198337_10151333559271563_835540915_n          I was partying with Ac/Dc in Baltimore about two weeks before poor Bon died and he looked just awful then. So it was no big surprise to me, but a tragedy none the less. They had a case of Jack Daniels and there was only about 20 of us hanging out in the suite at the Hilton downtown but they had managed to smash every soda machine on every floor to get” free” mixers for the all that booze.

As the party broke up around 11 am so they could go get on the bus I said ” Y’all are gonna get in some big trouble for those destroyed soda machine you know. the Hilton don’t dick around when it comes to this sort of  foolishness”

Bon stood there knee-deep in pile of smashed and half full  crushed soda cans and empty Jack Daniels bottles that literally covered almost every inch of the ruined carpet and  he said wide-eyed and with  complete innocence ” How will they know it was us? ”

RIP You Lovely Madman! You are sorely missed!

” 9th July 1946, Born on this day in Forfar,  Scotland, Bon Scott (Ronald Belford Scott), singer with AC/DC from 1974 until his death in 1980. He was brought up in Kirriemuir before moving to Melbourne, Australia, with his family in 1952 at the age of six. Having arrived from ‘Bonnie Scotland’, he was dubbed ‘Bon’, and the nickname stuck. After a night of heavy drinking, Scott was found dead in the backseat of a friend’s car in South London on 19th February 1980, the cause of death being subsequently listed as ’acute alcohol poisoning .” More on Bon http://www.thisdayinmusic.com/pages/bon_scott   10501941_10154289492955167_2702438503759806414_n

CHAPTER ONE: THE FLIGHT OF THE FAIRY  

By the time the sun started to rise over the Great Lakes I had almost managed to convince myself that maybe I wasn’t crazy after all. Stressed? Sure. Way too old for this nonsense? Okay, you got me there! Thirty-eight was way too old and it was way too late to run away from home, so that was a very good possibility. Exhausted? No, not just yet, still a bit too soon and too early in the trip. I was bound to get that way at some point, but I would worry about that when it happened. At the moment, I was having fun. That was the important thing. The most fun I had had in years.

    The Shiny Happy Sherry Fairy takes flight again! And I loved every moment of it.

    The closer I got to my destination, the more convinced I was that this was the right choice. With every mile I left behind me, I could feel myself becoming more exhilarated. There was no mistaking it!  Magic was in the air. Or maybe it was out there waiting just for me, around the next corner, all this time. Okay, more like hundreds of miles away. Wondering what the hell had taken me so long. I was getting closer every minute I could already feel it. I was sure it had begun to feel me. Approaching rapidly and relentlessly, running years too late, but inevitably one of these days bound to arrive.

    I guess it was a somewhat reckless decision on my part, at close to 10 p.m. on a perfectly ordinary Thursday night, to take off on a long distance road trip to see a man in a band; just like back in the good old days when I was young and foolish, with no real life, no actual responsibilities, and no fear or common sense at all. In this case, this band featured my old flame, Eric Burdon, sinner, singer and front-man extraordinaire, formerly founding member of one of the world’s greatest classic British invasion bands. My very favorite man of all the men who made music in any band I had ever seen or known, and the reason I was spending all night tearing wildly down the highway in the family minivan headed for a weekend-long festival, hundreds of miles from home.

    The morning light (what little of it there was, so far) had emerged above the horizon, as pure and bright as liquid silver, sparkling, shimmering, and pulsating. I had never seen anything quite like it before, and I am sure I never will again in this lifetime. Gentle but relentless mists of rain had been thoroughly drenching the van for hours, providing a damp silent cloud that muffled and masked every exterior sound. A thick, dense fog was slowly emerging from the mirror-like surface of the lake. Steam lifted from the highway in the rapidly rising late July morning heat. The tires were kicking out a spray of fine water vapor almost as high as the windows.

    It was impossible to tell anymore what was sky, air, water, or ground and exactly at what point they separated, started, or stopped. Everything around me was in shades of grey, but in every conceivable texture, consistency, and variation. The whole world had turned into a soft, out-of-focus, black and white silent film. It was all so extraordinarily strange for someone so unfamiliar with the phenomenon and far from home, yet somehow perfectly appropriate and exquisitely beautiful.

    I am the only thing in full, vivid, glorious Technicolor. When the sun finally does manage to creep its way through the fog from the lake and take a quick peek over the horizon, I can tell it is embarrassed to show itself because it cannot begin to compete with my heat, outshine my colors, or ever hope to melt my wings. I fly high tonight on old memories and new dreams, fueled by unforgettable emotions, promises from the past, and cheap truck stop speed washed down with huge Styrofoam cups of powerful, lukewarm black coffee.

    I almost wish I were chain smoker.

   There should be a cloud of aromatic silver smoke swirling inside the van as well, intoxicating me, with the scent of the thrill of ever distant, unfamiliar air that meant freedom. Sucking it down, drawing it in, as if I need it just to keep breathing. Trailing flaming sparks and blackened ash, more like gunpowder than fairy dust as I soar along the highway. Firing up a new fresh buzz and frantically stubbing out the drained remains of the old one, with cotton-candy-colored chipped and chewed fingernails as each minute and mile passed, the tray filled to overflowing as the spent remnants tumbled out all over the carpet.

    It certainly would have suited a character in the divine melodrama currently featured. However, in this reel I was cast and costumed to be the Glamorous Starlet.     Certainly not destined to be the Figure of Tragedy or the Villain but quite likely, the occasional Comic Relief. So my nails were quite expertly manicured in the pink French tip style; it was, after all, a special occasion.

    In reality, in all these years I had managed to escape ever becoming a slave to the filthy, disgusting habit of actually sucking down cancer sticks. I always felt everyone should have one bad habit they could not or would not ever indulge in, and smoking always seemed out of them all to be the least fun. So long ago, I swore out of all the vices it would be the one I would forever do without. I had tried most of the others at one point or another in my life and they were all a lot more fun than tobacco, believe me.

