Thank you so much! I’m so sorry the website isn’t live yet for The Amazing Gracelynn yet but it is just because i have spent all week busting my butt trying to get it on the shelves in time for this to come out! it just came out yesterday, I haven’t even received MY copy yet to check it out yet ! lol http://www.amazon.com/Saving-Amazing-Gracelynn%60-1970-1977-Beginning/dp/1507643411/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Hi I’m Sherry Carroll and it’s a pleasure to be read by you, I hope you’re enjoying half as much as I am. I have wanting to do one of these for ages and this is my first so you will have to bear with me. Bear with me? WHERE? Oh sorry I got distracted for a minute there. I’m just your average American mild mannered suburban Maryland housewife (with a secret identity) who always grew up writing poems to her at and elaborate Barbie doll melodramas, but it wasn’t until fairly recently I discovered, yes, it was true. I was a writer. God help me. This is what look like in real life

Me now

Then I take of my glasses ….

And voila! Somehow on the internet I look like this! Ain’t makeup and technology grand!

Me Sultry

I write obsessively from the moment I wake up until I go to sleep.

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When I spent the night with Axl  I couldn’t  have cared  less about Rock and Roll. I didn’t even listen to the radio anymore so I had no clue who he or his band was. I was too busy. i was just married,had a 14 month old, my business to run, a day care center with 12 kids in a huge house, on two acres way out in the country. and I didn’t know it yet but I was 11 weeks pregnant .But Aerosmith was coming to town and I had felt trapped and overworked and wanted to see all my old friends in the band and crew, party hard, have some fun!

So my best friend and I headed out to the gig about 7pm. No need to arrive early. We knew everybody. There was no doubt we would breeze backstage.  I neither knew nor cared who the warm- band was.  I know, I KNOW!  Don’t just sit there with your mouth hanging open like you are trying to catch flies.  Looking back now it’s completely ridiculous!  That anyone on the planet had never heard of Guns N Roses Or Axl Rose then. But I didn’t have time for music. Well, truthfully I had chosen to ignore it since I got married. I didn’t want reminders of the  men who made music and the fun I was missing out on since I became  a responsible, respectable woman. So I paid no attention to rock and roll at all. But missing  Aerosmith was not an option, We went so far back with them it wasn’t hard for her to persuade me to go to the show with her. But, oh boy did I regret it! At first.

When we got there we realized the entire  hard rocking, wild partying  Aerosmith crew we knew and loved  were replaced and the band were straight out of rehab.  So there we stood,  in the freezing cold outside the backstage door. Or at least I did.  My ” best friend” grabbed a union guy who liked her blonde hair and  long legs and said he would walk her in so she threw me her car keys and  backpack with a change of clothes (a concert essential for the” walk of shame”home on the morning after ) and as always, without saying,  since we first met in 77 the plan was to be she would return in minutes with passes for both of us. Not a difficult job at all once you made it past the goon blocking the back door. But yet there I stood… and I stood… and I stood there, in the  dark winter night holding all her heavy crap until the  show was over . Without her even coming out even once to check on me or  keep me updated, much less desperately trying trying to get me in.

Had I been a lessor person I would have dumped her car keys down the nearest storm drain after the first two  hours, left her backpack outside the backstage door and headed for home.  Believe me, I considered it. But we had been through so much together over the years I just couldn’t bring myself to do it . So I was still standing there like an idiot five hours later when she finally emerged after the gig  had ended and the dressing rooms were empty of  bands and fans. I was furious as you can imagine. But hey, things happen right?  I was just happy the ordeal was over. So we  headed for the hotel for the ” great party she was taking me to make up for it.”  When we got there I told her “I’m not going anywhere until I get a drink.” I was shaking like a leaf I was still so mad and frozen.   I told her to wait in the lobby , I was just  running into the bar to get a cocktail and would be right back. When I emerged, about three mins later, she had vanished. I presume with whoever promised  her they had some drugs in their room. That was really all she cared about then. Clearly,judging from tonight , our friendship was last on her list of priorities  now.

