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My wife gets on me so much for calling people "idiots." So, I'm going to make sure she doesn't see this blog post.

The first time I "met" Spelling, as at a show in Los Angeles. I was with Steve Cyrkin, who had a booth set up at an autograph show. He was trying to drum up some subscriptions to Autograph magazine, and I happened to be in town because I was going to a George Martin tribute concert (where I met Martin, but he refused to sign my Sgt. Pepper record). I also got to talk to Joe Walsh, who I had met before, and I even talked Tom Jones into calling my mom on my cell phone. It was hysterical, and I can't believe how nice a guy he was to do that.

But, back to the idiot. At this "autograph show" these celebs all have tables set up, and they charge $25 an autograph. That seems a bit pricey to me, but there are a lot of fans that pay that. So, there are three cast members of "Welcome Back Kotter" and...you give each of them $25, you get 3 signatures (think about that; $75 for 3 cast members, and neither are John  Travolta or Gabe Kaplan).

I tried to make a joke with Lou Ferrigno (Incredible Hulk) but he was having none of it.

I had a few people that read our magazine ask for my autograph, which I gladly gave them. One even offered to give me $25, like everyone else was charging. I refused it (but it's still one of the greatest thrills of my life -- to think that a person would hand me $25 for my signature).

Anyway, I saw Tori Spelling and her husband, signing autographs and books. I started to take a picture, and her reality show co-star/husband, started putting his hand over her face. I laughed, thinking he was doing this to mess with me. And as I shot a second photo, he started screaming at me. He said I wasn't allowed to take a picture unless I paid $10 (I later found out from Steve that, when you're in public, you can take a photo of anybody you want and don't have to pay a dime). But hey...if they didn't want the press, I wouldn't give it to them. I told the guy off and walked away.

Well, Spelling still doesn't get it. During this time of quanratines, she online said that she would do a "virtual meet-and-greet" for 20 fans, and that you should sign up right away. Fans rushed to do this (I know, it surprised me that she even had 20 fans), and as they filled out the online form, with their chance to chat with Spelling, they were told it would be $95. Needless to say, they were upset with that.

I once wrote a story on here about bands that do meet-and-greets, and how expensive they are (and how some bands even do this, without you getting anything signed). But this one takes the cake.

Views: 518

Tags: Gabe Kaplan, Incredible Hulk, Joe Walsh, Lou Ferrigno, Steve Cyrkin, Tom Jones, Tori Spelling, Welcome Back Kotter

Comment by Todor on April 9, 2020 at 11:41am

Nice story, Josh! So, what does your autograph go for nowadays :)

Comment by Josh Board on April 9, 2020 at 11:44am

That's a great question. I think when I did morning radio in the early '90s, and was occasionally asked to sign photos and flyers at events -- it was probably hovering around $2.50. Doing movie reviews on the radio and TV...isn't the same as being a "morning radio personality" so...I'm guessing 83 cents currently. Or...$1.83, if someone has me sign a dollar bill.

Comment by Todor on April 9, 2020 at 11:48am

Ouch, the price has gone down, you must have been signing a lot!

Comment by BC on April 9, 2020 at 11:50am

I've heard she is a real piece of work, so this doesn't surprise me.

Some of the prices for autographs at shows or cons are ridiculous. $25 seems cheap after seeing what some charge.

Comment by Josh Board on April 9, 2020 at 11:54am

Todor -- I'd like to say the value of my signature being so low, is based on how many there are on the market. I think it has more to do with the lack of desirability of it!!! hahahahha.

BC -- I think you're right, that...in the grand scheme of things, $25 isn't a lot. But here's the thing. People paid $25 or $35 to get into the event, then each person you want, is $25. Now...if Welcome Back Kotter is your favorite show, I suppose spending $75 for 3 cast members to sign a photo isn't bad (although you'd never be able to sell it for that $75 if you needed to). But...if you want other signatures...that adds up.

At that same show, Ed Beagley Jr, was signing for $10. NOW THAT...was a great deal. I had him sign my Spinal Tap CD, which happened to be in my car (he played their geeky drummer in a quick scene). And he donated ALL that money, to one of his green causes.

Comment by Steve Zarelli on April 9, 2020 at 12:11pm

You need to post the photos of the hand in front of her face and him screaming. :-)

Comment by Josh Board on April 9, 2020 at 12:20pm

You know what's funny? Once he put his hand in front of her face, I stopped taking pictures. I should have just kept snapping away. I have one (somewhere), where it's right before he puts his hand in front of her face. So...she has a "reluctant" smile, while he is grimacing and moving his hand into place. 

Comment by Jason Strecker on April 10, 2020 at 6:15am

The old school, early 2000s Hollywood Collector Shows used to have much bigger stars. Most were elderly and once they passed the show saw a change in celebrities to people who were basically "C" list celebrities. There are still a few B listers and maybe a rare A lister here and there. It's not the show runners fault, he is doing a good job keeping the show alive it's just that the times have changed so much with what is considered talent and that a 1970s "extra" in a tv show or movie is considered a headliner at autograph shows now.

You should try and find Todds Autograph Arena write up about Loretta Swit at the HCS in early 2001 or 2002. His experience trying to take a photo with Loretta was like hell compared to yours. LOL. She had been banned from the show that day though was allowed back, I think under new management, a few years ago.

Comment by Dave B on April 10, 2020 at 6:39am

I know nowadays taking a picture of any celebrity at a convention, without paying, is absolutely not allowed (in my area, anyways). Interesting finding out that in public, anyone is fair game.

Comment by Dave B on April 10, 2020 at 6:42am

I won a trip to Los Angeles a few years back. On a tour, we went by the Spelling mansion and I remember the guide telling us they had a room just for gift wrapping.

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