A few weeks ago, my wife saw Robert Plant in the local Whole Foods store. Yes, that Robert Plant. (Everybody’s gotta eat, right?) Since then, she’s been kicking herself for not saying anything to him. In a cruel and ironic coincidence, the Guitar World magazine that was delivered later that week featured Led Zeppelin on the cover.
This encounter has got me wondering what I would do if I ever saw someone who was a personal musical hero of mine. Would I go up and say hello, or would I leave them alone? For the most part, I think I’d leave them alone. I’m sure that famous musicians get tired of people coming up to them everywhere they go. But, at the same time, I imagine that they appreciate hearing how their music has affected people.
So, I don’t know what I’d do if I happened to see one of my musical heroes in an unlikely place. What would you do?
MJK (Mike) says
FREAK OUT and then ask for an autograph…
I would try to be as inconspicuous as possible and walk up and say hello, introduce myself and say I’m a big fan and appreciate their work. And because I know he’s busy, I just wanted to tell them that and then I’d let them go. If they want to talk, I’m more than willing to delay my purchases though.
I would most probably leave them be. Like you say, surely they must get sick and tired of people coming up to them. It would make me no better than the horrid people that are the paparazzi if i did go up to them.
For the record i think John Mayer would be my guitar hero.
I’ve had a few of these encounters over the years and some of my fondest memories are of conversations I’ve had with heroes. (e.g. Steve Morse) It’s worth the risk.
Make a total IDIOT of myself 😉
We all make idiots of ourselves now and again. How often are you going to run into John Scofield at the mall? He likely won’t go home and tell his friends about you.
Also, have a legitimate question in your back pocket. Don’t say “OMG. You’re the greatest!” Instead, try “I’ve always enjoyed your music, and I was wondering how you get that tone on track X, or when do you find time to practice.”
If it’s like my other encounters with celebrities, I’d debate whether or not it’s actually them for about 10 minutes. When I finally decided it’s them and I had memorized what I was going to say they’d walk away.
I’ve had more than my fair share of chance meetings with the celebrities be they musicians, actors, or athletes…we ran into Michael Anthony at a Mimi’s Cafe in Upland a few years ago…so long as you ‘re not being a Doofus, or some kind of stalker fan…anyone is approachable.
Great question! With the exception of Tom Petty, I’d probably let them be. The last time I was close to a celebrity I spilled an entire plate of turkey, mashed potatoes, and gravy all over the place.
After thinking about this and reading all of the responses, I think I would try and go up and speak with them. While I wouldn’t want to bother them, they are just people and probably would appreciate hearing how their music has affected people. They could turn out to be a douche, or they could turn out to be cool and fun to talk to. You never knew, which would be part of the excitement!
@fgv Yeah, it’d probably take me a while to work up the courage and by then they’d probably be gone.
@Taylor That’s one way to get their attention!
@eric The problem is, maybe I don’t think I’m being a doofus, but what if the celebrity does?!?
@David I’m probably going to make an idiot of myself anyway, so why not do it while trying to talk to one of my heroes 🙂
@Mike Yes, freaking out might be involved.