Hug a Drummer: Amy Coleman's story
After more than a decade since her last show, Amy found herself lining up early at the Harrah’s Casino in Chester, Pennsylvania on July 15, 2016, surrounded by a “family” of friends she’s met through social media gathering places for those who identify with the lyric, “I found my people and nothing else matters.”Through radio station-sponsored Meet and Greet, Amy was finally face to face with two of the musicians responsible for some of her favorite music. They snapped a quick picture, and Amy caught a drumstick from Brad Hargreaves.A fantastic first encounter, but the last show she went to was her best experience, and she credits all of that to the lion-hearted Brad.
On Dec. 8, Amy and her fiancé, Dan, and Ian Shannon, a fellow fan. Amy met at the Chester show, drove early to Silver Spring, Maryland with snacks and gifts in hand for the band. Here’s Amy’s account: “Well it was certainly easy to hunt them down at that show, considering I ended up parking nose to nose with the bus. Fellow fan, Donna Smits, was in her car in the same parking lot. Being new to the ‘band stalking,’ we kind of just sat in my van dumb founded like ‘Ok, we're really here, we're really doing this, now what?’ I looked in my rear view and who do I see approaching the bus, but Brad himself. I'm not even kidding when I say I lost my words... All I could utter was "Ian, Ian, Ian" and then I flew out of the vehicle.
Later Ian and Dan told me that that was pretty confusing for them. So here comes Brad all smiles, no fear showing, of the pack of fans that surely awaited him, and he just said “Hi.” Like that's it. I said, “Hi, we're really big fans and we bought y'all gifts.” He said "that's awesome" and went towards the bus. So I go to the back of the van to start pulling stuff out and get some form of words out to Dan to get out and start taking pics. No way would I have been able to. So he does, but at the exact moment Brad is walking by his door. Dan missed him by inches. I was like, “Oh my God honey, you can't kill Brad.”
Luckily, that got a chuckle out of those that heard it. I kind of rattled on to Brad about how important they were to me, and I was so excited for the show, and they made a huge difference in my life and all of the typical stuff we feel. I can talk super-fast when I'm excited, so I'm sure it came to him in all one sentence. I know I wasn't at my best. But he just smiled and tried to keep up the best he could. At one point I told him I was so mad at myself for not bringing my drumstick I had caught at my last show to have him sign. He said that's ok he would do it next time! Brad makes meeting them that easy. I was really excited, I was semi-freaked out, and he just made it comfortable. Aside from the reality that I was actually meeting BRAD (like did that really happen???).He was so laid back and genuine that I calmed down to the as calm as one can be in that situation. At one point I told him that we had thrown extra stuff in there for Danny, so make sure they share. Facepalm, who the heck did I think I was ordering Brad to do anything?