Since I have lived in Atlanta, I have gotten to meet some of my favorite musicians. I can’t believe how lucky I’ve been! Here are some stories on a few that I’ve met.
My first musician encounter that may seem lame but meant the world to me was meeting Patti Rothberg. Most of you probably don’t even know who she is, but she is a singer from NYC that was popular in the late nineties, touring with the Lilith Fair. She had a hit song called “Inside” you may remember. I have been a huge fan of hers since then, and when I first moved here in 2004, I saw in Creative Loafing that she was playing at Eddie’s Attic. I had no idea where or what Eddies Attic was, but I knew I was going! I went all by myself, which was actually a big deal for me since I had just moved to the “big city” alone and here I was venturing out on my own for the first time at night.
There was not a lot of people there and seeing how small and intimate Eddies is, I was so excited. And then… there she was… sitting at the bar by herself waiting for the show to start. I was completely terrified, but went up to her anyway. I told her I was a big fan and looking forward to seeing her live for the first time. She was so incredibly nice! She talked to be for like 30 minutes about New York, her career, my moving to Atlanta, and other stuff I was too nervous at the time to remember.
She played a phenomenal show, and was even sick that night with a cold. I sat at the bar near the stage, and Patti actually looked over at me and asked me questions throughout the show like, Did she sound ok, or What song did I want to hear. It was like my own personal concert with one of my favorite musicians. I was beyond happy!
Unfortunately, this was my very first concert in Atlanta, so being so inexperienced, I didn’t bring a camera. So, I have no pictures and didn’t get my coveted picture with Patti, but I will remember it always! And lucky for me, Eddie’s Attic recorded their shows back then, so I actually have a live recording of the show. I listen to it all the time!
This is Patti.
Goo Goo Dolls
So, since I am originally from Buffalo, I have been a Goo Goo Dolls fan pretty much since birth. They are one of my favorite bands and Johnny Rzeznik rocks my socks off. This is actually my “coolest” story about meeting someone.
I have seen the Goos play 5 times over a three year timespan, and hte first time I saw them live, I got to meet Robby Takac. Robby is the bassist and founder of the Goos along with Johnny Rzeznik. I met Robby outside the Loft in midtown as he was crossing the street to get to their tourbus. He was SO incredibly nice and funny. I told him I was from Buffalo too and he said “Get the fuck outta here!”. Classic Robby.
So, I got to meet Robby, but even after waiting forever afterwards, never got to see Johnny. I was determined to meet him the next time! So, before the next concert, which was at Lakewood, I got really lucky and won a “meet and greet” through their website. They only give those out to 50 people, and I couldn’t believe my luck! Unfortunately, disaster struck on the way to the show in the form of wretched Atlanta traffic. An accident on 75 caused us to be 10 minutes late to the meet and greet, making us miss it entirely. I was devastated! I couldn’t even enjoy the show and we had fifth row seats.
My friend Marisa went with me and she tried so hard to cheer me up, and even went to some security guy and tried to get us backstage. I have some great friends! But, we ended up leaving the show disappointed and sad. Then the next morning, Marisa still trying to cheer me up, suggested we go to Little Five Points for some shopping and then go see a movie. While in Little Five, I even bought a little smurf at Junkman’s Daughter that is holding a guitar. I called him my Johnny Rzeznik smurf and decided he would be the closest thing I’d get.
So, we leave Little Five and head to the movies. We were headed to Phipps Plaza as usual, but on the way, we passed the arsty Tara Theatre and saw that Little Miss Sunshine was playing. Deciding we needed a good laugh, we decide to go there instead. As we are walking in the door of the movie theatre, and who walks out?? Johnny Rzezknik! We both did a double take at him to make sure he was real, and I probably scared the hell out of him because I walked right up to him, despite the fact that he was blowing his nose at the time. I had a moment of verbal diarrhea where I rambled on about missing the meet and greet the night before but that we were at the concert and it was aweosme. He looked at me for a minute like I was nuts, but then he said, “Oh yeah, that’s great, thanks for coming out.” He was with his very elusive girlfriend Melina, and obvioulsy had a cold and was trying to stay unnoticed, so I wrapped it up and just said that I thought he was an amazing singer. As he was walking away and still wiping his nose with his tissue, he muffled, “Thanks a lot, I really appreciate that, it means a lot.”
So, again, I had no camera so didn’t get my picture with him, I didn’t even get a hug, but I still have that smurf and it is now my good luck charm with the rock and roll gods! I did get my picture with Robby though from that first time I saw them live. Great moment!
