Now, y'all know my song "Stay Away from your Heroes" which are words that I usually live by. I don't wanna blow the myth about these people I look up to by meeting them and finding out what a prick (ie. Dave Edmunds, Chuck) he or she is. I've never been someone who would walk up and ask for an autograph. But I have been fortunate (or unfortunate, however you feel about these people) enough to hang out at some pretty cool gatherings of talent in my day. Back in '86 The Woods were being courted by a rather smarmy rip-off manager type dude who shall remain nameless that used tickets to an MTV Award Show afterparty as a representation of how connected he was. So we went and drank and rubbed elbows with the hot artists of the day. There was Tina, Sting and the dudes from 10cc sittin' at one table. Grace Jones and Robert Palmer (damn, he was short! RIP!) were all over the place. Cher was in the house! WooHoo! So you get the idea, big deal, I didn't give enough of a shit about anyone there to even strike up a conversation. Hell, most of them had no myth to blow with me. Another time, when The Satellites were opening for Tom Petty (I believe it was the tour that they had to finish out for the slack-ass Replacements, who got the boot) Dan got us back stage before the show. This was at the Dean Dome in Chapel Hill. Dan introduced me to Tom as the guy who wrote "Battleship Chains". "That's a great song" Tom says. "You got a few yourself" was all I could muster. I mean, I love Tom Petty. I was one of the first people to ever have a Tom Petty record, when he was on Shelter and wasn't on the radio, but I just DON'T wanna talk to these people! He then stood back and did a magic trick for us all. He put a lit cigarette in a hankerchief, balled it up and unfolded it and of course the cig was gone. Pretty impressive, and no smoke later billowed out from his back pocket either!
Got to meet Ronnie Wood once. He was like Mac, just seemed like an old friend. We (The Woods) opened for The Gunslingers Tour he did with Bo Diddley (Bo is another whole story all together..but a good one..) and he came back and shook our hands (Jeez! he's got huge hands..he'd a been a good basketball player..for Carolina..but I digress..as usual). No blown myth there. Back to Bo for a second. That dude was a trip when we got the chance to be his band! He gave us 5 minutes worth of instructions before the show. He told me "Don't play my beat!" He wanted me to play a straight beat over all of his songs that were famous for "the Bo Diddley beat". Uh... OK Bo, whateva! We did a 2 hr. show that had about 8 songs in it. So needless to say a lot of it was just jamming, but man! It rocked like hell! Cleared the house, and as the club prepared for the second show Bo sat back in the dressing room and told us no less than 50 jokes that he laughed at harder than anyone! It was hilarious. I wish I could remember some of the jokes, there were a couple of really good ones. So we do the second show and it's more of the same, 2 hrs. -8 songs. I woke up the next day and my arms were literally NUMB from playing so much! Bo was great! My most favorite famous run-in though was when The Yayhoos played London in '02 and Ian Hunter came back and sat down. Him and I sat there together and talked about Rock and Roll. "There's not many of us left!" he tells me, putting me and the boys in the same boat with himself. It was pretty unbelievable. I was flashing back to high school, running home to put on my headphones so I could beat the shit out of the drums to my Mott the Hoople records... and here he was telling me that we had just kicked HIS ass! See why I do it?
Love to London, thoughts and prayers....