This month Groovy Duke Lewis clues you in on the ins and outs of meeting your fave star! Find out how, who, where, when and why below:
Meeting and making friendlies with your all-rave high-fave music stars when they visit your hometown on concert tours may require all the energy, endurance, true grit and female cunning you can generate!
The basic problem is to achieve your ends without getting into trouble and having to pacify your parent or probation officer. Let’s check out various techniques that have proven somewhat successful so far.
Easy it is if you “know somebody,” like maybe your daddy is chief security fuzz at the concert, or your boy friend Teddy is head usher, or local promoter Tommy Tucker is trying to make a big impression on your big sister Susie, or the star cats and road managers remember and dig you from previous encounters in your town.
Many of the sly schemes, far-out maneuvers and deep-laid plots and plans dating way back to the first Beatle invasion of the U.S.A. in 1964, still work well today for dedicated disciples of the godlike Bobby Sherman, Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix, Tom Jones, or the Raiders, Creedance Clearwater Revival, Brooklyn Bridge, 1910 Fruitgum Company or Blind Faith.
Shy maidens who can’t make it alone should team up with a brash and brazen chum who possesses the nerve and the gall to wear down or outsmart the security guards hired to “protect” the hairy idols from their public. Don’t blame the guys for all those police and guards, they didn’t ask to be isolated.
“Too much protection keeps the kids away from us and also keeps us away from the kids, our friends,” complains John Kay, the Steppenwolf vocalizer. “We resent being quarantined as if we have some horrible disease the public might catch.”
Though you have to be tricky, sneaky or bold in stalking your prey and overcoming the obstacles, you should also be clean, neat, attractive, intelligent and have a good sense of humor if you hope to hold the interest of your quarry once you have him cornered. Guys are scared off by roaming packs of predatory females so go on your expedition with no more than one or two companion huntresses.
The worst that can happen is getting involved with a shrieking mass of stupid bubble-gummers whose maniacal maulings are resented not only by the stars but sincere pop music lovers as well. Dennis Wilson has been knocked cold five times by wild scream-agers. Every music topper has been hurt or had frightening experiences with female fan-atics.
Cool fans often meet their heart throbs at the airport, tail them to town and follow them into the hotel past the desk clerk and house detective as if they belonged with the group.
In Cleveland, Neil Diamond told us, a passel of teen-age charmers meet swellebrities at the airport or hotel representing themselves as the Official Fan Club and local reception committee. This sets them apart from the mob and they get loads of attention from the flattered musicmen. They change their name week by week to fit each new arrival. In one month last tour season, one of the girls admitted to Neil, they were the “official” fan club of the Three Dog Night, Iron Butterfly, Rascals and Union Gap!
In Buffalo, Bobby Hart and Tommy Boyce remembers, their troupe of singers and players were met at the hotel by a bunch of junior greeters offering them free chauffeuring service and sight-seeing trips in the city and nearby countryside. Several of the boys, stranded in a strange place and totally bored, grabbed the invitation to get out of the hotel, ride around and see the sights with groovy girl guides.
It’s important to find out where the group is staying and their room numbers. Pop groups tend to patronize certain hotels where long-haired, bearded, oddly-dressed people are welcome. If there’s a Holiday Inn in your city, that’s probably where they’re at.
Look for them in the hotel coffee shop, restaurant, drugstore or pool as well as in their rooms. When the frontal approach is barred, persistent fans enter delivery entrances and service elevators. Girls have been known to disguise themselves as hotel maids, wield mops and push linen carts to the suites of stars!
No sooner do the rocksters get unpacked than the phones begin jangling and honey-dripping voices start rapping: “I have to see you right this minute, Bobby Sherman, it’s a matter of life and death,”—or—“Gee, Danny, my name is Hutton too and I think we’re first cousins,”—or—“Remember me, Glen dear? I wrote you a letter last year.
The most original approach we’ve seen was in 1966 when the Beatles were in L.A. For two weeks the police nabbed commando squads of Beatle-nuts prowling the hillsides, climbing fences and trying to get into the big house where the boys stayed. Then a helicopter soared out of the azure blue and deposited a trio of cute and kooky pussycats on the lawn outside George Harrison’s bedroom window.
Davy Jones remembers one to top that. In New York, hundreds of frantic Monkee fans trying to crash the hotel couldn’t get past the first floor fuzz. In the afternoon a truckman delivered a large cardboard crate labeled “LOVE GIFT,” addressed to Mike Nesmith. When the boys pried off the boxtop, the little Monkeemaniac leaped out and flung herself into Mike’s lovin’ arms.
