I became a Harry Chapin fan in 1975 with the release of Cat’s in the Cradle. Verities was the first full sized album that I bought. I was 12 years old. I had never been a teeny fan of anyone, but for some reason I decided to write to Harry via the record company. I was really amazed when I got a reply – an autographed copy of Greatest Stories Live! I have a number of letters from Harry.
He toured Australia in 1979. He performed three shows in Sydney in September, 1979. I attended two of them. One of them was as Harry’s guest. He was staying at the Sebel Town House in Sydney. I phoned him after his first show. We spoke for a while and he invited me to his show that night. I was only 16 at the time so I attended with my parents and my friend David. After the show we had backstage passes. We all went backstage to meet Harry and Sandy. We then went off to the after show party at the Different Drummer restaurant. Since I came from a poor background, we would have had trouble getting home. Harry sent us home in a taxi. When it was time to go, he handed me $20 for the fare and said, “Steve, keep the change.” Less than two years later Harry was gone.
A few years later, the historic Regent Theatre where he performed was demolished.
As well both of my parents have since passed away. My mother always said that it was great that I got to meet my idol. I guess I’m lucky that I chose such a positive person to be my idol. It’s not everyone who can say they grew up under the influence of such a great person and got to call that person a friend.
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