    I didn’t really care that I hadn’t been able to reach Eric to warn him I was coming. I didn’t even know myself until a few hours before I left. I had done it before, more times, than I could remember since we had first met twenty years ago, and it had always worked out just fine every time. He was always gracious and appeared happy to see me, even when he never expected me to be there. We shared some very good times that way for a long time.

    When I first met Eric, I had just turned eighteen and he was in his late thirties. He hadn’t had any hits on the radio lately, or built up much of a solo career touring in the States. I guess you might say he was in a bit of a slump. It was nothing like the days on the road when he was a star in one of the biggest bands in the world. However, times had changed, and so had popular music. Punk and disco were not his forte or his friends, and they were not my taste either. I did not buy those records or know who any of those people were, but I sure knew who he was. His original band, The Animals was one of my favorite groups.

     Nevertheless, he was still so gorgeous then, extremely sexy and extraordinarily talented even if the fickle fans of the Top 40 seemed to have lost interest. Dark shaggy hair, fantastic smile, that sexy soft English accent combined with his fame, charm, outspoken personality and big, rich, soulful voice. He had a powerful presence, impossible to overlook or ignore whether packaged for market in a stiff suit, silk shirts, fringe and fur, denim and leather, or tie-dye

    He was accustomed to living the life of a rock-and-roll legend, playing everywhere from the hottest clubs to the biggest stadiums just as he had since he had his first hit record barely out of his teens. He had always seemed pretty stiff, quite serious, very hard and tough, when I had seen him in pictures in fan magazines or on TV.

   However, he was much softer than I ever expected or imagined at the time I met him. He was charming, lighthearted, and joyous. Playful and mischievous, with a certain impish quality that could completely disarm you, which women all over the world found irresistible. Notorious for his very bad attitude and very big mouth and infamous for the celebrated company he kept and their well-chronicled, inebriated antics. He had been living and loving a lifestyle of extremes and excess, which almost managed to overshadow his talent, which was, quite formidable.

     Enter the Shiny Happy Sherry Fairy.

donna9m

 

  A perfect landing right on cue, front row and center.

   Where I could get a good look at him and be sure he got one of me.

Just a naive little freckle-faced redheaded American kid from the suburbs, who somehow ended up in just the right, or the wrong place as Eric that particular night. Done up like a birthday present in a pink flowered sundress and white hair ribbons and a pair of sky-high–heeled platform sandals. Clearly, it was a match made in rock-and-roll heaven. I was struck completely deaf, dumb, blind, and stupid by the size of the stars he put into my eyes.

    But I had called a halt to my years as backstage teen queen when I was 22 and gave the whole ridiculous scene up over 15 years ago. I had just had enough. The time had come. 

    Rock and roll is a cold, ugly business and was bound to break your heart, ruin your life, steal your spirit, and destroy your soul sooner or later, inevitably.

   If it did not kill you first.

    However, odds are it would do them all eventually, if you did not get out when you had the chance, or if you were not very smart, very tough, very lucky, or very careful.

   Deep down, I suspected I was just not enough of any of the above.

   In fact, I was sure of it.

   By almost twenty-three, I was ready for real men, not immature egomaniacs with drumsticks, microphones, and guitars, and their debris of damaged hearts and hotel rooms with skeletons scattered in every club, closet and cupboard in every corner, all over the world. Fed up with being one of the beautiful fragile young creatures constantly mooning over them, swooning at the sight of them, left behind when they went, secretly stashed away or blatantly paraded beside them before being worn out, used up, well fucked and then fucked over, destroyed and discarded. There were always plenty more, waiting.

    Eric couldn’t seem to understand why I had such a problem with all this. It was all he had ever known for a long time. He had been doing it almost his whole life, but I wanted something different for me and mine. So he did kept doing what he knew how to do best, what he always did, stayed on the road, living his life, wherever or whatever that was to be after.

    I made the decision to completely change mine.

   Decided to go home, find myself a real man, a good one, and settle down, get happily married and try never to look back. I just forgot all about those days, stopped caring about that world and made a new one of my own. I went to the local University and got a degree in Education, bought a big house in the suburbs, opened a private pre-school, filled it with kids, love and laughter. Gave up the men and music, the makeup and miniskirts, the drugs and the decadence, the hard living and easy dying and traded it all in for self-respect, security, safety, and sanity. I paid my dues and earned righteousness and responsibility and bought a ticket to ride on the “American Dream”

    I worked my way up to the dizzying heights of the very pinnacle of suburban success and earned my rightful place in the real world and proper society. Became a shining example of proper modern womanhood, a wife, mother, business person, you know, what they call a “role model.”  Just another one of the cold, grey, stone pillars of virtue that support and protect the community and make the “real world” go endlessly round. My whole life revolved around my job, house, husband and family. I completely lost interest in rock and roll. I had outgrown it. I was uninterested and unimpressed and no longer a part of it.

     I wouldn’t even buy a record or go to a show except to see Eric or a few other really good friends, who I still kept in touch with. I just wanted to have nothing to do with all its nonsense.

    Looking back, to him then, I think that must have been my appeal.

   Through the years, I went to every gig to see him. But I always came home just as soon as it ended. With Eric and me, it wasn’t really safe to do anything else. Our unlikely association had now gone on for over twenty years, which was quite surprising, to us just as much as anyone else, because our lives were so very different. Especially since the average length of most of his relationships with girls on the road was lucky to be room service breakfast the next morning.

   I always felt I had spent the last 15 years of my life in disguise.

plain

Hiding behind huge owl-ish schoolteacher glasses with my wild red hair and big, bold personality kept well in check. Constantly covert, controlled, restricted, constricted, and well-contained. Living with the choice I had made to be non-threatening, unappealing, uninteresting and innocuous in order to conform, progress and succeed because it was appropriate for my station and position in this place and time, for the life I had chosen to live from now on.

