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Sunday, January 04, 2009

Obligatory Year In Review: People I Met

Thanks to a few gigs, my day job, and my friend and partner, Mike, I managed to meet some rather interesting people in 2008. Some of the meetings were all too brief, but worth mentioning.

At the magic shop I was able to meet boxing phenom,
Ricky Hatton, in town training for one of his upcoming bouts. Being something of a boxing fan it was very cool to be able to shake his hand.

I also saw film beauty and wicked poker player,
Jennifer Tilley, but we didn't get to speak. I'd have surely told you about that if I had. She's always been only of my faves.

A true treat for me, both as a comedian and as a fan was meeting Tommy Smothers back stage at the Sun Coast Casino. He was a very cool guy and very friendly. Dick was there too, but already back in the dressing room ready to head out of town at the time. No big deal, just heading back stage and not getting kicked out or hauled off by security was very cool. Thanks to Mike for arranging the tickets to the show and the meeting.

I was able to meet Dan Akroyd at a liquor store where he was signing bottles of his new, Crystal Head Vodka. I haven't tried the stuff yet ($49.00 a bottle - OUCH!) but I did get both the box and the VERY cool skull-shaped bottle signed by Elwood Blues himself. Had I a camera at the time I'm sure I'd have gotten a picture.

The Monster Circus was big fun for me. First off, it was something of a last-minute gig so the money was appreciated. Next, it was at the fabulous showroon of the Las Vegas Hilton. Currently the home to Barry Manilow (with photos EVERYWHERE to prove it), it was where Elvis played more than 700 legendary shows. What a room! Third, it was where I was surprised to find out about the lineup for the show.

The thing had been described to me as "a demented circus". In reality it was a hard rock musical concert accented with circus acts all dolled up in stripper outfits. NICE! The rock band would consist of an all-star roster of members from famous metal acts.

Among the folks I met that evening...(Click on the links to learn more about these awesome musicians)

Dee Snider,
Bruce Kulick, Rudy Sarzo, Tony Montana, John Corabi, Bobby Rock, & Dave Kushner.

Not only was the show excellent, but I was treated like one of the big names by the producer. I was afforded all of the same access, dressing rooms, food and fun as everyone else and that is always a treat. I was just there to help warm up the crowd as they arrived and waited for the show, but I felt like one of the big guns. Here's hoping this becomes a regular show in town. I may get some regular work AND finally be able to score some comps to a cool show on my own. ;)

Aside from a few photos with the band (which I hope to share with you some day soon) I have a most excellent signed poster from the event, which will hang on my wall for years to come.

Since so many of these guys were in bands I've listened to 0ver the years, and since I had so many friends who'd have killed to be at the event (much less meet these guys) I found myself in a rare instance where I actually
was as cool as I felt at that moment. Rare indeed!

At that show I also met a man known as "Rockin'" Reggie Vinson. He just looked like someone I've seen a millions times before. As it happened I was right. Reggie has been a professional musician for 40+ years. He's played with EVERYONE at one time or another, including the likes of John Lennon & Alice Cooper. He and his lovely wife, Katherine, were both very kind people and I was honored to have met them all.

There's one more VERY noteworthy musician I met this past year, but he'll get special mention in the next post!

A great year for meeting new people, even if only for a few moments.

Up next: Shows I Saw


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