So, I have met John Mayer twice now and I have to say as much as I love his music, he really is as big a douchebag as he seems. The first time I met him was in 2006 at Smith’s Olde Bar. He showed up after his guitarist’s solo show (David Ryan Harris). It was around 2 in the morning and my friend Alicia and I were determined to wait until he came out from behind the stage. So, as one of the last people in the building, we got lucky and he came out. I went up to him and asked him for a picture, and at the time he was actually pretty funny and jovial and gave me a couple really big hugs. I got a really great picture with him (thanks, Alishy!), and was happy. His manager or assistant pulled him away quickly and we had to go back downstairs. Alicia really wanted a picture with him as well, so we decided to try and wait a little longer downstairs knowing he would ahve to make it down there eventually. Sure enough, he comes down and Alicia grabs him before he sneaks off into another room. She asks him if she could get a picture with him and he pretty much says No. We thought has was just joking at first because he said “This?” and pointed to his face. “You don’t want t picture of this.” and kind of laughed, but Alicia said, No really, I do. And he totally just blew her off and went back into the room. We were stading there like, What?? What just happened there? It’s not like there was a mob of people around him, we were the only people left! So, that pissed us off, and I felt bad that Alicia didn’t get her picture after waiting all that time.
Second time we met him was at a Meet and Greet that I actually won through the John Mayer fan club. Now, keep in mind that his fan club meet and greets are much more intimate that the ones you win through a radio station or something. There are only five winners and you can bring one guest, so there were only ten people in the group. It was backstage at Philips Arena in a rather creepy area that was a locker room/shower area. So, after building up the excitement all night long and waiting for like two hours for him to get back there, the moment finally arrives. Everyone was really quiet when he walked in because they were nervous I guess, and he just looks around at everyone and makes some comment like “Oh boy, this outta be fun”.
So, then he goes around to each person and signs whatever you had for him to sign, and then he gets to me and Alicia. I tell him I saw him at Eddie’s Attic last year and thought those shows were amazing and asked him if he planned on doing that again. He just said “No, no plans to.” And then it was silence. He didn’t really speak to anyone and didn’t even really smile, and at the time I wasn’t too bothered by it because I figured he was just nervous before his show and just wanted to get all this over with. But, what pissed me off was when it was time to take our picture, the girl that takes them took only one shot, and I KNEW I had closed my eyes. So, I said really quickly, Oh I closed my eyes, can we do it again? And they both were like, “Uh, no.” Really?? I understand they are busy but Alicia and I were last in the group and to make it even worse, he didn’t even leave! He just walked into the next room which was actually a big shower area, and just stood there, like he was hiding or something and ignored everyone. It was really weird. I guess it could have been a lot worse and he wasn’t technically rude to us, but I just thought since he knew going into the room that we were part of the “fan club”, I thought we should have been treated a little better. But, whatever, that’s rock and roll I guess.
So, here is my good picture with him at Smith’s, and then my not so good one with my eyes closed. It’s a good pic of Alicia though, and I’m glad she got hers this time too.
Ahhh, the Foo Fighters were my favorite musicians that I’ve met! It was 2007, and they had just played the Tabernacle. Alicia and I noticed on the way into the concert that their tourbus was literally just parked outside in the side parking lot, totally in the open. We immediatley decided to check it out after the show! So, after the show, we high tail it to the bus to make it before anyone else who may have ahd the same idea. Turns out there were about 20 to 30 people that had the same idea. And to top it off, it started raining while we waited. And not like sprinkling or light rain. We’re talking heavy duty pouring rain. We were laughing so hard while we waited, which I guess was a good thing because it meant we were having fun anyway! The waiting was the worst part, and not because of the rain, but because of the people there. There were some really die hard and really immature Foo fans that got on our every last nerve. But, it made for more laughing anyway.
So, after waiting for two hours in the pouring rain, members of the band started trickling out of the venue to the buses. The first was Chris Shiflett, guitarist for the band. He was really nice and even did a little umbrella dance for us before making his way down the line of people and signing autographs. Then came drummer extraordinaire, Taylor Hawkins. That guy was so incredibly nice! He took his time talking to everyone in the line and took pictures with everyone and signed autographs. He even knew that the picture I took with him, he was looking the other way and asked if I wanted to re-do it! I figured it was good enough, so I said it was ok. But, for him to even ask was incredible. Keep in mind it still pouring down rain and he has no umbrella or even a jacket on! He was great!
And then came the holy grail, Dave Grohl. I think the world stopped for a moment and stood still. Again, he had no umbreall, no jacket, and stayed the longest out of anyone! He went through the line of people twice, first to sign wahtever you had on you, ticket stub, underwear, guitar pick, whatever. Then he made his way back trhough the line taking pictures with every single person there. He also stopped and made sure to speak with everyone and genuinely made you feel like he cared and wanted to connect with you. Best part though was when I was taking a picture of Dave Grohl and Alicia, and he noticed that this kid’s head was in the way a little bit of the picture, and he stopped and asked the guy to move his head so it wouldn’t be in her picture. Can you believe that? He even asked afterwards if the pictures turned out ok. I love that man!!!
So, time in the rain waiting, entirely worth the experience! What a great night!