HAZLET – A large crowd of fans lined up outside Bethany Wine & Liquors at a Route 35 shopping plaza Friday, braving full sun for hours in anticipation for heavy metal band Slipknot’s silver signature on a bottle of whiskey.
Slipknot, from Des Moines, Iowa, is playing Friday night at the PNC Bank Arts Center in neighboring Holmdel at the Knotfest Roadshow Tour with Volbeat, Gojira and Behemoth.
Three of the nine band members were inside the shop signing bottles of their $48 signature No. 9 Iowa whiskey, described as 45 percent alcohol by volume. But some fans walking out with their signed souvenir said they planned to display it, not drink it. Others said they’d be cracking the seal on the bottle in the parking lot before the show.
John Dwyer of Bethany Wine & Liquor said the store was approached by Slipknot to hold the signing event, a first for the shop. Fans had to pay for the bottles online with Cedar Ridge Distillery. The Hazlet shop provided the venue for the pick-up and autograph. Some fans brought their own bottle.
The entrance to the ShopRite plaza was congested but moving, with everyone cooperating. Police cars parked on Hazlet Avenue kept their flashers on to warn everyone something was going on and to be cautious.
Bethany Wine & Liquors hired two police officers in advance of the event and had their own security officers on duty as well. Only a few fans were allowed in the store at the same time, and no photos were permitted. Slipknot will post its own photos on its Facebook page, Dwyer said. The band, which has a new album out called “We Are Not Your Kind” has 17.5 million Facebook likes.
More than 650 bottles were signed at the event, Dwyer said.