Photo by Donna Balancia
Stuart and Barbara and their mysterious California encounter – photo by Donna Balancia

MALIBU — Stuart and Barbara from Portsmouth, U.K. sat beside a mysterious rock star on their United Airlines flight to the U.S. for their annual holiday the other day.

Stuart, an editor, and Barbara, a professor, are nonchalant about their frequent brushes with the famous.

They enjoy their time in Los Angeles, and each year make it a stop on their must-visit list.

“Who do you suppose it was?” a coffee drinker at a Malibu beverage shop asked them.

“Well, it was peculiar,” Stuart said, “He wouldn’t give us his name. And I would have known if it had been Eric Clapton.  I would cross the street for him.”

“OK, well did he play a gig recently? Or where did he say he lives?”

Stuart thought for a moment.

“What stood out about this fellow who wouldn’t tell me his name, was he seemed a little ticked off because he couldn’t get a Bloody Mary for free,” Stuart said. “He was nice enough but rather irritated because he couldn’t get an eye mask and his throat bothered him.”

“Where were you sitting on the plane,” the coffee drinker asked. “Was it first class?”

“Actually, no,” Stuart said. “We were the third row from the back.”

Billy McCarthy of The Augustines
Mystery solved: Billy McCarthy of The Augustines gave Stuart and Barbara a show of their own – photo courtesy WENN

After some smart detective work on a coffee drinker’s computer, Stuart nailed down the mysterious rock star.  “Well there he is,” Stuart said, pointing to Billy McCarthy from The Augustines. A review on Gigwise gave a rave review to their recent Manchester gig.

Stuart the editor, and Barbara the professor, have seen their share of big shots, especially in the U.S., where they make a point to enjoy Christmas each year.

“I tried to explain to him that I didn’t think they offered drinks for free in our class of air ticket,” Stuart recalled. “He seemed surprised they don’t give you toothpaste and a toothbrush where we were sitting.”

We look forward to seeing a performance. For more information on The Augustines go here.