     Surprisingly, as it turned out, I loved it. Even though I spent every single minute all those years, busting my ass every single day, overworked, unappreciated, undervalued, and covered with multicolored crayons, apple juice, and baby spit. I adored the children I took care of; it was the parents, the childcare administration, the community and the monotony I could not stand. I was happy doing it all for a very long time.

     Until one day, for no one explosive or explainable definable reason, I just was not happy at all anymore. Call it a mid-life crisis, or the fifteen-year itch, or some form of temporary insanity. All I knew was it was time to do something else. Something different, I just had no idea at all what that could be.

      I think the last straw was on the day I had changed my three hundred thousandth dirty diaper, in the week that four different mothers had “forgotten” their checkbooks on payday, in a month that I hadn’t left my house where even once, in the year I finally knew my marriage was over.  I tossed the last diaper I would ever change in the can and said out loud to myself.

    ”That’s it. I’ve had enough! I would rather shovel coal or kiss the devils ass daily or flip burgers with my bare hands at the McDonald’ s in Hades for the rest of eternity then do any of this one single minute longer! I QUIT”.

    And sure enough, I did, at the end of that week.

    And that was about six months ago.

     As I got ready to go “The Animals Greatest Hits” on old vinyl blasts, crackle and hissed through my cheap, crappy, boring, affordable old respectable suburban married type people’s stereo speakers. Nothing like the equipment I used to have back when I was young, single and foolish with plenty of spending cash, and music, and, the men who made it and nothing else was my very reason for living. I made sure to sing along with every single song, completely off key and with ever growing conviction and even greater enthusiasm, getting increasingly louder and out of tune, while I do the electric boogaloo around the bedroom in my old grannie panties.

    Eric and I do a duet. We are bloody marvelous! We always were, even if I do say so myself. And I think even he would have to agree. I opened the windows wide to make sure the old prune next door can be sure not to miss a note.

   I dug through the disorganized mess on the floor of the closet of our bedroom. What a mess, a complete disaster, all these things that were scattered haphazardly and left behind when he left with all of his, and I still hadn’t sorted it all out yet these many months later. No, I guess I mean my bedroom now. Wade my way through a huge pile of ugly smelly old worn out old sneakers. I hadn’t bought any other shoes for as long as I could remember. The same ones I had worn every single day for the last 15 years when I finally dragged myself out of bed at 6 am in the morning and threw on the nearest semi-clean tee shirt I could find with my eyes still half closed, hopefully without too much grape jelly or baby formula stains all over it. And didn’t get to take off until frequently way after midnight when I finally collapsed into bed in exhaustion. There they were, thank God! I was starting to panic! My favorite tall black leather boots. For a minute I thought that it just might be possible in a moment of madness I could have foolishly decided they were no more than some sort of obsolete garbage and just carelessly and callously given or tossed them away.

     But no, not gone, just out of sight and definitely way out of my mind. Just like me these days, evidently.

     There once was a time wearing anything else would be unthinkable!

     They were my prized possession. Now look at them, all roughly mistreated and miserable. Just shoved in there, and evidently completely abandoned, stuck down at the bottom underneath a bunch of old dirty everyday crap, no longer a priority much less a necessity, just weighted down now,  helpless, useless, smothered, overwhelmed and overpowered. Exiled by the others for being strange and different and therefore (until now) banished! They had clearly hit very rock bottom, reduced to pathetically cowering in the very back of the deepest darkest of corners. What a crying shame! This is footwear that lives to see and be seen! With their mile-high chunky heels, the corset lacing in the back and the silver three inch embossed square buckles and studs!

      Oh dear, looks like I better give them a good polish first though, since they too are quite old and dull these days and seem so close to worn down and out and have apparently become  just a bit too much their owner these days, both  looking and feeling pretty lackluster. I cradled them in my arms and then lovingly rubbed every inch of their dried out wrinkled old hide with moisturizing, nourishing beeswax.

     “Poor babies, you’re a mess! How could I have let such a thing happen? You are in need of some serious help if you ask me! All you really need is just a little time and attention, somebody to notice you and take you out and take care of you and show you a good time! That will really sort you out, wont it? “

    “Well, let’s get right to work, I just hope that it’s not way too late to save you!”

     And they came up a treat, bright and shiny as new; I thought that was a very good sign. Clearly they were just as fed up as I was of being bored and neglected, cooped up, crushed, and falsely imprisoned! And were just as thrilled to no longer be forgotten and buried alive just hoping and waiting for the wonderful day they get a well-deserved and  long overdue chance to “that thing they do”  once again before they go off to the Great Shoe store in the Sky.

     Now what? I had almost forgotten how all this was done. I glared at my reflection in the dressing room mirror, and it stared just as rebelliously and defiantly back.

   “Oh, so that’s how it’s going to be, eh?”

   “Ok, you scoundrel, I accept your challenge! En grade! And may the best man win!”

    With great trepidation I lured the rabid red badger that lived on my head and pretended to be hair out of the rubber restraints of its perpetual ponytail prison. It had grown almost comatose out of sheer boredom and inhumane levels of neglect over the last 15 years. I unleashed it, grabbed a tight hold on it, and violently shook it and shocked out of its slumber, then jumped in the shower and squirted steaming then ice cold water all over it, moussed it and mussed it, spritzed it and sprayed it, until at long last it showed some renewed signs of life. Then fried it, dyed it, baked and burned it and teased and attacked and tormented it with no mercy until it was once again a scary wild out of control dangerous beastie.

    Once I had its full attention I laid down the ground rules.

   “Ok, I don’t like you, and I know you really hate me, but can we at least try to cooperate with each other for just a couple of days? It’s really important! And by the way it’s nice to have you back, I really have missed you, you evil soulless mean furry critter!”

     I thought I heard it growl just a little bit but it didn’t try to devour or  strangle me, so I took that as agreement to the truce and a halfhearted promise to at least make some attempt to behave.

