First things first- Remember ladies and gents, the members of your favorite band are people [Gasp!] just like you! They have a mama and a daddy. They may be someones dad, mom, sister, brother, uncle, best friend, cousin, step child, god parent, grandpa or something to that effect. They have feelings and dreams and aspirations and may be wondering, “do these pants make my rear look fat?” (ok so maybe not that last thing – although that would probably be a concern of mine…) But even though they seem larger than life to us when they’re on stage doing their thing they’re really human- no one is invincible (drugs, car accidents, divorce, and cancer get the best of rock stars too in case you haven’t noticed) or immune to even life’s little annoyances (bad hair days, splinters, traffic, or lost socks). So if you are ever in the position to meet some of them, above all be gracious and kind!
So onto how to find yourself in that position. First off, if you’re not at the show, chances are slim to none that you will meet them. (Unless you randomly run into them at a taco bell as they are sitting down to their mexican pizza and a taco supreme…no we didn’t meet a rock star that way but there was a certain family member encounter with an infamous NASCAR driver….) Now that the obvious is out of the way! How to get to the show if you don’t have previous connections:
We here at drumlove have bought our share of tickets. We have a board at home full of ’em. But we also seem to have had a lot of success winning tickets from various radio station contests. Never by calling in mind you- though my sister in law seems to be the queen of that it hasn’t rubbed off on us yet! If you don’t have the cash to buy your tickets, visit the website of your local radio station sponsering the event and enter their contests for tickets to the show you want to see. Sign up to be on their email list for the inside scoop. Check the band or tour’s website for drawings and contests and sign up there as well. If you don’t try you’ll never win. You can even try calling when they run those contests on air to be the whatever number caller to win. (it works-just not for me!) Throw it out there and see what sticks. Just look at what photoshopping a certain male band’s heads on girls bodies did for us! (I do promise to cover that in another post – gotta keep ya coming back right?)
Now, once you’re there, you’re still not guaranteed to meet them unless you’ve been lucky enough to win tickets with meet and greet passes. What to do? If it’s a lesser known rock band or almost any bluegrass band, hang by the merchandise table. I’ve seen many an opening band trying to gain a following who will come out and sign autographs and hawk their wares between sets and rub elbows with the general public. And almost any size bluegrass band in my experience does the same. (I think it’s a country thing) Sometimes those band members are even hanging in the crowd watching the next band – yes your favorite singer probably has a favorite singer too! For a larger more well known band, a lot of times they will stay after to sign things in a more organized fashion after the show is over. Check with the security personel at the venue as soon as the show ends to find out if the band will be staying for autographs and where to go to secure a spot in line. My mom has met Trans Siberian Orchestra about 9 times this way….and John Schnieder (nope he wasn’t just a Duke boy) and Alabama toooo many times to count….. gotta love her – my mother the groupie!
And there’s always the fan club route- joining one of those can oftentimes get you VIP status to meet fan friendly artists for free or a minimal fee – such as Miranda Lambert’s ‘Ran Fans’ . It’s only$20 a year and includes other benefits such as ticket pre-sales, exclusive merchandise, private fan club parties and lots of other perks.
Last but not least, it never hurts to ask. Contact the band through their website or social networking page. You never know what might happen. They may not have the ability to give you tickets, but you could still get the opportunity to score some time with them. My drumlovin’ husband actually has had great success with this. When the boy was young and started to get serious with his drumming, they contacted some of their favorite drummers who were coming through town and asked if they could meet them and ask some questions about drums and the business end of becoming a professional drummer. Low and behold, they met quite a few famous drummers this way – drummers who were cool enough to spend 15 minutes with a then 11 year old talking drums and practice pads and the ins and outs of their job – and the boy even got to help set up and break down some realllly cool kits in some cases. Hats off to those guys for caring enough about furthering a kids interest in music to give just a few minutes of their busy schedules. Now this tactic probably won’t probably work if you are a 34 year old starving drummer living on your best friends couch – not enough cuteness factor there I don’t think. And don’t go out and borrow somebody’s kid just to try and meet a band member or two. Remember honesty and being genuine is always the best policy.
Thus ends my lesson on how to get in with the band. Remember, it’s not who you know but who knows you : ) And don’t forget to bring something to sign when you do get face to face with your idols- the whole signing of various *ahem* body parts thing thing is great for a laugh but that signature will definately be time sensitive ’cause it’s gonna wash off! Programs, posters, photos, tickets, t-shirts, cd’s, and drum heads are probably the better choice for collecting your favorite musician’s john hancock not to mention a little less awkward for everyone involved. So keep it PG folks and always remember your manners. And if you encounter someone famous in taco bell and call your sister to expound upon your good fortune, chances are that famous person can hear you…especially if you’re in the booth right next to them. And if you are dying to get their autograph or picture at least wait for them to finish getting their lunch down because no one likes cold tacos!