I have always loved musicians. Mostly I think it is their creativity and their ability to make music that people listen to and love. My heart really belongs to singers and songwriters though. When I hear a well crafted lyric, I swoon. It is no wonder, then, that I was a groupie for a while.
So now you are thinking I have wonderful stories to tell a la Almost Famous. Sorry to disappoint you, but my stories are not that glamorous and involve more driving than sex or drugs (as my Mom thanks the Lord and crosses herself). They do not involve touring the country on a bus with the band while living in a fantasy love affair with the guitarist. I loved that movie too though. Sigh.
Anyway, my stories are grittier and in most cases, more boring. Take a gander:
1. There was the time that I met Nelson. Don't know who Nelson is? Long blond haired twin rockers? No? Anyway, they were touring with Cinderella and some other hard rocking 90s glam rock band. My mom's friend knew a guy that worked the venue, my cousin and I threw his name around and the next thing you know, we were watching the concert from backstage. Albeit, it was the last song but still a rocking good time. And when I got cold, the roadie gave me a jacket. I then had to give it back.
2. I met Nelson again, up close and personal this time. The day after the last time. Yes, the roadie guys we met invited us to their next show a few cities away. Yes, a road trip. In our car - my cousin and I. Really not Almost Famous at all. This encounter involved watching a rehearsal where Nelson threw guitar picks at us, a meet and greet where we got our picture taken, front row seating to the concert and hanging with the roadies on the bus where I was asked to show ID (that would SO not happen in Almost Famous). My cousin, the underage one, however, was not. (That will show you Nelson roadies - we pulled a fast one on you!) This also prompted a picture with the roadies that my Dad later deemed to be "inappropriate" because he thought the one guy's hand was on my boob. Yes, because it is always my goal to show my father a picture of a guy holding my boob. This also prompted a decade long pen pal/friendship with the roadie. Wherever you are Louie, you rock!
3. Ratt was in town. Ratt is my favorite band. I hope I do not lose readers now. I know it is cheesy and bad, but I cannot help it. Same venue, same venue guy. Sadly, he could not get us back stage so he did the next best thing - he gave us the name of the hotel that the band was staying at and off we went. What we hoped to accomplish is anyone's guess. We got to the hotel and I was inches away from Stephen Pearcy - inches!! As we all headed into the hotel, wise security personnel seeing a gaggle of miniskirted big haired girls decided they needed to be carded. And just like that, it ended. We were not 21. Stephen Pearcy tried his best, exclaiming "These are ALL my girlfriends," but the security personnel did not care. As we left, circling the hotel, we saw a girl trying to sneak into a side door only to find it was locked. She wailed out to us as we drove by "but I will be 21 in just a couple of daysssssss." We felt her pain.
4. The Danzig disaster. Not that Danzig was a disaster, he was cool. The rest of the trip? Not so much. Yep, another road trip down a state or two to see Metallica, Danzig and whomever else was playing. To make a LONG story short - our ride was insane and after being pulled over for speeding would only drive 30 miles per hour. It took us HOURS to get there and we missed most of the show. Finagling our way back stage one at a time (um, for some reason our connection could only get one back stage pass), we ended up hanging with some roadies and then heading to the hotel to catch up with them and the band. The "band" ended up being Danzig. Next thing I know, I am stuck in a hotel room with five blonds and a guy (no idea why he was there) all waiting for Danzig who had made an appearance moments prior. After 20 insane minutes with screeching and mind numbing conversation, I realized my cousin had deserted me. So off I went to find her. Yeah, I found her in Danzig's room having a nice quiet conversation (no, really it WAS a conversation) with him. Total down to earth, cool guy that seemed bemused at the gaggle of girls I had left behind. No matter how cool he was, it did not make up for the four hour ride home while sitting in the middle of a two seater manual truck making conversation with a former enemy to ensure she didn't crash the car due to lack of sleep while my cousin snored beside me. Ah memories...
Which all brings me to today. I was at Potbelly's grabbing some lunch when I heard a version of a song that sounded really cool. Ten minutes later I realized that it was being played live by a guy in the corner who could sing REALLY good. That's when I remembered I love musicians.
As I left I turned and the guy looked straight at me and sang to me. My stomach jumped and for a moment I was transported back to earlier times and those rock star memories and thought "he looked at ME, the singer looked at ME!"
Then I looked at the short, very young, dorky guy behind the microphone, turned and walked out, closing the door, and those groupie days, behind me.