May is always a busy month for me. Track keeps me very busy- I had 2 athletes make it to Regional’s and one just missed advancing to the state meet. I also coordinate graduation at my school which is also hectic. So autographs and shows are put on the backburner.
However the past couple of weeks, I have more than made up for it!
I did get to shoot and review Earth Wind and Fire a few weeks ago. What a great concert. (read my review at neomusicscene.com) Although there are only 3 remaining members from the 1972 lineup: Philip Bailey, Verdine White and Ralph Johnson- the band sounds awesome and they put on a great show. I decided to get the meet and greet package and try to get an album signed. I normally would have waited after the show, but a bad lightening storm was rolling through Cleveland, so there was no chance to get an autograph. Would you stand out in lightening and rain to sign?
Anyway, the three guys were backstage taking pictures with fans who bought the package. Even though the manager said no autographs, I figured I would ask. Besides, I was the only one who had something for them to sign. I brought 2 albums but only had them sign the one. I didn’t want to seem greedy. All three were very gracious and happy to sign. If I would have asked for the 2nd one, I bet they would have done it. I did ask Verdine to sign my HOF poster and he did. So, I thought it was worth it.
Next up was Graham Nash. He was playing with the Cleveland Contemporary Youth Orchestra. My wife is also a teacher and she had four students who were playing in the orchestra and choir, so we decided to go at the last minute. One of my wife’s students said that they had rehearsal at 2 the day of the show. I was done with school, so I decided to go up early to see if I could catch Graham on the way in. I told a friend to come up a little early and we ended up being the only two there.
A little before 3, Graham walks in and graciously signs all of our stuff. I had 2 albums and a mini acoustic guitar and my friend had 3 albums. Everything turned out great! The only thing we didn’t get was a picture with him. His manager said that they were late for rehearsal and didn’t have time.
These kids are amazing. They did record the show and it should be airing on PBS I believe sometime in the fall. Check it out if you get the chance.
I also got approved to shoot and review former Black Crowe guitarist Rich Robinson’s acoustic show. I have been a fan of the Black Crowes since “Shake Your Moneymaker” and I got to see them a few times over the years. I was anxious to hear what Rich had to offer as a solo artist and I was not disappointed. His guitar playing is on point and he has a good voice, not quite as soulful as his brothers, but still good.
After the show there were 5 of us waiting to meet Rich: a great couple who I see at a lot of shows, and a known ebayer and his girlfriend and me. Rich eventually makes his way out of the venue and I ask him if he would sign. He pulls out his own Sharpie, so I get out a Black Crowes flat. He said, “I’m not signing that.” I said ok, and get out a Rolling Stone magazine that I have kept since 1991- it has my name and old address on it. He looks at it and said “Ugh, well I guess that’s ok.” The couple have a drum head and he said “you guys are gonna sell this stuff, that’s why you are here.” The three of us say no, we are fans and we just wanted to meet him. They say that they want it personalized, so he said ok and signed it for them.
The ebay guy and his girlfriend were next. They produce at least 5-8 Black Crowes albums each, and Rich signs EVERY ONE!! WTF? And he thinks I’m going to sell my one album flat and Rolling Stone? Please, anyone tell me what these artists are thinking. I can’t figure them out. Jeff and Marlena ask to get a picture with him and he said ok. I get one with him as well. We shake hands and I tell him. I don’t sell any of my stuff, but that guy that you just signed a ton for does. He said “Yeah, I’ve seen him before.” So he gives me and two other fans a hard time, yet he signs about 15 items for a guy who he knows sells his stuff. I don't get it.
Until the next show!