Sunday, March 6, 2011

Leo Kottke

Leo Kottke signed these records for me a couple nights ago at the City Winery in New York City. My encounter with Leo went as smoothly as possible, owing largely to the fact that I emailed the club a few hours before the show, mentioning that I would be attending and that I was hoping to get a record signed. (I kept "record" singular so the staff wouldn't think I had 15 of them--it's best to keep things simple.) The manager responded to my email by saying that I should ask for him when I got to the club and that he would see what he could do. When I arrived, I found the manager and handed him my records. He went off to find Leo, but came back with my records a short while later saying that Leo was planning on coming out after the show and that I could just have him sign them then.

After an amazing performance, I lingered around the club waiting for Leo to come out. I settled my tab so that I would have easier mobility and hung around the bar area for a bit. After about twenty minutes, Leo came out with his coat on and his guitar in hand and proceeded to walk across the club to the front door. No one really seemed to notice him except for one guy who said hello as he was heading out. It was then that I took the opportunity to ask him if he would sign my record (again, keeping "record" singular), to which he responded "Oh yeah, there was a record to sign." At that point, I was really glad I had contacted the club beforehand, as Leo was not surprised or annoyed by my question. Then, when I made a joke that made him smile, I knew everything would go well. Our conversation went something like this:

- Hi Leo, I realize you’re heading out, but would you mind signing my record?
- Oh yeah, there was a record to sign (Leo sets his guitar down)
- I have a pen right here, though you probably won't want to sign anything once you see which record I brought
- (Leo smiles) Must be Circle 'Round the Sun (It’s well known that Leo hates this record, though it’s somewhat of a fan favorite.)

I then set my two records on a table that was close by and handed him my sharpie. As he was signing them, we then had this exchange:

- I have a silly request. I prefer that you do not date your autograph.
- You don’t want a date? How come?
- I just think a "twenty-eleven" would look out of place on a nineteen-seventy record.
- Really? I’m the exact opposite.

We talked a bit more. I told him that I had seen him a few times and that this evening’s performance was the best show of his I’d seen, which was a true statement. I then asked him where he was headed and he said "Albany." I wished him a safe journey and that was the end of our encounter.


  1. of those two covers, the embarrassing one for him is the FORMER? what the hell is going on in that second cover??

  2. why did you reset your p-p-p-p-poll?
    also, i think you have another visitor from lafayette, as i did not log on 12 hours ago...

  3. - His embarrassment is not with the covers. He doesn't like the way he sounds on the first record.
    - I'm not exactly sure what's going on in the second cover. I think it's supposed to be some weird dream, as the album is called "Dreams and All that Stuff."
    - Each time I do a poll, I only let it run for 2 months.
    - You are always the visitor from Lafayette. We already determined that you have a window open on your laptop that reaches this site every time you log on.