"I cannot live without books." -- Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Janet Jackson - live and in the flesh - at Book Soup 4/15/11

Reflections On What Will Be Madness
by (our new & awesome manager): Dan Graham

There are few days like the one where your GM tells you that Janet Jackson is doing a book signing at your store. Suddenly my carefully cultivated cool was replaced by an even more carefully mimicked Rhythm Nation dance. Yes, I am not too embarrassed to admit that I was once a chubby little queer boy meticulously recreating Janet's call to social justice daily in my room, and for five minutes each time I played the song I wasn't alone. I was a part of a Rhythm Nation! It was the first CD I bought with my own money.

The phone started ringing off the hook a month ago, about the time Ms. Jackson posted on her website that she would compliment her Number Ones concert at the Gibson Ampitheatre on Friday, April 15th with a book signing for her inspirational memoir
True You at Book Soup. We have the honor of hosting Ms. Jackson this Friday, and we're expecting quite a turnout based on pre-sales of her book and heavy call volume from a truly energetic fan base. I suppose that is because Janet Jackson is a pop star of the kind they just can't make anymore.

I won't entertain any notions of actually meeting Ms. Jackson this Friday although I will be working that day. Mostly because I would probably freeze in place and softly mutter "You're great" (my default when I meet favorite authors). The truth is I'm more likely to tell her I want a red rider triple action shot gun than I am to tell her that my literal idea of Heaven is a dance floor where everywhere I look I see a friend, some passed on and others separated by distance and time, but all smiling. The song that's playing is
Together Again. My guess is that there will be a hundred stories like that one in line this Friday.

A playlist for the signing line:
That's The Way Love Goes
Rock With U
Got 'Til It's Gone
I Want You
What Have You Done For Me Lately?
All For You
Young Love
Rhythm Nation
Make Me
Love Will Never Do (Without You)
Together Again
Any Time, Any Place

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Believe it or not, I have never written a blog before good or bad. However a short vent will maybe relieve some of my disappointment. I like so many have loved, admired and respected Janet Jackson for so many years. As a role model and inspiration Janet has touched so many and is sure to continue to do so. The mere thought of a chance to meet her in person to a true fan is dream come true. That said, my disappointment comes from miscommunication and non enforcement of the rules put in place by the venue. I purchased my book a week in advance and was told the signing would start at 3 sharp and NO ONE COULD LINE UP OR CONGREGATE outside before 1:00pm . I arrived the day of at the time the store opened to receive my pink bracelet to be among the 1st to be seen ( and was told again I could not wait until 1). I then preceded to walk around the neighboring blocks and simply killing time until the posted time. Upon my return around 11:45am There was indeed a full line down the street and around the corner. I then joined the line even though it was early and still remained in the 1st batch. After waiting in the hot sun for 4 hours we were told they were starting late and not at 3 and at 3:20 were told the press were doing photos, this brings us to 3:30 a 1/2 hour after the start time. Then after another hour of waiting and slow moving I now stood 4 people away from the door. Now being told Janet was leaving and we would not get a chance to see here. Everyone in front of and behind me were all equally upset. I understand this was not one persons fault and that Janet had places to be, i guess i am just upset at Book Soup for NOT enforcing the rules, Janet for not at least committing to getting through the 1st batch of people and myself for FOLLOWING the rules. Even with a pre-signed consolation prize I was not paying the full book price of $25 (could have been $15 on Amazon) for just the book we were paying for a up close and personal peek at one of our legends and heros. Only advice is... when having someone as respected and big as Janet Jackson, better organization and communication will save a lot of grief.