Monday, October 3, 2011

John Hancock

Yesterday I was watching Notting Hill as I worked on a project.  I always get a kick out of the scene when Anna Scott walks into William Thacker's Travel Book Shop and considers purchasing a book about India that is signed by the author. Here you can watch it if you want.

Or I'll just summarize it for you:

Anna says, "Ooh! Signed by the author I see."
And William replies, "Couldn't stop him. If you can find an unsigned one, it's worth a fortune."

Then some hoodlum who was trying to shoplift has the gall to ask Anna Scott (Julia Roberts) for her autograph. She signs:
"Dear Rufus, You belong in jail. "

That made me think about how odd it is to ask someone for their autograph. I have several items autographed, although I haven't personally asked for all of them. Is it really as weird as it's portrayed in Notting Hill for the person who is signing? It's weird asking. What purpose do these scribbles serve? How famous does one need to be in order for their John Hancock to be worth something? Is there even a market for autographs? It's all rather odd.

For example: My Sondre Lerche t-shirt.  I loved this shirt before the autograph. I should have had him sign the album. I've been trying to wash this out ever since because when I wear it, it looks like I had him sign my chest. Take my word, I wasn't wearing it when he signed it.
In his defense, he was so charming and actually conversational.  It was one of the best memories and his concert has spoiled all other concert experiences for me.

Here's a shirt that I feel I wasted my money on. I only wore it once...That's one time too many. I won tickets from the local radio station which included an opportunity to meet DC and his band backstage. We were all ushered into a room. I felt like I stuck out like a sore thumb because I wasn't trying to seduce the band members. I just wanted to meet them and possibly gain some advice. While under the watchful eyes of their sultry groupies, DC told me to continue to write and not be afraid to play a gig even if it might not be a paying one. All the band members cordially signed their smudges on the dark shirt although I can't even tell you which one belongs to the Season 7- American Idol Winner.

Ah! Here's a great autograph! I cherish this one.  Margaret O' Brien was a famous child actor of the Golden Era. She played the morbid, imaginative Tootie Smith in my favourite Judy Garland film, Meet Me In St. Louis. She danced the cake walk and sang "Under the Bamboo Tree" with the incomparable Ms. Garland. She's the little one that Judy held while she originally sang "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas".  I'll give you a second to think about that. Her little ears were among the first in the world to hear that song.  I met her at the Judy Garland Festival and she signed this for me. True Story.
Here's an autograph from one of the wee boys who represented the Lollipop Guild. 66 years later and he was still young at heart.

This was signed by Bryan Adams' lead guitarist, Keith Scott after a BA concert. This is a REALLY big deal for me.
This one, not so much.

I got this for Christmas 2 years ago. Isn't it grand? I really need to frame it! Sigh.

I can't find the actual autograph, but here is proof that my dad saw Steven Curtis Chapman back in the day. That little blond boy is Jim Bob ("Uh, Jena, Get a life."). I don't know where I was. I think I would have liked to have been there. SCC was really genuine so I'm told.

I love this one too! SO I have a friend who worked at this little hole-in-the-wall joint that tourists and celebrities frequent in Nashvegas. She waited on the one and only Keith Urban and knew I was a big fan and asked him for his autograph for me. So sweet! And one of the most thoughtful things anyone has ever given me.

Here's another one that someone requested for me. (Drawn by my dad of!)
I started listening to Lesley's 45's when I was still in diapers. 'Tis true! She sang the first songs I ever learned. He gave me this card when I was unable to make the concert.

Yeah, this Lesley.

Here's my Sean Bean autograph...

I mean...where he would have signed. I had the book, I had the Sharpie, I had the celeb...I just didn't have the nerve. I mean, why wreck a great memory?
Does the autograph just prove that I saw him? How's this for proof?

Here's an album I could have had signed. I worked with one of these guys for a while, but that would have been a risk to ask him to sign it. That may have been humiliating for both of us.  I used to be star struck every time I worked with him knowing that he more than likely had met the members of *NSYNC and BSB. My thirteen year-old-self couldn't handle knowing that. He proved to be a personable and unassuming co-worker over time.

Alright reader, so whose signature do you have? Do you have any weird stories? Do tell. ;)


  1. Wow! What a great collection, Jana! I can't recall if I have many autographs-oh, wait! I have my ticket stubb signed by Davy Jones! And another ticket stubb signed by Eric Whitacre. I do have a picture of Trevor Wye (a high profile flutist) playing flute to a heard of cattle that he personally sent to me!

  2. Thanks, Makayla! Hahaha I knew you had Trevor Wye's autograph, but I don't think I realized that he was playing to a heard of cattle. That's so hilarious! Imagine that photoshoot and trying to keep the cattle looking attentive. I'm glad you shared that with me. It's really fascinating to me to hear what people collect and how they are valued.


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