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'.

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Comment by Fuddjcal on August 16, 2014 at 9:43am

I have lived "Running Down A Dream" since I was in College. So Tom Petty has had a special meaning to me and I credit that song as a FUDD Anthem. Looking at my life, I have run down my dream.

Is it coincidence that I get the opportunity to meet these guys or just luck? I don't know but Karma works in mysterious ways. For a new generation who has their own dreams, let Music encourage and motivate you like it did me.

If Running Down a Dream was your "Plan A" like it was mine, then try this American Dream Plan B on for size. Turn it up BabY!@!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSWJZzoznaY

Comment by Snark on August 16, 2014 at 9:45am

All I have heard of encounters with Cooper are positive -- I met him once, and he signed the first two LPS in the Cooper band canon. He told me that he considers 'Pretties For You' and 'Easy Action' as Nazz records.

The Nazz was the moniker of the garage band he formed that morphed into the Alice Cooper Band. They were inspired by The Yardbirds' 'The Nazz Are Blue,' and are not to be confused with Todd Rundgren's 'Nazz' of power pop heaven.

As a token of my appreciation, I gave Cooper a DVD of Ray Harryhausen's 'Jason & The Argonauts.' He appreciated the thought --

Comment by Brian Burger on August 16, 2014 at 6:51pm

  I had the same experience with Yes about 3 weeks ago Steve Howe signed before the show but the other guys ignored the 4 people standing outside waiting for them even though I was told that Steve Howe was a tough signer he accommodated the four of us standing outside the venue.

Comment by Coachgd on August 16, 2014 at 10:04pm

Met Survivor and they were great.  Went to get Buddy Guy tonight but he went right into his car, while the band was still playing, and left.  Oh well, I've had some pretty great success this summer.  You can't get them all.

Comment by Snark on August 19, 2014 at 9:21am

Your experience with Buddy Guy does not surprise me. When I met him during his annual spring stop in Toronto, he had a strict one-per policy for those waiting before the show.

Comment by Mike Grimmett on August 19, 2014 at 9:44am

Nice....Music/Concerts is the only autographs I collect. A lot of mine are in my photos. I made a group on here called Concert Junkies and no one has joined. My next two shows coming up arent until October. Mushroomhead, which I know I will meet and go to Ihop with because I know them. Then two days later BB King. Not sure if Ill be able to pull BB KIng off or not. 

Comment by Robert Babb on August 19, 2014 at 2:28pm

awesome successes! I have met in person flo and eddie of the turtles awesome guys as well as gary lewis. Some groups are good and some are not!

Comment by Coachgd on August 30, 2014 at 8:37pm

My summer of rock continued last Tue.  A friend of mine got 2 free tickets to the KISS, Def Leppard concert.  Long story short, his buddy couldn't make it so he asked me if I wanted to go on short notice (Sun afternoon) Of course I said yes.  I had seen both bands before but what the heck, I'll see anyone for free.  Little did we know, when we got the tickets at will call, we also got special wrist bands too.  We weren't sure what they were since they didn't say Meet and Greet, just KISS 40th Anniversary.  

So we watch Def Lep from our 15th row seats.  They are great as usual.  Then we head over to the side of the stage like the directions stated in the envelope.  We don't know if we are going back stage or what.  About 30-4o other people start to assemble there and we are waiting out in the rain.  Soon a guy says let's go. So we head down some side stairs to the Green Room area.  On they way down there are some KISS equipment trunks and guitar cases.  Low and behold there they are, all four of them in makeup!  Not Peter or Ace but still, it's KISS.  We got a free photo op with the band.  I thought it was pretty sweet!

So we wait our turn and I was pretty pumped.  I told them that I couldn't believe I was actually meeting the band.  Gene looked at me and said "fist bump!"  So I fist bumped "the Demon" and got my picture taken with the band.  No autographs, but that was fine by me.

We returned to our seats to watch "the hottest band in the world" and they put on a great show.  My buddy had never seen them before and he was quite impressed with the show.  What a way to end my summer of rock. Now lets see who comes this winter!

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