The night I bugged Alex Chilton
Let me just first preface this entry with a hearty I'm Sorry to Alex Chilton, one of the coolest musicians still roaming this planet. I realize I was being intrusive and invasive to a dude who just wanted to do his job in peace. My incessant demands for an autograph were, in hindsight, really dumb and potentially stalker-ish. I know that now, and you had every right that night to tell me to fuck off. But you didn't, and I did ultimately get the autograph, so thanks, Mr. Chilton.
With that unpleasantry out of the way, it's still somewhat interesting of a story. The great, mighty Alex Chilton was playing at the Double Door, in support of his then-latest CD A Man Called Destruction. Don't ask me which year it was; that was during my lost years, so you'll have to make do with "mid-to-late '90s". I'd already seen Alex Chilton at least once or twice (the first Chicago Big Star gig, then possibly a solo gig at either Schubas or... my mind's soft on the details). So when he came to the Double Door, I had my AMCD cd with me, hoping for a signature. The first time I saw him was at the top of the stairs to the basement of the club. A vaguely familiar guy had a smoke hanging out the corner of his mouth. With temerity, I approached him.
Me: Alex Chilton?
AC: (with a little swagger, a hint of defiance) Yeah?
Me: (offering pen and tray card of the CD) Could you sign my CD?
AC: (dismissively, definite defiance this time) Maybe later.
He strolled away, and I was left there wondering what just happened. However, most people wouldn't have tried again; not this nimrod. I started to try to find alternate ways to procure said autograph. I'd staked out my place near the front of the stage to stand, and spotted a guy who looked and sounded like Quentin Tarantino. For all I know, it could have been QT himself, but for the purposes of this story, that's incidental. I went up to the guy and asked him if he'd ever been compared to the famous film director; he laughed, and told me he got that a lot, yes. Instead of asking him if he was or not (like a normal person would), I told him that if anyone says that tonight, just play along.
I then saw Alex Chilton, and holding out pen and CD, said to him casually:
Me: Did you know you have a celebrity in your audience tonight?
AC: (casually ignoring the offered pen and CD) Yeah, who?
Me: Quentin Tarantino
Alex then walked away snickering, and again I was left wondering what happened.
Needless to say, Alex Chilton put on a great show that night, even doing Big Star's "In The Street". And ultimately at the end of the night, following in some pretty girls who went to the dressing room to meet the star of the night (and no, it didn't seem like a groupie situation; they just appeared to be fans, no more no less). I got the autograph. I asked Alex if a recent quote attributed to him was true, something to the effect that these days, if he could find a way to only need to play music and smoke cigarettes, he'd be a happy man. He perked up, and said, "Who wouldn't want to do that?" This cracked up the other fans in the room.
Even Quentin ended up coming down to get an autograph.