WHATS UP NATION!?
This is The Concert Cruizer and just last weekend I attended a horror convention called Spooky Empire’s Ultimate Horror Weekend in Orlando Florida.
The convention was actually canceled earlier this year due to Hurricane Mathew but the organizers managed to reschedule it and got most of the original guests back (including the cast of STRANGER THINGS). What I was surprised to see was a decent number Musical Celebrities which I LOVE. Meeting musicians at cons is a much better experience then a concert. You actually have more time to talk to them rather then it being a 2 second meet and greet. Plus get a decent selfie or a professional photo op. Plus your indoors, you don’t have to worry about the weather, you can bring your own thing to get signed, you can party with them and its pretty well organized.
The first person I got to meet was The Parody King WEIRD AL YANKOVIC
I have been waiting years to meet him and I had a couple of Christmas Presents for him that I wrapped in Aluminum Foil. I expected him to just rip it apart but no. He slowly unfolds it like an old man and says “there’s now chewed gum in here right”? Laughing I said no its a real gift and it was a dog tag of his character from My Little Pony Cheese Sandwich. Now before I went into the next gift I had to tell him the story behind it. I said: Now AL this next one is from someone you and I both know. This man has taken me under his wing, he taught me how to make a video and he and his wife have stayed at my house on more then one occasion. I asked him to make this so I can give it to you when I saw you in concert in Buffalo NY. I waited out back of the venue for hours and (gave a serious look) you bailed and I have been waiting YEARS to give this to you. So here you are. Once again he slowly unwraps it and said he was gonna save the foil for later and sees this.
I open my sweater, reveal the Green Jello shirt and go “Bill Says Hi”. He thanked me for the picture but I don’t think he believed me that I knew the singer and found of Green Jello Bill Manspeaker. So played him a video of Bill saying hello to AL and confirming that we are in fact friends. Thats when AL went OH WOW! YOU DO KNOW HIM! He told me about when he was invited over to Bill’s place for his son’s birthday parties and how he used his office at Green Jello Studios to shoot an episode of AL TV. As I left he said “Hey give my regards to Bill and tell him that Green Jello….STILL SUXX! Meeting AL was everything I hoped it would be. He was funny, not one snob bone in his body and the other cool part, was that his manager and director of his movie UHF Jay Levey was there.
Another music legend I got to meet was DAVE ELLEFSON from MEGADETH.
Dave was such a gem to meet. If you couldn’t afford to buy anything but just wanted to say hello. He had no problem shaking your hand and just chat with you (you would NEVER get something like that at a concert). Aside from having photos to sell he also had an array of guitar picks which again is so great. If you have ever been front row at a concert. You know that people will dive for that stuff like zombies on a body and while that maybe free it’s still just a chance and risky. Here you could buy them and he even had RARE ones and in the pick collecting community THOSE are treasure.
They also had Bobby Steele from THE MISFITS and THE UNDEAD.
What I liked about was, he was just as approachable as everyone else I have mentioned but his stuff was fairly priced. Sometimes this stuff can get pretty expensive and rightfully so. I mean if they had Tony Iommi from Black Sabbath and he was charging $100…..yeah you can get why. And while Bobby IS A LEGEND in the Punk Scene, he was not charging an arm and leg for his autograph and photo op (and now I am kicking myself in the ass for not getting his). But I had such a great time hanging out with him. We were telling jokes, I was doing magic tricks and he dragged other people over for me to show them off to other people and I hope I will have a chance to meet him again.
Now this last person I was skeptical about meeting because I had met him before and he was kinda stand offish but it was KERRY KING from SLAYER.
When I met him back in 2012 Kerry was rather quiet, he didn’t talk very much, and didn’t seem like he wanted to be there. That being said I figured I should go up to him and thank him for coming because he wasn’t part of the original line up and he still wanted to be apart of Spooky Empire. So I walk up and say hello and I gotta tell you…that was not the same man I spoke to back in 2012. He was all smiles, he was happy to be there, we were talking about how Mayhem 2012 was my first time seeing SLAYER, the theatrics of shock rock, the band Rammstein and then I found out that at the VIP reception he was drinking with everybody, he was very approachable and social with all of their attendees. So I OFFICIALLY take back everything I have ever said about. It was a really pleasure meeting you again Mr. King.
I hope one day musicians will get a convention of their very own. Yeah there N.A.M.M but thats really more of a vendors fair. It’s not an actual convention like this. Hell there were people cosplaying as the band GHOST! Iv even seen people cosplay as other well known metal musicians in various other cons and if this continues, hopefully music will be nerdy again. If your interested in going to Spooky Empire then please head over to www.spookyempire.com and until next time nation…STAY LOUD!