As the crew and band started to straggle in , it was all Gn’RS guys. Aerosmith refused to stay in the same hotel with them the entire tour so the wouldn’t succumb to temptation . I asked, in fact practically begged  everyone that came in to help me find her, see what room she was in for me so I knew was going on. She was my only way home!  All I got was the brush off .  After the night I had so far I was becoming increasingly more hysterical! How dare she! Not only leave me out of the gig but prevent me from joining in on any fun afterwards either! None of the guys coming in had any interest in helping me. if one of their buddies had a long-legged blonde and a bunch of blow in his bedroom , the last thing they were going to do was ruin his fun.  I was practically in tears by 2 am when a stunningly  beautiful boy with long  copper hair  came in the hotel front door and immediately asked me if I was okay? I said, between sniffles on the verge of becoming sobs “No I certainly am not and explained the story. He listened patiently and then when i had finished he gave me a hug,  put me in a comfy lobby chair and snapped his fingers.

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Everyone in the place leaped to attention. He started issuing orders. “YOU… get her another drink, and keep them coming, Charge them to my room. All the rest of you… get on the phone and call every room until you find this bitch. Knock on every door if you have to”  I was  overcome by his kindness after everything I had been through so far and the way I was treated, not just the crew, but my “Best friend in the world.” Once everybody within a mile was following his orders as fast as their asses could  I got out of the chair   and went over to give him a big hug of gratitude. ” Thank you so much. You are the only person who has been a decent human being to me all night. I’m sorry but I didn’t catch your name?” He looked at me as if I had just landed from Mars because the rest of the world knew exactly who he was at a moments glance. He was well on he way to becoming a rock God/Legend. But I hadn’t a clue who he was. Remember I never read the rock news or bought albums or played the radio and I hadn’t not seen the gig that night so I hadn’t seen him sing or had even heard of him or his band . He was dumbstruck. He just said barely managed to say ” I’m Axl”  And then he went  back  to organizing and supervising the Bitchhunt. They never could find her, which i think bothered him more than it did me, because he wasn’t used to not getting whatever he wanted  I was just happy  now that at last someone cared at all  about me.  Eventually everyone wandered off to the party , which I clearly was not invited to, or their respective rooms  so I resigned myself to spending the night and maybe most of the day tomorrow sitting alone in the lobby crying and really regretting I hadn’t tossed her car keys in the sewer and  caught public transport home when I had the chance. And still not knowing I was almost three months pregnant with baby two in one year  I’m sure  that didn’t help the situation or my state of mind much.

Although Axl never said another word to me when everyone else was gone he was still there.  He took a seat at a huge grand piano 20 feet from me. that was placed in the lobby just  for show and began to play beautiful classical piano  and he stayed there until morning. He played from 3 am until 7 am when the hotel restaurant opened for breakfast and  when I had somewhere to go and something to do and public transport had opened again. I don’t think he really knew what to say to me.  So he just kept me company all night there in the empty lobby. Neither of us acknowledging each others presence or saying a word. He was so  incredibly passionate about  and completely absorbed in what he was doing I would never have dreamed of interrupting him. As he performed a private  concert for an audience of one. So i would not have to sit there alone all night. Perhaps it was for him too, Because he humbled instead of idolized, For a change

He  certainly wasn’t going to  say WTF?HOW DO YOU NOT KNOW WHO I AM? and explain it to me. because that what an arrogant asshole would do. And what he did for me no arrogant asshole would have considered.  I didn’t know why he was doing it and I certainly was not going to disturb him to ask. I guess what he did  that night was more important to him than the girls ,drugs and parties waiting upstairs.

Happy birthday Axl. No matter how you look, or what they say about you, I know how kind and beautiful you really are. With Love, The Sherry Fairy

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Awaken At  10 AM . Do not feel guilty for not doing Any writing today! You couldn’t sleep until 3 am Anyway and Todd is playing tonight! Allright!!!

