WOW...what can I say?? This has been an incredible month so far!!! Best birthday ever!!! I don't even know where to begin, and I'm not sure that it's even over....
I put on a KILLER show/birthday party with one of my favorite bands, SS WEB. Because of the flaky scene in this town, I was worried that there would not be a good turnout, and the band would not return, however, a lot of people came and showed their support, and even had a blast doing it! The band sold a TON of merch and had a great time! It wasn't even about my birthday, it was about the band and showing them how we do things in the mountains!
I got to see another one my favorite bands, not once, but TWICE this month, once in Denver, and once in Durango. The GODDAMN GALLOWS put on a hell of a show, and I will never miss them when they are in Colorado. I drove a long way to see them for both shows, and I'd do it again in a heartbeat. I had a blast at both shows, and saw some good friends too!
But the best night ever, was my actual birthday, October 16th. I got to see SLASH at the Fillmore in Denver. Guns N Roses has always been my favorite band of all time, which makes SLASH my favorite guitar player of all time! he has always been one of my idols, and it was a treat to get to see him on my birthday. He played a killer show, and I got to hear many of my favorite GNR songs, though they were played at a slower pace than normal, not sure why that is.
I was not able to get a photo pass, though I tried really hard, so I was not able to bring my camera in. Luckily, a friend lent me her nice point and shoot camera so that I could still take pictures during the show. It didn't take the best photos, but I figured out how to use it the best that I could.
I made a sign to hold up during the show that read "Slash!! It's my birthday!!" with a picture of him holding a birthday cake. I held it up in between songs in hopes of him seeing it. About 3/4 through the show, his singer, Myles Kennedy, came to my side of the stage and asked me how old I was. I told him, and he wished me a happy birthday. But where was Slash?! he must have gone off stage to take a little break during this time. But later on, when he was saying his thanks to the crowd for a fantastic evening, he said HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!!!!!! my heart was pounding, and tears of joy filled my eyes!!! I couldn't believe it!!!!! I can now die a happy man!!! haha What's even better, is I had my audio recorder on the whole time, so I was able to catch him wishing me a happy birthday!!! You can hear it by clicking on the embedded picture below!
Afterwards, I ran around talking to people, many of which recognized me with my sign, and said happy birthday, and bought me drinks. After a while, I met back up with my friend who was waiting by Slash's tour buses in hopes that he would come out. Not five minutes later did we get the announcement that he would come out to greet fans, only under the exception that there would be no photos allowed, and one signature per person. I starting freaking! and did the one thing I thought to do, jump in line as soon as possible! (I didn't think about it, but I later realized I should have waited at the very back of the line, more on that in a bit.)
When it was finally my turn, I was shaking so much. I wanted to say something to him but I didn't want to sound like a total douche. I showed him my sign and told him I was the birthday dude. First, I asked if I could be the exception and get one photo, but his bodyguard said no way. Slash said he would, but then he would have to do it for everyone. Then, I asked if he could sign my Slash autobiography, and Appetite LP sleeve, but his bodyguard freaked out again and said only one signature. So, if I was only getting one, I was going to make it count! I told him I wanted it on my arm because I was going to get it tattooed. He smiled and said okay, but then I asked if he could do his skull and bones logo. At first, he said no, because it would take too long, but he ended up doing it anyway, just a quick version of it. But I didn't care. (This is where I realized I should have been at the back of the line, so that I could have had more time with him, and he wouldn't have to rush to get through all the fans, and maybe I could have gotten a picture as well.)
Afterwards, I shook his hand and thanked him over and over. As I walked away, I felt like screaming. I couldn't even believe it. I just met the guitar GOD SLASH. He touched my arm. he shook my hand. IS THIS FUCKING REAL??! My friend ashley wanted to get back in the car because she was cold, so I walked with her. I couldn't stop shaking and freaking out! she told me to calm down, so I climbed in and sat down. I needed a minute to assess what had just happened.
Now, before the show, I posted a picture of me holding my sign in the computer lab after I printed it out. A friend of mine saw it on Instagram, and tagged his friend, who happened to be a roadie for Slash. I contacted him, and asked him about getting to meet Slash. He said he would do his best, but in the end, it was not his call. I thought about what I would do if I met him, and realized that this could very well happen. I knew if I got the chance, I would want to tattoo his signature on my arm, so I tried to pre-plan this as best as I could.
I called up some of my tattoo artist friends in Denver, but none of them answered. Granted, it was nearly 1 am, and some of them have families, but I thought that SOMEONE had to be awake!! there was NO WAY I could sleep on this thing and risk getting it lost or ruined. I figured at least an early morning appointment would be better than nothing, but I couldn't get ahold of anyone! i was starting to get worried, thinking I may have to vaccum seal my arm for fucks sake. But just then, Helldorado Scott of Thick as Thieves Tattoo called me back. I told him it was an emergency, and asked when was the soonest he could get me in his shop. He said "Come in now, I'm here!" and just like that, I was speeding down the road, on my way to his shop. I was originally going to take Ashley home, but at the last minute, she decided to join me in this continued adventure.
I couldn't help but think that everything was happening just the way it was supposed to. I was meant to meet Slash that night, and I was meant to get his signature tattooed on my arm. It was almost bizarre how everything had worked out. It was magical. I arrived at Scottie's shop, and he was all ready for me to go. We had some brews, and some laughs, and he tattooed me until 3 or 4 in the morning. He didn't ask for anything in return, it was his gift to me. As a tip, I gave him one of my books, as he has always been a supporter of my work. He was really happy about that.
The next day, I woke up thinking the whole thing was a dream. It was so surreal, that I didn't even believe that it actually happened. But as soon as I looked at my arm, I knew it was real. I am still trying to take it all in. Easily one of the greatest nights of my life!!!!!