Here I sit on the night before I am to see him sing again for the first time in almost 18 years unable to sleep at 2 am. Even though deep down I know it will make me look and feel really rough at his show tomorrow . That’s okay, though he wont be able to see me this time. For the first time, I will be just another face in the crowd but he will as always, be in the spotlight on the stage.
The last time I saw him I was almost forty and I had known him since was barely more than a child and adored him from almost the moment we met. When it ended, I swore I would never think of him, or watch him, look for him, or even listen to him on the radio ever again and for over 15 years that’s exactly what I did . But it takes a lot of emotional energy to stay that mad at someone and hate anyone for that long and that much.
I didn’t realize until I let it go how much work it had been all those years.
But I had almost immediately came to the realization as I started to work on my memoir “Even Rock and Roll has Fairy Tales” that all that hate and anger were ruining the earliest drafts of my book and the only way I would be able to tell this Fairies tale was to find way to forgive him and I discovered even fall for him again (just a little bit) in order to tell my story in the way it should be told.
Through the eyes of that sheltered and innocent teenage girl who worshiped him and had no idea until it actually happened exactly how it was all going to end . As I began to tell the story i realized the only way to was going to work was if I was able to write about the good times as if the bad ones had ever happened. So i did what you do and what I was dreading had successfully managed to avoid dong this time . I googled him. When I saw him for he first time on You Tube I could barely recognize him. I think that helped me begin to forgive him.
How could such a sweet lovely chubby jolly little old man who looked like Santa now be the obnoxious notorious Eric Burdon of the Animals? That raucous, rowdy and randy baddest of all the boys in the band boy who had stumbled into my life at 17 and practically raised me along the highways byway of the rock ad roll road to ruin, A man I was now so angry at and so despised i had blocked every trace of his very existence on our planet and completely out of my mind and life for almost two decades ?
As I worked on my book I found I had to watch him and listen to him, think about him non-stop day and night for almost two years . Not only did I have to try to re-live every moment of it, in order to get it right i must become become consumed by thinking of every little detail to transport me back through the last thirty five years. I was putting myself into a hypnotic state, to recall every detail. Concentrating as hard as I could on the trivial things
“What color were the curtains in the hotel room in Philly? How did Eric have his eggs in the morning, and did he have them with coffee or tea? What dress was I wearing that day? What shoes? What did he have on? How did I get to the show? What happened on the way there or home?”
Spending hours meditating on every tiny detail i could remember , trying to play my mind back to bring it all into focus o i could replay it a again in my mind then on paper like cleaning the tape as you were rewinding a dvr and i was amazed by how many important and specific memories this technique brought back for me when I could finally replay it all again in full detail from beginning to end .
But by going back by sinking so deeply in o the moments where he… did what he did… and about what I did …. not knowing any better, especially now when I knew how it all was to turn out and feeling it all just as i did them was not fun or easy. Remembering in the most accurate and infinite detail while immersed in this trance- like heightened state of sensitivity. Meanwhile I still had to try to figure out how one goes about actually writing their very first book .
Foolish little me, having no concept back then of what it took to self publish, promote and market a book when you don’t have the deep pockets of a big publishing house or any publisher at all, for that matter, to tel the word our book exist so they might consider buying it ( however Eric having a huge come- back at the exact same time i finished mine and got it on the shelf certainly didn’t hurt in that repect) I can still remember saying to myself right after i wrote with huge flourish THE END
” There, now that is done I can go back to never letting you cross my mind again.”
Little did i know then I would end up starting “Eric Burdon knows Even Rock and Roll has Fairy Tales” an Eric Burdon/Sherry Carroll books fan page on FB followed by thousands over the last three years. That I would be constantly surrounded by his legions of fans from all around the globe and I would end up still hearing his records almost non stop all day long , seeing his videos posted a dozen of times day, constantly promoting him and myself all over the internet and social media and endless hours talking about his life, his career, and music and interacting with his fans non stop ever since. so actually instead of being rid of him once story had been told HE’S ALWAYS EVERYWHERE I GO!
I never really mind too much though , after all, for most of my life i was one of the most fervent of fans myself! I was a huge fan of his extraordinary talent and that amazing voice long before i meet the man himself and long before he was he living legend he is now. But what they sometimes ail to understand I have had very long and interesting life, most of which I was paying absolutely no attention at all to his after all these years.
That i am not, nor ever have been an expert on his every move or have memorized all the trivia of his life or music year after year . I don’t know their Eric Burdon, their Hero and The Living Legend they think they do. I just know a man , as imperfect as any other, that I cared about very much once upon a time but who hurt me badly and that it sometimes gets really old, really fast, when people want to talk to me about nothing else but him day after day.
Most of of you have probably got a x or two in your past you would prefer unexpectedly dropped of the face of the earth then to hear from hundred of people on a daily basis about their great talent and what wonderful human beings they are. Bleck!
So one must learn to grow a sense of humor about it or go mad!
And keep on plugging your book.
So when i found out six months ago he was coming here for two nights in February my first reaction was I would rather stick flaming knitting needles in my eyes than go anywhere near those shows and that man again, and after my book I’m quite sure he feels the exact same way about me. Even though I’ve forgiven him, mostly because i had no choice, I still suspected if I were to ever find myself alone in he same room with him there is a very good possibility i would end up kicking his elderly and smacking that smirk right off his face before the end of the evening…
But a time went on i felt myself gravitating towards the idea, pulled almost as if fighting all the cosmic forces mighty wind and having to hold on for dear life to keep from going against my will until one day I realized I actually did really want to see for myself just how he is doing these days now that he 74 years old. We are both getting old enough now that one never knows when your next chance to see someone who is a starring cast member in the story of your life might be your last.
I have seen him on stage so many times but never from the audience only from the wings but I got brave, bought some tickets and rounded up some supportive friends to go along to pass the numerous box of tissues i am quite likely going to need to get through the entire show.
It just seemed like the right thing to do and if i didn’t the day I read the news he was gone and knew I would truly never see or hear him speak or sing again i would surely regret it forever .
I’m sure this will continue to be the emotional equivilaat of a extremely thrilling and terrifying, shake, ratting and rolling carnival ride and yet somehow a very familiar and comfortable one I still felt very safe in , as I had been lovingly tucked into my spot on this particular ride since I was just a child.
And even though he wont see me sitting out there in the crowd, instead of inside in the dressing room I am certain he will know I am there.