What is it about an autograph?

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2006/08/01 02:55 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2006/07/31/684908.aspx

Absolutely nothing technical here!

There is something nice about having some with an autograph. What is the fascination with that sort of thing, anyway?

The other day a friend of mine had an autographed picture of Liz Phair he had to get rid of. He had won it in a contest, but since

there was not a whole lot that he could do with it. So I said a little Apocalypse Now moment and took it -- what the hell else was I going to do.... :-)

And no, I didn't put it up in my office, I understand why that is a bad idea.

Though between you and me, I'm not sure what the actual problem is. She may not even actually be naked, and even if she is it's not like we actually know for sure. Since we can't see anything. I mean in addition to what might actually be clothes she is essentially wearing a freaking guitar. Which would mean she is more dressed than someone who couldn't find an excuse to have a guitar in front of them (I know people would be looking at me pretty oddly were I to wear a guitar to work!).

And the look on her face, I'm not sure what it is supposed to mean, but I don't think it is quite as suggestive a look as some people think. It is more aloof than that. Steve Taylor had a line describing that look in the song Tale O' the Twister -- "A barstool yawn to a stuttered come on, it's a dirt road rut, she said 'button up mister'" -- if you know what I mean. Kind of a "I'm looking for someone who's all that, too bad you're not it" or somesuch.

Of course it leaves room for some delusional dissembling on the part of fans -- so someone could look at it and think like maybe she is being aloof and she thinks the person she is looking at is all that. But I mean really, how often does that happen? If the answer is even remotely close to ever, it is pretty certain that it is never a fan who really gets that kind of attention....

Kathleen Edwards once signed a copy of Failer and at the top of what she wrote, she put my name down as "Mike." I wasn't gonna correct it or anything, but I actually remember being a little sad. But then the next night, when I gave her a copy of "Back To Me" to sign, she signed it "Michael" and actually remembered that she had put "Mike" on the other album and said she was sorry about that. Which was undeniably cool since I had not introduced myself the second night at all. That one she wrote "Mike" on is something I'll sorta treasure now.

Though not as much as the picture she took with me in Dublin after a show there, with the copy of the signed CD for someone else (she wanted to give me proof that she had actually signed it, I swear neither of us was actually drunk at the time). She even stuck her tongue out, for reasons that you had to be there to understand. It was kind of related to a joke she told at the time, and I'll admit that the reason you had to be there is that I can't remember what the joke was. But it really did make sense at the time.

And then on Saturday I had Vienna Teng sign a copy of her latest CD, after the show. And Julie had her sign one too. I was struck later by how cool it was that Vienna did not write the exact same message on both of them. Add to that the fact that she has an incredible voice and a CS degree from Stanford and it becomes really obvious that if she played in Seattle more often, I'd be at those shows....

Now Julie did not fully understand why I didn't ask Duncan Sheik to sign a copy of his CD, especially since I had one there. But I kind of felt weird to me being a "total fan" in that case -- cause I'm gonna do some work for him and it just seems better to not be quite the slobbering fan in that case. She didn't quite see the difference, so I guess it's hard to explain.

I did forget to ask him if it was the same Mark. Something to remember to ask him for next time.

That reminds me that I ought to do a quick review of the show, it was a lot of fun, and as it is in most cases the meta-show was also once again fascinating. :-)

Like I said, there is just something nice about having some with an autograph. I'm not sure what it is, or why it seems to make a difference. But it does....

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referenced by

2008/04/13 Have you ever been hooked by the tale o' Lex twister?

2007/01/06 Sorting The Old New Thing All Out

2006/08/04 Duncan Sheik and Vienna Teng last weekend

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