NPR Music's blog The Record currently has a series of radio and Web stories about fans supporting the musicians they love, called That's What Fans Are For. Last month, we asked you to send us photos of yourself with your favorite musician, and to tell us about the time you waited outside the club in the freezing rain for hours and finally got to — gasp — MEET THE BAND!
"Taken during the U2 Vertigo Tour in Boston, 2005. I was pulled onstage when Bono saw my sign: 'Baby in my Belly wants to Dance with Bono!' He recently signed the picture at a show during the U2 360 tour!"
Courtesy of beth.anderson2007 via flickr
Courtesy of beth.anderson2007 via flickr
Well, the photos came flooding in, through Flickr and Twitter and Facebook, and we found some gems. Specifically, we found an oddly disproportionate number of Def Leppard fan pics, and discovered that you probably don't "wanna fall in love" with Chris Isaak because you'll have a lot of competition. From Kelly Maddy's ballroom dancing moment with Henry Rollins to Amber Avalon getting Bret Michaels to autograph her shoulder — which she later tattooed on — here are a few of your stories:
"Rick Allen of Def Leppard and me, on Aug. 4, 1984 in Portland, Ore., after my friend and I waited six hours to meet the band. I was completely psyched and acted like a giddy fool. He signed my super cool union jack shirt with a purple felt pen (days before sharpies!) and I've never washed it (and still have it) so it has serious ring around the collar and pits!! Haha." (Courtesy of Rebecca Boyer)NOTE: Captions accompanying the photos in this presentation have been edited for clarity and space.
"As a MAJOR Chris Isaak fan, I go to as many concerts as I can, as far back as the 1993 Canadian Exhibition in Toronto. I had been a fan for years but had never seen him live. After the show, he came out and met everyone, signed programs, and had a photo taken with me. It's been on my piano ever since. Since then, I have traveled all over North America to see him. I have so many signed T-shirts and hoodies that I can't wear them all, and I carry my signed Chris Isaak tote bags everywhere. His music is worth it so I give it all the support I can."
Courtesy of Janice Holden
"This is me and my two best friends with Brandon Boyd of Incubus back in about 1999 or 2000. We were in high school and had driven five hours to their show in St. Louis. We were in line for hours so we could get a good spot. Then, the whole band came out to talk to the fans! We were speechless and nearly in tears. You can't see, but I was grabbing Brandon Boyd's arm SO HARD. I'm sure he thought I was a creep!"
Courtesy of Brandi Rinks
"Henry Rollins has to be the kindest, most considerate celebrity in existence. He meets and speaks with every fan who waits for him outside his tour bus after every show. This was my third time meeting him, after a show in Charlotte, N.C., on Sept. 28, 2007, and I already had two photos where we just stood there smiling. This time, I suggested he dip me. 'Like, ballroom dancing? YES. Let's do this.' With that, he grabbed me around my waist and dipped me like a seasoned pro! One of the best moments of my life."
Courtesy of Kelly Maddy
"Mavis Staples performed on Martin Luther King Day, 2010 at Ram's Head Live in Annapolis. I couldn't resist thanking her after the show. She has one of the most incredible voices of all time and I feel honored to have heard it in person. She told me I made her feel good because she was 'finally taller then someone,' and was as nice as humanly imaginable."
Courtesy of Jayne Levinson
"It was the first time I ever met any of the guys from Barenaked Ladies, at the Dodge Theater in Phoenix, Dec. 2, 2006. When I gave Ed Robertson a letter thanking him for all the ways the band inspired me to change my life — including losing 80 pounds for their first Ships and Dip BNL cruise in 2007 — he thanked me and moved along to chat with other fans. But after reading the letter on the tour bus, he actually came back out to find me, give me a hug, and thank me for saying exactly what he needed to hear. He's been just as kind to me ever since!"
Courtesy of Kristen Gregory
"My friend, Kim; Aaron Behrens of Ghostland Observatory, and me after a concert in Houston. Kim and I both have braided pigtails in our hair just like Aaron."
