It was a year ago that I attended my first album signing in HMV Oxford Street but unlike a lot of fans who meet their favourite celebrity, mine aren’t exactly happy memories.
I think I ought to make it clear from the start that Meat Loaf himself IS NOT TO BLAME. He was as pleasant as I’ve always known him to be. This issue is a combination between my own nerves and some power-mad security guards.
I was a little bit nervous on my way up to London but most of that was down to my worries over finding my way around on the Underground. I had decided to visit a friend who worked in London before I made my way across to HMV. Although I got lost, I was fine and saw my friend for a quick chat before heading back to HMV. At the store, I met another fan who I had arranged to sell wristbands and jewellery items for charity. I’m glad I had arranged to do this because it got me talking to other fans and also distracted me from my own nerves.
We did well selling the charity items but eventually it was time for Meat Loaf to make his appearance. He was wearing a beautiful jacket with sparkly embroidered flowers on the sleeves and I don’t know what it was about seeing him again, in person, that all of a sudden, made those nerves kick in.
I’m not the kind of fan who would ever cause trouble or behave inappropriately and the fans I met at this event were much the same but yet the security team decided to treat us with the same heavy hand as they’d treat the overexcited teenage fans of Justin Bieber.
We had already been told before the event that due to time constraints, only one item would be signed and that’s fair enough and I understand that they might need to remind some people of this. I had a card for Meat and this was in my hand as I approached him, they reminded me very abruptly of the one item rule and when I said that it was a card they snatched this off of me and gave it to one of the assistants. Meanwhile they took the item I had brought with me to have signed and passed it along to Meat. He looked up at me, down at the artwork and back up at me again before saying ‘Thank You’ in a kindly voice. I had wanted to thank him for the honour of having the artwork included in the album but I just couldn’t get the words out. I couldn’t even look him in the eye, I was just staring at the sparkles on his jacket as if they were hypnotising me.
Another security guard practically took the artwork out of Meat’s hands as soon as he had signed his name and gave it back to me, telling me to leave the stage. That was it, my moment with my favourite singer was over.
On the train home all the thoughts were buzzing around in my mind about how I had not made the most of the opportunity and reading the experiences of other fans who’d attended made it harder to accept. I don’t begrudge them their experiences as they were the ones who had made the most of it but it made me more angry with who I was.
Of course going over this and dwelling on it won’t change what happened, it was what it was. A fellow Meat Loaf fan told me today, nerves are a good thing providing you don’t let them turn into fear. She had a very good point and it’s a good way of looking at things for the future.