NIN encounter

Colleen is all geeking out because we met Trent Reznor last night. He was sitting in the park in downtown Birmingham and she just could not pass up the opportunity to talk to him.

NIN played the Palace in Auburn Hills on Saturday and the band stayed at the Townsend Hotel in downtown B’ham. A lot of famous people — entertainers, politicians, athletes — stay there when they are in town. The hotel caters to that kind of clientele.

Anyhoo… Colleen of course went to the concert on Saturday — whenever NIN is on tour she attends as many venues as she possible can. I was supposed to go with her but ended up not. She took her younger brother, Adam. The tickets were main floor/general admission. They started out third row center but by the end up of the night Colleen was right up front on the rail, first row center, and came home all giddy over getting that close to Trent. He made eye-contact with her several times. [swoon]

If you don’t know my wife or haven’t already guessed, she is a huge NIN fan. Of course, I dig them too. Back in 89′, Pretty Hate Machine blew my mind and became something of soundtrack for the fucked up summer before I bolted Warren to go away to college at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti (yes, I know. it isn’t exactly like heading west for the coast of Cally or anything like that, but still, it was getting out Warren, which if you’d ever been there you’d understand why Ypsilanti seemed like Shangri-La to me). And, as a GenXer, I consider it to be a pretty important album. I know that it is common to assign Nirvan’s Nevermind as the seminal Generation X album, especially for disaffecated white kids from the suburbs like myself. And I wouldn’t really argue with that, in general. But for me, in many ways, Pretty Hate Machine, is THE album, my Generation X album. Still, I am not nearly the fan that Colleen is.

However, I will be going to the concert in Toledo with Colleen tonight (I did go, but I wrote this yesterday). It should be pretty cool because it is being held in a high school aduitorium or something like that. I’m not down with the exact details. Colleen, of course, is.

But back to meeting Trent — OMG OMG OMG OMG! Returing from a b-day party for our nephew, we decided to go see Tropic Thunder, which was fucking hilarious BTW. Driving through downtown B’ham, we saw the NIN buses still parked in front of the Townsend Hotel. But then we saw the guitar player lounging on the lawn outiside the police department, reading a book. Actually, Colleen noticed the guy. I would never have picked him out, although with his hair and purple socks and this cool hat he was wearing, I might have suspected. I told Colleen to call out the window to him, tell him it was cool show last night, but she wouldn’t. Then Colleen saw some guy walking his dog, and said that she thought that Trent took his dog(s) on tour with him. So we parked around the corner and decided to take a stroll through the park downtown, just to see what we could see, you know. Turned out, the guy walking his dog wasn’t Trent. But then we saw him, sitting on a bench with some girl, and he was fiddling with an iphone, it looked like.

We passed them. At first, we weren’t going to approach him. But Colleen really wanted to. So we circled and finally went in for the meet.

It was brief. We talk to him for maybe a minute or two. Actually, Colleen is the one that talked to him. I just sort of stood back. I didn’t want to crowd the dude. Colleen told him that she’d been to the concert the night before and thought it was great and that she’d been following him since 94, really loved his music etc. He thanked her, shook her hand. He shook mine too. And that was pretty much it.

Colleen was glad that she did it. It would not have mattered to me that much if we had not gone up to him. I’m not real big on going up to famous people. I figure, what’s the point? They don’t know you. And honestly, when you get down to it, they don’t really give a shit. I mean, only as much as they required to becasues it’s bad PR not to. But for Colleen it was different. This encounter was like 15 years in the making.

When Colleen was like 16 she went to a NIN show and got backstage or whatever. Trent said hi to her but she couldn’t bring herself to talk to him. Ever since I think she’s been waiting for the chance like the one we had Sunday. So that was cool.

Me, I didn’t really say anything. I just sort of stood back and was glad to be able to shake the dude’s hand. But it was strange. The whole time I was standing there, I kept looking at his shoes and thinking, hey, those are pretty cool. I wonder where he got those? But it would have been way too lame to ask. Right?

While we are on the subject of Trent’s attire. Funny how anyone else wearing a black t-shirt, black shorts, black socks and shoes in the middle of August, sitting in the park, would have looked like a dork, but somehow it worked for him. Go figure.

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3 responses to “NIN encounter

  1. I can picture the conversation…him just putting up with the fan talk. If you had asked him about his shoes, I’ll bet he would have perked up, and the conversation may have taken off.

  2. You think? Well, maybe…. Anyway, it was Colleen’s thing. If I’d been by myself I would have noticed him and though, hey, that’s Trent Reznor. Cool. And I would have kept going.

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