Standing on stage with his namesake, country music star Kris
Kristofferson, Kris Collins is lost for words.
Not only is the 22-year-old named after the Country Music
Hall of Famer who played at the Dunedin Town Hall last night,
but he is also a keen country musician himself and often
covers Kristofferson songs.
He told Kristofferson he particularly loved his song Me
and Bobby McGee.
''It's amazing, a real thrill,'' Mr Collins, of Dunedin, said
after the brief meeting.
Because of a chance meeting 23 years ago, Kristofferson (77)
made an exception to his rule of not meeting anyone before a
show to talk to Mr Collins and his parents, Dalaine Walker,
of Oamaru, and Dunedin radio host and former city councillor
The story is Collins' family folklore - how Neil Collins and
then wife Ms Walker, who was heavily pregnant at the time,
met Kristofferson in a hotel lift and got talking about
Ms Walker said the couple had attended a concert by the
Highwaymen (which included Kristofferson) at Athletic Park in
Wellington in June 1991.
It had been a tough day, as she was eight months pregnant,
but as a Kristofferson fan she had not minded, especially
when they ended up riding the lift at their hotel with the
The star was holding his baby daughter Kelly - who sang with
her father last night - and he commented about Ms Walker's
pregnancy, saying if the baby was a boy, the couple should
call him Kris.
The baby was born on July 14 and while Ms Walker wanted to
call him Kristopher, she gave in to her then husband's
request that it be just Kris with a ''K''.
''To meet him then was fantastic. Tonight brought back very
good memories. The years have just flown by,'' Ms Walker