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Arnold's Army
Monday
Oct082012

TAFs Staff Attends Several Arnold Book Signing Events!

It has been a busy and exciting week for all of us Arnold fans who have been camping in line for hours (or possibly even overnight) for the chance to meet the author of “Total Recall.” Schwarzenegger has been to at least six locations so far, traveling all over the world. Many fans have even been telling their mentor that “TheArnoldFans.com says hello.” Thanks, guys! Several members of TheArnoldFans.com staff were also lucky enough to greet our hero throughout his tour, so let's hear about these encounters from Ryan, Brandon and Kathy, Randy’s mom! Before we get started, first check out this great Quicktime video HERE taken by Arnold fan "Crom"!

Ryan Gillen writes: I knew Arnold was doing a book tour, but that it would be limited to a few select cities. New York and L.A. were shoe-ins, Columbus makes sense, but I wasn't sure he would hit D.C. where the Gillinator lives close to. I was writing the chance off since I was leaving on vacation soon and couldn't get up to New York because of work. Then, I check schwarzenegger.com and see lo and behold, a D.C. date, for Tuesday Oct. 2, right before I leave on vacation and taking place at 7pm so I can easily get to it after work! Then I saw that this event required tickets since it took place in The Hamilton, a hip restaurant/bar with an underground stage that bands normally play on. It's a pretty small venue, so I click over to the Washington Post site where the tickets are being sold, and… SOLD OUT! Nooooo! Well, they were just $15 and the place only seats a couple hundred, so it's understandable, but come on, I'm the Gillinator! I curse my neural net processor for not finding the link sooner, and missing out on one of the few times Arnold actually came to MY town at the perfect time! Then, through methods I cannot go into here (don't worry, no one was terminated… trust me) I showed up at The Hamilton, and gained entrance! Whew, close one!


Let me tell you, this place is NICE! It felt like part restaurant, part night club, part jazz club-- kind of like Old Ebbitt Grill, which is just around the corner, for the younger D.C. crowd. I tried tweeting to get the coveted "first in line" prize for the book signing, getting a picture with Arnold, too, but my iPhone signal failed me down there and it did not happen. The event started with Arnold and the interviewer being introduced up on stage, then they sat down in two chairs and started talking. It was very similar to how this year's Ask Arnold was staged at the Classic, but a much smaller, more intimate stage, so no one was very far from Arnold. They chatted about his book, his life, a little on the love-child scandal and aftermath (which Arnold was quite frank and forthcoming about), and a lot of political topics, given the region and proximity to an election. Nothing too new was said, but Arnold was the master conversationalist as usual and his anecdotes were crowd pleasers. They took a couple audience questions, where we finally got a little movie talk about the Expendables movies, how Sly asked him to be involved, and he looks forward to the 3rd one, where if trends continue, he may shoot for 4 weeks on!



Finally, it was book-signing time, and I secured a spot toward the front of the line. I needn't have worried, though, as Arnold was very gracious, signing up to 2 books per person, and staying until every single person who wanted an book signed got it. Although he didn't personalize any and there was a no picture with Arnold policy, he still took his time and said a few nice words to each person as they came up to the table. When I came up, Arnold said, "Hey, how are you?" I quickly introduced myself and said how I can't wait to read his book cover to cover. He said "Thank you for being here, I really appreciate it. Have a good time, OK?" Then I got in one more departing comment, "I really hope we get to see King Conan!" to which he responded simply, "Dat's right!" with his sly Arnold grin! What a perfect reaction-- he knows what his fans want, and I really think he wants to do it too.


While the rest of the line wound through, I chatted with other people there, and just marveled at the diversity of Arnold's fans! There was everyone from young professionals and students in their 20s to older grandmothers. Even the press people I talked to who were there on assignment were excited to see Arnold in person. One guy in particular overheard me mentioning T2 as my favorite Arnold movie and completely geeked out with me about it, saying how he saw it over and over in middle school, it holds up better than many newer movies using CG, and how he interviewed James Cameron once and asked why he took out the T-800 smiling scene. It's always the coolest thing when I can "bond" with total strangers over Arnold!

Like I said, Arnold stayed until the line was done after signing for hundreds of happy fans, then he stopped for a beer at the bar before taking off. I gave him one last wave and hopped back on the metro to go home. I was ecstatic with getting to see my idol once again and his awesome army of fans!
I did a quick upload to YouTube of my interaction with Arnold tonight while getting my books signed. It's amazing how I think so hard of cool things to say, but then when the moment comes, I can barely stammer out "Hi Arnold!" I did get a little reaction to King Conan, though!

Watch the video below!

