On February 25th, 2008, my body glistening with the sweat of My Hero, My Poor Brain swollen to incomprehensible dimensions, I walked out of a Foo Fighters concert aglow with the euphoria of live music. On February 26th, I filed a police report.
After nearly three hours of hard rock, the plan was to sprint to my car - parked 5 blocks away - grab a framed photo of the band, and return to the arena to have it forever slicked with Sharpie ink. With Dave Grohl's autograph. On my way out of the arena a Monkey Wrench was thrown into my plan when I noticed the band had already begun its shuffle toward the tour bus. It would be impossible to make it from the car back to the bus before they became permanently inaccessible. Decision time just came a-knockin'. And I wasn't about to answer the door in my skivvies.
My other memorabilia options were limited as I had only three things in my pocket: a cell phone, a dollar bill, and some Big League Chew. Since I could never in good conscience relinquish the Chew (which was grape), the obvious choice became the dollar bill. Shoving through the crowd, I waved Mr. Washington wildly toward Dave Grohl
’s face, screaming for him to “Sign it, sign this thing, please!
He appeared confused.
“Put your name on it with that pen in your hand!” He looked at me, then at the dollar, and then at me again, as if somehow not understanding the association between us. But finally, begrudgingly, he took it. And I stared, horrified, as he walked onto his bus without saying another word... Dollar bill in hand.
I was stunned. Here I was, a loyal fan who had waited Everlong to meet my idol, forced to leave that meeting tragically dollar-less.
It’s at this point that I hear at least a dozen people ask how I could get so Up In Arms over something as silly as a dollar. Maybe it’s because I have morals. Okay? Don't misunderstand; I can appreciate the “edginess” of rock and roll as much as the guy behind me at the concert (who accounted for no less than 12 percent of the overall perspiration on my body), but a guy has to draw the line somewhere.
And quite frankly, Big Me to talk about this experience openly. I applaud myself for not falling prey to the mysticism of superstardom that allows regular people to be walked on by those with famous faces. And I will re-tell this story as many times as it needs to be heard before my message rings throughout the nation: famous people, stop stealing my money. I'm serious with this. I expect more from you. In fact, I expect The Best Of You.
It saddens me that a successful, Grammy-winning singer/guitarist of one of the greatest rock bands in the history of singers and guitars would think it funny to thieve away MY dollar. It’s not funny. It’s heartbreaking. I’m not some incredibly Stacked Actor that throws his dollars around like quarters; I’m a poor college student who could’ve used that very dollar to buy a classic, juicy McDouble for sustenance, which is exactly what I would have done had I known where my dollar was going to end up.
It’s Times Like These that I worry about the future of the celebrity/fan relationship. I mean, All My Life I’ve been raised to believe that if you respect people and treat them the way you want to be treated, good things will surely happen. Well, guess what? The last time I checked, “thou shalt not steal” was still listed on the stone tablets. And from the moment I was without that dollar I found myself wishing I still had it. That’s coveting, Dave! So now you’ve turned me into a sinner. And for what? Is this retribution for that time I illegally downloaded "The Pretender" instead of purchasing it off iTunes? Because, if so, that only cost 99 cents. You still owe me a penny.
To date, there's been no Resolve on this issue. The police have done nothing to help me regain my property and one officer even went so far as to openly mock me in a private response to my police report. In it, he claimed that my request for legal recourse was “a waste of time, energy and ink” and that I should just Let It Die.
I haven't heard from Dave or any of the other Foos regarding the matter.
I don't know that I’ll ever be able to move beyond the events of February 25th, 2008. What took place that night will never completely dissolve from memory. I learned, much to my own displeasure, that the deepest blues aren’t black, but green. I also learned that you don’t always get what you want or what you expect. From this point on, I will never again ask for an autograph from a famous person, or even a complete stranger for that matter.
So This Is A Call, Dave Grohl: I love you, but you gotta promise to stop stealing my hard-earned cash.