November turned out to be pretty good for adding to the collection. It was quality over quantity for sure.
First up, Christine McVie and Lindsay Buckingham came to town on their duet tour. It was a fantastic show! Before the concert, a few of us were waiting out back before they arrived. Christine arrived first and said that she would sign our stuff inside. She went in and a security guy came over and said, “Ok, one each.” I was happy to give him my Fleetwood Mac album that already had Mick on it. A few minutes later he came back with our things and we got the full “Thank You! Christine McVie.” We waited until 6:45 and Lindsay hadn’t shown up yet. My buddy had to get his credentials to shoot the show so we left. Afterwards, both blew us off and headed right to the hotel.
The next day, I was approved to shoot Peter Cetera who was performing as a part of Scott Hamilton’s fundraiser for the Cleveland Clinic. So I went downtown early to see if I could get Lindsay coming out of the hotel. Christine was the first to leave and she waved me and another guy over and signed from her SUV. As I was getting my poster back, Lindsay came walking out to his SUV. We both asked and he totally blew us off. I told you the British are better than Americans when it comes to signing!
After the Peter Cetera show, we went to the hotel to see if we could get him going in. As we were walking up the sidewalk, a few other collectors had stopped him and he agreed to sign. We had to bust it to get there. I had my Chicago Greatest Hits album already signed by Robert, Lee, Jim and a few of the newer guys in the band (I know, I shouldn’t have gotten the new guys on it, but that’s when I just started collecting music). Cetera looks at it and say “Oh really?” I thought “Oh no, he didn’t like that the new guys signed it.” Then he proceeds to say “Sign over my picture will ya? I’m gonna sign right over your face!” as he proceeds to sign over Robert Lamm. One of the funniest comments someone has made while signing for me. No wonder he didn’t perform with them at the HOF ceremony- still a little tension there. I then asked him if he would sign my HOF poster, he paused, then I said “Peter, you are finally in, you can sign it now.” So he did. Afterwards, one of the collectors said “I can’t believe you got two out of him. He told us one each.” I said “I wasn’t there when he said that, I didn’t know. Besides, I had a unique item.” Sometimes it pays to have something different.
Another Hall of Famer came to town. Trumpeter Herb Alpert, the A in A&M Records, played a very great show of his hits along with his wife Lani Hall. The 82 year old is in great shape and can still blow his horn. Ahh the sounds of “Rise” brings back that late 70s disco vibe. Anyway, I got to meet Herb after the show with other members of the local media. I got my HOF poster signed but didn’t want to push getting my album signed. I couldn’t find Whipped Cream so no big deal. I did hear that he signed everything for everyone at the hotel after the show, but I didn’t go. I was happy to meet the man and get one autograph.
Staind frontman Aaron Lewis and Blackberry Smoke are out on a co-headlining tour. Blackberry Smoke is one of the best southern rock bands out there, in my opinion. Lewis has gone country, but it’s old-school country, not this terrible bro-country that’s popular today. I had a setlist from one of Lewis’ first shows back from 2011 and a Staind CD so I figured I would try to get him to sign before the show. I also had a poster from Farm Aid and a vinyl lp for Blackberry Smoke. When I arrived, the busses were already there and I thought the guys might already be inside. I was there not even 5 minutes when Aaron Lewis comes walking down the steps from the venue to his bus. I was the only one there and asked he had time to sign. He said “sure, what do you got?” I said “I have an old setlist from your House of Blues show.” It was from his 2011 show. He looked over the songs and said “Man, that is old.” I said “I’ve been a fan for a long time. Can you sign a Staind CD too?” Again, he obliged. He shook my hand and said “Thank you.” Such a cool dude. I asked if we could take a picture even though I’m terrible at taking selfies. He said “We’ll get it done.”
I ended up getting three guys from Blackberry Smoke, those guys are super nice too. I met them a few years ago when they opened up for ZZ Top. They seemed happy to sign the Farm Aid poster, I’m not sure how many they’ve signed. I asked lead singer Charlie Starr how he liked playing Farm Aid. He said “Man, I loved it! I got to shake Neil Young’s hand.” See, everyone is a fan of someone! I’m sure if I would have seen Brandon and Paul, they would have signed too. If you like southern rock, please check these guys out!
Rick Derringer and Derek St. Holms (former Ted Nugent singer) played a small venue in Akron. Both guys came out to the merch table after the show and signed and took pictures with everyone that wanted one. Since “Hang On Sloopy” is the official rock song for the state of Ohio and Derringer was the singer of The McCoys, I figured I would buy a 45 of that song and have Derringer sign it. I also asked if he would right O.H.I.O. on it as well and he did. Both guys were very nice.
The month ended with the British new wave band Squeeze. My friend invited me to the sound check with a few other radio listeners. We got to hear three songs and then we each got a picture with the band. Afterwards, my friend and I were the only ones that brought anything to get signed and Glenn Tillbrook and Chris Dilford (the two originals) were happy to sign. I got to shoot the show and what a fun show it was. They sounded great!
Last month I said I was going to try for David Crosby because he was playing a venue about 10 minutes away from my house. Well, the weather was rainy and I decided not to try. I did talk to a friend who paid the $650 for the Meet and Greet. She said that it was between sets, there were about 6 of them and nobody was permitted to take anything back with them, no purses, albums, cd’s, only their cell phones to take a picture. That’s all she got! He signed nothing and they got nothing pre-signed either. What a miserable person!
I don’t have much on my calendar for December. That’s probably a good thing as the Ohio weather is turning colder! This hobby is geared toward warmer weather, but if it’s someone I want, I’m willing to wait out in the cold.