Monday, May 21, 2007

The Non-Conformist Cult Radio Show 5/2/04 - 5/7/04

My mother got back from her Washington Redskins Fan Festival. And I must say… I’m a little disappointed that she didn’t get me not one single autograph.

She took my personalized jersey with her and for some reason, I thought she’d get someone to sign the thing. I fully expected to see autographs on there… I would take great care in having that jersey framed and mounted. I would never be able to wear it again. It would be a treasured item for my wall. Something to hand to someone else in the family once I pass on from this life.

She got my dad an autographed picture of the Redskinettes… But I got nothing… I didn’t even get a discarded plastic stirrer from one of John Riggins’ adult beverages. All I got was my jersey back, freshly laundered. Let me tell you… Defeat smells “mountain fresh”.

Who knows? Perhaps she was only allowed so many items for signing. I know they do that for NASCAR drivers to keep the line moving… Or else it becomes something like the time I was standing in line to meet Steve Earle...

Brad K. (frequent commenter) can back this story up…

Mr. Earle played The Rialto Theatre in Raleigh on his ‘Copperhead Road’ tour. I was thrilled! My girlfriend got us hooked for the show with a backstage meet & greet.

After the FANTASTIC show by Steve Earle and The Dukes, the label rep came out and found us. Another label rep that covered the retail outlets, I think his name was Frank, came out and ushered Brad backstage. It was cool. I would’ve felt bad if Brad K. didn’t get to go backstage too.

We were led to the backstage area of this old and possibly historic theatre. We were told to wait in a single file line on the left side of the stairs that led to a loft area. Slowly and surely we made our way up the stairs to meet a singer/songwriter that I strongly admired.

When we got to an area where we could see Earle sitting down and signing autographs, the line stopped moving. We could see through the handrails what started the hold up of folks being ushered through. There was this guy pulling out every conceivable piece of material for Mr. Earle to sign.

I didn’t know the guy all that well… I had only met him a couple of times. He was a music critic for a local newspaper. And he was being a complete ass… In my opinion.

Mr. Earle signed a couple of album flats for him. Then the guy pulled out every CD insert from every album up to that point for a signature. And it wasn’t only his personal inserts… He had some of his friends and coworkers too! After Steve signed those… This guy started pulling out cassette inserts for signatures. I’m not really clear about this, but I think he even pulled out an infant for him to kiss.

Without raising his head, I remember Steve Earle looking up and shooting a slightly irritated look towards the guy. And that’s when I opened up my big mouth…

“Hey Steve,” I said. “If you have the time… Would you mind giving me a tattoo?”

My girlfriend hit me and I remember Brad K. laughing under his breath. The girlfriend wasn’t too pleased with my candid and sarcastic comment directed towards the music critic. And neither was the critic. Yeah… He shot me a dirty look and stared at me hard when he left down the stairway on the right side.

When we got up to meet Steve Earle… He told us there was Corona’s in the fridge and pizza was on the way. We should stick around.

He was kind enough to sign our album flats, chew a little fat, and down a couple of Corona’s with us. I remember Brad K. having a conversation with him about Townes Van Zandt who was playing a gig near by.

Having a slice of pie and a few Corona’s with Steve Earle was very cool. It’s a moment in my life that I hope I never forget.

So I really don’t mind that mom didn’t get me any autographs from those Redskins players past and present. I wouldn’t want her to come across like that music critic guy that wore out his welcome real quick. I can live with that.


  1. Anonymous11:18 AM

    By the power vested in me, I verify this story as true.

    My favorite part was when someone in Mr. Earle's camp told us that Steve had "the flu." Not making any accusations or anything, but we all learned later that heroin was a part of his life during that time in his career.

  2. I'm not a huge Steve Earle fan but I do like pizza and Corona therefore I'm envious of your experience. I haven't had many brushes with the famous. A limo with Bob Weir nudged me slightly as I was walking around outside of Carter Finley stadium after their concert. I wasn't capable of feeling any pain. Bob didn't offer me any food or beer.

  3. Anonymous5:21 PM

    *dies of teh jellus*

    I love Steve Earle. I have fond memories of the song Guitar Town, despite the fact that said memories are somewhat associated with The Asshole. You know which one I mean...

  4. I've seen Steve a couple of times and got to meet him a few years back. My Steve Earle autograph is on my first edition hardback copy of his book of short stories that was published about 5 years back.