My best encounter happened in October 1984.
I was a Navy Surface Warfare officer stationed at Kelly AFB, San Antonio for a shore duty tour. My unit sent me to Ft Sill in Lawton OK to research some data, etc. On the way back to SA, my flight from Oklahoma had a plane change in Dallas. I had to take the shuttle train from a terminal at one end of the airport to the terminal at the other side of the airport, nearly a 20 minute ride.
I was in Trop White Long - white shirt, white pants, i.e., summer travel uniform. I was the only person in the train car when this group of long haired scraggily looking guys crawled on, a couple carrying guitars. There were stickers all over the guitar cases for some group I had never heard of.
I asked "Is that y'all's band?"
"That's nice. What kind of music do y'all play?"
"Well, Some call it country and some call it bluegrass."
"Y'all doing any good?"
"I guess you could say we're doing OK. You haven't heard about us?"
"Nope, but then I just got through spending 19 months in Japan and 9 months deployed to the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean on a carrier with a 2 months of schools between the duty stations. Where are y'all playing next?"
"We did a show here in Dallas Sunday, we have one Wednesday night in San Antonio, then ......" and gave me their schedule for the next 2 weeks.
"Damn, sounds like y'all are busy. My birthday is Wednesday, do you think there might still be any tickets available?"
"Well, it's supposed to be sold out but we can leave you a couple of passes at the "will call" window. What's your name?"
I gave them my name and one of my calling cards. When we got to the terminal, we ended up on the same plane, me back in the cattle call section and them in 1st class. They loaded before me and I spoke with them as I passed through...
"Hope y'all do well on y'all's tour." They all laughed and a bunch of people stared at me as if "How do YOU know THEM?"
Well, Wednesday rolled around and I went down to the Convention Center in SA. My girlfriend at the time asked me how did I get tickets to the show while I was in Oklahoma. When I told her I didn't have tickets, but I was supposed to get some passes at the "will call" window that a guy named "Randy" who was part of the band was supposed to leave for me.
She kinda rolled her eyes and said "Yeah, Right."
When I asked at the window, the girl asked me to repeat my name and spell it for her. She said "Just a minute." and made a phone call, then said "Just wait right there."
I'm getting the stink-eye from my girl while we're waiting. Instead of passes through the window, some big bouncer dude came out and said
"Please follow me, sir,"
He took us in through a side door and escorted us to the front and said "These are your seats. Enjoy the concert."
My girl is no longer giving me the stink-eye.
She said, "What did you do to get these?"
"Nothing. I just spoke to some guys on the airport train in Dallas that said they were with this band. I asked about their guitars and the stickers on them. From the conversation I had, they must be doing OK."
She looked at like I was crazy and asked me "You don't even know who they are?"
"Nope. They were scruffy looking, but they were polite and were curious about me being in the Navy, so we talked a bit and Randy said he'd leave some passes."
We had a good time, and I followed the band after that.
I pretty sure that concert contributed to my hearing loss while in on Active Duty.
Oh, yeah, The band - it was Alabama, in the middle of their 1984 52 stop tour. "If your gonna play in Texas (you gotta have a fiddle)" had recently been #1.
And yes, I really didn't have a clue who they were when I met them. And "Randy" turned out to be the lead singer, Randy Owen".