Think you’re special because your fave band signed your forearm at a post-gig meet-and-greet? Think again. Not all fans are created equal. Here are 10 of the luckiest.
1. The 12-year-old who performed onstage with Jay Z
When I was 12 I spent most evenings a) on MSN Messenger b) watching Neighbours and c) working on my Craig David fan site (true story). I was not hanging out with my idols on stage at massive arenas like this special kid from Maryland. Imagine turning up to school one morning and being like: “Oh yeah, last night I went to a Jay Z gig with a sign saying ‘Can I Rap For You?’ so he invited me up on stage and I performed ‘Clique’ in front of thousands of people. Then I asked if I could come backstage and he was like’ yeah, alright then’.” Mind. Blown.
2. The girl who fainted and was saved by Jack White
Fainting at the front of a gig isn’t an ideal way to end an evening, but fortune favoured a girl in Kansas City who passed out while watching The Raconteurs in 2008. She was rescued by Jack White, who headed into the crowd during ‘Carolina Drama’ to pick her up. She was handed to security and escorted backstage.
3. The fan Pete Doherty did a blood painting for
A cheeky fan called Alistair sauntered over to Pete Doherty after a Wigan gig in 2010 and asked the singer if he would help him make some money. The kind-hearted Libertine not only subbed Alistair £20, but also said he’d give him a blood painting. The self-portrait of Doherty is signed “For Alistair, love Peter” and went to auction with an asking price of £25,000.
4. The woman who was walked down the aisle by Jon Bon Jovi
(Okay, Jon Bon Jovi isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Just imagine we’re talking about your personal favourite ’80s rocker for the remainder of this caption. I’m going to go with Slash.)
Australian Branka Delic was always convinced she’d marry JBJ. Unfortunately, it never happened and she ended up stuck with some guy called ‘Gonzo’ instead. She started an online campaign to get Bon Jovi to give her away at her wedding, tweeting “#bonjoviwalkmedowntheaisle” A LOT. This led to JBJ actually showing up at Branka’s wedding (wearing a flowing white dress shirt, obviously) and fulfilling her heart’s true desire.
5. The member of Gary Numan’s fan club who actually married Gary Numan
Sorry Branka, here’s a story about a fan ACTUALLY MARRYING their lifelong pin-up. Gemma O’Neill developed a crush on Gary Numan at 11 years old, met him for the first time at 12 and married him in 1997. She’d been to so many of his gigs that he worried about her when she stopped showing up. “Gary wondered why I hadn’t been around,” said Gemma. “And found out from his mum, who runs his fan club, that my mum had died. And he rang me to see how I was.” The pair hooked up and the rest is history.
6. The women who sent a tape to Paul McCartney and got a reply 40 years later
In 1963, Barbara Bezant and Lyn Phillips sent a tape to The Beatles via the venue the band were playing at in London. The group never got the message (bad luck ladies), but 40 years later it turned up at a car boot sale. A buyer passed it on to the BBC and the friends were put in touch with Paul McCartney. “Hi Linda and Barbara, thanks very much for you lovely tape,” he wrote to them. “It finally got through, better late than never. Great to hear that you found each other after all these years. Keep enjoying the music, love Paul.” Heartwarming stuff.
7. The fan who wanted a post-humous message from Kurt Cobain and got a reply from Sub Pop.
Usually when you try and contact an artist when they’re already dead, you don’t tend to get a reply. So when a student at Virginia Tech in the US wrote to Nirvana’s label Sub Pop asking for a video message for her university’s football team, it was highly unlikely Kurt would get back in touch. Luckily for her, the Sub Pop team are amazing. They dressed up as Nirvana to deliver the message: “What up Virginia Tech? This is Nirvana! Just wanted to wish you a Happy Homecoming week and good luck at the game this Saturday. Let’s Go Hokies!”
8. The couple who got engaged on stage with Justin Timberlake
Oh, Justin Timberlake, you big old romantic! After a guy called Josh pummelled JT’s label with 100 emails asking whether he could propose to his girlfriend at the singer’s Louisville show, his request was accepted. On the day of the gig, Josh and Justin spent four hours planning how the big moment was gonna go down. Halfway through the concert, after JT’s performance of ‘That Girl’, the couple were brought on stage and Josh popped the question.
9. The fans who played the cowbells on stage with MGMT
If you’re into MGMT and also keen on cowbells you’re about to become very jealous. The band ran a competition inviting a different fan in each city of their US tour the chance to hop on stage and play the cowbell during their performance of ‘Your Life Is A Lie’. One of the fans, who won the chance via a competition we ran, wrote to NME afterwards to tell us it was “the best night of his life”. Dreams can come true.
10. The Journey fan who’s now lead singer of Journey
Arnel Pineda has to be the luckiest fan of all time. A life-long Journey admirer, he was singing covers of the bands tracks in bars and clubs when he got the call of his life. Neal Schon, the guitarist from Journey got in touch after seeing Arnel’s Journey covers on YouTube. He invited him to come to San Francisco to audition to become the band’s new frontman. Arnel got the job, transforming from band fan to actual band member.