I saw AIC back in 1993 on the Lollapalooza tour of that year. I saw it in Charlotte with my friend Ray. AIC was playing second from last on the bill, to be followed by Primus. I had spent part of the day passed out from heat exhaustion, and was wandering around the grounds during Dinosaur Jr.'s set. As I was walking around, I saw a kinda smallish, blond guy with shades walking around with a Rottweiler. I knew it was Layne Staley, and I froze for a second.
I thought about going up to him and saying "hello"; I wanted to tell him how much I thought their album "Dirt" was a great, dark meditation on drug addiction and the perils therein. Instead, I just looked at him as he passed, trying hard not to look like some kind of obsessive freak. He and his dog and the bodyguard trailing them walked on to the port-a-potties.
I think now that maybe I should have gone up to him, but then I think he probably would have thought I was some kind of heroin-induced hallucination. I have that effect on people.
Granted this isn't a great brush "with greatness." My friend Ombra could tell you tales of seeing Nirvana just before they became famous, or how she told Michael Stipe to jump up her butt (in not so many words), but this is all I have, at least for now.