I am only 32 years old, however I have always felt more akin to the music of the 60's and 70's. While I love classic rock and the debate of who "is" the greatest bands from the UK and USA. There has always been for me two bands that stick out above the rest. The Beatles from the UK and The Beach Boys from the USA. Rolling Stones list the two greatest albums : Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and Pet Sounds.
Pet Sounds is one of the most brilliant albums ever created and was (in pieces and rivalry) a catalyst for Paul McCartney and John Lennon to make Sgt. Pepper such a great album. I recently was able to acquire a copy of Pet Sounds that was signed by both Brian Wilson and Tony Asher who co wrote many of the songs on the album including God Only Knows. (One of my all time favorite songs) A friend of mine one tickets on the radio to see The Beach Boys in Chataqua NY. However wasn't able to use them and gave them to me! I knew that I already had Brian and Tony on my Pet Sounds so I wanted to see if I could upgrade my ticket for a meet and greet and add on Mike Love and Bruce Johnston.
I decided to take a shot and email the Chataqua Institute as they had no mention for a meet and greet package at all. I told them about how I was such a great fan of The Beach Boys and it would really make one of my dreams come true if I could meet them. Not really thinking I'd hear back, it was my surprise that they emailed me letting me know that they were having a meet and greet and had one more spot if I was interested! I wrote back right away wanting to know the details, how much it would cost, and etc. They replied back that it wouldn't cost me ANYTHING! It was probably one of the greatest gestures and such a class act from the Chataqua Institute.
I arrived there today, where I was to wait for the meet and greet, they gave me and my friend a wristband to wait with about 15 others and some friends and family of Bruce Johnston who also were waiting to see him. This was an outside venue and while I was waiting out back for about 20 minutes Mike Love walks right by me and says hi! It was really cool just seeing him stroll by me when some people might not notice him.
I had my Pet Sounds ready as we were starting to get instructions on what was to happen. We were told to stay to the left and keep out of everyone's way as people were going to be working (this was happening about 20 minutes before the show actually started.) The handler for the Beach Boys who was a different person that worked for the institute, made the run down and then said NO AUTOGRAPHS! I was in shock for a second. While it was still going to be great to meet "The Boys" I needed Mike and Bruce on my Pet Sounds
. While waiting in the line before they started calling people up to take their pictures with Mike and Bruce I told my friend that I was going to try anyways. I couldn't go this far and not at least try. Off the side before we were called up to get our picture, Jeff Foskett was standing off to the side by himself. He has been a long time touring member with both The Beach Boys and Brian WIlson. No one was really paying attention to him and I said, "You're Jeff right?" he said yes. I shook his hand I just said it is really nice to meet you. I think it made him feel good that someone knew who he was, I regretted not asking him for his autograph.I was just too panicked waiting there not sure if I was going to get Mike and Bruce, besides Jeff didn't play on Pet Sounds and that was all I really had.
It was our turn to get our picture and as my friend was giving the lady our phones I tried to hurry up over to Bruce to get him to sign my album, however he seemed to ignore me and get ready for the pose. I thought for a second they really were going to stick to the no autograph policy! I thought I even made him mad for a second.
We got two pictures with them, I knew that I had to try one more time and as the lady was trying to hand my friend back our phones I asked Mike Love really quick if he'd sign my album, he took my sharpie looked at my album for a second and started to sign! I was in such a daze at that moment I then took it back over to Bruce and I asked him to sign it again, and then he started to sign at this point I didn't realize that I really upset the lady that said no signatures. No one else had even brought ANYTHING to have signed and it felt like such a cattle call, but was perhaps one great experience that I'll never forget! I made my friend take a quick picture as I we were herded out the door after they signed.
The Chataqua Institute was such a great place and if you can travel there I would suggest to do it. It just goes to show sometimes it does take a shot in the dark chance and people are willing to help out.