I've "met" only two famous people in my lifetime. One was country singer Keith Whitley when I asked for his autograph after seeing him and George Strait in concert (which I had to pay two bucks for, BTW) about a year before he passed due to his alcoholism.
The second famous person I've met was Mike Reno who was-and still is-the lead singer for the rock band Loverboy who were popular in the 80s with hit songs such as "Workin' For The Weekend" & "Lovin' Every Minutes Of it".
I myself went to see Loverboy in concert when the band was at the height of their popularity with my then-brother-in-law whose name, ironically enough, was also Mike.
At the end of each and every concert he went to, Mike would go backstage to wait for the performers so he could try and get their autograph. And this concert, of course, was no exception.
Standing there with the already small group of autograph-seekers who were waiting backstage for the band to possibly come out was this sharply-dressed chauffeur standing next to this big white limo.
Of course, some people were asking said sharply-dressed chauffeur when the band members were going to come out.
And, of course, the chauffeur told everyone how he believed said band members had already left. Then why, people were also asking, was he standing out there?
So the chauffeur finally admitted that maybe—just maybe!—not all the band members had left and, if and when any of them do come out, he began lecturing everyone on how to “approach” them.
Well, as it turned out, two of the band members did come out: The bass player (I’d tell you his name, but since when did the bass player ever matter!) and, of course, The Mighty Mike Reno.
And, of course, everybody—including Mike and myself—began crowding around Mr. Reno and all but ignored the apparently unpopular bass player who sulked into the big white limo saying something to the tune of, “Nobody wants my autograph!”
Anyway, after signing autographs for a moment or so, Mike Reno all of a sudden stopped signing his precious name on a few strips of paper, saying curtly to his fans, “I have to go.”
When a few fans persisted, he just-as-curtly repeated, “I have to go.” Mr. Reno then quickly got into said limo with his unpopular bass player and kindly left.
I saw Mike Reno a few months after witnessing him kindly blowing off his fans—including myself—during an interview on MTV—back, of course, when MTV was still cool!—wherein he pompously proclaimed his desire to play for smaller crowds rather than larger ones.
Well, Mikey, be careful what you wish for!
I saw Mike Reno give another interview several years after I paid good money to see his band on the now-defunct VH-1 show Where Are They Now? which showed rock stars who were, shall we say, past their prime.
The show gave an “update” on their current—and sometimes sad—status wherein Mr. Reno noted how Nirvana had “killed” his career.
He then practically begged the viewing audience to start buying his albums again so he could start getting paid once again.
The show also noted how Loverboy used to sell out concerts back during their 80s heyday—including the concert that Mike and I attended—had been reduced to playing concerts for free at fairs and such.
This story, of course, shows just how fleeting fame can be and how famous people should maybe-just maybe!-be more grateful for their success and especially their fans.
I still listen to Loverboy's music and I'm sure they would say they do in fact "appreciate" their fans (which I'm sure they do), but whenever I think about this incident it still leaves a sour taste in my mouth, you know what I mean?
As the Loverboy song says: "I hope you're with me when it's over!" (That's, of course, not exactly what this song means, but you get the point, don't you?)
And, just in case you were wondering (which I'm sure you were!), the concert was pretty kick-ass! The group The Hooters opened up for them.
And I, of course, don't mean THESE hooters, you pervs!