Courtesy of Emily Anfinson
"In 1977, when I was 16, my friend and I won a contest on a local St. Louis radio station, to Find the Queen's Crown. We found it and had a limo ride, third-row seats and dinner with the band and their entourage. It was pretty awesome. Chatted with Brian May for most of the dinner. Unforgettable night! Inspired me to play music, and I still play in a band every weekend here in Charleston, S.C."
Courtesy of Fiona Phillips
"Although, sadly, I was born too late to ever have seen the Ramones live, they are one of my favorites. The first time I ever used a fake ID was to sneak into a club where Marky Ramone was doing a DJ set. I was 19, and the ID said that I was 24, 5 inches taller, that I had green eyes instead of brown, and that I was a few sizes smaller than my kind, older friend. Somehow, miraculously, it worked. That night I got to meet Marky Ramone, and the next time he was in town, he let me into the DJ booth and shared a bottle of wine with me. (We drank out of the bottle, of course.)"
Courtesy of Sarah Ventre
"Scissor Sisters' Ana Matronic. My favorite lady of all time! Kendra told her she was my idol and she was like, 'Awww! Give me a hug!' Then, we made fun of girls in fishnets and high heels. Chances are, if you own my heart, I get my crooked smile on like this."
Courtesy of Hayley Gilmore
"Morrissey and me, behind a record store in Austin, Texas, in 1992 while I was in college. I was a huge Morrissey fan; it was like meeting a god. Sounds sort of melodramatic now but that is really how it felt then, when I was 18. Come to think of it, I would probably feel the same today. Morrissey kept my marker!!!!"
Courtesy of Jasmine DeFoore
"Bret Michaels of Poison. Ohhh my boy! I am the biggest Bret Michaels fan ever, and have his signature tattooed on my shoulder.I traveled in a blizzard to Wendover, Nev., hung around his bus outside in the freezing weather, schmoozed my way into getting to know his crew and now have a backstage pass for life tattooed on my shoulder! I Love Poison and Bret!"
Courtesy of Amber Avalon
"Bret signing me."
Courtesy of Amber Avalon
"Bret's signature being tattooed on my shoulder under a tattoo of the Poison song 'Every Rose Has Its Thorn.'"
Courtesy of Amber Avalon
"One of my favorite bands, Hoots & Hellmouth, just came through Indianapolis in February. I happened upon them at a random show in 2009; they needed a place to stay and I volunteered ... for four total strangers. One and a half years later, we greeted each other at the night's venue like old friends — bear hugs, beers and nonstop chatter. I knew nearly half the audience that night, thanks to my musical evangelism, and a good number were on their feet dancing through the entire set."
Courtesy of Natalie Ingle
"I met Fiona Apple on April 20, 2000, in Atlanta. Best. Day. Ever."
Courtesy of Sarah Thompson
"Imogen Heap at the Fillmore in Miami Beach, Jun. 2, 2010. A group of 30 people and I waited outside the venue for about three hours. She was incredibly gracious and good-natured, signing everyone's posters and taking pictures with each of us. LOVE HER!"
Courtesy of Jessica Alexandre
"1996. So this is me, on the right; my best friend, Amanda, on the left; and Chris Robinson of my absolute FAVORITE band EVER: The Black Crowes!!!"
Courtesy of ufteacher via Flickr
"Def Leppard has been my favorite band since 1983, when I first heard 'Photograph' on the radio. I was 16. I met Joe Elliott and the rest of the band in a hotel lobby in West Lafayette, Ind., in January 2000. A group of us fans met online and organized a get-together. Def Leppard's tour manager arranged for us to meet them in the hotel lobby as they were leaving for the show. All of the guys were great — very friendly and patient with us, signing autographs and posing for pictures. Joe was sick that day, but he was still very gracious and funny."
Courtesy of Janet Crum
"Snuggling with Chris Isaak after the show on Dec. 7, 2010! Swoon!!! I can't imagine why, but he seemed to take a shine to me both during and after the show (which was fantastic... and I'd been waiting to see him live for over 20 years, since I was in high school). I knew he's known to flirt with ladies in the audience, but I never expected to be singled out more than once. A friend told me he was only being nice and doing his job, but I like to think he really DID like me for some reason, although I can't imagine why, out of so many others. I love him more than ever now — after meeting him, I can tell he's the real deal, and truly a great guy."