    Eventually, I managed to track down my favorite fab bunny-soft slate grey suede miniskirt with the white stitching. In a box in the attic that said “SHERRY’S USELESS CRAP” in great big black definitive letters written with permanent ink.

  “That’s what you think you silly box, what do you know?”

    I fling the contents of my underwear drawer around the room and finally decide to shimmy into slinky black and white zebra striped demi- bra trimmed with frilly hot pink lace and of course, just a FEW tasteful and strategically placed sparkly pink sequins. After all, I grinned, I wouldn’t want to look like some sort of cheap floozy! I always had plenty of nice sexy things like this fairly close at hand, always and forever still worth the investment. Just in case. Of what, I wasn’t sure. That was my little secret. And of course, the mysterious Victoria’s.

    Now… for the top? I think maybe a fairly conservative white silk button up blouse just sheer enough that if you were really trying you could you could just catch a little hint of what wonders may be hiding beneath the thin fabric. Add a plain silver braided chain almost a choker with heart shaped tiny locket I got from my grandmother, one of my favorite things that I saved for only the most momentous of occasions when I could use all the luck I can get. And the charm bracelet I had from childhood just to be whimsical, dangling dozens of little mementos of times and places of things worth immortalizing in a jingly silver-plated miniature form.

     I am ready. At least as ready as I will ever be, this is as good as it’s going to get. But is one ever really ready for something like this? You may be fully prepared… But ready?  Who knows!  There’s only one way to find out.

    All I need to do now is grab my leather jacket, lock up the past, and leave my real life and real world behind far behind and actually really start doing it.

    That’s the hardest part. And after that?  Well whatever happens, just happens!

    I check out the final results in the bathroom mirror. It’s a bit friendlier. I don’t even have a full length one in the bedroom where I always dress. And I wonder at exactly what point, on what day did I stopped really caring at all what I looked like? No wonder my reflection was none too fond of me. I didn’t really blame it at all. I wasn’t too thrilled with myself either. Thank god, that girl from the past that these clothes truly belonged to and the one I am now seem to still be approximately the same shape and size. Even though that may be the one and only thing they have in common. And somehow tonight, it’s all a perfect fit!

     Chasing all those little kids around all these years seems to have had some advantages. Although at the moment, at least, I certainly can’t for the life of me remember what a single one of them was.

     Tonight, by some miracle, the two of us, who I was and who I am  now  seemed to have somehow managed to  come together in the end. Smoothly and seamlessly, without too much effort, making some strange brand new girl I’d never seen before!

     One I guess I better get to know and get used to. And fast! 

If I was going to take her out for a test drive, especially under these circumstances!

I checked out the finished product.

4

    Hmm…not bad, not bad at all, in fact, I conclude, a rousing success!

   “Take that you bitch!  VICTORY IS MINE!”

    I stuck out my tongue and gave the dressing room mirror the finger.

    The look was quite retro, I know but with a few modern stylish touches, definitely vintage, rather than antique. The perfect blend of classy and sassy, both dead cool and yet somehow, hopefully, still totally hot. Let’s just hope and pray that just goes for ME too!

No more excuses, or putting it off.

It was definitely long past time to go.

    My showing up (with zero notice, no warning) pounding on his hotel room door tired, wired and just a bit of a mess, a mangy stray puppy dog on the back porch demanding to share his finest steak dinner, with no real clue what I was doing there or why I was doing it, was so bloody typical, and just like us in the old days, it was perfectly priceless and going to be totally worth it!

   Or so I hoped.

  One never really knows for sure about this sort of thing. 

  But you won’t ever find out, will you? 

  Unless you are ready and willing to actually take a chance and make that choice, whenever it is, when you are offered the option. My best advice?  Once and awhile, just pick the one you would have to be crazy to choose, whatever it may be. Just fling yourself headlong into the cosmic storm and let it spit you out where it may.  And hope the universe will somehow provide and take care of you. 

   And Do it fearlessly or not at all.

  You may disagree.  And perhaps you should, and you might be turn out to be right.

  Decide for yourself.

  After you hear my story.

GET YOUR COPY AT AMAZON.COM
http://www.amazon.com/Even-Rock-Roll-Fairy-Tales-ebook/dp/B00KTFUYLQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1402098121&sr=8-1&keywords=even+rock+and+roll+has+fairy+tales

When it storms at Glastonbury, deep in the English countryside, as it is want to do, in midsummer, everything just stops.

Once the rain comes rolling in over the hills and down into the valley at dawn, all you can do is stay in your tent where it’s dry and warm and safe and just wait it out . The relentless barrage on the roof drowns out and swallows up every sound and masks every movement.

Though we are living in wall to wall tents, you can’t hear a thing going on outside of your own four canvas or nylon ones.

You might as well have set yours up inside of a bowl of bubbling rice pudding.

The water seems to come at you from every direction, hammering from above, ricochet off the sides, running down underneath of you , it’s all you can see, hear or smell, fresh and natural, cool and earthy and sweet. It covers and clings to every field and hill, every display, every garden, every tent, every stage, every vehicle, surrounding and smothering, enclosing and enveloping, and bringing with it an un-welcome and unwanted , but much-needed, unforeseen hush all around,

For just a few hours, the chaos is  forced to take a cold shower and take a slow, deep breath, and becomes stillness, and you have no choice but to join in, share and listen. 275,000 people somewhere out there, in the fields all around you, and you would never know it; you might as well be alone in the middle of an empty churning sea on a rubber lifeboat. For all you could tell, they have all packed up and gone home without telling you.

 Time to stay buried deep in the cradle of your patchwork blanket and down sleeping bag and whisper secrets, and tell stories in the filtered half-light and by the amber glow of the lantern. It usually stops by noon, as if a switch were  flicked, just as it started and then the sun shows itself once again, relaxed and refreshed, after enjoying its nice lazy lay in, almost as much as we did.And then chaos begins to struggle free and break loose from the strain of containment, shakes itself off, and reigns once again, rejoicing. You could almost forget the storm (and the calm) ever happened.

