Well, this event happened at the Return of the Dreads Tour with Korn and Rob Zombie at First Niagra Pavilion in Burgettstown PA. And as i mentioned earlier, i knew i wanted to do something unique and involving the one thing that has also made an impact on my life. Of course, i was prepared with other obscure items for each member to sign, but i didn't have anything for the singer that really stood out!
I also didn't have an N64 contoller that i felt necessary for my idea.
There's something about the Standard Grey controller that symbolizes the beginning of something. The genesis.
With everything else going on in the planning, i somewhat put off looking for a controller because i was confident that i would find one nearby. It wasn't until last weekend that i was getting worried when my avenues started drying up. If the places did have them, they only sold them with the N64 console loose and CIB. I even tried the shop where got the NMI N64 Cigar, but to no avail.
I was running out of time with only days away when i got a lead on one at an abandoned Mall. It was inside a newly established video game store called Games-AGO.
I had been there before when it was in a smaller location within the mall, but this store was bigger, and accomidated more of the incredible retro items the owner has.
This store has way more variety than you typically find in "retro stores" that seem tobget the same items- in some sort of distribution cycle.
I met with the owner and a young employee and told them i was the one that called looking for a grey controller. He had several, but all had cosmetic damege. I got concerned after i made it clear prior to arriving that i needed one without any damage to the top half of the controller. Then we went back to the last one he had, that i had passed by in the display case as i entered. It was perfect!
I then explained the reasons for my concerns, and plans i had for this controller. It was then that the kid working there told me that he was just at the same venue a few weeks earlier at a Country show...
He went on to say about the time he walked into one of their restrooms, where there were "people" drinking, and someone turned to him and bashed him in the face and ribs, that then turned into an all out brawl.
He fought back until security apprehended and arrested the other guy. You could clearly see that he was telling the truth from the marks on his face.
All told, the controller was in excellent condition and all for $15. I was ready for the concert.
I think this is yet another example of the kind of RIDICULOUS crap that occurs at "country" shows around here in comparison to other forms of music, but that's another story for another time.
Thinking ahead, i took only the top half of the controller shell to get signed, knowing that a full controller could be misconstrued as a weapon.
With big venues like these, there are also certain policies and restrictions for the average concert-goer, in terms of approved and prohibited items that aleays seem to change without notice.
I called ahead and made sure that i would be accomidated. I even went as far as to tell them that Korn's tour manager knows me and will basically call him if i have any trouble getting my items in, which is true.
I had my ticket at Will Call, which was scheduled to open before the gates to the general public did. I was scheduled to meet my company at 4:00 p.m.
We arrived an hour early only to be denied access by traffic control to the parking zones. They told us we could be able to park at 4:00...
So we drove to a cut-out where fellow denied patrons were already partying.
I got to have a beer and socialize until about 3:50; drove back, and once again was turned away! It was chaos!!
They did not open the enterance until exactly 4:00 sharp!
As i didn't spring for better parking, it was first come; furthest away.
There was NO time to tailgate as planned.
But i was aware that once the general public entered the venue, there was no re-entry.
Everything that was on my itinerary all took place before the gates even opened, and i was assured i could go back to my vehicle and secure my items all before the public even entered.
In sweltering humidity i finally walked over half a mile to the box office where i was greeted by Sebastien, Korn's tour coordinator. We chit-chatted as i signed in and went through the security search. Out of all things i had, including my mosh pit jumpsuit, they had no problem with any of it.
That's when venue representatives told me i could not leave the venue once i entered. I began to plead my case which was when they offered to store my items in this guarded lawn shed. A shed any homeowner has in their backyard- sitting just outside the main gate. It reminded me of Bubbles' shed from Trailer Park Boys.
I agreed and entered the venue.
It was a bit nerve wracking despite anticipating having to battle this kind of nonsense just to get in.
But they ushered us to a semi enclosed area of the venue where the chosen few would wait to see Korn. Granted, it was more than a few, but it was so hot and miserable inside. I remained calm and collected as best i could.
Aside from the number of people there, was the best of the best of true fans there. Myself included.
After about 30 minutes a crew of dark clothed, wild haired people started walking up the walkway.
It was Korn.
Before they could even reach our area, they were met with screams, cheers, and applause, it was exciting to see!!
It only got louder as they entered. There are tears shed for this band. I've seen it first hand.
Normally, Jonathan Davis is a secretive, reclusive individual and does not like being photographed, but it was part of this tour, and it always changes. I knew i had to take this opportunity to get my controller signed.
All five members greeted everyone. I talked with them, made them laugh, and engaged them as a true fan should. It was comforting to know that they remember me; not only from previous encounters, but from the "extreme" rocking that i do from inside their mosh pits.
I also got to finally meet Head, the returning guitarist for the first time- which was incredible!!!
- [+] spoiler
I then got this controller signed right after this photo was taken. You can see it around my access pass.
I believe the picture says it all!?
You'd be wrong...
It was this same controller that i had to express to the gate keepers from earlier- was extremely delicate and would turn out to be the ONLY reason that convinced them to let me OUT of the venue to the vehicle to secure it, because they couldn't handle the responsibility!!!
We finally got a motorized escort that they paged in as we waited. Again, we were assured that my items would remain safe prior to the sheduled "event", but once i mentiontioned that it was a delicate item, they could no longer claim responsibility for it, which is the whole reason for the added assistance.
I've explained this as best i could. There are other details that i've tried to fit in, but don't really pertain to the story of getting my controller signed.
But just know that when it comes to access to my favorite band, i will say that i'm in GOOD
And so the story continues.