Autograph Collecting

Oh, and how could I ever forget my Mark Hamill autographed lightsaber? It was a super rare chance to get one when he appeared in Dallas so I made absolute sure I got to get one.
saber

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That’s a great story! I was blown away years later, when I found out that she did a vocal track with Metallica on The Memory Remains, which would have been recorded around that time.

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Just remembered three more that I have (although I couldn’t find two of them if you asked me) -

Penn Jillette - Gotten at a live Penn and Teller show
Davy Jones (of the Monkees) - Gotten at The Real Live Brady Bunch show
John Landis - Guest of my father’s at a university conference. Signed the American Werewolf in London page in my Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film. He also showed it to a bunch of students and then got up afterwards and said, “I haven’t seen this movie in 20 years and I forgot how much it f***ing sucks!”

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Yeah I remember that! Most recently she did voice work in Dune as one of the ancient voices… if you ever get a chance to read her memoirs… Wow! What a life!

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I found another one in my collection that falls into the “went on to much bigger things” category. I think this was early 2017? It was the only merch she had at the time. The LP wouldn’t come out until September.

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I used to own a somewhat scandalous autograph (but I lost it at some point). It was from Ron Gallagher, who ripped off his famous brother’s routine (all of the jokes and all of the watermelon smashing) and advertised himself as Gallagher II: The Living Sequel, which led to much fighting in and out of court. I got to sit in the front row of what was technically a Gallagher show, so I was happy at the time.

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Just remember, Gallagher is not funny floating.

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An Assault on Precinct 13 (1976) 12x18 signed by Charles Cyphers, Nancy Loomis, and John Carpenter, a Nightmare on Elm Street 8x10 signed by Robert Englund, Heather Langenkamp, and Amanda Wyss, a Back to the Future Trilogy Boxset signed by Thomas F. Wilson, Christopher Lloyd, and Courtney Gains, a Ghostbusters 2 (1989) 20x30 print signed by Ernie Hudson and William Deutschendorf, a Kindergarten Cop (1990) Blu signed by Miko Hughes, a Frighteners 12x18 (1996) signed by Jeffrey Combs, a Bubba Ho-Tep (2002) Blu signed by Bruce Campbell, and a The Devil’s Rejects 8x10 signed by Leslie Easterbrook and William Forsythe.

received_224690998588943

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Found another thing in the collection that I forgot I had. This must be from back when he was raising money to re-master all his old albums for the box set.

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Freaking fabulous ericfate. Weird Al is one of my idols. Having his autograph remains one of my goals.

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I missed getting his autograph… but got something a little bit better.

Some friends and I went to his show (this was… 2000?.. Running with Scissors had been out for a li’l while) which was a bit of a struggle as one friend was recovering from a really haggard motorcycle accident. His significant other and young kid came along, mostly to try and have a fun night together and put the accident behind all of them for at least one night.

Anyway… great show and a lot of laughs and then, during the last song, someone with the venue came over and asked us to stay in our seats. We figured it had to do with the assistance my friend was gonna need when leaving. But, shortly after the place was emptied, here comes Weird Al.

The face on friend’s kid lit up like a Xmas tree. We chatted some but Al never mentioned the injury until the kid pointed it out. He asked some questions, was really considerate about it. Then the kid asked if Al could help and reached out, took his hands, and gently placed them where their dad was hurt. Al smiled. Kept his hands in place a good while.

That friend fully recovered. Maybe Al had something to do with it.

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Found a couple of photos of the autographs I talked about above.


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I just ordered a copy of Bert I. Gordon’s autobiography, signed and personalized. He’s still alive, so apparently he’s under the same protection as Betty White, Angela Lansbury, Tom Lehrer and Roger Corman.

Oh, almighty Bob. “Produced by Roger Corman, directed by Bert I. Gordon, starring Betty White and Angela Lansbury, music by Tom Lehrer”… quick, someone hit the lottery and commission that!!!

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Well, that resulted in an immediate google search and purchase, along with hastily forwarded e-mails to the two friends who would disown me for not sharing the information.

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A The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) Blu-Ray signed by John Dugan, a 24x36 poster of Kingdom of the Spiders (1977) for a friend inscribed and signed by William Shatner, an authentic 1979 14x36 Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) Insert Poster signed by William Shatner, George Takei, and Walter Koenig, an A View to a Kill (1985) 20x30 signed by Director John Glenn and Actress Alison Doody, and a Blu-Ray of Terminator 2: Judgment Day quoted and signed by Robert Patrick and Edward Furlong.

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I have a lot packed up. This is from the wall of shame collection:

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My Moby is one of my favs!

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Just got this in the mail! Haven’t read it yet, but I bet it’ll be fun.

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I have an autographed Douglas Adams book too, that my parents took the initiative to wait in line for him to sign when I was living in a smaller city for college. That was a cool surprise.

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Most of the autographs I have collected have been from musical heroes, mainly jazz musicians, so I know most of these names won’t mean much to most people. I have autographs from Junior Mance, Mose Allison, Arturo Sandoval, Jimmy McGriff, Hank Crawford, Jimmy Scott, Bob Dorough, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Hank Jones, Marian McPartland, Louis Bellson, Clark Terry, Dave Brubeck, Bud Shank, Dr. Dorothy Donegan, John Pizzarelli, Bobby Hutcherson.

I have a very nice hand written letter from cornetist Ruby Braff which he sent me in reply to a fan letter/birthday card I once sent him. I also have a small thank you card from the great Sonny Rollins (!) for a fan letter/birthday card I sent him.

One of my favorite memories of autograph collecting involves South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela (best known for the hit “Grazin’ In The Grass”). He was performing an outdoor concert at Stern Grove in San Francisco. After the show, they announced he would be available for autographs at one side of the stage. By the time I got over there, there were maybe 40 people in line. The line seemed to be moving very slowly though, but when I got near the front I saw why. Mr. Masekela greeted everyone in line with a big hug, signed anything they asked him to (even though staff along the line had warned us he would only sign LPs and CDs) and then said good bye to everyone with another hug.

While I value the autographs he gave me that day, I absolutely treasure the memory of those hugs because they remain a valuable lesson for me. Mr. Masekela grew up under the worst of the repression and violence of the apartheid era in South Africa, was forced to live in exile from his homeland for 20 years or so, had failed marriages, drug addictions, the usual screwing over by record labels and had every right to be filled with resentment, bitterness and hatred. The fact that he was able to overcome and overlook all of that and come to greet total strangers as long lost friends was not lost on me. The memory of those hugs serves as a reminder to myself to be more forgiving, more compassionate and considerate towards others.

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