If not for the many new inches of pristine talcum soft dark mud to dance in, and churn up and mire and wade through, huge liquid chocolate puddles to muck about in and splash on and into and slick sheets of sticky brown ooze to circumnavigate and slip and slide through, that it left behind.

 

Ian Hunters 75th Birthday Diamond Jubilee Bash .  Part Two

 I guess I missed the memo

You really should scroll back and read one first, if you haven’t already.

Off to the left of the main area was a private party room and I was lucky enough to have the wristband it took to get me in and certainly felt I had earned and  deserved it after all these years and everything we all went through together back in those years . Because I was at every show all over the east coast no matter what for so long, and such good friends with everyone and for being such a loyal fan and admirer for so long.

The staff at the venue was so incredibly friendly and nice. I guess it’s a mighty long way from crappy club or the big stadiums with union thugs… all the way from Maryland. Way out in the middle of nowhere where I came from To a Tres chic winery in the bright shiny Big Apple on such an auspicious occasion as this.  And  my old friend Tommy  seemed really happy to see me and willing to spend some time with me and  I was seeing more and more familiar faces from over the years that remembered me well  which was very touching.

There were  familiar faces I had seen many times before from Facebook groups so even though my race here on the greyhound had pretty much guaranteed  I wasn’t going to be a finalist in the beauty pageant this gig  I didn’t feel guilty or uncomfortable or left out or  out-of-place at all.  Though I’m quite sure I looked it.  All the years I spent in the rock and roll scene I was used to all this, I was my still my element, I knew and loved this world.  Sure I wished I had time to do my hair and nails and make up and buy a fabulous new outfit   but I wasn’t going to let that stop me or keep me from having a good time or get intimidated or stressed out and jealous.

I just wish I had gotten the memo fabulous hats were to be the order of the day. They were everywhere!

The room was very wide and extremely long with a big wide table right down the center and it had the feel of a rather glamorous picnic in a curtained movie set. There were huge silver barrels full of wine on the side and a very chic bar it was a very glam sort of industrial but somehow still welcoming and make-yourself- at – homey space.  Rapidly filling with rather mixed crowd, as usual. The band and artists and families, many  glamorous, thin, older but still very beautiful and fashionable people out for a very special occasion, plus the obligatory very excited pretty young things, and old timers like me that hadn’t the time (or the inclination) to spend massive amounts of time and money on making themselves gorgeous for the occasion. I certainly hadn’t even a minute in my schedule to spare to throw on some lipstick much less build a functioning time machine and go back 20 years!

The only person whose opinion of me really mattered was my old friend Tommy two anyway and I suppose Ian’s. Who still had the power to make me feel as graceful and elegant as a spider with all left legs with the IQ of a preschooler in the slow class.  I wasn’t there to schmooze or network or get names to try to get into other gigs with, or make new friends though I wasn’t against the idea if it were to happen.  I was there just to complete the circle that had begun when I was a child, when a small piece of my heart began to orbit around this man and this band. Not a perfect circle. For many years its gravity had drawn me into being in the thickest part of the atmosphere, the Sherry Fairy tagging along with the Mad Dog and Moon dog. Then as the years passed passing by now and then in erratic sweeps that went from right there to ten thousand miles away.

Now as our lights were shining the brightest they could in the years we had left before they started to dim or flicker or fade away I felt drawn back to the place and the music and they people I loved as a child by inner tie that was just almost like a trick lasso in a rodeo show.  You spin up, down and all around, it seems sometimes you are so free you are long gone but yet somehow you always return.   At times  wrapped  up completely , so  close  and then  others you sail away but there is always a guiding hand,  a bond that keeps a powerful  hold on you and keeps you from ever escaping completely. In the end it gently brings you back and wraps you up lovingly if you are lucky enough for the tie never to break.

I regretted not bringing a spiral bound notebook and number two pencils I had taken to carrying everywhere I went before I discovered the key board so I could make notes for you of every detail.

The names of the lovely people I met, their email addresses, Facebook pages, how they looked and sounded, who they were what they said, snippets of conversation, every sight, smell, song and thought like a good rock and roll reporter would and should have done.  But some things and sometimes it isn’t about that recording the superficial and this was one of them.

I just wanted to be with Tommy two and be there, and see Ian and think about the tom that couldn’t be here on this special day and screw the set list and the names and the song order because you never know when they next time you see someone will be the last. For whatever reason, you just never know.

I’m having quite a good time, Tommy is he’s wonderful self just as if it had been 20 days not years and his beautiful bride was charming and gracious and eventually through all the uproar the excitement suddenly grew to a fever pitch.

Ian was here and finally everyone had their chance to be with him.

Of course everyone was competing for his attention, giving him presents, fussing all over him ,  wanting their picture with him or an autograph and to tell him how much they loved him and how much he had meant to them. I was just so happy to be there, I didn’t feel the need to have evidence, like a picture or autograph I just was happy to be there so unexpectedly to share the day. But I did want a hello and a hug and a moment to make a connection at some point. After all the years I had been such a devoted fan, and pined over him all those nights, and watched every moment of his shows for so many years, and studied and learned from his skills as a storyteller, while my infatuation with him and awkward antics amused and entertained him and the band, my two friends and the entire rest of the crew.

He was  surrounded by adoration and glory and he was enjoying the hell out of it, and I was happy for him. He should be relishing all the appreciation; he’s earned all the accolades and the respect.   Finally, I did something which would have terrified me long ago, I insisted on his attention so I could have my little moment, just a few minutes to finish what had started 35 years ago in a way it felt right in some way, whatever that was.  Hopefully, just the way it should happen.

I said to him. Ian remembers me its sherry, who used to hang with the two Tommie’s back in the old days and he looked at me with poker face, a totally blank stare and said… who?   I said come on, you know me remember when … and I described some very memorable occasions in which I had featured prominently in felt would be impossible for anyone to forget.

