This Saturday, I had the chance to go a VERY special book signing! On Saturday, February 27, @ 3pm: OZZY (****ING!) OSBOURNE!!!! came to sign his new autobiography "I Am Ozzy" at the Barnes & Noble in Dallas, TX at Lincoln Park. I have been a huge Ozzy fan for years and to finally meet him face-to-face and get his autograph would be a dream come true! I had no idea how the whole day was going to play out and to think I should have called the store the night before to find the details BUT I didn't! I had planned on getting there early and when I say early for someone on a usual Saturday doesn't get up until at least noon, well you get the idea.
After close to an hour of driving I arrived at the store @ 10am. I expected absolute chaos with a massive line of hundreds around the block! But, to my amazement, there was nobody!?!? I walked up to the front doors where there was a small table with 2 employees sitting there. With my book in one hand and a fold-able chair in the other I was prepared for a lengthy wait. However, the employees informed me that many people had already arrived about 7:30 that morning! At first I was confused but then discovered that in order to attend the signing you had to first buy the book and then show your receipt to the people at the table in which you would receive an armband marked with a letter in the order you arrived. I had the bought the book on the day it was released at my own local store and thankfully still had the receipt inside as I had been using it as a bookmark. I got my armband (Letter "S") and was ready to wait. The particulars of the signing seemed to me very strict. They were handed on a lime green bookmark. They were as follows: (with commentary)
- "To ensure every one's safety, please be aware of the following rules.
- Failure to comply with these rules may result in removal from the event" (Wow!)
- The signing is on the 2nd floor
- The 2nd floor will be closed by security and closed off at 12:00 PM (Damn!)
- Your wristband is labeled with a Letter (Ok, I've figured out that much...)|
- 50 people are in each Letter Group (Yikes!)
- All Letter Groups will be asked to line up outside the store (At least it wasn't too cold.)
- Please do not line up prior to your Letter Group being called (Oh, man!)
- Each Letter Group will be led by event staff into the store to the escalator to be allowed upstairs (Achtung! Schnell, Schnell!)
- This is a Book signing ONLY- Please don not ask Ozzy to sign memorabilia or body parts (That one's my favorite!)
- Please do not stand on bookshelves or sit on tables (I have a funny story about that very thing, save it for later, lol!)
- Due to time constraints, no personalization will be allowed (crap!)
Then they said to not come back until after 3pm! So now I had 5 hours to kill! Thankfully there is a really nice mall (Northpark Mall) across the street so, I got a matinee movie ticket to see "Cop Out" (pretty funny), got some lunch at Sonic and hung out at GameStop and bought a couple of cheap PS2 games (So I haven't upgraded to PS3 yet, so sue me!) I came back to the store around 2pm and found a circus! There was at least 1,000 people already lined up, the parking lot was FULL! Dallas cops EVERYWHERE! And there was even two vans from 97.1 The Eagle, the local rock station! Awesome! The line was only from letters A-D so I knew I had a long time to wait and the staff said Ozzy wouldn't even be there until 3:30. So I parked in a shady corner next to the UT store along with other fans set up my folding chair and waited...and waited...and waited...At least I had a book to read! LOL! (Oh and by the way, B&N closed the bathroom claiming it was "Out of Order" (Thankfully the restroom at the grocery store next door was still working!)
Around 5pm my letter was finally called and I joined the line along with hundreds of others. The line wound around the cue for about an hour when I finally made it inside the store. The line progressed upstairs along the escalator and into another winding line through the bookshelves. After another half hour I finally reached the end of the line and could see Ozzy. He sat in the middle of the table surrounded by several B&N employees and I thought I could recognize Ozzy's tour manager behind him. The signing was very much like an assembly line. A B&N employee told me to place the book jacket onto the title page where he would sign it. As I was struggling to take a picture along with an annoying guy next to me Ozzy signed my book without even looking up and then the asshole manager rushed me along saying I was holding up the line. What a jerk! I didn't even get to speak to Ozzy or thank him! Still in shock starring at the signature (which didn't even look complete, more like "Ozzy Osb...") on my way down the escalator, exhausted and soaking with sweat. (I was still wearing my biker jacket after all.) I sat down at the Starbucks cafe downstairs got a frappachino and sat down to catch my breath and rest my feet, having just stood in line for over 2 hours. I didn't know whether to feel happy or disappointed, I did get to see him and he did sign my book for free so I guess...that's it then. See YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXGsBhLJybE