Butch Walker has been one of my favorite musicians for years. I found him on a website [Metal Sludge] that my husband read all the time. He had done an interview and I liked the answers enough to click on the link for his own website. One listen to the song “My Way” from his new-at-the-time cd Left of Self Centered and I was hooked.
Flash forward 9 years and I get an email update that says Butch has written a book and will be doing a few appearances to promote it. I started watching the Book Soup website to make sure it wasn’t going to turn into a ticketed event….
On the day of the signing, we got up to Hollywood with plenty of time to spare. And when that happens, only one thing can come of it: pizza. Completely off topic, there is a little hole in the wall pizza place on Sunset that makes some of the best pizza I’ve ever eaten in my life. If you ever have the time, make sure you go eat at Frankie & Johnnie’s.
Stuffed with pizza and Coke, we made our way over to Book Soup. I was thrilled to see their marque.
We had bought our books and checked to see if there was a line [there wasn’t] before we went to pizza. By the time we got back, there was about 10 people standing outside of the store. We got in line and proceeded to wait. After about 45 minutes, we were told that the signing time was going to be pushed back. We ended up waiting almost another 45 minutes.
We were eventually led into the store. There were a good amount of people there and Book Soup is tiny. It’s awesome, but tiny. The guy who was leading us in told the people who were in the back that they could walk around one section of books to get to the other side of the podium area. I was fairly irritated because the people who had literally just gotten to the store now had front row access to Butch.
One lady who was standing behind us asked the guy why they were the people who were being moved over there when we were all in line for 90 minutes. The guy didn’t seem to understand why she was complaining. That, in itself, was very upsetting. It’s understandable that they were trying to accommodate everyone, but it seems like there should have been a more effective way.
Butch finally came out and instead of talking about the book, turns out he had his acoustic guitar and decided to do a little show for us.
He took song requests and played the upbeat ones that were happy to sing along to. After playing about 5 songs, the Q&A session started.
There were a lot of good questions, but only one really stood out in my mind…
Someone commented on Butch writing a theme song for Coke. He confirmed that it did, in fact, happen. He was approached to write a song and accepted the job. Titled “Open Happiness”, Butch was able to get Cee-Lo Green, Brendon Urie [from Panic! At the Disco], Travie McCoy [Gym Class Heroes] and Patrick Stump [Fall Out Boy] to sing it.
When the Q&A was signaled to start, again the end of the line people had the advantage, as they were nearest to the section of the store where Butch would be sitting. But, I’m not bitter or anything…
Now, we’ve seen Butch perform countless times. I’ve seen him in Hollywood, San Diego and [in one spur of the moment day trip just for him] Vegas. He’s signed several things and we’ve gotten loads of pictures with him. I even have a tattoo of something from one of his album covers. However, nothing seemed to be as exciting to me as seeing him do a book signing.
Maybe it’s just me…. [That’s clever because it’s one of Butch’s song titles], but he seemed a bit nervous. Like he wasn’t sure if the idea of interacting one on one across a desk was a good one.
When we got up to him, I handed him my book, with it already faced to the title page. He started to move the jacket flap to go to the very front of the book. I asked if he could sign the title page. He started to write on the page opposite of the title page. I caught him quickly and gestured to the title page, asking if he would sign there.
He admitted that he had no idea what he was doing and signed the page I indicated, after turning his mark on the other page into a heart. He then wondered if he was upsetting people by signing wherever he wanted in the book, but claimed he needed to be able to spread out. We all sort of giggled over it.
Now, go Google the shit out of Butch Walker and buy everything he’s ever recorded.
You won’t be disappointed.