Originally written in summer 2007

It's my wife that got me liking the Finnish band, HIM. We've seen them several times and they are awesome. Great songs, great musicians, I highly recommend them.

Well, we took my younger brother to his very first concert, (he's 11), and it was to see HIM. It was a long ride for us and a very hot day, but he was loving the experience and had a great time and got to see them live. For my wife and I, it was the 4th time seeing them. She's on the "Street Team" to help promote, and that work leads to "meet and greets" with the band. There was a concert here in NJ at Giant's Stadium last summer, and the team was scheduled to meet the band. We knew that Ville, the singer, was a big Elvis fan (He's also a KISS fan) and put together some gifts for him, including some of Elvis' grave dirt that she brought back from Memphis. Well, she met with the band and gave him the presents, and mentioned to him that her husband used to do guitar work for Ace Frehley and that we're big Elvis fans and collectors. Well, he said, "Go get him, I'd like to meet him." I was waiting outside and she came running out and said, "Ville would like to meet you, come inside". Boy, was I surprised. When I got in there, there were still a few girls getting things signed and taking pictures and he turned to me and said, "Wait with me while i finish and we'll go in when I'm done." So when he was done, he turned to me and said "Let's go into the dressing room and you can meet the band." As we walked in he introduced their manager, and he said to get comfortable and would I like a beer? I spent the next 30 plus minutes chatting with them all about Kiss, Elvis, The Ramones, music memorabilia, (Ville and I talked about the Elvis stuff I had and I mentioned my scarf collection and that he should have one, and he said than in Finland it was very hard to obtain American items. I told him that I had an extra scarf that I would give him, as he deserved it. He said he'd frame it and put it up in his house.), and guitar repairs and such while the group of girls all waited outside. They were wondering what was I doing in there with them all this time? Well, the band had to head out to their hotel and on to the next city for the tour. I came walking out with a beer in my hand, and the band rode out behind me on a motorized cart and said goodbye again and wove to the group of street teamers. They were all so jealous that I got to hang out with the band. And I just have to say right now, these guys didn't "know me from Adam".

It was the first time we ever met. Ville invited me in just from what my wife said to him. They were just relaxing after their performance, and I felt like I should leave and let them have the time to themselves, but they asked me to stay until they were leaving and treated me like I belonged there. It was the last thing I ever expected and I feel honored to get that time with them. I think that they enjoyed our conversation as much as I did. The beers that keyboardist Burton kept passing me didn't hurt either. It really gave me a great impression about them. I've never met a band that didn't have some kind of an attitude. And, they weren't charging to meet them either. They were meeting with their fans to give something back. A week or so later, Ville was on a satellite radio channel doing an interview and he mentioned the Elvis grave dirt and that "a friend" had given it to him. I really did feel like I had made some friends that day. My wife was very happy as well, she had brought a very rare book about them with her that day, and each member of the band spent time with her and beautifully signed it.

Well, just this last week we've seen the band twice. First taking my little brother to Camden for this "Projekt Revolution" tour, we then went to Holmdel, NJ on Wednesday the 29th. Two days previous on Monday, she received a call from their road manager, he called to let her know that we could meet with the band before the show. My wife had sent an e-mail to their office saying we would bring Ville's Elvis scarf with us to that show if we heard back from them. So, I put together a package of Elvis goodies for him along with the scarf. I also gave him a copy of 'Kissology', and a copy of the 'Fractured Mirror' compilation.

So, we met with the guys and they were happy to see us. I ended up talking basses with Mige for a while, got a quick picture with drummer Gas while we were chatting, I gave a Hendrix dvd I had made up to guitarist Linde, who was oddly enough wearing a Hendrix shirt. Burton is always cool to talk to and I asked him, 'Where's the beer?' Then we got chatting with Ville and had a lot of stuff for him. Since he was a big Elvis fan, and my wife promotes for the "Street Team", we got the opportunity to meet with Lisa Marie Presley. Well, we got pictures of her promoting HIM to Lisa. What was interesting is that she told my wife that her son was a fan of their music. Ville got a big kick out of that and was smiling. Well, we talked for a while and I got a couple pictures with him after I gave him the scarf. He was very happy with it. We got some great photos with them as my wife got her HIM program she had brought signed. We said our good byes and then watched their set. They put on a great show and played great.

I really recommend to my fellow Ace and Kiss fans to check this band out. No, they don't have smoking guitars and breath fire, but they are all exceptional musicians and play great music. Not to mention that they are good to their fans and respect them. Again I'm going to refer to the film 'Kiss Loves You', and at the end of it, just before the credits roll, I say, 'We need a new hero', something like that. Well, I think that the band HIM is the new hero. A new coming of a great band. But let me say that they have been around 10 or so years already, and have an awesome catalog of music. And almost like Elvis, there are many different styles on each album.

Continued Next Page