Iconic W.A.S.P. frontman Blackie Lawless discusses his dislike of the practice of charging fans for autographs
Blackie Lawless was asked how he initially felt about the holding of meet-and-greets with W.A.S.P. fans for the first time ever on the band’s current U.S. tour during a “VIP Experience” question-and-answer session prior to the band’s December 9 concert at The Regency Ballroom in San Francisco. Blackie responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “Uncertainty. Because we didn’t know how to do this; we’d never done it before. [We] didn’t know what to do. So we looked at other people’s web sites; we saw what they were offering.
“Quite honestly, the idea of charging people money to sign autographs, I detest that,” he continued. “Now, I’m not gonna tell you that it’s wrong for everybody to do. If that’s what somebody wants to do, and they’re happy with it, that’s their business. I just don’t like the idea of it personally. For me to wanna do this, I had to have something else that motivated me. So we came up with the idea of doing this. When we sat down here, the first thing I said to you guys was, ‘This is the fun part’ — for me at least… Because we didn’t know what anybody else was doing. We thought, ‘Okay, let’s try to humanize this as much as we can.’
“One of the things we have heard over and over and over, which was news to us, ‘This is the best meet-and-greet we’ve ever done,’ ’cause no one has ever taken the time to do this,” Lawless added. “But we didn’t know that. So we were doing what we thought you should do. So the ignorance on our part ended up being a really good thing, I guess, because we didn’t have any preconceived notions of what they should be.
“Look, [when] a bunch of people [are] coming up to you on the street, you can’t address them, and that’s frustrating. But this is organized, and we can have some dialogue back and forth, which, for me, is what it’s all about. So to not be able to have that dialogue is frustrating to me.”
The current run of W.A.S.P. U.S. dates commenced in late October. The tour coincides with the band’s 40th anniversary and features support from ARMORED SAINT and MICHAEL SCHENKER on select shows.