Since I created this topic I will obviously start.
Back in the earlier 2000’s my band was just starting out and a bunch of us would frequent shows in Detroit. To make a long story somewhat shorter, my band was asked to fill in at the last minute the next night. Without asking the rest of the band I agreed.
The next night nerves were high and we were completely unprepared, not many of our own songs and a couple covers would have to do. After arriving at the venue/bar drinking on the street with others calmed the nerves.
Being first in the line up we staggered in carrying the equipment and set up as we were greeted by a bar staff member handing us free beer tickets. I quickly went and redeemed all of mine while the band tuned up.
After playing our set I ran to the bathroom because alcohol and an 80 year old prostate don’t mix to well. As I was relieving myself, the door flew open and a guy sternly telling me “John Brannon wants to talk to you”. I while still peeing wasn’t sure I heard him right because I thought the world of John Brannon, he was the main influence of our band. (front man for Negative Approach, Laughing Hyenas, Easy Action) I said what and he repeated himself and I said when I’m done and he replied “No, now” and I drunkenly said “No, when I’m done”.
After exiting the bathroom the tough guy was waiting by the door as if he was protecting a president or some crap. I got walked to the bar area and there he was, the man, the legend of Detroit hardcore music. I would have shat myself if I hadn’t been drinking.
Apparently in one of our choruses he thought we were talking trash about him, even though I was wearing a Negative Approach shirt. After clearing up the misunderstanding we sat there shooting the sh*t and drank.
Not my story, but my Father’s, he always brought a portable bar with him when he went on business trips and one evening the Apollo 13 crew knocked at his door. The bars had closed and they had heard about his booze bag. He had a lovely time with the three of them telling him stories about their lives and missions. He later received an autographed photograph and a thank you note. My Father met a lot of people, but that random event really made him happy.
To avoid retelling my story from the Celebrities thread, I shall instead recall the first time I met Karen Gillan.
It was at a Dallas Comic Con and my friend Jeremy and I decided to take a chance and wait at her table, even though the con ended at 7 and she was doing a panel from 5 to 6. Our hope that she might come back for the next hour was rewarded and we got to have a nice chat with her about Doctor Who and how Awesome Guardians of the Galaxy was going to be. It was a good day, but that was the cheery on the cake.
I was an A/V nerd. A lot of small acts came through my college town in the 80s, and would sometimes rent the school’s PA, or our services as cheapo off-their-payroll techs for their shows. Sometimes I ran sound for shows, and sometimes I ran around and found something necessary to fix something else, be it cables or strings or drum heads, and helped load in and out. Whatever.
The absolute worst was Eddie Money, and his crew of utter butt people. They clearly resented having to tour podunk colleges playing stuff nobody had wanted to hear for years, and treated everyone like crap. Eddie himself showed up late, coked out of his mind, and slurred his way through the worst mess of a performance I’ve ever seen. I heard that he got it together later in his career, but he left an impression. I just hope he learned to treat people better.
The absolute best, that made my day, was John Valby. Yes, Dr. Dirty. On time, pleasant to the extreme to every single dopey student he met, appreciative, professional, funny, and just plain great. Dude knew that he had a cherry gig singing dirty songs to drunken college kids, and that life wouldn’t get much easier. He hung around for a while and seemed to really enjoy himself, it was a pleasure.
Back when you could still get cheap regional flights on Southwest, my ex-wife and I were on our way to New Orleans for a long weekend. She told me how much she liked the ring a man 12 or 15 places ahead of us in the boarding line was wearing—a large silver skull with red eyes—and wondered if those were real rubies.
I replied that they probably were, since that guy co-wrote Dock of the Bay and was in the Blues Brothers Band.
At our layover in Memphis, I was walking through the concourse saw him walking alone toward me. I didn’t want to be “that guy,” so as I passed I just said “Hello, Mr. Cropper, how are you this afternoon?” or some such thing. He stopped, greeted me in return as if we were old friends, set down his bag and proceeded to make small talk with me for five or ten minutes.
It’s funny … there are people that I would totally forgive for being jerks, and they almost never are. He was so personable and kind, and I’ve never forgotten how much I enjoyed just shooting the breeze with a guy at the airport—and having a chance to thank him for the years of enjoyment he’s given us.
Because of a production I was involved in, I spent half a year going to various sci-fi conventions and manning a table selling it. They were all lots of fun, but one of the conventions was especially fun because I was at a table next to Richard Hatch and we spent the whole day joking around with each other and enjoying each other’s company, which was especially good because that convention was kind of a bust. I cracked him up when a conventioneer came to his table and went, “you’re uh… uh…” and I said, “don’t call him Dirk Benedict. It makes him REALLY ANGRY!!” He was a good guy, didn’t deserve to die so young.
I also was at a table next to Bob May, the guy in the robot suit in Lost in Space, but he was kind of an old fart and thought he was a lot more important than he really was.