Monday, February 22, 2010

Frisco and rain and Ozzy,oh my!

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Gather 'round kiddies. It's storytime. It's the story of a quest to meet a legendary vocalist in the metal world and the trials and tribulations along this journey. And there will be a moral of sorts at the end. Everybody got their Snuggies on and ready? Good coz here we go.

So everybody by now should know that Ozzy Osbourne had written an autobiography not too long back. Well he rambled and someone wrote it all down would be more accurate but I digress Ozzy had a book out called "I am Ozzy". So with any book of this magnitude there was the inevitable book signing tour. Lo and behold there was a date for a San Francisco signing. Was I going to pass up on this? Surely you jest.So I called up my friend Draeden and he agreed we'd be stupid to pass this up. So we ordered our books for pick up and waited for the day to come to go and meet the famous Ozzman.

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So the day arrives and mind you that both Blabbermouth and the book store's information said that he would be appearing from 1-3 p.m. So we arrived at around 10 in the morning figuring that a line would be starting. When we get there we noticed the sign you see there stating that he would be appearing at 3 o' clock. What the fuck? The guy behind the counter tells us that there was an error in the information and that he would indeed be appearing at 3. I then ask him the important questions like"When will the line start forming and from where?". I don't think this douchebag had ever been involved in a book signing like this because he acted like we can come back to the store whenever and pop the book in Ozzy's face to have him sign it. Uh, no jackass he's not going to be sitting all lonely for 2 hours while pople just wander by and ask him to sign a book.


Great,so what do we do for 5 hours in increasingly wet and rainy conditions in the middle of San Francisco? I guess we walk down to Fisherman's Wharf and putz around for a few hours. And it's raining on us. Luckily there was a street vendor there selling 5 dollar umbrellas. These guys know their tourists. So we end up at Pier 39 and are messing around some of the shops. I forgot to get some pics of some cool t-shirts but hey, here's some pics of related material at another shop.

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So then it was time to grab a bite to eat before trudged back to stand in where ever the fuck the line was going to be at. Oh look!

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Now I've been in a few Hard Rock Cafe's in my day and they're ok depending on which one. This one was pretty basic in comparisons but there were a few things of note on the walls.

Eddie Van Halen guitar signed that was given to Jason Becker.
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Kerry King Flying V
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Slayer Flyer for a concert on a wall
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And a No One like You video by the Scorps on Hard Rock Cafe TV.
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So we said our goodbyes to Hard Rock and journeyed back to the ferry terminal. By now the wind had also kicked up along with the rain so not only did we have to get umbrellas but also pick up 5 dollar ponchos from the Alcatraz Cruise shop. When we get back to the signing area look at what we find.

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Not so cavalier about this now are we Mr. Bookstore salesguy? So after trudging around and then getting into this line at around 1 we were in for another 2 hours of standing and waiting.Then at last almost on time Ozzy arrives.

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Draeden tried to get pics of him exiting the SUV and going in but you'd think it was a high profile witness for the Mafia being ushered in. No luck with pics.

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Now comes the interesting part. We knew the rules going in or so we thought.

No memorablia to be signed.
No posed pics however you could take pictures as he's signing your books.
No personalized autographs

That's fine let's just get in there and get this done.Well as it turned out they first had a guy assigned to go along the line reminding people that memorablia was not going to be signed. Then as you got close to the door to get in the building they had another guy telling you what page he will be signing and to make sure you have it opened at that spot ready to go. Ok fuckwad, let's be even more anal about this,k? Then as you got close to the door of the bookstore you had another guy taking your ticket and repeating the part of having the book ready to go.

And there is.
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Keep in mind this was the only good picture we could get between two cameras. People were being hustled along and the book taken out of your hand and placed on the table and as he signed was then folded back up and shoved back at you with the words "You need to move sir, we need to keep the line going". The woman on the left was the condescending bitch telling me good job for taking the picture as my friend gets his signed. So in short Ozzy never looked up, no time to even say hello, and ended up with this after 6 hours of grueling bullshit.

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I'm ecstatic, can't you tell?

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Overall they should really have had him to do a private signing and then just shipped them to customers because I know for a fact that most of those people in line went well out of their way to make it there to see him and all they got was a glimpse or two, rained on,aching feet and legs and a signed book for all of their trouble.I was hoping to make amends for some of my harsh words about Ozzy in the past and this did nothing to fix that.

So if you ever happen to go to one of these things make sure you call the location and get as much information as possible including correct times and exact rules of engagement otherwise you to could end up with 6 hours of your life you won't get back.

I was asked if it was worth it. In the immediate no, but Ozzy is a living legend and in his sixties so in the long run I'll probably look back on this and be glad I did it. But I won't do this for anybody else again, I don't care who it is.

So there you go, a book signing day in pictures. Hope you enjoyed reading it more then I had living it.

*Update*
I saw these people going around filming and I guess we were not awesome enough to appear in the final cut. But here is the vid that was recorded for this signing.



I love the editing on this thing to make it look like it was the greatest day ever. So based on this if you're a child under the age of 12 and/or a woman at the front of the line, you had a fantastic time.

5 comments:

Martin said...

Sorry the experience was not great. There are some bands that would amend the rules. Slayer is one of them. Those guys will go out of their way to sign an autograph and exchange a few words. Ozzy simply does not care? He just does what Sharon tells him to do. Hopefully his new album will live up to his legacy.

Draeden Wren said...

I guess it's just the status quo when it comes to meeting celebrities: the more epic, the less interaction you get with them. I guess that makes Kerry King either the equivalent of a B list celebrity or a really, really nice bloke. I'd say the second if you asked me.

Randy said...

Yeah, I have never attended a book singing from a famous musician (or really a famous author for that matter), so it was an interesting read, but sad to hear you didn't get to at least say a quick, "Hello and Thank You," to the Ozzman.

The meet and greet things are at least usually a little more friendly. Got to talk to everyone in Anthrax on its reunion tour and had passes to meet Dio once a few years back, but he was really sick after the show and had to leave... figures.

Surprisingly cool class act? Billy Milano of SOD and MOD. Funny guy too, I never got all of the shit-talking against him.

Draeden Wren said...

That's the funny thing about 'class acts', they usually turn out to be idolized by a particular group of people, bot worshiped by the masses... I'd love to bow at the altar of Ronnie Dio

Rob Liz said...

Billy Milano always struck me as one of those loud obnoxious guys that were great at parties but you wouldn't want to hang with on a regular basis:)But let's face it when has the members of Anthrax ever gotten along with any vocalist they've worked with?

Meet and greets are cool and much more personable. This is a massive book signing tour where they want to get the stuffed signed and then off to the next place because of deadlines which allows for much less interaction. I still don't agree with the way it was done though even if I can sort of understand the reasons behind it.