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 Post subject: Boy's Night Out Tour
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:28 pm

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Joined: Feb 09, 2012
Posts: 3
Location: Cooper City, FL
I’d like to take a moment to tell you all about an incredible night my wife Marilyn and I had Friday, just this past Friday, going to see Arlo Guthrie in concert at the Parker Playhouse in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Now Arlo gave a great performance, favoring a close, intimate audience with some new songs, old favorites and some very old classics that, more than once, brought tears to my eyes. With his stories accompanying the songs with tales of old friends and family, both humorous and poignant, it was possible to feel Woody’s spirit with us up there in the air.

But the best part of the night, I mean the very best part of the whole part of that night happened for me after the concert. You see, in my first post I mentioned that I build cigar-box guitars and hoped I could get a chance, even a small chance, that I could get the chance to ask Arlo, or a reasonable facsimile thereof, to actually sign one of my creations. So with high hopes and great expectations, I brought one of my cigar-box guitars to the Parker Playhouse that very night. Now for those of you who don’t know what a cigar-box guitar is, well, it’s a guitar made from a cigar box. Pretty simple thing, usually has three or four strings, a neck made from a 1 by 2 piece of wood that runs all the way through (sometimes called a neck-through for what should be obvious reasons), and can be tuned in any number of ways, from a ukulele to a banjo or like a regular six-string guitar that was missing a couple of strings. But I didn’t start writing this to talk about guitars.

Came to talk about Arlo.

So there I was at the Parker Playhouse, in the lobby of the Parker Playhouse, before the concert at the Parker Playhouse, mingling around with all sorts of nice and friendly people, I mean the nicest, friendliest people were there and they were all asking me about my cigar-box guitar and I tried as best as I could to tell them how I made it and why I had ventured into bringing such a strange contraption with me to the show. And they were all impressed and shook my hand and told me how much they hoped I would be able to obtain Arlo’s autograph for my unusual cigar-box guitar. But friends, when we went inside the theater and sat down and the concert started, I began to come to the realization that Arlo Guthrie was a very busy man, as he regaled us with stories of his travels past and present around the world and this great country of ours and that he might not appreciate a 61-year-old male groupie pushing a cigar-box guitar into his hands after he had been playing nearly three, I said nearly three hours and probably was wanting to do nothing more than get back to a nice soft bed to rest up for the following day.

So we sat there, enjoying the concert, laughing and crying and tapping on the arms of our seats but with hopes of actually meeting Arlo slowly fading, I had resigned myself to the fact that we would not get a chance to meet a true American icon and national treasure. But we decided to persevere, and after the concert we went outside of the Parker Playhouse, to the front of the Parker Playhouse, where we were told that Arlo might indeed come out of the Parker Playhouse and be willing to sign some autographs.

So we waited.

And we waited.

And we kept on waiting and while we were waiting we finally came to the realization that Arlo was indeed NOT coming out the front door of the Parker Playhouse to sign any autographs.

We were dismayed.

Until Marilyn (remember Marilyn?), my wife Marilyn pulled me aside away from all the other autograph hunters and said, “Come with me, kid.” Well, my being a good and obedient husband, I went with her and she related how she had overheard one of the ushers say that Arlo would actually be coming out of the side door where his bus was parked. So around on the side, by the side of the side door, we stood by the side door.

And it opened.

And Arlo came out, with a plastic drink cup in his hand.

He said, “Hi.”

We said, “Hi.”

And then he reached out and he shook my hand.

And there we were, standing in front of one of the greatest folksingers of all time, a man who was an American icon and a true national treasure, holding a plastic drink cup. Now I had never met an American icon before, let alone a national treasure or even a famous folksinger and at that moment, I mean at that very precise moment in time, after all the planning I had done and all the rehearsing I did about what I wanted say to this living legend, to tell him how I was inspired by my father to build cigar-box guitars much like his father had inspired him to write and sing folksongs and bring enjoyment to millions of people, I became a babbling idiot and just said, “Uh, could you please sign my guitar?”

And taking my pen from my hand and bending down, Arlo Guthrie signed my cigar-box guitar.

And since my entire brain had at that exact moment left my body and moved on, Arlo moved on, signing autographs on record album covers and 8 x10 color glossy photographs with circles and arrows on the back of each one explaining what it was for the other fans who had followed us back to the side of the side door. So with tears in our eyes but smiles in our hearts we climbed back into our red VW microbus (cleverly disguised as a black mid-size sedan), and headed off into the sunset. It was only then when we realized that we had indeed met Arlo Guthrie in person, had shook his hand and that he had indeed signed my cigar-box guitar and that we would treasure that cigar-box guitar for all time forward, and probably for several years thereafter.

Arlo 3 small.JPG
Arlo 3 small.JPG [ 56.82 KiB | Viewed 4401 times ]
Arlo Autograph small.JPG
Arlo Autograph small.JPG [ 56.4 KiB | Viewed 4401 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Boy's Night Out Tour
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:05 pm

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Joined: Jul 06, 2008
Posts: 2531
Images: 2
Location: Crawfordville, Florida
Great Story Hal :D Can't wait for it to come back around on the guitar.........cigar-box, that is............ (cigtar?) :?

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 Post subject: Re: Boy's Night Out Tour
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:50 am

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Joined: Aug 25, 1999
Posts: 1089
Location: Ocala, FL, USA
:D :D :D :D :D

Fantastic, Hal!


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 Post subject: Re: Boy's Night Out Tour
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:43 pm

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Joined: Dec 16, 2011
Posts: 616
Location: The Great Upstate!
Ha! Nice! And you look nowhere near 61, so he was probably ok with it! ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Boy's Night Out Tour
PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 4:02 am

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Joined: Sep 13, 2000
Posts: 8523
Location: Pixley-- Actually An Hr South of Richmond, VA
That is so cool! I bet he liked the guitar. Glad you got to meet him and get it signed. My late hubby Mike would've been 61 in June if he had lived.

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 Post subject: Re: Boy's Night Out Tour
PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 12:27 am

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Joined: Feb 22, 2009
Posts: 127
Great story. At Oklahoma City, I just waited by the door they left through for intermission, figuring he'd have to come back in that door. I got to visit with Abe and Krishna for a minute, the Arlo came out of the bus and signed my harmonica for me. Picture on another thread. At least the signatures look the same. I'm not exactly sure what either one says, but I'm assuming the last word is Guthrie. :wink: Not sure how it is, but at least we got to watch him sign.

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