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jennabaloney

Favorite BK Memories

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I think the first time I got to see Ben live was when he played a show at Club Congress in Tucson, AZ probably over 10 years ago. A friend of mine was a poor college student at the time who couldn't afford to go to the show, but was able to catch his surprise performance at Zia Records earlier that day. After Ben found out her situation, he put her on the guest list and we got to share an amazing night together. One of the most memorable shows of my life!

Ben also helped a couple get engaged on stage a few years later when he played here at the Rialto Theatre. It was super sweet.

All of this is just to say that it feels good to support a musician who, in addition to making so much incredible music, seems like a genuinely kind human being. Thanks for making life a little better, Ben!

 

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My favorite BK memory was the first time I met him.

It was back in 2003.  I was a student at Lehigh University.  I was friends with the on-campus events coordinator at the school, and I was also friends with the manager of the local radio station.  I was able to convince the two of them to work together to bring Ben Kweller and Nada Surf to Lehigh.

They played a tiny concert on campus for like 250 people.  Before the concert, BK played a couple acoustic songs (Commerce, TX and The Biggest Flower) on our local radio station and did a radio interview.  It was fantastic.

BK and I played catch with a rubberband ball during the interview.  I still have the ball.  At the concert, I heard "Debbie Don't Worry Doll" for the first time.  He also did a song about stepping in bubblegum, which I have never hear since.

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One time I saw Ben in Little Rock -- my first MONTH of college back in '07. Last time he was in the area I believe. 

It was my (ex now) girlfriend's birthday, and I ran into him after the show. I asked if he'd call and tell her happy birthday (he was her fav). I still remember him saying "hey, happy birthday girlfriend!"

She was PISSED the next morning. "Why did you wake me up at 1 AM?!" She was much more pissed when she realized she was half asleep and talking to Ben Kweller on the phone without even realizing it.

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My best memory was back on June 7, 2002.

@Ben was in town (Rochester, NY) for a show and he stopped by our local independent radio station for a mid-day on-air interview. I was constantly hanging around the studio at that point in my life so I watched the whole thing from the hallway.

Later that night before the show I ran into Ben and asked if he had anyone to do lights for the show. He didn't, so I volunteered (even though I'd never done it at that venue before). I knew the owner and he let me up to the light booth and goddamn I have to say I did one hell of a good job! I do have a very specific memory of Ben telling me after the show that it was the best lights they'd had all tour because usually the person behind the board isn't familiar with the music, but I knew every song inside-out so I was able to nail the changes. Good times!

I had recorded the radio interview and I just recently uploaded it to YouTube. It includes live acoustic performances of Walk On Me and Falling. Enjoy!

 

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Too many to pick just one, but I'll tell you what random thing I do maybe a couple of times a month that makes me think of @Ben is how to make yourself sneeze if you feel one coming on but can't. We were following Radish around for what ended up being their final 2 shows May of 1999. Hanging out in the hotel parking lot (in Austin, I believe) just chatting, and I can't remember if I had to sneeze, or my friend, or if Ben did, but somehow he graced me with the knowledge to look at the sun or a bright light if the sneeze isn't coming, and somehow it makes it happen. So I've been doing that ever since, and it works like a charm! 

In the same hotel parking lot chat, I first heard Ben's nickname for AirTran Airways was ScareTran, which my buddy Jack and I still laugh about.

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SO many good BK memories, but my favorite happened circa 2011 in Columbus, Ohio.

I had lost the tickets to his sold-out show, so my (then) boyfriend went to the venue to see if he could squeeze us in on the guestlist. Ben told him all his spots were filled but asked if he could give him a ride to the grocery store. The two of them picked me up from my house, and we ensued on a multi-store trip hanging out, debating various kinds of nut milk, finding blank cds, and an under-aged me buying the tour crew a 6 pack of bud light lime. Once we returned with the grocery haul, we got to chill on the bus and got snuck into the show. 

I still have the setlist from this show framed in my room. Truly an amazing day. 

Edited by Dyl

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My favorite bk memory is only one. Sent a message to him via Instagram and he responded. One of the best days of my life. Had to get out of class and like calm down. I was like what!? That's crazy! Had now inspired me to write songs play guitar etc. Amd eventually inspired me to now be in the process of recording and hoping to send to "The Noise Company" or release an EP similar to Freak Out It's BK. Copyrighting in the process and finalizing as well so fingers crossed everyone!

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I have many memories... My favorite is seeing BK as passenger in his gray Volvo 240 on the highway after a show he did at UCONN in CT. I remember trying to get in front of the Volvo so he'd notice my sweet BK bumper sticker. Lol. My friend Mai came up to CT to go to the show with me, and little did we both know that she'd shortly soon after be going on tour with him as the official merch lady. Hehe. Sweet sweet mammaries

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