His s said quite adamantly “NO!”

“I don’t remember a thing about that. I have no idea who you are.”

Needless to say, I was quite taken aback.

in 2009 when I flew to London and  when we spoke he had claimed to remember it all clearly, and to know just who I was and to be very pleased I had flown halfway around the world to support  him and the band and to see the show.

Quite crestfallen, I just said okay and wandered away.

There seemed no point in hanging about trying to demand or share time with a total stranger.

And I have to admit If I were paying very close attention I  would have felt the  little something very deep inside ,very young but also very old and delicate and extremely  fragile shatter into bits even though it had been buried down there and very  well protected  and forgotten about for almost forty years.

The shards didn’t really hurt, because the place and thing were too long ago and unable to draw blood anymore, even though it  had always stayed near my heart. Its sustained   a bit of damage over the years so it’s gotten a pretty thick skin almost everywhere  so even though it was in one of the few tender locations it didn’t do any lethal  or  permanent damage.

I just carried on enjoying the party but the bratty hot –shot egotistical teenage girl in me was getting rather annoyed thinking how could he not remember me at all? All those years I practically worshiped the ground that he walked on and how could he have forgotten everything he still remembered just a few years ago.

While at the same time the fifty year old woman on the outside was saying For God’s Sake Sherry the man is 75 years old, and it’s been so many years and all you ever really did was chase him like hundreds of other girls that may or may not have caught him. So I didn’t really feel so awfully bad.

Just kind of sorry it ended in such an anticlimactic, insignificant way.

So I didn’t feel the need to approach him or hang around him hoping for his attention anymore. I just had a great time reconnecting with my dear old friend and meeting some very cool new people so it was feeling like no big deal.

It was to be expected really. I wasn’t surprised. Just disappointed.

Later I was standing at the bar looking off into nothing, just taking in the overall ambiance of the occasion and someone slips their arm over my shoulder and pulls me close.

“I was just teasing you, you know, back there. I remember you well”

But I guess it hurt more than I thought because I said “Yeah, sure Ian whatever. Now you are just saying l that to be polite”

I didn’t even want to turn my head and look up at him.

Hey, he pulls me round and says “I would never do that. I know exactly who you are.”

And when I looked in his eyes I believed it.

And the little girl inside me that always worshiped him started doing handsprings.

But the grown up I had become “didn’t dig it. I’m much too proud.”

“Ha ha! Very funny, Ian. Thanks a lot”  I said coolly, dismissively, sarcastically.

I shook his arm off my shoulder, whipped around and then comically shook my finger in his face like a grumpy schoolteacher at a naughty schoolboy with a big grin of half amusement/ half contempt

“Alright I will let you off this one time but just because it’s your birthday.”

“But it better not happen again!”

“And that’s the last time I fly three thousand friggin miles just go to a fucking gig and buy all every single goddamn one of all six of the different tee-shirts at 27 pounds a pop.   And a glossy program as well ya bastard.”

And he threw his head back and laughed like it was the funniest thing he had ever heard.

And it was kind of wonderful.

Because for the first time in the whole time I had known him I didn’t feel like an awestruck awkward terrified little kid when I was near him. I felt like an old friend, One that it had made him  happy to see. And he was glad I had turned up on his birthday.

And so was I.

And I felt just the way I wanted to in the end.  So happy that he and his music and Tommy and Tommy had been such special links in the chain that that had made me Be the Somebody I am today.

And maybe, just maybe, I might have been a very tiny, almost unnoticeable, but still memorable one of the hundreds of thousands of  his.

Ian Hunters 75th Birthday Bash Jubilee June 3, 2014. Part one. So much for normal.

It was a very unusual day for me. I had awakened at 8 am completely alert after going to bed the night before at a reasonable hour and having a refreshing evening of a perfectly adequate (as recommended by Drs) amount of sleep in between the typical hours of 10- 8 and by 11 am I was ready to get some serious writing done and submit my book to the publisher by the end of the day.  Instead of the usual routine I had developed the over the last three years,  procrastinating on Facebook until midnight then writing for three days and nights straight without eating or sleeping until I collapse in exhaustion just to get back  then wake up the next afternoon or midnight and immediately do the same thing again. I was so proud of myself. For once I was actually going to have a “normal “day like real people.

All I did was make one little mistake.

I clicked on an interesting looking link on Facebook just as I was signing out I saw in the Ian Hunter group  he was having a huge birthday bash in New York City that very evening which was, of course, completely sold out. But sounded marvelous! And if I started RIGHT NOW I could  barely manage to get there in time if I didn’t waste a second and called my friend Tommy who was once in Ian’s band. A very old and dear friend who I had discussed trying to find a way to get  us together one of these days at great length  for months.

“Hey, are you going to Ian’s gig tonight?”

“His birthday gig! You bet I am”  Tommy said with great enthusiasm.

“Well I was thinking of coming down.”

“Well come on down if you like but I  really can’t talk  about it now. I’m so busy working now and this has to get finished today. I will talk to you later.” So I immediately spring into action.

It’s now almost 12 and I must get  on a bus or train by two to be in the city by 6:00 when the doors open to meet up with Tom somehow ,when he got there . I’m frantically packing a bag! My lap top! My Camera! My kindle! Oh shit. Where is my cell phone? I haven’t seen it or the charger in weeks, I literally cannot go without them. There is no way for Tommy to reach me or reach him. So I’m tearing the house apart looking for them and now I realize there is no way I will make the 2 pm bus. But by now I am packed and I’m determined!

The next bus is at 3: 30 okay that is all right, I can still get there by 7: 30 a half an hour before the show and since I’m with tommy I will be okay. Right about then I find the cell phone and a charger that works on my laptop. BRILLIANT! It’s settled then! I book and pay for the 3: 30 bus out of Union Station. When I’m 99 percent ready to go I call a cab to get me to the metro. “Okay ma’am but we are running at about 45 minutes  behind right now “ WTF? At 2:00 0n a Wednesday afternoon?

