In the last seven years I’ve promoted four shows for DJ Logic. One with his band Project Logic, another with Dirty Dozen Brass Band, another with Bob Weir & Ratdog and one with the John Popper Project. As a fan, I’ve seen another six of his shows. The best of these was at the Canopy in December of 1999 with Soulive and Project Logic. It was scheduled for Foellinger Auditorium but neither band was really on a national level yet and when the school was ready to cancel due to poor sales, Ian Goldberg at the Canopy said he couldn’t let a good show just not play. I was one of only like 35 people who’d purchased advance tickets; it was an amazing night of music.
The day of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band show in 2003, after I went to lunch, I walked up through the back door at the club, strolled past the stage in the theater and entered into the front room, what’s now known as the Void Room. As I rounded the bar, I noticed the silhouette of someone sitting alone near the front door, thumbing through an issue of “The Paper”. The sun was bright through the glass of the doors but I knew who he was before I even pulled focus.
I thought for a second about what I didn’t want to say to seem like a stupid fan. I ran down the checklist: Shouldn’t mention how many times I’ve seen him. Check. Shouldn’t mention that I own all his records. Check. Shouldn’t mention that I feel like “his biggest fan” or that I really “connect” with his music. Check. Play it cool, I told myself, he’s just a regular dude.
As I approached him, I said hello and introduced myself as the promoter of the show, expressing my delight in having him back at the Canopy. We started chatting casually and I got to listen in about all the cool projects he’d done in the last couple years. It was pretty apparent, even without my saying so, that I was a fan as well as the promoter for the day. Needless to say, he took it in stride.
Somewhere in the middle of the conversation, the lady who used to handle contracts and ticketing at the club, came up on the other side of the bar and introduced herself as well. She was a really friendly girl who had no reservations about talking to anyone under any circumstances and did so with an innocent tone surrounding every word. The girl could honestly say anything to anyone.
We continued to chat for some time about the remodeling of the club and some of the ways that it had changed since the last time he was there. A moment of silence and then, the punch to the gut.
“You know, Mike’s like, your biggest fan,” she said to Logic, as my eyes widened. “Every day, it’s Logic this and Logic that. Logic is playing here and he’s playing with whoever there.“ She stopped and giggled. “He even has a picture of you on his desk.”
It was like all the air in the room got pushed into my lungs. I broke out in a cold sweat. In an instant, my hero thinks I am a psycho.
I actually did have the picture of Logic in my office. And I will even admit to talking about him more than the average artist that I like. When I heard her say it I felt like some sort of teenage girl with pictures torn from the pages of latest issue of Teen Beat taped on the wall in my bedroom. Logic looked at me and I just grinned, my face as red as a tomato. But he grinned back even bigger than I did. He thought the situation was funny and I guess he was right.
Ultimately, I learned that the way to really maintain a sense of cool around any artist is to show absolutely no interest in what they do. Even ignoring a person is better than acting a fool in my opinion. That, or tell the people you work with to shut up when they show up to the club.