Before going downstairs  Be sure  to Bring your  fav glasses. You are going to need those for the Birchmere! But first you must sign on faceBook  and spend all  morning Babbling on … and on… and on.. about Being there.  Being ruthless about un-friended-ing  those who Bitch Because they have Been hearing about this Big gig  so many times Before. And how great Ringo and Todd and Co had Been at Wolf Trap And Todd  had Been in London doing AWATS and  have Become sick  and tired of your Bragging  and Bringing up the subject  AGAIN . Begone ya Bastards. Ba wa hahaha!  Block away!

Can no longer contain your excitement? ( Compared to earlier when you were Calm and under Control) Unbox  new Camera. Remember to be Cautious and  put extra fully Charged batteries in Cute  Clutch! you so Clever .  you the Champ!

Dick around all Day until about 2:30  when you  really must Dash to catch the 3:10  bus from  North Dumflucks Md to  South Dumflucks Va. on Damn public transport.( Stupid DMV) in order to get there by 5- 6 pm to get a semi-Decent seat . No problem!  Dressed, Dyed , Drip Dried and all Dolled up! And already ready, right on time, to Depart!

Except where did  you leave  your glasses this time Eh? The worst thing about getting Elderly is when you don’t have your glasses on you cant Even see to Examine where they Even went (  that, and having to watch porn with only your glasses on) Unless if  you can  still rock The Erotic Executive , Every Once and Awhile. EYOW!

Fuck. found glasses. With Foot. Must un-Flatten them, Find lens, Fit it back in and Find twist tie to replace that tiny Fiddly little screw that always Falls out because the Frames mangled except now you want it out the  Frigging thing wont budge until you Find one of those itty bitty little  Frame screw drivers and its your lucky day but its not a Phillips head and you know you had some twist ties just last night by the Fridge  but now they are completely Freaking gone and… Fortune frowns on you,  for you miss  3:10  bus to…

Germantown Transit Center in Md! for Another fabulous trip to a Gig  a Gagillion miles away , on our Godawful DC public transport! This time to Virginia, on the marvelous Metrorail. Take a few pics  to try out brand new cam. Realize that all the fresh batteries you Got do you no Good if there is no Goddamn 2 GB picture card .Wait! Remember you still have old cam  in bag, Thank Goodness ! Does it have big  Gig card ? or is that Gone  into laptop ? Got it? GREAT!  Remind yourself you’re  a Genius. Document  entire  journey for benefit of  future Generations and humanity and to figure out what all those little button -thingys and  mysterious settings are in the daylight so your not Going  to have to jiggle with it during pitch dark Gig. See? What did I tell you? You’re  a Genuine Genius,  and  Gorgeous as well.  Who needs Google maps?

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Hey , HOTSHOT.  Haven’t  remembered to Have your ticket printed out at Home, Have you?  Hope you Have credit card you Had paid with. HAPPY DAY!  Hell, Have a seat, if  any left.  Holy Crap, that was a close call. HAVE A DRINK. Or have a Whole lot of them!

Its Possible! It is found! The Ideal seat for ONE! With an Interesting couple of INTENSE TODD FANS and a guy from just down the Interstate In your town. Who probably Is not a Serial Killer. Who Immediately extends an Invite to accept a free  ride home with him! INCREDIBLE!  Its like  a miracle.  Unless. of course,  Instead,  you end up dead. Isn’t that those  two kids  from Buster Poindexter In August In the very next seats? Instantly they recognize you ! Interested In if you are going to Ian Hunter? Is their ANY doubt? Odds of Co-Incidence ? Almost Inconceivable! Ice cold tequila Sunrise In hand. Its all good.

Keep it down in the back, buddy! The lights are going down! AND COMING UP!

