RECORD STORE TALES PART 118: Famous Persons
People sometimes ask me, “LeBrain, did you ever meet anybody famous through your store?” I wish that happened more often. As it stands my list is pretty meager. I met Dave McDonald, the local weather man. He wanted in the store early one day.
My meager list:
1. London, Ontario’s “Snake the Tattoo Man”, whose biggest claim to fame was appearing on Phil Donahue, and in a Helix video (“Running Wild in the 21st Century”). He thought he deserved a discount on CD’s because, as per his words: “I’m the Tattoo Man”.
2. Country singer Beverley Mahood, a little bit after the initial fame. She’d worked with David Foster in the past. She was a regular. One time she came in and held up her CD. “That’s me!” she said. I felt like saying, “Yup…and that’s you in the bargain bin at $4.99, too!”
3. Grammy Award winning Polka King Walter Ostenek, who I’m told is a bit of a pompous ass. I talked about him in a previous installment.
4. Former Helix and Saga drummer Brian Doerner, who was a super nice guy that didn’t buy anything on that visit. However I got some drum sticks and autographs out of him later on!
5. The dad of ex-Helix and Brighton Rock guitarist Greg “Shredder” Fraser. Nice, chatty guy. Very proud of his son.
6. Blue Rodeo slide guitarist Bob Egan, who never said much of anything. Just looked around. I wasn’t sure it was him until I heard that he lived in town, and sure enough, it was Bob Egan. I believe today he occassionally collaborates with one of our store managers.
That’s about it. This isn’t exactly a booming metropolis, and we attracted the bare minimum of people with any sort of fame. During my 20’s, I used to fantasize that singer songwriter Dayna Manning who lived in Stratford would pop in, and we’d meet. That never happened.
Instead, I had Snake the Tattoo Man coming in. Good ol’ T-Rev ran into him first. He said to Snake, “If you wanna talk to a huge Helix fan, talk to Mike.” So he made a trip specifically to talk to me. What Trevor failed to get through Snake’s head is that I was a huge Helix fan, not a huge Snake the Tattoo Man fan. So Snake walked in trying to sell me Snake merch! I disappointed him by not buying one of his autographed glossy photos.
“Do you want to buy a picture of me with Phil Donahue? I signed it for you. $10. Me and Donahue. I also have me and Helix. I’ll give you a deal if you buy five.”
Thanks Trev. That was such a wonderful experience!