I call Tom and say where this gig is and he gives me directions from the bus station but also says ” Now I don’t know if I’m going to be able to make it” (Dun Dun DAAAAH.) Call me later tonight I’m  still really busy” Well, this is a bit of a monkey wrench in the gears.

But I know if  Tom can find a way to get me sorted out like calling our friend Tommy two or if he can’t because the list is just two big already I will just  do the ole ” fake it and make it in” Just like I’ve done all my life. I’m an expert. Easy peasy. Nothing was going to stop me now. I’m ready to go now, the taxis on the way and the bus is paid for so why the hell not? By now it has become a do or die situation. The cab arrives and gets me to the metro just in time to get to the station and watch the 3:30 bus disappearing into the distance with one empty seat. Well, I sure as hell am not going back now; I’m on a mission from God.

So I buy a new ticket on the 4 pm knowing it doesn’t even get into the city until 8: 15 and the show starts at 8:00 but I figure since there is a warm up band between now and then Tom and I can work it out,  if he can’t go he will call Tommy two and tell him what’s going on and he would help out because he would definitely be there.

Tommy two and Tom and I were The Three Musketeers back  in the day on the Ian Hunter tours in the late seventies/early eighties when they were in the band and I went to almost every single show of the tours for three or four years. They eventually just gave me a plastic laminate crew passes the start of every tour so I would never have a problem getting in every town, every tour with no trouble from anyone. This was because not only did I adore the Tommy’s but I had a raging teenage puppy- love crush on Ian, which I’m quite sure he was flattered by, and didn’t mind, but had no intention of doing anything about , which  was obvious to everyone, including me. But that didn’t stop me from trying. Every chance I got. Ian simultaneously fascinated and terrified me, this grand old man of rock and roll, so mysterious and aloof who was always a goal just out of reach.  I turned into the world’s biggest idiot when he was in the room, I was practically panicked and would walk into walls, trip over my own feet, tip over drinks and stutter and stammer and he knew exactly why which appeared to amuse him greatly. He was my idol as a song writer. I had writing aspirations myself so he quite intimidated me  Just  like one of his best known  and loved  songs among fans and incredibly beautiful and lyrically marvelous songs, he was my  “ Irene Wilde.”  

ianhuntermottcropped Whenever the occasion came up that it was getting late and the parties were breaking up and people were splitting up into twos I always made sure to be there and waiting in the vicinity and he always, sometimes more quickly and easily than others, gave me the loveliest, most kind, sweet and heartwarming rejection speeches I’ve ever had the grace to be on receiving end of , before disappearing into his room alone.  It was driving me mad!

I wasn’t the kind of girl who was used to boys of any age saying no to. And no one on the tour ever even asked because they knew I was so besotted with Ian I was the kind of girl who could pick or choose any boy I wanted back then! How dare him! It was so annoying and frustrating! Which only made it even more maddening and increased my fascination with this forbidden fruit always denied me!

The adventures we had on those tours were hilarious. And even though I couldn’t have Ian I had lots of fun being a part of his entourage, thanks to my dear friend’s Tom and Tommy and Ian, Mick and the rest of the management and crew. Eventually Tommy and Tommy were no longer in Ian’s band together and so I lost contact with Tommy two but  Tom and I had stayed in touch over the years and I saw him when he came to town. It was always the highlight of my year because I wasn’t going to any shows except ones by my very favorite bands or best friends; no more three-four shows a week od shenanigans for this (now) respectable  old  married lady.

I still went to see Ian but it was much harder to get backstage because I had to actually get to Ian to get in and there was an entire security system in place every show to make sure people wouldn’t would never be able to do just that and every year there were  fewer people I knew behind the scenes. So after ten years or so I just started to buy tickets to the shows and say a quick hello to Ian on his way in or out. On a whim one year I woke up one morning and flew to Cleveland to see him at The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and was pleasantly surprised when he saw me outside and  he recognized me and gave me a big hug and kiss and was genuinely happy to see me there. When I heard Mott the Hoople was doing reunion shows in London in 2009 I lucked into two fifth row tickets on the internet the week of the sold –out- for- months shows and flew to London to stay with my best friend Simon to see them.

I wrote Ian and he wrote back and he knew exactly who I was which made me very happy.

I was so excited to be there I bought a full color glossy program and I couldn’t decide which of the 5 or 6 tee-shirts I wanted so I treated myself to one of each! The show was so amazing we went back two nights later and bought tickets from someone outside the door on the THIRD ROW for the last show. It was like nothing I had ever seen a complete love- fest. I have never seen such a blissed -out, loved up, thrilled to tears audience for anything in my life. At one point someone carried a platform boot around the stage and everyone in the place stood up and just screamed! It’s the first time I ever saw an inanimate object get a standing ovation!

So when this chance came today to be at another really exciting sentimental event for Ian  and for me for old times’ sake was not going to pass me by if there was any way in the world I was not going to do whatever it took to at least give it my best shot. And if I ended up being a fool, so be it.

I finally get settled on the bus and am headed for New York and after a few hours in a growing feeling of exhaustion and  dread was definitely coming over me. I’m not a gorgeous teenage  girl who can con her way into a gig anymore; I am too old and too smart to do something nuts like this these days. I should know better by now, dammit. But in my experience the one thing I am certain of is, sometimes the crazier what you do is, the more likely it is there will be some sort of amazing result.

I had checked all over the internet for a spare ticket at any cost, if anything goes wrong  if? It’s already completely shot to hell what do I mean if? this is an out of control bad  joke now So maybe then, at  least, I can see the show if nothing else but no luck. The best I can do is get on the venue wait list.

