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Lynyrd Skynyrd/Doobie Brothers In-Person Autographs (6/23/07)  
Lynyrd Skynyrd/Doobie Brothers In-Person Autographs (6/23/07)
Lynyrd Skynyrd/Doobie Brothers In-Person Autographs (6/23/07)
Lynyrd Skynyrd/Doobie Brothers In-Person Autographs (6/23/07)
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Lynyrd Skynyrd/Doobie Brothers In-Person Autographs

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We started the day off at around noon, heading to the hotel where we know Lynyrd Skynyrd would normally stay at. We knew it may be extra hard as Barack Obama (current Presidential candidate) was in town for some event at the Hartford Civic Center. With him comes security and added problems for me and my staff. We noticed a side of the hotel with cones set up, but we weren't sure if it was for Barack or for Skynyrd until a few more police showed up, so we knew then it wasn't for Skynyrd. After about an hour of waiting, one of us decided to check another hotel just in case. When he came back he verified that buses were already pulled up there, so it appeared as though Skynyrd had now switched hotels. Just as we gathered up our guitars and were about to move, here comes their tour bus. Talk about lucky. Had they arrived only moments later, we'd have missed them completely.
As soon as the buses pulled up it was just Autograph Pros staff waiting. Billy Powell was the first one to come off the bus and came right over, signing everything we put in front of him. He was very nice and seemed as though he started his day off of fun early. This looked as though it was going to be a great/easy day. Unfortunately that all changed as the rest of the members all piled off the bus with hands full and in a rush. Carol was the next off and while she turned when I asked her to sign, Johnny Van Zant was just behind her and making it through fast, so I had to try to get him to stop, but with no sucess. Carol had stopped to sign a few, but Johnny had commented how he'd be back down. All the rest followed suit, and we didn't even see Gary Rossington.
Immediately after Lynyrd Skynyrd's 2 buses pulled away, here come The Doobie Brothers in 2 similar buses. My joy got smacked back to reality when the tour manager walked off the bus and said "Stay the F**K away from my guys". At the time, all I had in my hand was 1 item, having most of the items all signed by Billy, so it wasn't me that made him angry, something was foul on that bus, and when Pat Simmons came off the bus, he too shared that same negative attitude, denying me 1 on 1 for a single autograph. A few of the other members did sign including Tom Johnston and John McFee. While I was happy to have 2 guitars signed by several members of The Doobie Brothers, I was there for Lynyrd Skynyrd and was hoping they'd stay true to their word and sign on the way out.
As we saw the buses pull away, we knew we'd be in for a wait. No sooner did I have time to rest when Barack Obama came dominating the roads with his entourage of SUVs. We were able to get somewhat close, asking for an autograph, he stopped, turned, waved, and walked in. How am I going to vote for a man that won't sign for me? Just kidding. Just after that, Vijah Singh pulled up. Vijay was clearly one of the most famous golfers at this years Hartford PGA tournament. He happily signed a couple photos (with his own red marker) and went inside.
While waiting we were treated to a nice time-filler as Mark “Sparky” Matejka (Former guitarist for Charlie Daniels Band and replacement to Hughie Thomasson), came walking out. He signed all our guitars and went on his marry way. I think he was just hotel buggy and needed a walk. He definitely had an important phone call he was making.
At around 6pm and a few hour wait, The Doobie Brothers were the first to leave. I didn't even bother trying after seeing Pat's bad mood, I felt we had no shot at completing a band so I just kept my distance. Next to follow was Rickey Medlocke and Carol Chase. Both were happy to sign and Rickey even added "Ass kickin Souther Rock" to the airbrushed guitar we had him sign.
Now another hour goes by, and then another, and it's creeping up on 8pm without any security, no signs of any band members, and we're still without Johnny Van Zant (lead singer of Lynyrd Skynyrd) on our guitars. It was so late, I decided to call it a day and remote started my SUV. Then out of no where, faith was restored. Johnny appeared at the front hotel lobby. Excitement just wouldn't be the right word. Up until new I was able to secure flawless proof on all the guitars including video footage and photos signing. These guitars would be elite if we could just secure the man! In keeping with his word, he did come out and signed each guitar, even added "Sweet Home Alabama" to the 12 string which by the way was a comical moment when he stopped and said "Wait a minute here, ya got me stumped for a second" when trying to remember if it was spelled "SWEET" or "SWEAT". It definitely reminded me of when I asked Bob Weir (of the Grateful Dead) to add a peace sign to his signature and he did a Mercedes symbol.
All in all it was an incredible day. Got a little sunburn and it was a long 8 hour wait, but when you see how incredible these guitars came out, you'll thank me for our efforts. Scans and prices to follow.
Here is another guitar we got signed by Skynyrd recently as well! - CLICK HERE

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