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Maynard James Keenan Bottle Signing @ Whole Foods Potrero Hill, 1/2/09

January 3, 2009

I’ve had my eye on Tool/A Perfect Circle/Puscifer’s Maynard James Keenan’s wine endeavor for awhile. So when I saw that he would be coming to the very Whole Foods I do my weekly shopping at, I was delighted…and a little weirded out. Should I take my grocery list with me?


event signage


wine line

bottle signings even run on rock star time

The event was to take place from 4:30-7:30p, and we arrived at about 4:15ish to receive ticket #104 in the line outside the building. As soon as we got our ticket, I overheard one of the women with a VIP badge tell the ticket guy that “he’s in a car about 25 minutes away…”. Apparently bottle signings even run on rock star time…

The ticket also included the list of wines available to purchase. The wine collector and music collector in me collided, and we decided to get 6. 10% off! We were also able to enter a raffle to get a special bottle of wine that MJK brought with him that wasn’t available in California. Fingers crossed!



The line was full of Tool fans, most there to get one bottle of the cheapest wine available in order to have a face to face meeting with the somewhat elusive MJK. Many had cameras and Tool memorabilia with them (me included), only to have everything coat checked as soon as we entered the building. It was freezing outside.

Luckily the line moved fairly quickly, and we were inside by about 5:30p. After purchasing the bottles, we were queued in a line for the signing. The actual signing takes place inside a curtained off area, all secretive-like, and let me tell ya, it happens fast.


this Chupa needs to lie down for a while

A bodyguard type guy waves you to go in, and you enter a small area where two handlers are standing on each side of you. They quickly take your wine and hand it to the winemaker, who is sitting closest to you behind a table, and he then passes it to MJK, who is in the corner as far away from you as possible. I wasn’t expecting so many people there, so I went into smile shock just looking around until I found MJK. It was all business. He doesn’t look up. As he’s signing the Chupacabra, he says, “this Chupa needs to lie down for a while”. I’m looking and smiling, in a rock star fog thinking ‘lie down for awhile?’ when the manfriend goes, “how long should it lie down for?”, and MJK says, “oh about a year…but this Sensei you can open now, just let it air out”. Or something like that. Then the manfriend goes, “Awesome, we’ll enjoy that one tonight”. No, we won’t. Then he looked up and I think I squeaked out a “thank you” which was for way more than just the wine and signatures. And I smiled really big. Then someone said “you guys got some good ones”. Or something like that. And then MJK goes, “thanks for waiting”. And I think I squeaked out another “thank you” or “no worries” or something like that.

signed bottles

It all took about a minute. It went very fast. But it was totally worth it, and it made up for the fact that I barely got to see him when I saw Tool in Dec. ’07. Now I have six new pieces to add to my collection that I can drink and enjoy one day…

Arizona Stronghold Vineyards


  1. Hilarious! I’m kinda “WTF” but this is more impressive than Joe Perry and Zakk Wylde’s hot sauces or Dave Mustaine’s signature coffee. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Ha! No Way! The Mrs. and I went to do some shopping around 7:30, and I mentioned to the guy behind the seafood counter that they didn’t have much of a selection. He said, “Yeah, those Tool fans kind of wiped us out”. I had no idea what he meant, until now.

  3. Yeah, I did the same thing, Maynard is very intense!! and the wine is awesome and well worth the $$ I have been to both Vineyards in AZ and they are very very cool.

  4. I got an email yesterday with the subject line “Whole Foods Market, Bottle Signing Raffle Winner_Please Respond”. Thinking I had won the extra bottle MJK brought from AZ. Alas I didn't win the bottle but a Whole Foods gift card. That was great but not as cool as winning the “special bottle unavailable in California”.

    Wonder what the extra bottle was?

  5. He is out there. And his scribble is horrible. It should be intricate like the other guys in Tool, and how the band is…

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