 


Brandon Krum writes: On the morning of Monday, October 1st I heard that Arnold Schwarzenegger was going to be coming to New York City to promote his book, "Total Recall, My Unbelievably True Life Story" on Good Morning America, and with me living in The Big Apple, I knew I HAD to be there. So I got up at 5:00 AM and started my journey into the city. After a typical NY Subway ride, I arrived in Times Square and walked over to the studio I knew Arnold would be arriving at.
I placed myself in the perfect spot to find to see Arnold arrive, as I was just behind press line. I waited there anxiously with the other people. I made small talk with the other reporters and fans (who had their Arnold Merch ready for him to sign). We watched as several SUV’s drove by, a few sports cars. Anything that looked like Arnold could be in it, we all got excited. I heard the security guard saying Arnold was running a bit behind, so he had to be arriving shortly. After a little more waiting the moment finally happened! At 6:50am Arnold's black SUV pulled up and flashes started going off. A security guard opened the door, and out came Arnold, sporting a fresh new haircut.. Looking better then ever!

Because he was running a little late that morning, he did not have time to stop and talk to everybody. He had to run in and get on camera. The filming of Good Morning America took about 20 to 30 minutes. Rather then go watch Arnold in the studio outside (behind glass) I decided to wait outside and stay close to the Security entrance, as Arnold would have to exit the building this way. I could hear the interview as they played it over the loudspeakers outside. The excitement was everywhere, and the other fans were all having a blast and waited patiently.

As the taping ended, Arnold again emerged and flashes started going off like crazy! Arnold this time stopped and signed some autographs for his loving fans, then he quickly jumped back in the security heavy SUV. Here is where I expected my tail to end, but observing the SUV I noticed that it stopped just up the street, so I ran up there and discovered that Arnold was actually having breakfast at the Millennium Broadway Restaurant & Bar. I talked to one of the Security guards, and he tipped me off about a book signing, but didn't know the location.

I respectfully waited alone outside for another 30 minutes, not wanting to bother Arnold while he was eating. Finally, again, Arnold emerged. As soon as he did, somehow out of nowhere a bunch of people swarmed the area, Arnold and his team had to push through the crowd. I personally didn't want to bombard Arnold for his signature. All I wanted to know was where is the location of this secret book signing that I heard about.

Just as Arnold was about to drive away for the second time, I asked (Amidst the chaos) where was the book signing going to take place? I heard a lot of talk inside the car and quickly one of the security guards turned back to me said "McNally Jackson Books at 1:30pm". THIS was the information I was after! (This was before Arnold Tweeted the secret book signing location on Twitter). It was now 8:30am and the adventure was still not over yet!

It was now Noon, so my girlfriend and I booked it (no pun intended) back into the city and made it to the McNally Jackson bookstore to find a huge crowd of people already waiting in a long line. You could tell that Arnold was inside.


We had to quickly get inside the bookstore, as I heard they were about to sell out. I had to bend the truth a bit to the security outside so they would let me in. I said I was here to buy a different book, and that worked like a charm. (The book eventually sold old quicker then expected). The excitement was high. I rushed to the counter and bought my copy. A mere $38 to get to meet Arnold AND get his Autograph?! Excellent.

We took our place outside and waited in line. It was nice to see the other fans, they were a mix of fitness admirers, and movie buffs. Luckily the wait was kept to a minimum, and finally my lady an I walked up to Arnold as he signed my copy, I introduced myself "Hi Arnold, I am Brandon from TheArnoldFans.com". The man was in great spirits, even though he had been running around Gotham all morning. He looked back at me with a smile and said "Enjoy yourself okay?" then asked my girlfriend "How are you?". She was smitten. This was my girlfriends first time meeting my idol. I think she loved the experience almost more then I did! (Almost)


As I walked outside, and there were film crews interviewing people after they met Arnold. I got to talk to 2 news crews. The first was Inside Edition, they asked me what I thought about the “Love child Scandal”, first I introduced myself as being from
TheArnoldFans.comand continued saying "He's still a Hero" and then did my best-practiced impression of Arnold’s famous Austrian growl. Afterward, the Fox 5 crew grabbed me, and I repeated the impression all over again.

It was now time for Arnold to depart, as all of the books had been sold and signed. The security detail got Arnold’s SUV ready, and the big man emerged from the book store. There was one last eruption of flashes, cheering, and fans wanting autographs. As Arnold passed me, I yelled out “Forever Arnold!”. Finally he managed to get into the vehicle, and off he went, driving down the crowded New York City Streets.

All in all, this was an amazing life experience. And I got to see Arnold not once, but three times in one day! I simply can not wait until my next encounter! If you get a chance to see Arnold on his book tour, DO IT! You wont regret it.. Trust Me!



Finally, Randy Jennings from TheArnoldFans could not attend the book signing tour, however, he was represented by his mom! Kathy submits her fantastic tale of high adventure!


Kathy:

Hearing that Arnold Schwarzenegger would be appearing on “The Tonight Show” on October 8 to promote his book “Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story,” I wondered if his book-signing tour would include my hometown of Los Angeles. I checked and found that Arnold would be signing books at the Barnes & Noble at The Grove on October 5! I figured it would give me the perfect opportunity to get a signed copy for a Christmas present for my son, Randy Jennings of TheArnoldFans.com. At the same time, I could fulfill one requirement on my bucket list and see Arnold in person!

