Getting Steve's Signature

Count Basie Theater
Red Bank, NJ
July 26, 1999

This was the show that was taped for a video special for VH1, so after the show, Al was pretty busy finishing up with last minute stuff for the special.

After the show, everyone was rushed into this small room under the stage for autographs and pictures and then Al was whisked away. Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz stayed around to chat with fans, but even he was busy preparing for the 800 miles or so they had to travel for the next show. Things were winding down, and as I was getting ready to leave, Steve Jay shows up. He signed autographs and posed for pictures with some fans, and I went over and introduced myself.

When I introduced myself, he recognized my name. He thanked me for buying his new CD and asked me how I liked it. I was a bit surprised that he remembered my name just from the one or two notes I had sent him over the years. We talked a little bit about the new album, and I told him how "Sea Never Dry" was one of my most favorite albums ever. I think he was very happy to hear that. After that, I showed him my Al and Jon tattoos.

He was very shocked. He asked me how I did that. I thought he was kidding so I sarcastically answered something along the lines of using a tattoo machine. Then he said, "Those are real?" I guess he wasn't kidding me. I'm surprised, but he never saw them before. I assured him that they were real, and I think it took him a while until he realized that they really were. I told him how I had Jim sign my ankle in Green Bay and then I think it clicked, because he got this huge grin on his face.

I asked him if he would sign my ankle and he said he would. Since I wasn't really planning on it and sprung it on him so unexpectedly, I asked him if he wanted to think about it or wait until the next show and he said he was ready now. I put my ankle up on the table and gave him a marker and we picked out the place for it and he signed. The whole time, Steve had the biggest grin on his face that you can ever imagine. After that, he really warmed up to me and introduced me to his son Ian, gave me some free CDs, and treated me to an evening on the bus chatting and hanging out with him. It was great! Steve is such a nice guy.

You can see the completed tattoo and some more details on my Steve Jay Tattoo Overview page. Steve's a really classy guy and you can tell just by talking to him that he has a lot of fun touring with Al and writing music. So I'm proud to have this opportunity. Thanks for everything Steve!

Count Basie Theater

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