Wednesday, September 25, 2013
I tend not to post set lists or even write about concert experiences on here out of sheer laziness but this was a little different as I volunteered to sell tour programs in the lobby in generous exchange for a Steve Hackett t-shirt of my choice. So two months after the event let me get what I remember down.
Gearing up for the upcoming show i would browse the Steve Hackett Facebook page almost daily and a call came out for two volunteers to sell tour programs at the venue on the night pre-show, I concluded that it would make the night that much more interesting and I would rather do it than not and awaited a confirmation that I was picked, picked I was and Stephanie got me in touch with Adrian. I was instructed to arrive at the Best Buy theater at 6:30 p.m.a half an hour before doors opened. Oddly a Chinese Maneki-Niko "Good Luck" cat was facing me on the stairs outside of my apartment to wish me luck.
I got to times Square with time to spare and having only been to the Best Buy theater (when it was called NOKIA) once to witness King Crimson in 2008 I activated my Google Maps for directions, so up 44th street I go approaching the west side. As I neared 8th avenue I began to worry, Nokia was right off Broadway and there was no Nokia in sight. It is now about 6:50 p.m. and one panicked phone call to Jamie and I am back on Broadway, I asked a flyer distributor if she knew where the Best Buy theater was and she said "right over there on 45th street", Now there is a Big difference between 44th and 45th street. I get to the ticket window and they refuse me"You are not on the guest list" I explain I am not a guest I am here for merchandising, one walkie talkie call and I am let in (after showing my ticket of course) and the doors are open as the crowd enters, down the escalator I jog and make my way to the merchandise table, I apologize for being late and the dude says "it happens" and hands me 10 programs instructing me to wander around. My other fellow volunteer (I forget his name, we did say hello) is at the bottom of the escalator selling programs so I try to find a different spot, there really isn't any so I set myself up at the bottom of the escalator near the bar as I was given no change and figured if anyone did not have exact change they could make some at the bar.
"Steve Hackett Programs, Steve Hackett Tour Programs" I proceed to announce but my partner is already doing that so I take the soft sell approach without being fake at all, I am amongst like minded fans after all. People browsed the programs and bought some too, I only sold 8 copies in 45 minutes but these were nice programs and priced right at $15 whereas most are priced at $20 and up. I had some nice conversations based on people's t-shirts and one young woman had a very nice "Foxtrot" tee, just the Genesis and Foxtrot logo on white. One guy took the program off me and started chatting with his friends about Lou Reed and other artists yet he still had the program in hand, with my New York eye I kept watch on him and then he started walking away, I caught up with him and said "Dude, Dude" (which I never say) and it turns out he thought the program was free (or so he said) he handed it back to me.
I get back to the Merchandise table ten minutes before showtime and its a different person there. I hesitated to hand over my 2 remaining programs (actually I bought one of them) and the one hundred and twenty dollars cash but this man's smile and British accent won me over, it was Adrian who actually designed the t-shirt I had chosen and had had my eye on for months on the Hackettsongs website, I also purchased a copy of "Sketches Of Hackett : The authorized biography of Steve Hackett" and it wound up being a signed copy. Here is my email back to Stephanie.