I once had to ship some mic pre/EQs by air freight, which meant I had to walk them through the TSA inspection. I made copies of the brochures so they could understand what they were, but the guy looking at the X-ray machine didn't even look up and said, "recording equalizers?" I said yes. He said, "OK".
I didn't know you had to walk air freight shipments through TSA, just baggage on the flight you're on. Learn something every day.
Once on a trip to Japan to play music (all legit), one of my band mates ahead of me in the Customs line had a fringed leather jacket in his suitcase. The inspector looked at him, the jacket, and his guitar case, smiled and said "Ah, so. . . . Wes-tun songs" and just waved the other two of us right through.
Had gigs in Japan 9 times 1971 to 79. The gigs were for 10 weeks each year. 10 weeks were a requirement for economic reasons for the club owner because he paid our traveling expenses. They also provided us with apartments. (they called them mansions) There wasn't a week that went by, that while we were at the gig, our apartments were searched. They tried to not be obvious, but we all knew, because of things they forgot like closing a cabinet door, or a bedspread out of place, but nothing was ever stolen. An american GI stationed in Japan had a girlfriend who was hitting on me, but I had no interest in her, but one night walking home after the gig, I was assulted by some GI's and they stole my passport. I reported it, and to my surprise, I got arrested. Not knowing what was happenning, our manager called the club owner to translate, and if I wanted out of jail, I was required to sign a statement saying "I was NOT assulted, and I lost my passport" I did as instructed and was released. Very strange. It had something to do with keeping the American/Japan records clean. We did a TV show on Channel 8 in Shingicu which was the equivelent to our Tonight show, and when we left Japan, going through customs, They ignored our belongings and just wanted autographs LOL Another time playing in Mexico City, I took a picture of a beautiful building. Immeadiately the police came up to me, opened my camera (Nikon f2n 35mm film) and exposed all the film. Again I was stunned. What did I do wrong? As it turned out, standing in front of that building was a pimp with his hookers and the police were in business with the pimp. The cop told me "THIS IS MEXICO NOT USA! NO PICTURES"
A thought that just came to mind was our first trip to Japan we were standing in front of the Akasaka Tokyo hotel with the club owner waiting for the other limos from the airport that had the rest of our group. An old man whose face was all purple on the left side walked by and the club owner noticed that we saw him. He looked at us and said "Bomb"! We all knew what bomb he was referring to. Very sobering.