Vail Daily Editor Don Rogers: When fan meets star
My thanks to James Deighan for his gift to my daughter. Yeah, yeah, this is not supposed to be personal space. But still. It was a big deal to me.Deighan, partner at Vail’s Highline Sports & Entertainment, arranged for Rachel to meet the bass player for her favorite group, the Dave Matthews Band. The freshman at Fort Lewis College came home early last weekto see the Yukon Kornelius perform at the Dobson last Friday. She had no idea about this, though. Deighan was an extremely busy guy with SnowDaze. He didn’t have to do anything, and we would have understood.But there she was on the phone at Dobson last Friday afternoon when Deighan said, “Rachel, get off the phone. Stefan wants to meet you.” Kid played it cool, as she always does. Stefan Lessard, the bass player who had come for sound check and some practice with this patchwork group of performers from a variety of bands you know well, was warm and friendly. The picture Deighan took of her with Lessard told the whole story for me. Big, wide smile. She was thrilled. We went to the concert, and then the post-concert party where we chatted with Lessard again, met his wife, met Twisted Sister frontmant Dee Snider and joked with Ed Robertson of the Barenaked Ladies about the bare naked breast a gal flashed at the end of the show.Fun stuff, although I wondered about this whole fan dynamic. Funny how people with singular skills command such attention. And how is it a reporter would be more jazzed about going snowboarding for her interview with Lessard than meeting him, while my daughter and her mother were so jazzed to talk with him? Easy answer: My girls are admirers, and the reporter wouldn’t know the Dave Matthews Band from Jethro Tull, other than maybe the accents.I’m more impressed with Phil Jackson, as a basketball fan, but I know I didn’t appreciate meeting him as much as I should. I tend to be more interested in the conversation than the person, and the star of course is guarded dealing with yet another fan. So it’s all a little awkward unless you can break through all that.The best times I had with stars were as a 6-year-old hanging out with Duke Kahanamoku, who was just my buddy, and at another event at the Dobson when we bumped into “MacGyver,” Richard Dean Anderson. Somehow, we found some common ground and enjoyed each others’ company as just people, breaking that fan-star barrier for a few minutes that the star will soon forget and fan always remember. That’s a gift, too.Don Rogers is the editor and publisher of the Vail Daily. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 970-748-2920. He welcomes your comments at http://www.vaildaily.com.