Bowling With Your Hero

In the late 90’s, the band +LIVE+ was huge. With hits like “Lighting Crashes” and “I Alone”, they sold over 12 million records. Although my own music is on the softer side of these alt-rockers, I grew up a big fan of their driving guitars and melodic lines. Lead singer Ed Kowalczyk and guitarist Chad Taylor were certainly heroes of mine. Which made February 14th, 2000 all the more special.

In my college days at SUNY Cobleskill in Upstate NY, I helped create a “Concert Committee” to bring live music to the college. During my last couple years at school, I spent 10 months planning for the biggest concert the college had ever seen. Gathering funds and support took up all of my time, and my GPA plummeted to prove it. But all the work paid off, and eventually the day came where I was escorting my musical heroes off a bus and into the main building on campus that included the gym that they would be performing in.

Although I loved my time in college, SUNY Cobleskill is known for being in the middle of nowhere. It’s a cow town. You can literally major in Diesel Technology with a specialization in John Deere. But one thing Coby does have (other than lots of Carhartt jackets), is a small bowling alley. And when I walked by the open door to our 4 lane alley with the band members, Kowalczyk got excited. He asked if they could use it, and there was no way I was turning him down (even though I was told that the alley was off-limits because it was being painted at the time). He could have asked me to burn down the local retirement home while I ran it around it wearing women’s underwear and I probably would of said yes.

So there I was, hanging out with my heroes watching them bowl. Scoring in the low 100’s, they probably made a good choice sticking with music over the PBA.

Unfortunately the photos I took in the bowling alley came out dark, but here is a picture with Ed and I after the show. It was my first (and last) hug by a celebrity! Unless you count that time I snuggled with Elmo after a 3 day bender in Amsterdam.

Maybe someday someone will want to go bowling with me;)

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