In Minneapolis, a wild babe stowed away on the Monkee’s chartered plane headed for St. Louis, Mo. The irate father heard about it, wrongly blamed the boys and threatened to bust everybody for transporting an underage girl across state lines, a felony!
On a chartered bus between towns, Paul Revere and Mark Lindsay kept hearing girlish tittering, and twittering though no she-males were visible. A search turned up three starry-eyed stowaways hiding under the seats. They all had a laugh. The Raiders fed the riders in the next city and paid their fares home to mom.
“No Admittance” backstage at auditoriums and concert halls is a hard and fast rule everywhere, and yet there are clever darlings who get in anyhow. How? An old trick is to show phony press credentials, pose as news reporters and con through for a interview. Another common dodge: While an accomplice attracts a guard’s attention to one side of a roped-off area, a confederate ducks under the ropes and runs in. The guard can’t leave his post to chase her.
A home-made three-layer cake with the star’s name lettered on the frosting works as a pass to backstages. Any cop with a heart (there are some) would let the bearers deliver it personally but stay “for just three minutes.” The kids make the three minutes stretch to the show’s finale.
In Indianapolis, cake-makers added a fail-safe gimmick to the act, recalls Tony Valentino, now manager of the rockin’ Chakras, then singer-bassist with the hit-making Standells.
“When we were traveling with the Rolling Stones on tour, nobody was allowed backstage, nobody. Yet three girls made it, wheedling their way to our dressing rooms. They came to the stage door carrying a big layer cake decorated with 21 candles and a frosted message, “Happy Birthday, dear Tony and the Standells,” which so impressed the stage manager that he let them come in.
“The pay-off: It wasn’t my birthday, nor nowhere near it. The gag was such a giggle, however, that I took the responsibility of letting them stand in the wings and watch the performance. After the show, the girls went off with the Stones and left me in the lurch.”
Speaking of the cake strategy, a couple of Beach Boy fans in Quebec brought a finger-lickin’ chocolate cake to the dressing room of chubby Carl Wilson who, as you know, has a sweet tooth that won’t stop. Unable to resist temptation to taste it, even without the cutlery, he greedily ate with his fingers. At which point he heard the emcee introduce the Beach Boys, and Carl had no time to wash his hands or even lick his fingers which of course, stuck like flypaper to his guitar strings. The other guys, unaware of the sticky problem, threw Carl their dirtiest looks for the worst pickin’ he ever did do.
Don’t just dream of meeting your dreamboat, baby, do something. You might try some of the above-described tactics. If you can devise any new remarkable workable techniques, let us know and we’ll pass the word to our other love-hungry readers.
Swinging Steppenwolf is now performing free concerts for kids who can’t afford the bloated prices of commercial concerts, and will also play benefits to raise money for the hungry and sick. “We want our music to reflect the feelings and ideals of today’s aware and caring generation,” John Kay explained.
On ABC-TV’s “Music Scene” sound stages we watched Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young play “Bang Bang.” This is a dumb, simple-minded but fun game which left them all lying flat on the floor during dress rehearsals. It goes like this: No matter where they are—in a classy restaurant, concert hall, theater or street, when one of them points at another and shouts, “bang! bank!” the fingered man must fall down dead. That’s all there is!
Dion recently celebrated the first anniversary of his freedom from the hard-dope habit. “I think I’m going to make it now that the worst pain and suffering of the first year is over.” Smashing success of his platter, “Abraham, Martin and John” helped give Dion the strength to kick the junk. Warner Bros. Records showed its faith in his cure by signing him to a fat juicy contract.
Janis Joplin looks lots older than the 26 years she claims. Maybe she really is only 26 and a hard life has left its lines and marks on her face. Nobody can deny Janis is the hottest white blues-rock singer in the world. You have to see her explode in frenzied fury doing her act, man, she trembles, contorts, screams, shakes, stomps and sweats as if a demon has possessed her brain and body and she must shake it loose.
Aretha Franklin taught us the lesson not to put down and pick apart people who seem excessively egotistical and hard to handle—at least not until we know what’s wrong. Within six months Aretha gained a ton of weight, lost her good nature and exuded bad vibes on friends and co-workers. Many of us began to bad mouth the fine dark-feathered canary. Now we know she was sick and in need of complete rest and more love than she was getting. Nervous breakdowns are bummers.