I’m pretty sure the first book signing I ever went to was Russell Brand. I’ve always liked him and my husband found out the day before that he was doing an appearance at the B&N at the Grove in Orange County. We drove up, on a whim, not actually expecting to get tickets.
The B&N at the Grove is huge. I mean, it’s 3 stories with escalators, huge. We were able to get wristbands for the event [after buying 2 copies of My Booky Wook]. They moved everyone upstairs and the line up was already wrapped around the upper level.
When Russell showed up [amazingly on time], he refused to go straight to the podium, instead choosing to walk through the audience. Armed with a microphone, he provided commentary on the appearance of the people in line. He would ask questions to people and then walk away before they answered.
After about 10 minutes of his aimlessly wandering about, he went to the area they had set up for him. He ditched the podium altogether and instead sat right on the the table. Russell did a quick talk about the book itself before he read a small passage. He explained that he’d rather be able to spend some time with each of the people who waited for him instead of reading the book we all had purchased.
As soon as those words were out of his mouth, people started scrambling. There wasn’t any sort of organization at first. People were shoving and getting angry, security did nothing. And then… velvet ropes magically appeared. People were queueing up, 10 at a time behind these velvet ropes. That is were security was. That is where the rules begain.
We were allowed to take pictures while in the velvet rope section. Absolutely no pictures WITH Russell. Have the book open to where it was to be signed. When we got up to the security guy, we had to stop. One by one, security let people go through. There was an “on-deck” position before actually getting to Russell. We watched his interaction with the various people, but you couldn’t actually hear what he was saying to them. He kissed some girls, hugged others.
And then it was my turn….
I walked up to him, a little shy. He is so rambunctious in his stand up and television appearances, I wasn’t sure what to expect. He took over right away. Asked my name, shook my hand and immediately thanked me for buying the book and taking my time to see him.
At some point, the book left my hands, he signed it and handed it back.
I honestly can’t remember all of what the conversation was about, I was swooning over the accent. I do remember being surprised how well mannered and well spoken he was.
And then he kissed me.
On the lips.
Just one, quick little peck. But still…
He kissed me.
I remember walking away, after saying thank you. I walked a few feet away from the table and stopped, waiting for my husband. Security started semi-harassing me, trying to make me leave. Once I explained that I was waiting for the person talking to Russell at that moment, they let me stay. Russell and my husband talked about us being married for [at that time] 10 years. I think he inscribed something about that in my husband’s book. He then hugged my husband, full on arms and legs wrapped around him.
Security then forced us to leave the bookstore.
Russell Brand was a fun first experience for an author event. I haven’t seen or been a part of anything quite as crazy as that.