Funny encounters with famous musicians

Discussion in 'Music to Your Ears' started by srblue5, Nov 28, 2020.

  1. Patton

    Patton Tele-Meister

    Apr 9, 2018
    Maybe not “funny” but in about 2003 or so I saw Alice Cooper at the Detroit Fairgrounds and due to my stepdads friends son who drummed with Cooper (my stepdad was a booking agent in the 60s and 70s and had dealings with tons of Detroit acts back then) we had backstage passes. So Alice is in a trailer greeting and meeting but I’m no star chaser so we’re all just hanging out about midnight (summer show so weather is good) and it’s my stepdad, me, my half sister and her friend and another older guy.

    Two guys stroll out of the trailer and it’s obvious by his body language my stepdad knows these guys. As they walk by my stepdad starts talking to the one older guy. Old business type stuff. The shorter guy in the sunglasses ( it’s midnight, remember) just stops and basically stands next to me. I said “Hi” and didn’t get much back. I’m no big guy (5’11”) but for the group I was with I was tall. The guy seemed like he was hiding from everyone by standing close to me. Then I recognize the short guy standing close next to me!

    A certain sax player from a certain hugely popular late 70s Detroit based band who’s bullets were silver. I loved these guys!

    I basically just calmly told him how our stepdad (who he knew back in the day) had taken us to see them at Pine Knob a couple times in the late 70s and how my brother and I started playing guitar about then. I’m not joking when I say he could not have been more uninterested.

    The rest of my group (except my stepdad who was talking to his manager) had no clue who he was and I was not loudly talking at all so I’m not sure what happened there, but it was unusual.
    Fretting out and 24 track like this.
  2. 3-Saddle Bridge

    3-Saddle Bridge Tele-Meister

    Jul 3, 2020
    South of the Border, Australia
    Reckon I saw him Festival Hall late '75 or '76. Long trip from up on the river to the big city, had just learned intro to Johnny B Goode, and wanted to see if I had it right.;)
    24 track likes this.
  3. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

    Jul 20, 2010
    Lemmy told me to ______ off... twice. It got a much bigger laugh the second time. :twisted:
  4. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 6, 2014
    kamloops bc
    I've told this one before
    when i was doing roadie work ,we set up for the Black Crowes and as I was back stage I went to see the Robinson bros perform from side stage ,out comes this really pretty 4 foot nothing lady holding a small dog and asks me how the show is going ? Itold her it was great we walked back stage and continued talking over the music for a few minutes then she dissappeared back to the dressing room , it was Kate Hudson, goldie Hawn's daughter. super nice lady.
  5. Guy Guyatone

    Guy Guyatone TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

    Aug 19, 2020
    In 2006 in Reykjavík at Iceland Airwaves I was sitting in the back of a very dark auditorium watching some Icelandic singer-songwriters perform. During the break between acts a man came up to me and started chatting. He asked why I came to Iceland and I told him I was getting into Icelandic music. I mentioned that I had been in bands when I was younger (I was 59 at the time) and then he asked about me about my musical experiences. We talked about the Icelandic bands I had seen and told him I had seen Sigur Rós once, from a distant balcony seat.

    “I am the singer of that band!” he said.

    And so he was!
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2020
  6. buddyboy

    buddyboy Tele-Meister

    Mar 21, 2003
    Melville, Long Island, NY
    Not a story of mine, but rather one from my sister in law. She's in her late-sixties now and although she grew up during the heyday of rock and roll and pop (early 60's to the 80's), she was never a true, serious music fan. Back in the day she could recognize stars and was familiar with the hits of the time, but that's about it.

