Some pretty big names rolled through the Cleveland area this summer and I had some success in meeting some and getting their autographs, while others I missed out or was denied completely.  

The Misses

I took this shot of him at the show. 

Roger Daltrey said that the 5 people that were trying for him were 'all professionals' and told us no.  Before the show, he ignored the few people waiting so I figured why bother after the show (even thought that was my original plan).  Of course, a friend went after the show and he was the only one there.  Daltrey asked to see his ticket, he showed him and Roger proceeded to sign 3 things for him!  Doh!

I also didn't try for The Doobie Bros. or Donald Fagan.  A couple of years ago, Patrick Simmons told me he doesn't sign anymore and I've heard horror stories about Fagan.  Another friend went to the hotel before the show and of course, they both signed!  

I got the opportunity to be a runner for the Taylor Swift show.  i was assigned to do things for the opener Camila Cabella, so I had total access backstage.  After dropping something of to her dressing room, I was walking back to catering when a guy said 'hey, look out there's a cart coming.'  So I look back and it's Taylor Swift riding on the cart with 3 other people.  She stops and says 'hi' to me.  I respond, 'hey Taylor!' and keep walking.  Why I didn't ask for a picture is beyond me.  I really think she would have done it since I was 'working.'  Of course I didn't have anything for her to sign except my pass, but I didn't have a Sharpie anyway.  So close!

David Byrne has been signing in pretty much every city this summer.  Except Cleveland!  A friend and I waited for a few hours before the show.  He came riding up on his bike, like I've heard that he does, but he came in another area and went between the buses where couldn't get close to.  He didn't see us and rode right into the venue.  We waited after for a few hours too and he didn't come over.  6 hours total waiting for zilch, but it was a great show!

The Hits

Jackson Browne signed one before the show.  Happy to get him on 'The Pretender.'

Steven Tyler played a solo show and as he was coming out of the hotel he said, 'line up, mofo's!'  and he proceeded to sign a few each.  He didn't want pictures but I took a bad selfie anyway.  When am I gonna see him this close again?

Randy Bachman from BTO and The Guess Who was kinda grumpy but did one each before he headed into the venue. Melissa Etheridge did one each after her show.

I ended up drinking with three of the guys in Foreigner.  They were at the hotel bar, we started bs-ing and I decided to buy them a round.  They took me up on the offer and we had a good time.  They ended up giving me tickets and 'meet and greet' passes for their show the next day.  Awesome guys.  I ended up going for David Coverdale who was at a different hotel, the next day and ended up getting Mick Jones as well.

Taylor Hawkins is one of the nicest guys in rock.  He will talk with you for a long time and always signs anything that you have.  His band mate Chris Schiflett played a solo gig two days before The Foo Fighters show.  Afterwards he also signed anything you had.  However, he didn't do much after that.  See, it pays to go to solo shows!  Too bad Dave and a few of the other guys flew in the day of the show.  I never saw them.

The 80s Retro Futura tour made a stop in Cleveland and every act signed for fans.  The sometimes tough Belinda Carlisle signed and took photos before the show, as did Modern English, Tony Lewis from The Outfield and Martin Frye from ABC.  Limahl and Modern English signed at the merch table and Annabelle from Bow Wow Wow signed after the show.  Pretty solid!

Another 80s band, Culture Club, stopped at the same venue a few days later for a headlining gig.  It was a fun show and Boy George was in a great mood.  After the show, one by one each member came out, signed and took pictures.  I heard that George can be difficult, but he was super cool and did a strict one each.  Who would have thought i would complete 'Kissing to be Clever?"  

Of course there were more, but this blog is long enough.  School starts soon, so I will be more selective on who I will try for in the fall/winter.  iIm hoping for Glenn Hughes, Gladys knight, Simple Minds, Phil Collins, Garbage, Fleetwood Mac and Lindsay Buckingham (he's playing a solo gig),  

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Comment by Christopher on August 18, 2018 at 3:01pm

Cool post.  Enjoyed reading it.  Quick anecdote about Fleetwood Mac.  Found out they were coming to the Seattle area in November so got tickets for my wife and I for her birthday in June (along with a signed INXS album from the Brennan collection via RR).  I paid around $1500 for the Fleetwood Mac tickets.  The day before her birthday, I was telling a collector friend about the tickets.  His reply:  "Cool man.  Too bad about Lindsay."  My reply to that:  "What do you mean, too bad about Lindsay."  So....that sucks.  I'm sure it will be a fun evening, but I honestly wouldn't have purchased these tickets if I'd known.....

Comment by BC on August 18, 2018 at 3:24pm

Great stuff. I always enjoy reading your posts.

Comment by marc e on August 20, 2018 at 12:38pm

my only comment is if your backstage working a show and u bother an artist I would have fired u on the spot,thats the biggest no no

Comment by just some dude on August 20, 2018 at 1:24pm

And the buzzkill award goes to John Shaw!


Comment by goodcat on August 20, 2018 at 1:41pm


nice one dude ;)

Comment by Coachgd on August 20, 2018 at 5:52pm

I wouldn't have cared if I got fired, it was just a fluky bonus job that I got at the last minute.  I would have rather gotten the pic with and gotten 'fired' but I really felt that she would have done it, nobody else was around and she spoke to me first.

Comment by John Spillane on August 28, 2018 at 5:07am

Great story. Very enjoyable!!


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