Cooper came out, and the crowd started yelling things. A few applauded. He said, "Hey, guys. I'll sign autographs, but just one per person."
As he started signing, it was quiet. How often would you get this chance to be this close to someone you're a fan of? I finally said, " 'Be My Lover' is one of the best rock songs ever written." He looked up and said, "Thanks, man. I appreciate it."
It wasn't until I got home and pulled out the CD that I saw he didn't write it.
Afew people I've met have been jerks, and it's hard to figure out why. Joe Jackson has played 4th&B several times. At one show, he grabbed the mike stand and was about to hit a guy in the front row for taking pictures.
That afternoon before the concert, my girlfriend and I were having dinner. We walked past the venue and heard him doing a sound check. I brought a CD in case we saw him. One of the security guards said he hurt his leg and probably wouldn't be in the best mood. He came out limping, and I asked him to sign my CD. I asked him a question about a new song that had Marianne Faithful singing. He didn't answer me. Another person asked for an autograph, and he just walked away. There was a crowd of ten people shouting at him to stop and sign autographs. He just got on the bus.
A friend of mine got a room at Humphrey's and saw him before a show there. He had three albums, and Jackson said, "I'll sign one of these. So, pick your favorite." When a guy told him how much he loved certain songs, Jackson didn't respond. He just walked away with his pen.
The second time I saw Jackson at 4th&B, I got there early to have him sign one of my CDs. There was a crowd of about 25 fans. I waited 20 minutes and then left. When I got to the show that night, I recognized someone in line that had been outside waiting. I asked him if he got Jackson's autograph.
"Oh, yeah, but he was in such a bad mood. I had the Jumpin' Jive album, and he yelled at me, 'Why do you want me to sign this? I didn't even write these songs!' I responded, 'Yeah, but you're covering them, and it's your album.' He then wrote on the record, 'I didn't write these fucking songs, Joe Jackson.' I'm so pissed."
"Hey, that's kind of weird," I said, "but it sure makes it an original signature. I'll buy it from you. Or I'll trade you one of my signed CDs."
The guy thought about it and decided he'd keep it.
Todd Rundgren has always been a great autograph signer. When a friend and I were having an early dinner before the show at Humphrey's a couple of years ago, we saw him and his wife sit down a few tables away. We weren't about to bug someone who was eating, but when he finished and was walking by our table, my friend held out his ticket for him to sign.
When we walked out ten minutes later, we saw a person with 20 albums ask for his autograph. Rundgren said, "What's your name?" The guy said, "Oh, well, don't personalize the autograph." Rundgren's wife said, "Oh, he's going to sell them." The guy pleaded, "No, no. It's not that. It's just for a personal collection." Rundgren laughed and signed them all.