    Sometime in the late 1980's she on her lunch break, walking in lower Manhattan, when across the street she spots Daryl Hall getting into his limo. Without a moment's hesitation (she was born and raised in Brooklyn), she yells across the busy thoroughfare, "Daryl! Daryl Oates! Daryl Oates! I love your new record!" She said he just cracked up, gave her a thumbs up and got into the limo.
    Durtdog, That Cal Webway and djh22 like this.
  7. GGardner

    GGardner Friend of Leo's

    Jun 22, 2017
    In the late 80s, my buddy and I got free front row (stage right) tix to see the Smithereens at the Orpheum Theater in Boston. It had been a really long day, we didn’t know anything about the band except that we dug the song “Blood and Roses” whenever it came on the radio, and there had probably been some sort of substance use and bar/party hopping throughout the night. But in any event, I was fighting to not fall asleep. At one point, my buddy shook me, all excited and yelled that the singer dude just screamed at me to wake up. I looked up and Pat DiNizio was scowling at me. He apparently leaned over the stage and screamed at me to the delight of all the concert goers.
  8. djh22

    djh22 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Jan 12, 2012
    During my college years I worked in the gym and was largely responsible for keeping the facility secure during sound checks, so I had encounters with a few folks. In the midst of one, Bob Marley stopped mid-song and said to me that he and his band wanted to play soccer when they were done. No problem, I told him and set about making sure the field was available.

    Post-sound check, they bounded off the stage and said they were ready, so I grabbed a bag of balls and walked with them up the hill to "the pitch." They were jogging and I was getting ready to leave when Bob yelled "Hey, you can't leave. You're the goalkeeper" and they all laughed. Our (well, Bob's) team won and I had a couple of saves. Walking back to the gym, their tour manager handed me $50 and thanked me. I initially refused but he told me that several of the band and crew had expected me to be a joke and that was my share of his winnings.
  9. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Nov 5, 2006
    Iowa City, IA
    Was at a concert with Barney Kessel and Herb Ellis. Returning from the bathroom during a break, I find Barney Kessel chatting up my girlfriend (she was 13 years older than me.) He had told her that he liked her glasses. I obviously ruined his opportunity, and made it worse by blabbing about which track was on which album.

    Spoke with Larry Coryell after a concert in Portland. We talked about our hometown and the guitar teacher we shared. About 10 years ago, the guitar teacher passed away. I emailed Coryell to tell him the news. We chatted about his influence on us.

    My jazz teacher was talking to Gary Burton during a break. I went up to say hi and asked him the name of the last tune. Sonny Rollins' Airegin.

    I was a regular at the Checkerboard Lounge, where owner Buddy Guy tended bar, while Junior Welles sat sipping Cognacs. I tried to sell my 1954 Strat for $1,000 (in 1987). He thought it was too much. As I walked away he said, "what year was that again?" Instead of seeing a bargaining opportunity, I just said "1954" and kept walking.

    In high school, talked to Buddy Fite on the phone about lessons. I wimped out and didn't follow through.

    In my composition career, I got to know almost anybody with a reputation: Moog, Buchla, Subotnik, and some Europeans. It was great knowing these folks over the years. They were just regular guys who were really into their thing. They were often problem-solving most of the time.

    I never met the Dead, but members of the road crew used to come to our gigs in Portland, and played speed chess in our living room. Immensely cool guys who even tore down our stage on night.

    A Chicago blues singer who had sung with Otis Rush and others (also Roy Buchanan, who she called "the white guy who hung himself") heard me play, and invited me to join a new band. We played a few tunes in my dining room. I was sketchy on All Your Love, but kept it going without dropping out. A technique I learned playing jazz gigs. You just try to keep up and contribute anyway that you can, while incorporating anything I could into the structure of the song and its performance. She told me that I didn't play blues like a professor.

    I never got any autographs, and really don't remember seeing it done.

    Oh yeah, I'm Facebook friends with Lori Singer.
    JeffBlue, 24 track, djh22 and 2 others like this.
  10. DLReed

