|Lee-Ann and Phil X|
As you may have noticed, Bon Jovi didn't come to Perth on their This House Is Not For Sale Tour. Once I'd got over my indignation, I saw an opportunity to visit Sydney for a week, spend some time with family and friends, and go to their concert at ANZ Stadium on December 8.
The day before the concert, Jon Bon Jovi, David Bryan, and Tico Torres were doing a Runaway Tours Q&A, but Phil X was doing a free meet and greet at Guitar Factory Parramatta, so I decided to go meet him.
I'm always a bit apprehensive about meeting people I idolise or admire (in case they turn out to be jerks or otherwise disappointing) but Phil was super chill and so nice to everyone. When it was my turn, he asked me my name and introduced himself.
I had brought my print of a painting of Phil by artist Jag Lall, and gave it to Phil to sign (along with a gold marker so it would show up against the dark paint).
"Did you paint this?" Phil asked.
"My friend did it," I replied.
"That's awesome!" Phil said.
Phil autographed the print and got me to hold it up so he could take a picture of it on his phone. One of the staff members then offered to take a photo for me. "We should get the painting in it," Phil said. The staff member took a picture of Phil and me, with Phil holding up the signed print, and it quickly became my top Instagram post of the year.
🎸 I met @philx1111 from freaking @bonjovi and he signed my @jaglallart print! @guitarfactoryparramatta Image 1 description: Lee-Ann and Bon Jovi guitarist Phil X holding a print of Jag Lall's painting. Image 2 description: Close-up of Jag Lall's painting of Phil X, with Phil's autograph in gold ink. #PhilX #BonJovi #THINFStour #MusiciansOfInstagram #starstruck #guitarist #guitars #musician #art #artist #Sydney #Parramatta #latergram
Afterwards, Phil carefully put the print back in its protective cover for me (of his own accord, I didn't tell him to do it, lol). Two sisters waiting behind me borrowed my gold marker, and after Phil had signed their stuff, he handed the marker back to me and thanked me for coming. I thanked him and the staff before making my way back to the city where I was staying.
I know there are fans who have met the whole band, or met band members in more natural situations than this, but I'm just happy I had a positive encounter. The closest I'd gotten to the band before was meeting roadie Mike Rew in 2010, which was pretty cool, but this was better. (Sorry Mike.)
Phil has also released his own version of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town", and the video -- featuring Bon Jovi band members and crew -- was made on the Australian tour. It made me smile, so check it out if you haven't already!
Phil X - Santa Claus Is Coming To Town: