Sunday, July 13, 2008

Floatin' on a Bubble...

As posted before, I had the great chance to meet rock legend Joe Walsh of the James Gang, The Eagles and a very successful solo career. In 2000 I did the drawing above for Joe Walsh and took it to the Common Ground Festival. I was not allowed to take the drawing into the show, so I had to take it back to my car. As I turned away, discouraged, one of the guards asked to see the drawing. I showed it to him and he was floored! He told me that he was going to talk to his boss about getting me and the drawing backstage to Joe's management, at least, and to meet him in a couple hours (this was before 1pm and the show started at 8pm). When I met up with him later, he said his boss told him to blow me off and tell me he'd take it for me. The guard loved the drawing and really wanted to see me get the artwork to Joe. Throughout the day we met a few times, only to tell me to meet him later.
One of our last meetings he told me that he would have to escort me to my car to get the drawing, escort me back in and lead me to the guard rail in beside the stage. He said this would have to take place AFTER the show.
Well, the show started, Joe kicked ASS and I waited where I was supposed to. And I waited. And waited. I thought he blew me off, when all of a sudden I heard "Let's GO Jason!!! FOLLOW ME!!!" He ran past me and waved me along. I chased after him and we ran to the car. Across the street, I lost my new prescription sunglasses in traffic (and all my oxygen. I was out of shape!!!). We grabbed the drawing and ran back. We got to the guard rail and he went back to talk to some other guards. He came back and told me to wait cuz Joe's manager wanted to meet me and see the drawing. While I waited, other fans stood by me as guards told them "Sorry. Joe already left. Time to go", and I snickered. The guard came back with a larger man (than me, at least) and walked off with a thumbs up to me and a smile. The bear of a man introduced himself as Smokey Wendell and asked to see the drawing. I showed him and his eyes glazed over. He said he hadn't expected that kind of quality and started pointing out the different images.
"Hey, that's from the '80 tour. This one's from '92 and that's the '81 tour!" Smokey said. He told me that Joe gets alot of gifts and that there's a chance that this piece might end up leaning against a pile of pictures against a wall in Joe's house. I told him that as long as Joe gets it and likes it. If not, I would be okay with an autograph, as Smokey mentioned might be better.
He took the drawing to Joe to get the okay. I came back and fans were still trying to get a glimpse of Joe with security pushing them out telling them he already left.
Smokey came back without the drawing and told me to follow him. We went back behind Joe's bus and there stood Joe, talking to somebody. I walked up and waited and he turned and smiled.
"Hi. You did that drawing?" Joe Walsh asked.
"Yeah. I'm Jason Nuttall", I whimpered out.
"You know, usually I'm not into this kind of thing, but I'm really flattered. Thanks."
"You're very welcome. Could I get a photo?"
"Yeah, sure. We'll get two".
After the photos, I asked him to sign a couple things, shook hands and Smokey led me away. He told me that he wanted me to take the drawing because they had nowhere on the bus to carry it. Smokey gave me an address to send the drawing to, though and he'd pick it up after the tour.
It was a great experience and Joe was very kind and warm to this geeky lil fan.

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