    DLReed Tele-Meister

    Jul 7, 2019
    This is a picture from 2010. My Brother and I went to show to see Dredg play and Animals as Leaders were the openers. We immediately realized how incredible Tosin Abasi was (and is) and we got a picture with him at the end of the night. My brother is 6'7'' and Tosin was commenting on tall he is when the picture was taken and it just turned out to be a funny and happy encounter.
  11. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Jun 2, 2003
    I was filling in playing guitar for a few months with a country piano guy named "Buzzy Lee" in the early 70's. I think his theme song was "CC , Water back" and that's what he had sitting on his piano all the time. He had back stage passes and took me with him to the Paramount Theatre in Seattle to see Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty. This was during the time when if you had long hair you couldn't walk into a bar without darn near getting in a fight, and I had shoulder length hair! After the show, (or on the break, I can't remember), we were there back stage and she walked up and shook our hands. She was gracious of course, but had a funny look on her face and moved on quickly. I imagine she thought "what the heck is that hippie doing here?"
    djh22 and emisilly like this.
  12. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Feb 15, 2014
    Some great stories here. In the early '80s, I worked at the radio station at UMass. Roy Buchanan was performing one night, on campus. I was friends with the concert production guys. One of them called me after lunch to ask if I was available to drive to the Hartford airport to pick up Mr. B. Of course, I was psyched. He was wearing denim jeans and a matching denim jacket, with one of those funny hats he liked to wear.

    During the ride, he was quiet and shy, I had to struggle to not talk his ears off. I had some of my favorite blues tunes on a cassette, I popped it in. IIRC, it was Jimmy Nelson doing T-99, I said I love this song. He finally spoke up, "Yeah", he said, "Those coloreds sure have a way with music." What?! (I'm thinking) It took me a minute to process whether he was being ironic, or humorous, but I think he was serious. Awk-ward. He appeared to be totally unaware of having said anything unusual.

    It was a great show. Really loud.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2020
  13. Mexitele Blues

    Mexitele Blues Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 7, 2018
    Westminster, CO
    My best story is about John Prine, who I quite literally ran into in a hotel hallway in Columbia, MO around the turn of the century. I was delivering pizzas at the time and decided to run one across the street while I waited for the rest of my run to come up.

    While I was hustling back to the elevators I nearly knocked over a small quiet man who was minding his own business. He seemed surprised to be recognized by a 20 year-old and I struggled to explain that was because Please Don't Bury Me was the first song I had ever learned to play. He offered up a pair of tickets to his show the next night and although I wasn't sure he would remember, they were waiting for me at will call the next day. That's as star struck as I have ever been. Great show.

    I ran into Victor Wooten downtown the afternoon before a show at the Missouri Theatre, he was looking for a place to burn. I pointed him toward the park while he signed a receipt for me. Also a great show.
  14. John Owen

    John Owen Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Jan 29, 2010
    Seattle, WA
    I think I posted on this here back when it happened but, it fits so well with the OP's experience, I'll repeat it.

    A few years ago I was standing in line at the local Toyota dealership service department waiting to check my wife's car in. I looked over at the guy next to me and thought " that guy looks like Bill Frisell, but nah". I looked over again and thought ", really that guy REALLY looks like Bill Frisell." After a few more cycles like that I finally had to ask him if he was who I thought he was. He did a sort of "ah, shucks" expression and kind of looked down at his shoes and admitted that he was, in fact, Bill Frisell. I told I had about every album he had ever recorded and thanked him for bringing so much beauty into the world. He was very humble and said he was really lucky to be able to play music for a living. We had a nice chat as we stood in line. He told me about how much fun he and Greg Leisz had working on Ghosts of Highway 20 which they had recently completed with Lucinda Williams. About that time we both got our cars checked in, wished each other well and went our separate ways.
  15. Lost_N_Austin

    Lost_N_Austin Friend of Leo's

    Feb 18, 2004
    I'm pretty sure this "encounter" happened just about 40 years ago and you will understand why I think that when I tell you.

    My wife and I were spending a few days in San Francisco and as we walked down the street (Possible Broadway?) we passed a coffee shop and we naturally looked through the window to survey the possibilities it afforded us.

    As I scanned the few patrons scattered about, I spotted way back in the corner, a slight-built lone female figure and for a few brief seconds I locked into the startled face of Yoko Ono - who stared briefly back at me with a look that seemed to say "Oh No - Please don't come in and speak to me". I'll never forget that "look".

