First stop Leeds Arms for California couple

David Callens with his Putting Socks on the Octopus book outside Scarboroughs Leeds Arms
David Callens with his Putting Socks on the Octopus book outside Scarboroughs Leeds Arms

California-based Dave Callens has travelled the world for his job as a roadie but when it comes to holidays there’s one place he prefers.

He and his wife Jaime have been coming to Scarborough for the past 20 years – some times twice a year – to see the sights and catch up with friends.

Their love affair with North Yorkshire was started when they met Barry Hampshire – of Hamps Tramps fame.

In 1994 Barry was staying at a campsite in mountains in California, met Dave and invited him back to stay at the Flower in Hand, the guest house in the Old Town Barry used to run.

The following year Dave and Jaime accepted the invitation and have been returning to the area each year ever since.

“I grew up in San Antonio in Texas learning about the England populated by knights. When I came here and visited Ravenscar and Whitby that was what clicked in my head – this is an England that is rough and woolly,” said Dave.

“I just love North Yorkshire and over the years we have made a lot of friends and we like to keep in touch.”

Dave and former dancer Jaime are staying in holiday cottages near Scalby and from there venture into Scarborough, Whitby, Ravenscar, Riveaulx and Robin Hood’s Bay.

Among their favourite things to do is pop into the Leeds Arms in Scarborough’s Old Town – a short step away from the Flower in Hand.

“We don’t have pubs like this in the States,” said Dave.

The couple live in Fillmore, between Ventura and Los Angeles, in California. Dave lived in Hollywood for more than 20 years – going there from his home in San Antonio to pursue his dream of being a musician.

After years of making music and seeing everyone else get hit records he was offered a job as a roadie with the rockers Paul Revere and the Raiders.

“I loved it and after a while I didn’t want to be on stage anymore. I wanted to be a roadie. I have tour managed, had a good time and met a lot of great people,” he said.

He has tour managed for Britney Spears, Paul Anka, The Pointer Sisters, George Benson, Barry White, Tavares (he wrote the song Slow Train to Paradise on their third album), 
Sarah Vaughan, Tangerine Dream, The Monkees, Motley Crue and The Carpenters.

But it was the European tour he managed for rap star Coolio in 1996 that prompted him to write a book – Putting Socks on the Octopus. It was co-written with the late Warren Rockwell and Dave uses the pseudonym CF Davinki.

He calls it “the true story of a tour manager’s nightmare”.

“The reader is taken behind the scenes where celebrity maleficence and grotesque foolishness are a daily occurence. On this tour as a seasoned and cynical veteran of concert touring who figured he’d seen everything I realised I had not. But after five weeks on the road with Coolio I decided I had seen enough,” writes Dave.

One of the friends Dave has made over the years is Dr Rock – also known as Charles White – and he will be in conversation on Dr Rock’s BBC Radio York show this Sunday and next Sunday at 5pm.