Dorothy's daughter was in St. Charles, Missouri, last Thursday and Friday to open the new Lindenwod Center for Fine and Performing Arts at Lindenwood University.
Liza Minnelli was the featured star for the school's new facility. She performed to nearly sold-out crowds both nights. I met Liza as she returned to the Ameristar Hotel following her Thursday night show. Although the show ended at 9:45 p.m., I didn't see her until almost midnight. My guess is she enjoyed dinner after the show. Nonetheless, she waved me and other collectors over to her car as she arrived at the hotel. She was in a great mood and took a few minutes to chat with everyone and take photographs. We asked her to sign, but she said to give all our items to her assistant and she would sit down and sign everything once she got to her room. About 15 minutes, her assistant came down with all our signed items.
In between the show and waiting for Liza to return to the hotel, I made a quick trip to University City to catch singer-songwriter Tift Merritt at Blueberry Hill. Talk about the right timing . . . she was meeting and greeting fans at the side of the stage as I walked inside. Tift gladly signed two 8 x 10s for me and posed for this photograph. She took time with each fan to visit before signing their autograph and posing for photos. Tift especially enjoyed one of the photos I had from last year's South by Southwest Festival.
On Sunday morning, I met up with a couple of members of the rock band, Styx, as they departed Lambert St. Louis International Airport. Ricky Phillips was first to appear and he gladly stopped to sign a compact disk and pose for this photograph. About an hour later, I spotted vocalist/guitarist Tommy Shaw at the check-in line. I waited until he was finished with his flying arrangements before asking him to sign my Shaw/Blades Influence compact disk. I then asked for a photo which he was glad to do. I was pleased he was in a great mood because I had heard from other collectors that he could sometimes be difficult. It wasn't the case Sunday morning. And . . . right before he took his place in the security line, he reached in his front pocket, pulled out a Tommy Shaw Styxworld.com '08 pearl guitar pick and placed it in my hands. Thanks, Tommy!