Summer is finally here, and so far it's been great! I got back from Italy and Spain a few weeks ago, what an experience to see the Colosseum and priceless works of art. Oh to get a Da Vinci autograph!
Anyway, the day I returned home, Hall and Oates were playing in Akron. I decided to try for them before the show. There was one other collector there so the chances were pretty good. After about an hour, John Oates and the band arrive in a van from the venue. We approach and he said, "Ok, I'll sign a couple but I've got to get to sound check." That was fine by me as I got him on the HOF poster and H2O lp. The other guy got him on 4 cd covers. However, Daryl Hall was no where to be found. My friend called me and said that Daryl usually doesn't arrive at the venue until an hour before the show. He waited at the hotel for him, I was too jet-lagged and decided to go home. He said Daryl did sign for 2 people but he wasn't real happy about it. After the show, apparently security was tight and you couldn't get close to the van. I'm glad I got him before the show, even though I need Hall on my lp. Maybe next time.
The next show I attended was Blondie a few days later. They are a band that I always loved but never saw in concert, so here was my chance. Again, I got to the venue early to see if I could snag a couple of autographs before the show. The bus was already there when I arrived and I ran into a friend who got Debbie as she was walking off of the bus. I guess I missed her by 30 minutes. As I was hanging out, a security guy approached me and asked if I need any help. I said that I was just trying to get an autograph from the band. He asked if I was going to the show and I said yes, I love Blondie.
He disappears backstage and comes back a few minutes later. I thought he was going to ask me to leave, but he said "Give me your items and I'll try and get them signed for you." Awesome! I hand him 2 albums and my poster- even though I was a little hesitant to give that up.
In the meantime, Chris Stein and Clem Burke- the original guitarist and drummer, come out to go on the bus. Now there are about 12 fans waiting, and they both come over and sign and take pictures. Super cool guys! Debbie was no where to be found. Now it's getting closer to show time and I still haven't got my items back, and I'm getting worried. I see the tour manager and ask him if he's seen a poster floating around backstage. He said yes, he's waiting for one more person to sign it. Cool, at least it's back there. A few minutes later he comes walking towards me with my items. He gives me a wink and says "There you go." Both albums are signed by Debbie, Chris and Clem as is my poster. Not only that, but the manager gave me 2 posters from the venue signed by the entire band! Score!
The show is great, they play everything you want to hear in their 15 song set- including a little bit of "Groove is in the Heart" "Fight for your right" and a surprising "War Pigs!" Debbie still dances, shimmies and strikes poses like she did 35 years ago. Not bad for someone who was about to turn 70!
Since I was in the 4th row, I decided to try and get the set list after the show. I don't notice any taped to the floor as usual. Instead I notice bright pink tape on one of Debbie's monitors. Low and behold the set list. I ask 1 roadie if I could get it and he said that wasn't up to him. I ask another roadie and he said he wasn't sure. He continued to break down the stage, walked over to the monitor and hand me the set list. Nice.
I meet up with my friends after the show. This time there are about 60 people waiting to see them. Security comes out and said that there will be no autographs, go home. Several people left but about 25 people remained. A few minutes passed and the tour manager came over to the crowd and said "ok, give me 1 item per person and I will get your stuff signed, 1 per person only." Since I got the set list, why not get that signed? He collected the items and came back about 15 minutes later with everyone's items signed. Now, that is how you do it! Everyone was happy even though they didn't meet the band in person.
I get to my car and look over my items. With horror, I notice that Debbie, Clem and Chris signed the plastic cover to my poster and not the poster itself! I head back to the manager and politely show him the signed cover and ask if they sign the poster? He said "yeah, I see that now. Sorry, they just signed a ton of stuff and they are done." Oh well. It was an almost perfect night.
The next night, I got a review ticket for AWOLNATION. My daughter really likes the band but the show was sold out. I decided to buy an album and try to have the guys sign it after the show. You can read my review if you would like at neomusicscene.com. Anyway, my buddy who shot the show and I are hanging out at the back of the venue talking to the security guard that we know. After about an hour, another security guard comes out and talks with our friend. He comes up and said "Sorry, the band doesn't want anyone here when they come out." I said fine, I'll go get the car. These pretentious jerks should be happy that anyone is there waiting to meet them. And we were the only one's there, by the way. The autographs weren't even for me, they were for my daughter. I would have said to make it out to Rachel had I been worthy to speak to them. No big loss.
The next night, one of my favorites came to town- John Fogerty. Another friend of mine got to the venue early and talked with someone he know. Turns out, John leaves the venue as soon as the show is over and heads to the airport. No chance of getting an autograph. I get to the show and check out the merch. John is selling signed posters, vinyl lp's, and custom baseballs for $150 EACH! Now that is a little steep. All three for $150 and I would have considered it. My decision was made, just set back and enjoy the show. Don't worry about getting an autograph because it wasn't happening. About 130 minutes later, I had just seen and heard a great performance from a great American artist. If only he would have signed!
Until the next show!