    So we didn't go in. I think we circled back by later after we tried to assimilate what we had just witnessed and then she was surrounded by a covey of female friends and acquaintances

    djh22 and brookdalebill like this.
  16. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Jun 4, 2005
    Western NY
    David Sedaris sometimes signs books that way. My cousin got a book signed for her friend who couldn't attend a talk by Sedaris. My cousin wanted it inscribed with a ribald passage from one of his books. He stated, shocked and appalled, that he would never inscribe a book with something off-color as he wrote in "Why are you such a whore?"
  17. tubeToaster

    tubeToaster Tele-Meister

    Nov 9, 2007
    Working for 10 years at a liquor store in an area of Nashville where a lot of music stars live, many of them were my customers. So seeing stars on an almost daily basis was routine. But I was surprised at my house one Halloween when I opened the door for a trick or treater only to find Steve Cropper standing on my front porch. He was taking his daughter trick or treating. We shook hands and I told him I am a fan of his. A few days later he stopped by and dropped off a autographed copy of his compilation CD “Play It Steve”. Very nice guy.
  18. Robert H.

    Robert H. Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Jul 28, 2005
    N. Cal.
    In 1974 my wife and I - recently married and 20 years old were returning to NYC from London after an aborted year abroad in France. When we landed, we grabbed a luggage cart for our trunks and suitcases. When it was all loaded up my wife struggled to push the cart while I carried extra luggage including my guitar case. Suddenly my wife is veering out of control and crashes into Mick Jagger’s cart full of stuff - with a guitar case on top. He winced and laughed. No harm no foul. Bianca was standing next to my mom waiting for the arrival. My mother said when we met her - I was wondering who the stunning women was.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2020
  19. JeffBlue

    JeffBlue Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 24, 2012
    Southern California
    Back in the 80s, I lived across the street from a guitarist for a local band and became friends and a non-compensated promoter for. One evening I was heading to the studio (which was within walking distance) and I saw my friend and a woman was with him. It was Lita Ford and he introduced me to her.

    A few years back, another friend of mine, who is a close friend with Seymour Duncan, invited me to go visit Seymour at the factory. Great day. So we met at a local Santa Barbara restaurant where Seymour was waiting for us. We all ordered and I heard some of the funniest stories of when Seymour was gigging across the country and some of the things he saw and experienced.

    When we were ready to leave, I offered and paid the bill which I was more than happy to do. We went back to the factory and I found out the other person with Seymour was the bass player from Canned Heat. He told great stories and one that stuck out was at an early NAMM show, Eddie Van Halen walked up and complemented Seymour about the sound of the telecaster that he was playing at his' booth. Eddie asked Seymour what would he sell that telecaster for and Seymour sold it to him. (Back in the days when you could purchase guitars on the spot at NAMM)

    After Eddie paid Seymour, Eddie wandered off and Seymour watched carefully as Eddie left to make sure he didn't see Seymour's next move. Seymour was reaching back for another tele body and neck and stared assembling another telecaster partscaster.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2020
  20. suave eddie

    suave eddie Friend of Leo's

    Feb 28, 2009
    Department of redundancy department
    In the early '90s when I was still living in Santa Rosa in N.California Little Charlie and the Nightcats would play in town frequently as they were from northern California also. I would go to every show and try to bring as many friends as I could.
    One show, I purchased a cassette of one of their recent albums at their merch table--I always tried to buy directly from the band and eliminate any middlemen hoping all the cash would go directly to them.
    The next day I popped the cassette into my car stereo to listen to it. When the first side finished and the tape deck tried to reverse direction to hear the flip side, the tape came off the spindle and I couldn't listen to side 2.
    No problem I thought to myself, they'll be back in town soon and I'll just get a replacement then.
    Sure enough not too long afterwards they were playing in town and of course I went and brought my defective tape with me.
    During the break I went up to the merch table where Charly Baty and Rick Estrin were both hawking their wares. I produced the defective tape and explained what happened.
    They both looked at me like I was nuts and said "We're not set up for returns, just bring it to Tower Records" (which was about 50 miles away, and I did not purchase it from them).
    I walked away shaking my head and figured they really must have been starving musicians.
    Digital Larry, djh22 and El Tele Lobo like this.
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