My electronic stuff all seems to have gone mad! It’s incredibly frustrating. The wi- fi on the bus is so slow and terrible I can’t get into any of the ticket outlets and its taking my cell phone forever to charge and when I try to use it the call gets cut off immediately. So I wait until  I really can’t afford to wait any longer to call Tom ( fearing the worst) to be sure I have enough charge for us to work out the details. I have a very bad feeling about this. It all may all have turned out to be a very expensive waste of my time and an incredibly stupid mistake.

I call Tommy at 7 on the nose and say “okay I’m on the way, I’m almost there” and  just before my phone  dies again  I hear the words  “UH-oh . Oh no.” and then my dell phone becomes a paperweight for the rest of the trip.

Well, that clinched it, I realize. Now there is no doubt. I am definitely fucked.

We arrive in NYC at the port authority and just getting out and hailing a cab cheers me up immensely. I’m mean it’s not like I’m out in boondocks in  Idaho or  in Beirut  or something for the night if I don’t get in. This is the Big Apple Baby. If you can’t have a good time here, you can’t do it anywhere. Maybe I will just do it like I did when I first met Ian and the band or when I wasn’t going backstage just buying tickets and catch him as he came out and give him a birthday hug.

Or maybe I would say screw this and just go out on the town and have a fantastic night on my own! I get to the venue and to my surprise Ian is playing already. I had thought Wreckless Eric a band I know from London was going to be on first. So I have already missed 15-20 minutes of the show. But on the bright side while I’m arguing with the staff I will at least get to see ten minutes of it if nothing else.

Oh it looks so nice in there and the band looks and sounds so great and there is good old Ian up on the stage. Watching him up there always makes me feel like that love struck little girl again There is no one in line. the reception area is deserted because everyone is already seated and there is just three or four gentleman  organizing the door.

“They look very young,” is my first thought.  My second is” Well, it can’t hurt to try.” I put on my game face.

Maybe it would all be okay , after all Tom knew I was coming all day. Maybe, just maybe he put my name on the list, I think knowing I am lying to myself. I feel the odds of this are slim to none , in fact I know this in my heart because the guest list for this show must already look like a phone book full of names much more important than mine. I ask if‘ I’m “on the list” and the lovely doorman and “concierge” start rustling papers looking for the most recent up to date one, while I go into” get in at any cost” mode. Meaning being willing to lie like a cheap Chinese rug on a slippery kitchen floor.

“Oh dear I was certain to be on it! I’m with the band ” Well, he was in the band, once upon a time and who knows if he’s here or even coming at all, I had no idea! I just came all the way here from DC and if I’m not on the list I just don’t know what I am to do!” Batting my eyelashes and doing my best Blanche from Streetcar named Desire. My cell phone broke so I couldn’t contact the person with the band I am here to see to confirm. I know it is sold out but what AM I to do? Can you just sell just one more ticket under these circumstances? Then I can find my friends with the band myself.”

To my complete and utter disbelief   the concierge smiles warmly and says… ‘Of course not. Don’t worry about it. We will take care of everything. Here is your wristband, let me take your bag to our coat check for you, right this way. No don’t worry , no charge .” As soon as I could shut my mouth which was now hanging like a ripped shaggy velvet curtain,  I got the hell out of there before they could change their minds and in minutes I had a double tequila and coke and was seating in one of the best seats in the house, which for some reason no one had taken. No one in the world could have been more thunderstruck (or relieved) than I. Depending on your point of view they were either the greatest security or the worst I’ve ever seen !

After watching the show awhile which was mostly their newer songs mixed with a few classics I slip into an empty lit corridor to try out my phone one last time, just in case, to let Tom know I am in and safe and having a good time so he wouldn’t worry and tell him where I was sitting so he could find me if he ever got there. I manage to text him and run right away into some familiar faces including Andy York, a fantastic guitar player I’ve met with Ian on many occasions. I ask him about the two Tommie’s and he says Tommy two will definitely be there as he is playing on song at the encore but his doesn’t know about my Tom.  It isn’t long before I see Tommy two walking in. I stop him and say “You probably don’t even recognize me we haven’t seen each other in so long” And he gives me a big hug and says “I would know you anywhere Sherry “(awwwwwwwww) It just keeps getting better and better.

Tommy two says he doesn’t think my Tom was going to be able to make it, which was sad because I haven’t seen him in a very long time either. And then said as he went up to the dressing room he says over his shoulder “ I will  see you and take care of you  after the show” Oh my God! I am definitely into the private after party / birthday party for sure now. What a relief! I go back to my seat deliriously happy. The show is fantastic and Ian and I both did very well.  I didn’t even cry once this time. Until he sang All the young Dudes at the end, of course. The crowd all starts leaving and I notice they are not hustling me out and I discover I didn’t need Tommy twos help after all. The wristband I had been given at the start was the after show party pass! Everything had turned out perfectly. Easy Peasy.

As it always did, remember,  I was an expert at this and had done it all my life.

I don’t even know why I was even worried at all. Rolling my eyes so far into the back of my head I can see the guy standing behind me Coming soon! Ian’s Birthday Party

Published on Jun 4, 2014

“I filmed this performance at the NYC City Winery on June 3, 2014. The evening was billed as “Ian Hunter’s Diamond Jubilee Bash’ to celebrate Ian’s 75th Birthday, which just so happens to have been on June 3rd (in 1939). This is an UnsteadyCam Production. ALL THE YOUNG DUDES is of course MOTT THE HOOPLE’s breakthrough hit, written and produced by DAVID BOWIE. Many members of “the extended family” were up there singing as a chorus: I can see CHRISTINE OHLMAN, ELLEN FOLEY, ANDY YORK (also on guitar), IAN’s Son JESSE PATTERSON, ANDY BURTON. Forgive me if I left your name out.”  Unsteady Freddie

Post by Eric Burdon knows Even Rock and Roll has Fairy Tales.

My Interview is coming out all over the internet! On Indie Book websites. Check it out! Oh well, sorry Eric lol

http://pennreviews.com/2014/02/18/interview-with-sherry-carrol-on-eric-burdon-of-the-animals-and-her-rr-backstage-memoir/