7:30am - Paul Wasserman is on the phone! 40 years ago today.

It was very hot there in Los Angeles on the morning of 12th of September 1978. I was laying in bed and it was 7:30am. I could hear the house phone ringing in the distance. I thought no more about it other than the fact that phones ring differently in the US. Then suddenly there was a knock on my bedroom door. Auntie Connie was there saying that there was a Paul Wasserman on the phone. I jumped out of bed and followed her to the telephone. I said, ‘Hi Paul’ he said, ‘So, Danny, what brings you to smoggy LA?” I immediately said I was working with a few British bands that were out here in LA. He quickly got to the point of the call. He said, “Okay Danny, you kindly dropped your pictures from Paris into my office. Bob and his manager, Jerry Weintraub popped in yesterday and Jerry & Bob love your photos” I was rather thrilled to hear this. Paul then said, “ I have three questions for you. How old are you? Have you a green card? Are you available to do Bob’s tour and we leave tomorrow?” I answered him and said, “I am 21’. This wasn’t true as I was actually just 20. But I had figured out that you have to be 21 to buy a drink out there. I didn’t want my age to be a problem. However, what an idiot I was, as it showed my correct age on my passport should anyone want to see it. The second question was if I had a green card (Permanent resident card for living and working in the US). I said “No, but I will get one”. Again, what an idiot I must have sounded. You can’t just get one and in reality they are very hard to get. The third question, was I available? Now when I think that I had been planning this journey for quite a time and here I was on the brink! So, what did I say to Mr Wasserman about my availability. I said, “Sorry I am really busy and don’t think I can do it” He said, “ Oh that’s a shame, Bob really wanted you to come on the tour.” I then quickly said “I am only joking, I would love to come on the tour” Paul Wasserman then said and quite abruptly, “Well, don’t joke with me, be at my office in Beverly Hills by 10am today” Now I was standing up straight and paying proper attention, in fact I almost was saluting whilst I stood there in my underpants. I was thinking bloody hell.. I need to get myself dressed and down to his office.

I got to his office by 9:30 and informed the receptionist that I was there to see Paul Wasserman. A few minutes later, out he came and seemed quite happy and jovial. He said “Morning Danny, follow me” which I did into his plush office. Once we sat down he simply said, ‘Bob loves your photos from London and also now, Paris and he wants you on the tour” We discussed the details in which it was paramount for me to retain and own the copyright to everything I shoot. He agreed and basically we shook hands and he handed me the envelope with my Paris photos of Bob and he said “ You are now Bob Dylan’s official photographer. See you tomorrow morning at 8am at The Intertek Aviation private terminal at LAX” (Los Angeles International Airport). I walked out of his office and got back into my cousin Paul’s Beetle convertible. Before I started the car, I just sat there and took a moment. I looked up at the blue sky and just thought to myself, how the hell has this happened? I am a 20 year old Londoner and now, I am Bob Dylan’s official photographer! I was rather pleased to say the least.