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At first - please be tolerant to my weaker English - it is not my native language, therefore I am going to make mistakes, but I hope that all is going to be understandable for everyone. :)

Let's start from the very beginning.... I'm mainly fan of rock music (mainly 60s / 70s) and as person born in mid 80s living in central European country where communism finally ended in 1989 - there is still enormous hunger for rock concerts and that's why rock legends are still enormously popular - no matter whether their peak was in 60s, 70s or later. The largest concerts in history of our state were made by Rolling Stones (127k people and 107k people in 1995 and 1990) and Pink Floyd (120k in 1994). I'm going to drop my silly childhood stories - I just want to say that many so-called "dated" musicians and bands (= not in mainstream charts) are very popular in Eastern Europe due to absence of availability of music (at the time of their main fame) and that's one of reasons why I have become a fan of rock music... and it all really started with my first huge show (and the largest one till today) - Rolling Stones in 2003. After this start of my "career" of concert attendee, I realized that just "going to see the show" and then "go home" is a bit.... "depressive"? Not the fitting word probably, but you looked forward for the show for months.... then 2 hours.... and then? It's all gone. Let's call it an "aftershow depression". :)

In very early 00s I discovered my band number one - Deep Purple.... My dad came home with Total Abandon DVD. As everyone in the world I knew Smoke On The Water from radio, but because of THIS DVD I finally discovered "my band"! Just couple of months after that - I found out that deeply admired Jon Lord is leaving and I thought that it's over.... I'll never get the chance too see them! But Don Airey came in. I remember it till today - it was in May 2003 when they announced the gig in my hometown! I HAD TO BE THERE! And I was! Still - one of most memorable shows of my life! I was member of one fan forum where I read about the stories of people meeting the band...... wow - is it really possible to meet them? I couldnt believe it - it's possible to meet your own heroes??? One guy wrote me some messages and gave me one contact address....

Fall 2005. Deep Purple announces European tour for new album. I have to try it! I wrote very silly email (my English was even worse than today at the time....) and waited... to be honest I supposed that there won't be any reply, but couple of weeks later it came in! Something like "We can give you couple of backstage passes...." - I could not believe it! It cant be that simple! And it wasnt...

I completely mes*** it up at the venue! I met some security guys, talked to some people about those passes, but they instructed me completely WRONG! So - my passes expired and I didnt meet the band. I didnt know what to do.... I said to myself that I have to try it again! I wrote message to my "contact" about the sad situation which happened and reply just stunned me, it was something like "We are sorry about the situation. Tell me about next concert you are going to see I'm going to try it again for you".... Just couple months after that (October 06) - another gig in my country! And this time - everything was just fine! Finally I got passes.... (that feeling when you are opening an envelope with your name and finding passes inside....) and after stunning gig, I met them (Steve, Roger, Don and Ian Gillan)! I was extremely nervous - I didnt know what to do, how to ask for autograph, how to talk with band members in complete "attack of awe".... One thing was obvious - how very pleasant freindly guys they are! They signed two items for me - tour programme and recent Rapture Of The Deep booklet... When I sat in train on my way back home I could not believe it - I met my band number one and I was (and I still am) nothing more than just general fan as any other one!

When I got home I discovered that "aftershow depression" didnt come - in fact, it's amazing when you can tell your friends that members of your favourite band are stunning friendly chaps. That's when I started to think about the idea that "meeting the band members can be a good solution for avoiding aftershow depression".....

To be continued.... if you want :)

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Comment by Cogo on July 31, 2015 at 12:12pm
Great story, thanks for posting!
Comment by Peter C. on July 31, 2015 at 12:39pm

Jan Cogo:
Thanks.... I want to write couple of blog articles about my experiences - with couple of really very funny stories. This is just a first "introduction" part.

Comment by Ian Baldock on July 31, 2015 at 6:24pm

Very nice, thank you for sharing your story.


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