The New Norm?
I've been to a few concerts in Montana recently, and I have to say, I'm quite disappointed. Not in the performances. They've been great. It's what appears to be the new norm with Meet and Greets.
In my career, I've been fortunate enough to meet some of the true legends of Country Music, Rock and Pop. People like Don Williams, Jim Ed Brown, Minnie Pearl, Roy Acuff, Ernest Tubbs, George Straight, Randy Travis, Reba, Garth Brooks, The Who, Ted Nugent and ZZ Top, just to name a very small few. These people are amazing. Every single one of them made us feel like stars and it was their honor to meet us. (I'll never forget how Larry the Cable Guy had a room set up for US with food and all kinds of beverages! Or how at the Grand Ole' Opry, I got to go on stage when they announced that I was there!!! I know, right?) They took pictures with us, signed autographs, and just plain chatted with us. One of the times I met George Straight, he had a toddler on his knee (he was on the floor) and he talked with her for a good 5 minutes. Above all, they all made a point of thanking all of us for making it possible for them to have such a cool job.
I am so disappointed that the new system includes no personal pictures and no autographs. (Most have a photographer on staff and you can down-load your picture later.) What are they thinking? I'm not even so sure it's the artists so much as their representation. The looks on the faces of my listeners makes me want to cry when we find out they won't sign anything, or the kids can't have the picture on their phones. Then to make matters worse, they herd people in for about 1 minute. It's like we were about to guard the President. Absolutely ridiculous. Our president took the time to write a note for a kid who was missing school to see him, and now these artists are so awesome they can't take the time to sign their name? The people they're meeting buy their art and provide them with a living. You'd think they could take 5 minutes to make them feel as special as they are made to feel. I really hope someone somewhere puts a stop to this before it's too late.
It takes a lifetime to build a career and reputation, and about 1 minute to have it ruined forever.