About 40 people stood around
after the show, waiting to hear if there would be a meet and greet...
hoping to meet John and the band, when a very official man who looked like
Dan Akroyd came strolling down and asked to see the
"Triangle"... "If you don't have a triangle, you have to
leave" - Julie, Rich, and I had triangles... whew...and John's
brother-in-law had just passed out a bunch of "triangles" to
John's old friends and neighbors, but didn't have one for himself. The
official looking guy told him he would have to go, and the group he was
with told him, that he was John's brother in law and go check.... The
official went to check, and was prepared to throw this white haired
gentle looking middle aged man out to the streets...that is when Rich
handed Julie his pass and told her to give it to the man.... Rich, has a
big heart and if the man needed a shirt... he probably would have taken
it off and had Julie give him that also.
30 minutes passed and we were led to a great room complete with
round banquet tables and a piano. We could look through the windows
below to the adoring fans with albums and souvenirs in tow, waiting in
the cold freezing weather by the back door. Again, we warmly waited about 45
minutes. I chose this opportunity to talk to John's brother-in-law...
little did he know that I was the mouth of the Midwest and little did I
know, that he was too...
Friendly guy, and he must of figured that I was some sort of relative
or family friend because I could keep up with names, places, and dates
as he talked of them. We
talked of heart attacks, wheelchairs, brothers, skiing, dead wives, ex
wives, occupations, bridges... we talked a lot about bridges and how
they moved... tee hee... I think this guy was really the brother of
the husband to the sister of the wife of John...
The room got quiet, and we heard voices from the doorway... John
strolled in all apologetic. "They told me to go out front where you
were first, so I did, and no one was there, I just figured you all got
tired of waiting, so I went and packed my stuff up....then they told me
you all were here.... thanks for waiting"
Julie and I were off in the corner, watching the friends and
neighbors reminisce with John, my buddy took off and stood right next to
John while he talked of fishing in the cold weather and not really
catching anything, but having fun just kind of spinning in the lake.
noticed what I thought was a familiar face, covered with hip hop Kangol
cap and felt that adrenaline rush make my feet and hands do a happy
dance... The cute little familiar face headed across the room towards
and it was Al Bunetta.... he just looked adorable...I threw my arms
around him, just tickled to death to see him. I've heard his voice many
times, but getting to talk to his face is way more fun. He's one of
those no bullshit people... I mean, in his line of business he has to
do a lot of BS'ing... but he is honest when it comes to telling you
the truth, and I just love that... reminds me a lot of my dad - just
say what you mean and cut the crap. Anyway, we sat and talked with Al,
he just made me giggle... the hat, the cute shoes that he bought right
after his quadruple bypass... his hookers and handguns story, his photo
in the anthology - which he took Julie's booklet and drew himself some
hair on... Just delightful... Rough around the edges and smooth as silk
inside...You just can't mess with Al unless he wants you to.
Oh yeah... the family and friends of John were done with him and we
got a chance to have our few golden moments. I pulled out my notebook
and started hammering with questions. I think that was the cue for the
security people to come in and tell John that he had to go. It always
seems like that.. I'm just a walking security magnet. John is looking
great, I mean, sometimes after shows he looks like he just wants to
crawl into his hotel bed and sleep for 12 hours... but tonight's show
must have been that little 'mother's helper" to keep him stoked. I
had on my Prine Shrine apparel, pulled out letters of my Prine
Shrine bag... and John's eyes widened with "Jeez, you get more mail
than me" I said "this is your mail" with a few
explanations of what was in the bag for him, he took the bag of stuff.
It's all kind of a blur... once those security people say it's time to
go, I start talking in triple time and get real nervous. I told John we
were going to do Green Bay also the next night and invited him over to
our hotel room to meet the rest of the group that came.... one of these
days I have faith that he will feel froggy enough to actually take me up
on it. Once I offered to play Scrabble (figuring that any man who sits
at the kitchen table with his mother doing crossword puzzles, has got a
Scrabble game or two up his sleeve) He said "I'll see you tomorrow
night then" meaning, yeah, come back and talk to me tomorrow when
I'm not so rushed.
I was able to say hello to Jason Wilber, he's still the young un in
the group, looking fresh as a daisy and not at all tired from the show.
I had to tell him that I have had his CD's for quite some time, and I
guess I have listened to them in the past, but never really
"heard" them.....until the last few weeks when I gave him my
undivided attention - wow... he is fabulous... those of you who don't
know that, should.... so get his music, I believe he only has two CD's
"Behind the Midway" and "Lost in Your Hometown" -
the way I worded my appreciation for his music sounded totally
stupid.... he's just so clean cut and young looking, it throws me. He
grinned and said thank you... and he meant it.
his left with that satisfied smile he always seems to have was Dave
Jacques, in his vintage clothing and mild mannered ways. If "Illegal
Smile" had a character... it would be Dave Jacques, and I don't
mean illegal smile in a drug way... I mean the guy really has this grin
going on that only he knows why. Dave's eyes were literally bleeding...
it had to hurt... it wasn't a stoner's bleed... last time my eyes looked
like that, I had just had a baby, knowing that that couldn't of been
his reason, and having no tact.... I asked him what was wrong with his
eyes. He said he was tired, he'd been flying (good god man, wear goggles
next time) - The music world is lucky to have a man like this on their
side. He seems to just love music for what it is, and what he can do
with it. no wonder he is in such high demand.
With that Al came up and offered to walk us out, ride us down the
elevator and to the door... and he did. He said, "wait right here,
I'll be back" and Julie and I looked at each other, wondering if we
really should, if he really would, and knowing that he could get caught
up in conversation with anybody about anything, we headed out.... I
don't think he came back down for us...after all, he was the first one
to have to fly out in the morning back to Nashville, or California, or
whereeverthehell - we just knew we were pushing our luck.
Down the street at the bar were our friends that we ditched.... they
had been standing out in the freezing cold waiting for a back door
chance at a meet and great.... needless to say, we felt bad, we felt
real bad the whole time we were hobnobbing with the boys in the band...
but not that bad.....
on to Green Bay