I called Barnes & Noble and was told to be there at 9:00 a.m. to buy a book or two (Arnold would sign two books maximum) and get a wristband giving me first priority for the signing to be held at 6:00 p.m. Although I arrived more than an hour early, the line was already very long. I learned that some Arnold fans had camped out on the street beginning at 3:00 in the morning. Unfortunately for me, I found that some fans in line were holding places for others who arrived later, causing us to keep moving backwards. By the time I bought my two books, the wristbands had already been given out. I was given a yellow ticket indicating that my group was on standby and should return later with no guarantee that we would make it into the signing, since Arnold would be there for only one hour.

Determined to get in, I returned with my two books at 2:00 p.m. for the 6:00 signing. Would the long, hot wait on the street be worth it? Waiting in line is something I loathe, but the energy of the friendly Arnold fans in line kept me entertained. I received enthusiastic responses when I brought up TheArnoldFans.com.

Around 4:30, a guard moved us inside the bookstore to the second floor but again said he couldn’t guarantee that we would see Arnold. Barnes & Noble has a large atrium that allows shoppers to view all three levels, so I watched from the balcony as TV cameramen entered the store. Some shoppers had no idea what the commotion, lines and cameras were all about and were shocked to find out that Arnold Schwarzenegger would soon be arriving.

As 6:00 p.m. approached, shoppers positioned themselves next to railings on the second and third floors, hoping to grab a photo of the world-famous guest of honor. Suddenly I heard screams and saw cameras flashing on the third floor. Bodyguards and assistants were walking very quickly, shielding a large figure. Shoppers chased behind Arnold with their cell phone cameras. He had come up an elevator through the back and proceeded to the area where he would be signing books.

A store worker told us to prepare our books by opening them to a front page showing an Arnold icon. This was really going to happen! I was getting very excited and texting Randy about what was happening. Smiling fans with signed books passed us and said, “Arnold really looks good!” They told us that the signing was going very, very fast.

The store assistant told us it was time for our group to proceed up the escalator toward Arnold. We wouldn’t be turned back now! The area where Arnold was signing had high partitions all around it. Fans were taking photos blindly by holding their cameras periscope-like above the partitions. I walked around a bookshelf, and suddenly Arnold came into view. He was huge and handsome. He was surrounded by bodyguards, bodybuilders, his good friend, Dieter, and assistants including Daniel and Conyers. I tried to take pictures, but his admirers kept obscuring my view. Energetic music blasted through the speakers. I have never seen a whirlwind of activity like it.

The line was moving very fast. I remembered Randy writing in “Arnold’s Army: A Schwarzenegger Uprising” that he was glad Arnold had a long name because that gave him more time to spend with Arnold when he wrote it. Large men barked instructions all around me: “No photos!!” “No requests for personalized messages!!” “No more than two books signed per person!!” “Quick greetings to Arnold only – move on immediately!!” We handed our books to a woman who slid them toward Arnold in conveyor-belt fashion. Somehow, at the same time Arnold was signing his long name, he was smiling at his fans, talking with them and shaking their hands. How did he do that?? I’ve never known other authors to sign books like that!

Suddenly, I was face-to-face with The Oak. He gave me a warm smile, and I shouted over the loud music, “My son is Randy Jennings from TheArnoldFans.com!” Arnold looked surprised and called out to his assistant, “Daniel! This is Randy Jennings’ mom!” Friendly Daniel responded, “This calls for a photo!” and got out his camera. I moved behind Arnold and put my hand on his huge back. That’s something I never thought I would be doing in a million years. I said to Arnold, “I’m so excited to meet you!” He told me how much he appreciated the excellent work and dedication from Randy and TheArnoldFans. He added, “Randy is a fine person.” I told Arnold, “Randy and I see exciting things for you in the future,” which brought forth a big smile from Arnold. When I was talking and having my picture taken with him, the fans looking on must have wondered why I was so privileged!

I picked up my signed books and took a few quick photos (only a few were allowed after the signing). This experience gave me much more than I had hoped for on my bucket list. Yes, I had waited in the worst line of my life, but it was more than worth it. As the saying goes, “All’s well that ends well,” and this day ended very well.

Next we want to hear from the fans! What was your experience like? Send us your photos and a brief writeup on your fantastic adventures! Hopefully Arnold will still have time to come to a bookstore near the rest of you! We'll let you know if The Oak will be adding new dates to his tour. Be sure to also pick up a copy of "Arnold's Army, A Schwarzenegger Uprising" found at www.ArnoldsArmy.com. As Arnold says in The Expendables, "You should read more." Exactly!

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  • Response
    Pretty marvelous post. I ran into your blog and wanted to say your information seems legit. Will keep posted. Thanks.

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