Rob Oxford: Giving just a little bit

Sunday, November 19, 2017

By Rob Oxford

A friend recently contacted me about an upcoming concert his son was interested in attending. It seems this particular artist happened to be his son's favorite and he'd not yet had the chance to see him perform live.

Knowing my way around the entertainment industry, I made a few phone calls and sent a few emails. Unfortunately, this was several months ago and it appeared as though this time, I was not going to be "the man of the hour". I hadn't gotten any response from the artist's management team and I was running out of time and options. However, not being the type to give up easily, I sent one last email.

I should tell you that during my 25 years in radio, one of my greatest joys has been the ability to provide friends with experiences only those in my line of work have the opportunity to enjoy. Afterall, one can only go to so many concerts, am I right? I've seen some bands a dozen times, hung out backstage on more than a few occasions and interviewed countless artists. Yes, it's always a thrill to meet a star and every so often they're genuinely thrilled to meet you. That's when it's special.

But it's equally special to have a listener call you during your radio shift or run into you at an event and say; "Do you remember when you gave me those backstage passes to Pearl Jam? I'll never forget that." Unfortunately, more often than not I have forgotten, but that's not the point. The point is, I made a lifelong friend and sometimes they're already friends, which is the case with Kip Kane.

Roger Hodgson
Kip was hesitant at first, but asked me if I had any connections with Roger Hodgson, the creative genius behind Supertramp.

He told me his son Luke, a keyboard player himself, is a huge Supertramp fan, would love to see the show and if at all possible, say hello afterward.

To be quite honest, it was a pretty tall order considering I had never met Roger myself. But, considering the type of guy Kip is and as President of The Shorecrest H.S. Boosters, how much of himself he gives to our community, I had to try.

So I sent one last email. This time I got a response. It read in part, "Roger wold love to meet with Luke and Kip after the show. He has a soft spot for young musicians. We will have passes for you at the door under Luke's name. Do you also need tickets?"

The show, his last of the current tour, had been sold out for quite some time so I was delighted at the response I had just received.

Unfortunately, there was a catch.

Neither Luke's Dad nor I had considered that the venue was 21 and over. We tried our best to arrange a special backstage meet-n-greet, but considering this specific venue is also a Casino, it just wasn't going to happen. The Head of Security was gracious while delivering the bad news, but the fact remained, Luke was going to have to wait four more years to meet his favorite songwriter.

The show was fantastic and if Mr. Hodgson's performance is any indication, he'll surely be back again in four years and most likely a lot sooner. But I was disappointed that Luke couldn't meet Roger. I was even more disappointed that Roger couldn't meet Luke. You see Luke is a Senior at Shorecrest High School and has autism. An incredibly talented young man, who plans on studying music production after he graduates, I have no question that someday it will be Luke who's meeting with a young fan backstage.

I would like to personally thank Shakti with Mr. Hodgson's Management for trying so hard to accommodate our request and for the autographed CD Luke recently received in the mail. Luke is currently in the process of writing his own note of thanks.



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