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Isn't it funny, as a kid, you dream about being somebody or you want to be just like somebody. For me there was one man who out stood the rest. Not only did I think I was him at the age of 4 with Wrangler pants, a button up shirt, cowboy hat, and headset microphone, but I wanted to meet him so bad I couldn't stand it. So I promised my self when I was only a little child that I WOULD meet him one day.

On Wednesday of this past week I was asked to attend an awards dinner at the Musicians Hall of Fame for a friend of mine who couldn't make it. Before I said "yes" that I would take the ticket, she told me that this person would be there. There I sat and thought, maybe this is my chance. Maybe this would be the night that I had looked forward to all of these years. So without thinking, I agreed to take the ticket.

Now its Thursday around lunch and i'm sitting at my desk talking to my two co-workers and was telling them how excited I was because I might get to meet my hero tonight. After returning from lunch I find out that he is only 4 doors down from us at his studio and he wanted her to bring me down to meet him. I was thinking.. there's no way. There's no way on earth this guy wants to meet ME. So we started walking down the street and the whole 1000 feet walk I think to my self, "What do I say?" As we walked to the door my heart pounding with anticipation the door opened and a small man said "come on in, I'll let him know your here." No more than 5 seconds later I hear 8 words that i'll remember forever "Hello Wil, great to meet you. Im Garth!"

So after I took a couple of breaths, we walked into the kitchen of the studio and talked for about ten minutes. Still in shock, I stood there and Garth asked, "would you like to see the studio?" For the next fifteen minutes, he took me back showed me the control room and the entire studio where all of his records were made. Even the piano that " The Dance" and "Rodeo" were recorded on. It was the most incredible vibe in a studio that I have ever felt. After the tour we came back out and talked a little with the in-house producer, looked at a few old pictures, and shared old memories. We snapped a quick photo and then turned for the door and headed for the office. Thats when it really hit me... THAT JUST HAPPENED! I called my mom and dad, both who were in tears on the phone knowing what had just happened. It was honestly the best day of my life.

A big thank you to my great friend Cassandra Tormes for making this happen! It will be a day I remember for the rest of my life.

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All the heroes are dying with the World War II generation, It does not matter what a man does anymore, it is impossible to be a hero. Everyone in modern society is essentially out for himself.
That's awesome Wil!
Yes they do, and the ones I have met and still work with know how I feel about them and their impact on my career.........

They know who they are..........
Wow! That is awesome.
Will Easterwood? I am so glad to read this post and see that even those of us in the industry have our moments of being reminded of how awesome and fortunate we are to especially work in or around the Nashville area where our heroes are so often found. I know that when I started coming down here I was the typical "fan" trying to see if I could scope out for this famous person. If I saw one I'd have my few seconds of OMG, IT'S SO AND SO in whispered tones and giggles and was vehemently instructed by friends who work in the industry that this was not acceptable. That a industry person is to never behave as a mere fan. They assured me this was rule #1. After that I worked hard at remaining cool and indifferent when meeting anyone that at least in my eyes was someone famous and succeeded till last year when I went down to writers night to in Franklin,TN and met Brady Seals.

I walked in there and knew prior to getting there he was going to be in a writers round because I had contacted him online about being a featured a writer in a series of writers rounds that some other writers were having in town a a couple weeks after this and he he'd told me to come down to his writers round and talk to him about it. On the way there, I cool and calm but yet worried that this man don't know me from any other average Joe on the street and therefore would not even remember that I had contacted him. We get there and get our seats and I'm talking wtih my husband and learning a little about the place, when Brady Seals walks in. I never in my life felt like the blood had rushed out of my body in such a quick fashion as it did then. My husband encouraged me to go up and talk to the man but my adrendaline was telling me to run out the back door. I was scared stiff. To make a long story short, I did get up the courage to go up and properly introduce myself to him and shamelessly let him know that I was a fan of his for 17 yrs. I never once after that night felt that I was wrong in being excited about seeing one of my own heroes because I was reminded that it this same childhood hero that helped fuel my desire to work in this industry in the first place. That night I left feeling like my life had come full-circle and that though I had secretly had doubts that meeting one's heroes was even possible, the reality that it can happen made me appreciate how blessed I am to be in this area and this industry even more.
As a bassist I've always been a big fan of Mike Chapman's playing, especially on Garth's records. Playing the Top40 Country circuit throughout the 90's I was often called on to duplicate some of Mike's parts including one of my faves "Shameless". When I first moved to Nashville in 1996 I attended an event at The Wildhorse Saloon that was part of Chet Atkins Musician Days, Mike Chapman was leading a band in running through some of the hits he has played on then took a break to prepare for a music workshop for school children. I introduced myself as a bassist and fan and we spoke for ahwhile, he then asked if I would help him on stage - WOW!!! I took the stage and Mike handed me his 5 string Warwick then proceeded to explain the ins and outs of the shuffle to the kids. He then turned to me and the band (some of Nashville's BEST) gave us the key and we kicked of a shuffle followed by a swing and a few other well known patterns.

Several years later I created the online magazine NASHVILLECOUNTRY.COM focusing on local Nashville artists and musicians and Mike was one of the first people I called. We ran a feature article on him and during my preparation he invited me the studio (perhaps the same one you visited?) where they were cutting a Christmas album - IN JULY!!! A wonderful experience and interview which included a few photos, one of which I believe is being used as his profile picture > view here:

The online magazine is dead and gone but the memories remain and every time I run into Mike at the NAMM show or at some local event he is always welcoming and most cordial. This is one of the things I like best about Nashville...that most of the top pros are very friendly and unassuming.
Hi Kevin,
Thanks for the very kind words---I really appreciate them. I hope you're doing well. Yes, that is the photo you took of me that I'm using as my profile picture (I hope you don't mind) and it's one of my favorites. Thanks again for doing the article on me and helping me out at the Chet Akins Musician Days thing---those were a lot of fun.
Mike Chapman


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