LOOK OUT!  Here they come! From the very start Todd has you LYAO. The stories, the set list? what set list? the starting and stopping mid- song to start over again, two maybe three times. its completely loony. Todd has completely  lost  his mind with this show.  And its one of the most amazing gigs ive ever seen.  And I’ve seen lots.

More like being at a rehearsal than a show at some moments , then suddenly times when  the sheer genius of these master musicians professionalism and experience  just blows your mind.  the music, madness , mirth , mayhem, mistakes, mysteries, magic,  memories,  moving you, body heart and soul.

Nothing in the world like anything I’ve ever seen before . Nobody else would have come up with it .  Nobody could do it better.

Only Todd could do That, the way he did.  There’s Only One Todd.

Pics are pretty  PFFFFT.  Just practicing really. Pretty awful. Discover after first few Pics new  cam  takes worse Photos of gigs than old one. I’m no Photographer, but I  am pleased I seem to be getting better, it  isn’t possible to be worse . It’s just Point and shoot. You should see the first few tries! Pathetic

 

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Quite close to done

Ready to wrap it up.

So  there it is. The Incomparable

TODD!

Unbelievable! TOO TOO MUCH FUN

Very nice of you to make it  all the way to the end ( if you did  lol) Thank you

Was it worth it? I hope so . the gig certainly WAS! Wasn’t it? But Todd always is, isn’t he?

Xcellent  Show! That is all I have left to say

You are now free to go LOL and I’m  starting to yawn( You? We have been doing  that since about letter D.As in,  Do you ever STOP?) I am now, I promise!LOL It’s close to 11 am.  Can you believe this took Yours truly 12 hours to write? Unfortunately for You,  I bet You can lol

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After going backstage at Squeeze at least 20 -30 times in 35 years I finally worked up the courage to say hello to Glenn. After his amazing gig at The Rams Head last night Crazy? I know! The Sherry Fairy, Rock and Roll Teen Queen being too frightened to talk to anyone for the first time ever. especially one of the nicest , friendliest guys you could ever hope to meet. so… why? and what did i finally have to say after all this time? well believe me it wasn’t easy to cram all i wanted to say into a three min meet and greet. but i gave it my best shot. maybe its best if i start at the beginning while i have all the time in the world to explain why it is how it was

its usually is a good place to start. this is me . About  1979-1980.

i first saw Squeeze as a warm up act for Elvis Costello in College Park Maryland that year. two things happened that night, i cant remember in what order but i will start with the concert because its probably much  more interesting to you. When Squeeze came on stage i was mesmerized and by Another Nail for My Heart i was awestruck.

I loved their music so much  from the very first moment of each successive song , something that had never happened to me  in all the gigs i had ever been to so far and i had been to hundreds by then. Glen with his olden curls in a white suit was shining like an angel on the stage. he moved like no one i had ever seen. up on his toes as if any moment he would levitate right of the stage, as if  he were doing the best he could just to cling to it with the tips of his shoes    the single white spotlight was doing its best to draw back up into the heavens where he belonged. He was stunning to look at and amazing to watch. his hands flitting and fluttering across the guitar like butterflies doing tachi and constantly drifting off and away from him as he strummed, then having to be dragged back for the next notes. i was a little too young for a bad case of Beatlemania, but when i saw Squeeze was so overcome by their talent and how their music spoke to me i think it must have been what it felt to see and hear Lennon and Mccartney for first time for me .  And i have always felt that way about the band .

So no matter how many times ive been backstage or had the opportunity to speak to any of them i was sure there were only two possible outcomes. I would  be so nervous i would blurt out a whole bunch of stuff like this which would make me sound either obsessed or insane about how much they had come to mean to me as the years went by or i would stand here like Beeves and Butthead only able to drool and repeat like an idiot” hu hu uh huh I  really like your band” and one was too much and the other too little ( and moronic lol) so in all these years until last night i’ve gone out of my way never to speak to them. i was just too shy around them and too intimidated by their talent.

