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Chris Isaak -- A Great Singer, Great Signer, A Class Act

I have always been a fan of Chris Isaak. Most people know his big hit Wicked Game (how can you forget model Helena Christensen in the video?). He’s had a few songs used in movies (my favorite being “Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing” in Eyes Wide Shut).

A friend and I tried to get his autograph once outside a venue. He shook his head no and walked by us. Well, after the concert that night, he went up to the merchandise booth and signed everything put in front of him. We asked why he dissed us earlier in the day. He said he doesn’t sign at the soundchecks, because he thinks those are just the autograph dealers and not the real fans. That worked for us.

We talked a little about autographs, and he told me when he was opening for Tina Turner, and was at the back signing autographs while she was performing. Her people didn’t like how loud it was and asked him not to do that. He said he still kept doing it, but tried to keep the crowd from getting really loud.


One time he made an appearance at the Tower Records in La Jolla (ahh, remember the days of record stores and musicians popping in for autograph signings?). He brought his long time (30 years long) drummer Kenny Dale Johnson. Always nice to get a second autograph on a CD. They signed a Christmas CD. I bought 6 copies for different friends. Nothing makes a better Christmas gift than an autographed item, don’t ya think? I was having him sign a few CDs that I brought with me, and he gladly did it. He often draws his caricature (complete with crooked nose), and when he was signing the San Francisco Days disc, I told him I loved The Animals song “San Francisco Nights” and suggested he do one after the other. He replied, “Yeah, we’ve done that before. I like that song also.”   

Crap. Nothing worse than making a suggestion that’s already been done.

Isaak couldn’t be nicer. Well, until some dope in line asked him if the girl in the Wicked Game video was his girlfriend. He said, “No. We were making a video. They hire people. It was a model. Do you believe everything you see on TV or in the movies, too?”


I don’t know…I didn’t think it was such a dumb question.

Anyway, he was playing a show a few days ago in San Diego, and he signed a guitar for a guy in the business that has cancer. It’s crazy, because his drummer didn’t tour with him in 2013 because he was also fighting cancer. He told the crowd if nobody bid on it, he’d bid $2,000. Well, the pot included Padres tickets and a guitar lesson from Mr. Isaak, and it all went for $23,000. It helps that at the last minute, Isaak said he’d throw in a backstage massage. It’s usually the rock star that gets the backstage massage, not the other way around.

Two of the bidders asked Isaak to decorate guitar cases. He did his usual caricature of himself, and drew four-leave clovers on them. He wrote a few things on the back, and they went for thousands as well. The whole thing ended up raising about $65,000. He admitted to the crowd that they had hoped for $7,500, and everyone backstage was in tears by how successful it all was.

So, if you ever want his signature, go to the show and wait at the merch booth afterwards. If you want an autographed guitar, bring your check book. If you want to hear Tina Turner…you’re out of luck.

Views: 1032

Tags: Chris Isaak, Eyes Wide Shut, Helena Christensen, Kenney Dale Johnson, The Animals, Tina Turner, cancer

Comment by Brian Burger on July 27, 2014 at 9:13am

My friends who also collect autographs have told me bad things about trying to get autographs from Mr. Isaak but your post explains a lot as they hardly if ever pay to see the artist and I've tried to explain to them that you have to support the artist and the venue because with your thinking the opportunities will dwindle if you don't support these things. Nice to know he signs!!!! Great post!

Comment by Josh Board on July 27, 2014 at 10:02pm

I gave my friend soooo much crap. I met her at one concert, and we'd always run into each other at concerts and do the autograph thang. Well, at Nancy Sinatra (a blog that will come in the future)....I bought her CD there. She was signing FOR FREE, and her CD was only $5. I bought one, of course. Well, this gal brought a burned CD she wanted signed. I gave her such a hard time, saying how idiotic she would look handing her a CD of songs she BURNED, for free, off the internet. She did it anyway. SO yeah -- support the artists.


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