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Perham residents share rock 'n' roll adventures

After 400 concerts, married couple has collected more than 6,000 pieces of rock memorabilia

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Jim Colby and his wife Jennine have more than 6,000 pieces of memorabilia from attending rock concerts.<br/>
Barbie Porter / Detroit Lakes Tribune
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PERHAM – Jim and Jennine Colby have met more rock stars than some hosts at musical award shows. They received unique rings that came with a required declaration, heard stories from a Black Sabbath member about Ozzy Ozbourne being a less than model tour roommate and made another singer cry.

The Perham residents scour about 25 websites consistently for upcoming concerts to spend their days off.

“We’ve seen about 400 concerts together,” Jim estimated.

From those adventures, the two have amassed an enormous collection of portraits with musicians and signed memorabilia.

“I’d guess we have about 6,000 pieces (of memorabilia),” Jennine said.

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Jim and Jennine Colby of Perham have several commemorative guitars, some of which have been signed by musical artists.
Barbie Porter / Detroit Lakes Tribune

The two bring pictures, posters, programs, albums, drum heads and other items in the off-chance the musicians are willing to sign their names during a meet and greet or serendipitous meeting.

The painted drum heads have proved eye-catching for the band members, as well. Jennine credited a close friend for painting the artwork on the drum head. Jim noted the band Warrant was so impressed they took a picture of the drumhead and put it on their Twitter account.

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Drumheads painted with artwork and album covers have caught the attention of rockers when brought to events, and have been signed by band members.<br/>
Barbie Porter / Detroit Lakes Tribune

Monsters of Rock, rock the boat

Jim, who grew up in Milner, N.D., wed Jennine, who grew up in St. Paul, in April 2015. Regardless of their different upbringings in regards to population, they both had rock ‘n’ roll fever since their youth.

Shortly after declaring eternal love for one another, they visited the Magic Kingdom and spent the rest of their honeymoon on a cruise that featured rock concerts.

The two learned about the Monsters of Rock cruise through a radio show. In their rookie years of the cruise, they were nervous about de-boarding in another country. Jeannine said they were scared that if they got off the boat they might have difficulty getting back on.

So, instead, the two made their way to the pool deck and hopped in a hot tub with a member of Black Sabbath. The band, which formed in England in the late 1960s and is often thought of as pioneers of heavy metal music, included Ozzy Osbourne, Terry (“Geezer”) Butler, Tony Iommi and Bill Ward.

As the trio waded in the warm, soothing waters an easy-going conversation ensued, which included a story about what it was like to be Osbourne’s roommate on the road.

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The walls filled with pictures of the Colbys and well-known musical acts engages the eyes of visitors, and their stories captivate ears, some stories (hint: ask about the skulls) will only be told to visitors who take a seat at their basement bar. <br/>
Barbie Porter / Detroit Lakes Tribune

Jim divulged the stories included examples of how the singer tested his bandmate’s patience, and how after a few warnings, the disagreements were brought to a head with a knock-out punch.

During one of the many Monster of Rock cruises they’ve been on, the Colbys also met Ted Poley of Danger, Danger. He gave them tips on how to get drinks at a busy bar on the boat, and then proceeded to shut the bar down with unruly behavior, they said. They also received two rings from him.

“Only 100 were made,” Jim said. “And, if we see anyone else wearing them, we have to do what the Power Rangers do.”

“He’s flippin' crazy,” Jennine said, adding they thoroughly enjoy his antics and company. In fact, she even hired him to sing a birthday greeting to her husband. In addition to the song, he also sent a drawing he made and guitar picks.

The Colbys often wear the official Monster of Rock Cruise T-shirts to other concerts, and occasionally the band on stage takes notice. They might get a mention from the singer or an invitation to visit backstage.

During a backstage visit with the singer of Jack Russell's Great White , the Colbys brought along a picture of a previous meeting. When Russell saw the picture, Jim said he teared up. The singer explained he was wearing a necklace that his mother gave him in the photograph. The necklace had been lost.

Moments that show rock singers have a big heart happen more often than one may expect, the Colbys said. Such was the case when the two went to the Corn Palace in South Dakota to see Dee Snider, the lead singer of Twisted Sister.

“I believe it was about three years ago,” Jennine said. “There was a young gal behind us in line, maybe in her 40s, who lost her mom. When it was our turn to talk to him we told him her story.”

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The two hung out a bit after chatting with Snider and saw him hug the grieving woman tightly and whisper something in her ear. As he rocked her gently, she wept.

The stories the Colbys collect tell a tale of human nature, from the wild side to the tender hearts. Dancing in-between those moments are the collective memories of a husband and wife living life to the fullest.

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