I have been collecting sports autographs since about 1996, when the Indians were making their incredible run but not winning the World Series. I met Omar Visquel and Carlos Baerga after a game and I was hooked. I then started going to the Football HOF in '99 and have been going ever since. I have met almost every living football hof'er, most Heisman winners and have gotten their autographs, some free and some I've paid for at shows and the old tent sessions. (What a deal that was- 10-14 HOFers on any item for $75). Anyway, over the years I've shied away from baseball and concentrated on football and have built up a decent collection. It's still fun and I have a couple of pieces that I'm working on but I've turned my attention to something else.
Another thing that I'm a fan of is live music. The first concert I saw was the J.Giles Band in 1982 during the summer going into 7th grade. Over the years I have seen everyone from AC/DC to ZZ Top. However, I never thought about trying to meet the guys in person. I would go to the show and go home. Once a small local club opened up, artists like Eddie Money said that they would be signing out in the lobby after the show. Well, of course I didn't bring anything with me that night when I saw Eddie Money. I learned my lesson. If I'm going to a show there, I would try to find some old vinyl so they could sign. Then last year, a Hard Rock Live opened up about 1/2 hour away and they have been bringing in some decent acts.
So this year, I decided to make this the summer of rock. If I was going to a show, I would try to meet the bands and get them to sign some things. Even if I didn't go to a show, I might try to hang out after the show to try and meet the guys. So far, so good. I already posted about Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Cheap Trick and Slash. However, my summer actually started with Dave Mason (great concert, great guitarist), John Sebastian (he didn't play Welcome Back!). Then I saw Jefferson Starship (only 2 original members but Paul Kantner is in the HOF), and Donnie Iris (still has the pipes!) I didn't see Yes, but decided to go up after the show to see what would happen. All of the guys were great except Alan White- he got right in the van. 2 Yes lp's and
and an Asia lp which Steve Howe laughed and said "Asia, I was in that band". But not anymore.
The Happy Together came to town featuring The Turtles, Mark Farner, Chuck Negron, Mitch Ryder and Gary Lewis- but he cancelled. Flo and Eddie or Mark and Howard (real names) were great and signed for the 3 people that were there. Chuck Negron ignored us, Mark Farner went to the van, but Mitch Ryder called me over to his bus and was great. So I got 3 out of 5 guys.
By going to these shows, you end up seeing some of the same people. Some are great, and some are jerks. I ended up making friends with a couple of guys who have given me some tips. The best one came yesterday when a buddy told me where Alice Cooper was staying. He and Motley Crue were playing a big venue but still not too far from my house. Another buddy and I decide to go up to the hotel. About 10:30 here comes the tour bus. Sweet we thought, were going to get Alice. The band comes off the bus but no Alice. What the heck. I wait another hour and think it's not going to happen. I was just about to leave and here comes a Dodge Charger (I think) and out comes Alice and his wife. He was awesome, taking pictures and signing for the 3 other people that were there. I couldn't believe that I almost left.
So far the summer of rock has been great. I am going to Survivor and Buddy Guy this weekend and we'll see how it goes. Then it's back to school (I teach and coach) and I will have to slow down, but I will always keep rockin'.