Went to Brian Setzer's Rockabilly Riot show at Nakano Sun Plaza last night. First part of the show was a trio later augmented by a fourth piece doing various tunes from the big band and recent solo albums. Then he came out with Slim Jim Phantom and a different bass player to play Stray Cats hits. For the big finale all six guys came out together to storm through some Rockabilly classics. The show was great. The after-show not so great.
Knowing he wouldn't be out for a while we grabbed a bite to eat then headed to the rear exit of the building where other autograph hounds were waiting on either side of the driveway. Setzer came out and signed everybody's stuff, including a Gretsch guitar, except mine. He then headed to the other side of the driveway to the other group and did the same thing (minus the Gretsch). Seemed like he was purposely ignoring me since I was the tallest person in the crowd and had been holding my CD over everyone's heads so he could see it. It was a noisy crowd and I didn't want to add to the chaos. Tired of being ignored even after I called his name a couple times I said, "Hey Brian, don't forget a fellow American!" His manager got a good laugh out of that one but Setzer suddenly looked up at me, dead in the eye, with this guilty puppy-dog look like he just got busted. Immediately he turned away and started sweet talking some Japanese chick in the crowd then left.
What could Brian Setzer possibly have against me personally? I've only met him after shows with the rest of the autograph seekers, Indianapolis '96 and Cincinnati '98. I seriously doubt he remembers me from then despite going google-eyed over my SEXY & 17 double-45. But this time he was desperate to steer clear of me. I can only think of two reasons. One is that there was another tall "round eye" at one or both of the other Tokyo shows who was being a pain in the ass and so he mistook me for that guy.
The other possible reason is not such an innocent mistake. The Japanese throw large sums of money at foreign entertainers/celebrities to do some cheesy shit they don't want folks back home knowing about. Setzer comes to Japan regularly and gets red carpet treatent. The car he rode off in had green plates and a flag on the front; these cars are for politicians, dignitaries and other VIPs. Nope, #2 possible reason is he's kissing yellow ass and doesn't want any honkies to know about it. 'Cause he was eating it up while simultaneously trying to avoid me!
Whatever the reason it was a bullshit thing to do. Thank you Brian Setzer for setting such a fine example of what not to do. I'm happy to say that I take time to talk to everyone who approaches me at my gigs and related appearances (like video previews) and sign every CD. Some people show you what to do by doing the exact opposite.