This story appeared originally in The Bee on July 25, 1992.
Andy Davis has friends in high places and now he can add country music superstar Garth Brooks to his list. For more than an hour, Davis had a folksy conversation with Brooks, who was temporarily stranded at a Fresno hotel.
“I met him totally by luck and that was what was so cool about it, “ Davis said.
After Brooks finished performing Tuesday at Fresno’s Selland Arena, he returned with his crew to the Courtyard Marriott Hotel.
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At some point, Brooks was locked out of his room. Then, shortly after midnight, thinking Brooks was already aboard and asleep in the back of the bus, the crew piled in and drove off.
Davis, who was staying at the Marriott, said he walked up to the hotel from work about 1 a.m.
“As I walked up, “ Davis said, “this guy in sweats and a T-shirt opened the door for me. I looked up and it was Garth Brooks.”
Davis, a Phoenix-based executive for Tower Records who was in Fresno overseeing the opening of a new store, said he had heard that Brooks was staying at the hotel, but paid no attention.
“I thought nothing of it because I meet a lot of people in the music business, “ said Davis. “I have a guitar that is covered with signatures like Eddie Van Halen.”
Davis said he went to his room, but a few minutes later decided to try to find Brooks to get an autograph for a friend.
“As fate would have it he was there sitting on the sidewalk by the door, “ Davis said. “I said, “Excuse me Mr. Brooks, may I have your autograph for my friend?’ “
Brooks obliged, writing: “To Cindy, love and God bless Garth Brooks.”
Davis said Brooks – wearing black sweats, black leather boots, a white Minnesota Vikings T-shirt, and carrying a black hat and duffle bag – looked tired from the concert but didn’t seem to mind talking.
“We talked about everything from how we got into the business to his family and what he will be doing in the future, “ Davis said. “It was a two-way conversation. He is a very nice guy and down to earth.”
Davis said he played his guitar for Brooks for about 10 minutes but most of the hourlong visit was spent talking.
Davis said that Brooks mentioned that his bus had left without him, but did not seem disturbed.
“He was very matter of fact. . . . He knew they would be back” as soon as they discovered he wasn’t on the bus, Davis said.
Brooks asked Davis whether he’d like to see his tour bus when it arrived.
“When the bus drove up about 2 a.m., he gave me a tour and some apple juice out of the refrigerator and that was it, “ Davis said.
Brooks’ publicist and his promoter said Friday they had not been told of the incident.
“Nobody has said anything to me about it and when stuff like that happens I’m the first to be notified, “ said Scott Stem, from his Nashville office.
Even Brooks’ promoter, Ben Farrell hadn’t heard the story.
“The representative who works for me and was on the road with Garth hadn’t heard anything about it. I haven’t heard anything either, “ Farrell said.
San Francisco Chronicle music critic Peter Stack, who learned Wednesday what had happened to Brooks, said the star nonchalantly mentioned he was “just hanging out.”
After more questioning, Stack found that Garth had been left behind by his crew.
“It turned out the bus went to get refueled and the crew assumed he was sleeping on the bus and they started down 99 and realized that he wasn’t aboard, “ Stack said. “They came back and he was outside on the front lawn.”
By the way, Davis’ guitar now bears a Garth Brooks autograph.