John Hammond Jr saved us from getting arrested

I've just been reminded of this.

Me & a buddy once followed the opening band backstage at the (confusingly named) Backstage in Seattle, where they have to walk through the audience to get backstage, to get into the green room at a John Hammond Jr show. We grabbed a couple of beers from the bucket by the door, and everyone in there gave us the hairy eyeball but nobody said anything to us. Finally John Hammond Jr walks in, and after a few minutes, comes up to us and says, "Who are you guys here with?" And we admitted, "Aw, we snuck in, we just wanted to meet you, we'll go". But he said, "Nobody's asking you to leave", and we wound up talking for quite a while, with him sitting there warming up on guitar the whole time. If you know who John Hammond Jr is you can probably imagine how hard it is to hold a conversation with him when he's playing guitar right in front of your face. Anyway, after a little while, he says, "You guys wanna come check out the set?", we get up and leave the green room.

There are two doors out of the green room. One leads directly out to the middle of the audience seating, and one, the one we came out in, leads down through the kitchen and down to the stage area. I walked straight out through the side door, but my friend followed Hammond down through the kitchen door.

I get to my seat, and in a minute I see a commotion down by the stage. I walk down there, and my friend is on the stairs to the stage being held by 5 security guards: one on each limb, and one has him by the hair. I found out what happened later on: on the way out the door, he grabbed another beer out of the cooler, and someone in the green room had had enough and it escalated. Anyway, the club manager comes over and orders us out of the club and my friend plants himself down on the stairs to the stage and says "I'm not moving". So I start pleading with him, "Look, man, we got to meet John Hammond, now let's just get out of here without getting arrested." And he looks at me and says, "I'm not moving."

And then John Hammond Jr comes over and says to the club manager, "These guys are with me. Can you let them stay?" So the manager shows us over to a center table, one of the best seats in the house, and says, "If I see either of you get up from this table even once I will kick you out."

We sat at the table, John Hammond Jr played a great set, we saw a great concert, and got a great story out of it, and it was fucking cool. What a nice fucking guy. 


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