Backstage With Boston
One of my favorites things I have ever done in radio was organize a 3-day rock & roll auction with all the proceeds going to a local charity. We did this for 3 years in-a-row and raised something like $30,000. It always happened in December, which is AIDS awareness month and all the money went to the local AIDS organization.
Just like our yearly CMN Celebration in May on Mix, it was a labor of love. Using the power of radio to get the word out and help raise money for great organizations in our community. Back when we did the rock & roll auction we had a lot more access to getting autographed memorabilia from singers ad groups. We used 3rd-party people to help us get some of the bigger names, but we had our fair share of groups touring or passing through our part of California.
Some of the items we auctioned off included; autographed guitars from KISS, Bob Seger & Metllica, a drum head from ZZ Top, and a record flat from R.E.M.
What I liked the most was coming up with creative things to get signed. 2 of my favorites were:
a speeding ticket, that I got from the CHP (which was located on the bottom floor of our building) signed by Sammy Hagar. Yeah, he was going 85mph in a 55 zone.
an official Boston Red Sox Jersey signed by Boston.
And that is what brings us to today’s “Backstage Story”.
Boston was playing at the Paso Robles Mid-State Fair and we had the Jersey ready to be signed. When we got backstage, a representative for the band gave us the 411. He told us that the guys would come out and sign the Jersey and that would be about it. He also warned us that when Tom Scholz, the master-mind and leader of the group, came out to “not talk to him or engage him in conversation”.
I ended up thinking at that moment-wow, is this guy some ego-maniac or what?
Well, the band came out and we showed them the shirt and we explained about our auction and what the money was going to and exchanged a little banter. Then, Tom makes his way out of the dressing room. We were prepared to do as instructed, but to our surprise, he spoke to us first. He was very friendly and a genuine all around nice guy.
We draped the jersey on my back, so he could sign it and he even went so far to draw the Boston logo on it. We talked for about 15-minutes and he was the exact opposite from the person that was described to us.
Years later I had a chance to do a phone interview with him and he was just as friendly and genuine.
So, I think he just had an “over-protective” manager or PR person at the time.