Sunday, October 30, 2011

Meeting Your Idols

If there's anything I've made clear over my teenage/adult life time is that I am a huge Smashing Pumpkins fan.  So, when the opportunity came for me to do a meet & greet with the great Jimmy Chamberlin at Vic's Drum Shop, I jumped at the opportunity to do so.

Since I knew there would be a ton of people there, I decided to make it a jeans-and-tie affair :)  It definitely got a lot of attention as I was completely out of place looking so damn fly! Right as I arrived, I think the girl at the door took a liking to me because she could not stop smiling as I spoke with her.  She was very helpful by handing my a magazine with Jimmy on the cover and directing me "up and to the left" to the drum rooms they reserved.  What she didn't bother to tell me was that Jimmy as literally starting to throw down in one of the rooms!  I've rehearsed in these rooms before and those rooms are designed to hold 4 people with full band equipment - maybe 15 with no equipment.  With Jimmy in the room, his handlers, tables, etc, I'd say 10 for the day.  I'd say there were at least 50 people in there with him and maybe 50 more in the hallway listening.  I was in the hallway.  The amount of humanity in the place was incredible.

So, I listened to Jimmy's extraordinary playing then decided to hang out until his signing session about half an hour later.  I went outside, gave my door girl a can of soda I swiped from the cooler down the hall, then proceeded to call people on the phone to kill time.  Afterwards, I got in line for the signing and started chatting with the other folks in line.  There were people there all day and getting everything under the sun signed.  I felt a little guilty being in line to meet Jimmy as a fan of his contributions to Smashing Pumpkin songs versus being a drummer interested in his technique, but I got over it quickly remembering that there were folks from the Pumpkins show who recognized me as "the guy from the line" who told me they were not even musicians.  Yes, I know - I tend to over-analyze the reasons as to why I'm where I am.

After a while, I got to the head of the line.  I made direct eye contact with Jimmy and he gave me a look that said, "Hey, you're dressed up pretty dapperly."  I nodded and waited patiently while he signed other people's posters.  Eventually, it was my turn.  Right as I got up to him, he strikes up a conversation with Living Colour's Will Calhoun regarding Will's new disc.  Jimmy was enthralled in their conversation and barely took to time look at what I asked him to sign.  He never broke conversation the entire time.  Then "Bullet Time" took over.  I asked myself, "Should I interrupt their conversation?  Should I just stand here silently until they're done? Or should I just pass up my chance to say something to him?"  I chose to keep on moving and not bother him with trivial conversation.  I've spoken at length with Jimmy before so I guess I've already said what I've wanted to.

I walked away and gauged my feelings on it.  I asked myself, "Should I be angry at how that went down? And if so, with whom?"  Funny thing was that I sensed that if I got angry about the situation, those feelings  would be all disingenuous.  Why be angry?  I came to get him to autograph my Pisces Iscariot booklet and maybe get a chance to talk to him.  I got everything I wanted for the day.  Getting him to sign the free magazine I got was a perk.  I chose to stay as carefree as I was going into the event.  It was really nice to walk away satisfied with what interaction I got with him.  With that said, it's the least favorite time I've got to meet Jimmy but it also makes the other times I've met him more memorable.

The universe was kind to me yesterday and I am grateful.  The goodness I put into the ether yesterday paid off and will hopefully continue to give me goodness in the future.

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