so at the tori amos show backstage, she had said she was working on a duet with michael stipe, and said he would be in the audience for the show that night. and now, the rest of the story. (i wonder if i'll get a cease and desist since i used that... anyway...)
the show started. during the show, my friend and i every now and then would point out a random person in the audience and do the 'see that middle-aged lady? that's him in disguise...' 'no, see that teenage boy with the long hair? that's him...' gag, thinking... in this crowd, we are so not going to run into him. but hey, we were (are) easily amused.
the show ended (early, she wasn't feeling well... but otherwise a really good show. tori amos is usually pretty great in concert). we started off on the 'leaving the venue shuffle' walk.
going up the aisle, i turned to the side, and told my friend 'we're just not going to see him, oh well...' when one of those random crowd surges pushed me into the person in front of me. i did the acceptable vague semimumbled apology, and noticed...
someone had indeed pushed me into michael stipe. who did the 'sure ok' nod without turning around. i whipped around towards my friend and did the exaggerated speaking without sound and overly gestured pointing 'oh my god, that's him' thing. he then was carried through crowdcurrents to another location.
when we finally got out of the hall itself, he was waiting in the lobby all by himself just outside the doors when the show was over. i'm not sure if this was because no one recognized him (this was before they went all hugeass-losing my religion-mobbed fandom) when we saw that, or we were the only ones stupid? brave? annoying? weird? enough to go up to him and ask for his autograph. so we did.
i mean, he's a rock star, an autograph is not an out of line request. it's not like no one had ever asked him before. it shouldn't be a big surprise to him. he is in public, he's not wearing a disguise, he doesn't seem to be doing anything in particular that it would be rude to interrupt. he's just standing there.
his reply to our humble, polite request?
'who do you think i am, bono?'
appropriate? not at all.
(mental reply... 'no, i've heard bono would've been a hell of a lot nicer than you, asshole.' yeah, i knew going into it that he had a rep for being snarky to his fans.)
actual reply- more along the lines of 'whatever.'
later that evening, i saw him walking outside along the bars of state street alone, improperly dressed for the cold weather. it was kind of depressing looking, that.
a bit of a contrast story- i have a paper plate with peter buck's autograph. a few years before this happened, someone i worked with ages ago at the record store (same person who i went to the suicidal tendencies show with), knew that r.e.m. usually hung out in a specific place after they played shows in minneapolis when they toured here (which shall remain nameless, in case they still do) and went to the place in order to meet them.
they knew what a big fan i was of the band, and when they ran into peter buck there, asked him to sign something for me. peter was gracious enough to find the paper plate to sign, discuss with the person what he should sign, and sign it, without any 'tude whatsoever. props and thanks to both parties involved with that one.
so after mikey pulled the spoiled brat thing, i pretty much learned to separate the music from the musician. which was good because r.e.m. put out some coolass stuff after that. but really, that's about the worst behavior (in context) that i've witnessed from the famous.
© the bent sun as risen