reminisced.

So, why would someone from Texas come to Scarborough for a holiday?

Dave and Jaime have been coming here for almost 22 years and even renewed their wedding vows up in St Mary’s Church.

“We love the people and I think in truth the closest thing to a Texas man is a Yorkshire man,” Jaime said.

“We found a wonderful place to stay with a lovely family and their son is becoming some sort of grandchild.

“We wanted to buy a house but didn’t need to and we couldn’t find an easy way to do it.”

The couple have mutual friends with some of the Comet readers including Nick Taylor, Baz Hampshire and Dr Rock, Charles White. All of whom, personally know our own Jo Swift.

“For a long time we enjoyed fishing and was a good reason to come here,” Jaime said.

“Dave was inducted into the yacht club and usually have lunch there on a Saturday.”

The couple spend around three weeks here each year and fly into London and drive up as they usually stop on a night to see friends.

“We made the mistake of coming this year on May 1,” Dave said.

“It took about 24 hours from door to door.

“We’ve been coming here for 20 years and we never talked about what we had done with anyone.

“Nobody really knew what I had done until people found out that I worked with Mötley Crüe.”

People who worked on the tour have reviewed the book on Amazon and according to Dave, many has asked how he can remember all this.

“I think about what I did and it’s hard to not remember it,” he said.

The book he has written is all about his time with Coolio but Dave has worked with a variety of different acts including Mötley Crüe during the Pamela Anderson days.


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