The second  thing that happened was i fell  from 90 floors high into a mutual case of lust at first sight with  Beautiful Boy on the crew. So much so when they left that night I went with them. There was no possibility  or doubt on either part that he would leave without me or I would let him go. I had to go home eventually because i had left with no more than the  adorable tank top  on my back and a pair of tiny shorts and with him living out of a suitcase there really wasn’t enough wardrobe for two, although i did look pretty cute in his shorts and tee shirts. But mainly because it really isn’t very nice or fair the other boys living on the bus for us to be carrying on constantly(we couldnt keep our hands of each other) and or B.Boy have his very own carry-along own dress up doll when  no one else did.

I tell you this for two reasons. because  this  relationship carried on for many years  and thats why i was lucky  enough to see elvis costello and a few other bands AND BEST OF ALL SQUEEZE very often many different times and places from knowing him and he rest of the crew through him and because maybe, just maybe… someday he might read this. when i stopped going backstage because i had a serious real -life everyday local boyfriend and then married him i pretty much  quit going to concerts at all. And of course that meant quitting my beautiful boys too.

Who wanted to sit in the boring old audience and go home at the end of the show? the only way to forget that world and those friends and that part of my life and not miss it was to forget all about its existence. but i still went to see Squeeze. I just bought a ticket and never ventured backstage  and  never asked if he was here. the last time i saw him we didn’t know it would be the last time so we never even got to say goodbye. so if  he gets a chance to read this someday  i want i to know that sherry from washington still thinks of him  when i think of Squeeze just like i am now and i did miss him when it was over and hope he is happy and doing well . so here’s  three tears for you B. Boy, one  of sadness for the goodbye we never got, one of joy if you are reading this and even just for a moment remembering me and one of regret and sentimentality for the end of the old days and the good times,

So thats enough about that, it was just to explain how i was lucky enough to see them backstage so often.

They were always so NICE  too, everyone spoke of how kind and friendly Glenn was, why did i still feel terrified to say a word to him? As time went on they and their music started to mean more to me as the years passed.  i was only buying the albums or  going to see a few of my special favorite bands where i had really good friends nick lowe, tom petty, ian hunter,  and of course Eric Burdon www.evenrockandrollhasfairytales.com and Squeeze, once i gave up the rock and roll lifestyle  for being a wife, a mother and teacher, and  running my own business. but somehow whenever i needed  a break , whenever I got that rock and roll itch Squeeze was there somehow to scratch it. Coming to town or putting out an album of some sort,  turning up for a gig whenever i needed a show. and when i reached for my records i always played all the Squeeze first . i got to  take my ten year old son to a Squeeze show 15 years ago and they couldn’t have been nicer to him.

My Jayme’s always been a superstar, he an actor in LA now  but even  at ten  i could let him do all the talking lol. I was never fanatical ,only a fan and i’m sure here was all sorts of drama and music  and make-ups and breakups  i missed  out on knowing anything about, and i couldn’t for the life of me tell you the dates of the gigs or the album releases, but i always had theirs  when they came out even when i wasn’t buying anyone elses and could play them for hours and they always made me happy.

About ten years ago when he kids were big i started spending a lot of time at my best friend Simon who lived in  in London’s flat. it was the time of my life! no responsibilities, just pubs, clubs, gigs, shows, galleries, festivals, restaurants,  even west end shows every now and then.  a very far cry from the boring suburban maryland town where i lived with a crabby autistic preteen and four just-become adult know- it- all s whose favorite sport was ganging up on mom and reminding her constantly of everything she did wrong every min of the day. i loved living in London almost half the year . two months at home, one month in London.   i had loads of friends at my  home away from home and i adored Simon. he was like one of the family.  we had the best fun! we went to the stonehenge solstice and camped and then to glastonbury every year, we even braved the mud to see Glenns show in a tent about a million miles from ours.

