Autograph Hound's Blah Blah Blog

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Nikki Sixx – the pilgrimage

I’ll admit right up front, I only went to this signing because of the name. I don’t really know who Nikki Sixx is. I don’t really know the music.  I went because this was an ‘event’.
I got there and spent a lot of time outside waiting for my group to be called. I did the normal thing I do: people watch.
Rock can’t be dead because this signing had a large turnout. People older than me; people my age; people younger than me; and kids of all ages.  Nikki Sixx’s appeal covers the gamut.
There were a few people I recognized from other sigings. Some women about my age dressed very provocatively and were distracting. Some women about my age dressed provocatively that should have looked in a mirror before they left the house.  There were a lot of people with tattoos; a lot of people dressed like they were going to a rock concert after the signing; and a lot of people just like me: bluejeans and sneakers and no tattoos.
This isn’t really my tale of getting a book signed nor is it really about Nikki Sixx. It’s about the young lady that stood behind me for over 3 hours.
I noticed her before she got in line.  She was very attractive and I would have guessed about 25 years old. She was standing by herself and just had a twinkle in her eye and smile that hinted at something but you had to guess what it was that made her smile. She was people watching too and just rocking back and forth to pass the time.
When they called our group she ended up behind me.  A local radio station had a van blaring music so there wasn’t much point in talking.  After a while music did stop. She turned to me and asked if I had any gum.  What a pick up line, right?  (That’s sarcasm folks.)  I actually nodded yes and turned for my backpack to get some and stopped. I hadn’t brought my backpack.
If you know me and my backpack, it’s like mom’s purse. I have everything in it.  You want gum? I got it. You want aspirin? I got that too. Tissues, coughdrops, bandaids, Neosporin, etc?  I got it. This time I was naked; I was without the backpack.
 I apologized and told her I left my backpack in the car.  The car was in the parking lot at the mall about 200 yards from where we were standing.  She accepted my apology and we attempted to start a conversation. The music from the van sputtered off and on. We weren’t really in sync in what we talked about.  We were very different with different backgrounds and different agendas for the day.
I was here for a signing of a big name I had no background on. She was here because a previous book Nikki Sixx wrote really touched her emotionally.  She admitted she never cared enough about a band or author to ever want an autograph. This was special to her. Special enough to leave her daughter at home and hang out at Barnes and Nobles all day with strangers.
After a few mis-attempts of finding common conversational ground, we settled on cats. I have 4 and she has 1. From there I saw a photo of her cat and then of her child.
While I was thinking it’s not a big deal to leave the kid at home to go shopping, I found out she left her kid at home with Grandmom in San Antonio (A five hours drive from the bookstore). She drove out Thursday night so she could get in line Friday morning to get a wristband.
B&N handed out wristbands the morning before the signing. Depending how early you got there Friday, determined which group you were in and how long you would be waiting Saturday.  She and I got there about 9:30AM Friday morning to buy our books and get our wristbands.  We were the same group.
So now it’s Saturday. She has been away from her hubby and daughter for 2 ½ days.  This is how important it was for her.
As the conversation continued, she told me things and I guessed more. At times I thought she might only be 20 years old and other times I thought maybe 30.  I’m still not sure and it really doesn’t matter but something in Nikki Sixx’s book helped her in a very important way and this was her chance to say hello and hopefully interact with him and say thank you.  That was the cause of her sly smile I saw earlier.  How often do we tell someone that important to us thank you in person?
As more and more time passed the conversation included the mom and daughter in front of us. They were from Corpus Christi which is about a 7 hour drive.  The 3 of them had a lot more in common and I fell silent as they talked.  They talked concerts and arenas and music. This was also important to them.
When we got within 15 feet of the signing table, my San Antonio friend and the Corpus daughter jumped the line to snap some photos of Nikki Sixx. They shot photos for each other, of themselves together, and did some self-portraits with Nikki in the background.
I let San Antonio go in front of me. I watched her approach the table and Nikki looked up. I couldn’t hear the conversation and it probably was better I didn’t. He smiled. He looked her in the eyes. He nodded and looked interested.  San Antonio talked. After a minute or so he lifted his tattooed hands and held his fists out to her: she fist pumped him back.  As I moved forward I heard him ask which was book for her. She pointed and he wrote an inscription in there for her.  I read it.  I shouldn’t have but I did.  It was personal.  He stood and they hugged. It had a heart felt hug.  She picked up her books and walked away without her feet touching the ground.
Nikki Sixx paused before turning to me.  I liked that.  It seemed to make that last encounter more personal.  He signed my books and I mentioned that that meant a lot to her. I told him while standing in line I could tell she really needed to do this for herself. He mentioned that she seemed like a very sweet girl.
I picked up my signed books and San Antonio was still at the bottom of the escalator collecting herself mentally.  We chatted for a few minutes recapping all that she accomplished and what happened while she was at the table. Corpus daughter came over and said goodbye.  Then we left too.


  1. Very cool story man, you should have snapped a photo of her and her kid while they were up there.

  2. Hello! It's me, "San Antonio" :) Thank you so very much for your kind words and insight. Your story brought not only myself but also my hubby to tears. ( shh! I dont think he'd love for me to share that fact lol! ) It was a pleasure and an honor meeting you. Hope you and your family are doing very well. God bless<3

  3. -Melissa M. :) this thing wont take my name, says my URL name has "wrong characters" ...permission to laugh at me!

  4. MM - thanks for the comments. Gald you enjoyed the post and I'll send an email.

  5. Dear Hound, I enjoyed this so much. It brought it all back. I'm Corpus mom and you are right on about San Antonio. She is awesome and I feel so lucky to have met both of you!!

  6. Corpus! Wow, glad you came across this. Hope all is well. I'm sure any enthusiasm about me is just San Antonio’s glow and reflection. Hope you didn’t mind being included in the post.