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The Night I Met Nickelback

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I used to travel the world a lot for business. Sometimes I’d roll solo to Canada, more often than not with co-workers, sometimes just with the big boss.

One time in the early winter, maybe 2004, I was traveling through Manitoba with my boss – he was a hot head but a good guy and he had a vision.

Anyway, one night we’re sitting at Tim Horton’s. We’re having a few drinks decompressing and he keeps looking over my shoulder at this group of dudes sitting behind me.

“those guys are from Vancouver”

How do you know?

“they’re famous – they’re in a band”

What? How would you know that?

“my son listens to them”

Who are they?

“I don’t know their name but go get my son an autograph”

No Way

“Yes, go get an autograph”

I’m not going over there

“I’m going to bed, you go get an autograph for my son. See you at breakfast”

And he leaves me there with my Gin and Tonic. So after a few minutes I turn around and look at these dudes – It’s Nickelback

I sit down introduce myself, We small talk for a bit. They were mostly actually laid back dudes.

They ask me what I’m doing, find out I sell bikes, want deals etc etc, we have another round of drinks and I have to say, they were all pretty nice guys – but Chad Kroeger only said about 3 words the whole time – and only to the Chief. He was busy playing on his cell phone pretty much the entire time I sat there. The guy was acting like a prick.

So midway through our drinks Chad gets up to leave:

“I’m off to bed guys”

Looks right at me – “Do you want an autograph before I take off?”

No that’s OK, I’m fine

Chad looks blankly around the group of us, turns on his heel and head’s straight for the elevator

SILENCE

As soon as he’s around the corner, the four of them burst out laughing.

“I’ve never seen that before”

“That’s hilarious!”

“I can’t believe you turned him down, HIGH FIVE!”

I’m looking at them, I smile and shrug. (what do I want with his autograph? – boss be damned!) They joke amongst themselves for a few more minutes, we all finish our drinks and head for the elevator. Chief picks up my last round – nice of him.

As we head for the elevator Chief and I exchange business cards. He’s looking for a bike and I tell him that my boss’s son would kill for some center stage tickets next time they play in Vancouver. And I roll off to bed.

The next morning my boss asks me for the autograph for his son.

I didn’t get it

“I thought you were going to do that”

I couldn’t

“You should have, that is disappointing”

I’m hooking him up with concert tickets instead

Some sort of expression of disbelief and that is the end of it.

BUT – I did get him the tickets!

Kevin the Chief and I exchanged e-mails and he came through for me on the tickets. I’m not sure he ever took me up on the offer of a bike but I know for sure that he arranged sweet will call tickets for a show in Vancouver.

And I got a raise.

And that is the story about the time I met Nickelback, pissed off Chad Kroeger – and they bought me a drink.

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