Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Welcoming Home Old Pals: Roger Daltrey

Back in the 1990s I used to be a semi-serious autograph hound. I'd stake out hotels and venues and as such I managed to get some amazing signatures, some of which I kept, some I sold and some one of my ex-girlfriends simply stole. There were a few gems in the lot, I still have my signed Nick Cave and Bruce Springsteen albums, along with items signed by David Bowie, R.E.M., Sting, Olivia Newton John(!), Ian Dury, Billy Joel and a host of others. What did I sell? Signed posters and items by Deep Purple, Garbage, Alanis Morrisette, Live, Kiss, Mick Jagger, Bryan Ferry, Pearl Jam, Johnny Cash, U2, The Cure, Jeff Buckley and more than I can remember - basically every major act that passed through Adelaide between 1995 and 2000 I got an autograph from. I do regret selling some of them, but, to be brutally honest the 1990s were a very dark time for me and frankly getting those items were a cheap means to buy food and pay rent. More than once it came down to keeping the electricity connected or keeping that Michael Jackson signed press kit and when it did Jackson lost out.

One of my pals, Paul, had a shop here between the years of around 1995 through to 2001 and he was the one who I used to sell to on a regular basis. He paid good prices as he knew that each and every signature was obtained in person, by me, so they were 100% authentic. Stupidly I never had a camera to record some of these encounters, but live and learn. There were a few items I really regretted selling though and I've always wished that I could get them back, so imagine my surprise when I saw this one on the weekend. The dealer in question had this 1975 Films & Filming magazine, signed by Roger Daltrey on the cover. I got excited because this was one of the items that I really regretted parting with back in 2000, shortly after I got it done in Adelaide. The occasion was the Great Rock Symphony which hit Adelaide in February of 2000 and featured Alice Cooper, Daltrey, Peter Frampton, Billy Thorpe, Paul Rogers and many more. I got all but Cooper, which wasn't an issue as I'd already gotten that one years ago. Out of them all the Daltrey was the best, indeed other Daltrey signatures done at the same time look pale in comparison to this one and Roger was more than happy to sign it, commenting as he did that it wasn't, "...another fookin' 'Oo album." Glad to help Roger!

I don't do the autograph thing anymore - last one was Bowie back in 2004 and that was because it was David Bowie - mainly because I got sick of seeing people running around like idiots trying to get a signature from some D-Grade celebrity. I remember one sad bastard who missed the birth of his only child, his daughter, because he wanted to get a Cliff Richard signature - and he failed at that. I used to watch another overweight moron who took great delight in having a restraining order sworn out against him for stalking by Molly Ringwald - I mean MOLLY RINGWALD?? The same fat wanker again took great delight in being publicly humiliated by Status Quo on radio when they recounted his antics and referred to him as Jabba The Hutt. My skin would crawl seeing old men, and I mean guys in their 50s, running after teenage girls and berating them into signing photos. That wasn't me, if someone said no I generally walked off, unless they picked a fight, like Gavin Rossdale and some dickhead from Blur. More often than not I'd not bother going to the usual haunts and then I finally just gave up. I'm not the badgering type.

I can't remember why I sold this magazine back in 2000, I guess I needed the money, but as soon as I saw it on sale on the weekend, for $50 no less, I swooped on it and am happy to have it back at home. It's not for sale, I can buy my own food these days and the electricity isn't in danger of being cut off and my rent is up to date. Now to source a few other autographs from the same era...

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