But i want to tell you about  the summer of 2007. things had been really rough at home, so i took i said fuck it and spent almost  the whole summer in london! seven whole weeks of pure bliss, friends to do things with, underground clubs where every  one knew me, and the greatest gigs and best things to see and do in the most exciting city in the world. we did Stonehenge , we did Glastonbury and before i knew it, time to go home came and i wasn’t happy about it. Not at all  .The only thing that gave me any joy was knowing a week after got home i had pretty good seats at Wolf Trap Park in Virginia to see Squeeze touring together for the first time in ages! if  i hadn’t  i’m not sure they would have been able to  drag me on to  the plane home.

I was exhausted from the non -stop excitement and not feeling well and Simon said,” Come on,   its your last weekend here. Come with me out to Kent for this  40 year anniversary of the summer of love festival.”  His band The Green Ray were playing there, with Barry Melton, “Please don’t stay in the flat  alone and get even more depressed.”

So very reluctantly and feeling very sorry for myself we got in the car on Saturday morning  and left.i didn’t want to think about catching that plane back   to my dull world and my real problems but it was all i could think about.

We arrived and a lot of good friends with the band were there which of course only made me feel even sorrier for myself  because i knew all this great stuff  like this day would be carry on without me, as normal for London, once I was gone

It was a beautiful day and the festival was tiny little thing , like a backyard barbeque, with a couple of bands and maybe a hundred people (though they were so spread out it seemed like much less) in the yard of someones beautiful old home. i was completely drained from all of the non-stop partying the whole seven weeks and basically just being a miserable git so I climbed into the back of the band car  for a private pity  party, table for one. Simon gave it his best shot he came and pulled me out to see a beautiful double rainbow but even then i was still sulky . this was undoubtedly going to be the worst  day of my life.

Then, i heard Simon say , a his voice sounding a bit funny… “Now I’m going to tell you something and at first you are going to think that its a very cruel joke then when you realize its not you are going to flip out. are you ready?” i nodded my head morosely. he made me look up the hill.” Now stay calm because i know what a wreck you are his weekend but you see those two caravans pulling up? well inside one of them is Glenn Tilbrook and in the other Chris Difford. they really are here, i’m not fucking with you and i think they are going to do a set and stay for the festival.”

I’m sure you have heard the term my mind was blown. Well you will never truly comprehend it until it REALLY DOES happen to you! A week from now they were going to be in an arena  down the road from my house in america ! i had proof! i had tickets for the family!what the hell were they doing here?

And all of he sudden he worst day of my life turned into the best.

and ever since then i’ve found it really hard to ever feel sorry for myself again. because once you’ve been sitting in the middle of a field out in the middle of nowhere and your favorite band magically appears and plays just for you, when you need it most, its pretty hard not to know your life is, and  has been absolutely amazing! now its time to go to Glenn’s other show  tonight!  In Virginia. So i guess there will have to be a Part Two tomorrow!

Simon and the back of  my very blown mind, Coming soon Part 2hawkhursta

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One. NEVER GO TO A HEART CONCERT. What a disappointment! They are the biggest rip off in rock and roll (excusing Pete Dougherty but one would have to consider that mess music to add him.)

They sounded pretty good the whopping huge entire 68 minutes they actually spent on stage (which apparently made up their entire show) but it was the equivalent of sticking twenty quarters in the All Heart All Hits jukebox at some terrible 8os themed party you couldn’t find any way to get out of attending short of faking your own death with none of the thrills. Faking your own death would have been more fun and considerably less expensive .

For a rock and roll band to charge top dollar only to spend minutes over an hour onstage performing nothing but regurgitated radio hits most of which even the band themselves has said publicly” they hate and even they can’t stand to hear again” is an absolute outrage and an insult to their fans, a slap in the face to the people who have paid their paychecks all these years and loved and admired them, the public and their fans.

Or at least the ones old enough, sober enough, and who have been around long enough to see a band who actually cared about their audience, enjoyed performing and actually did it with great enthusiasm, if not brilliance and for a length of time in which the audience actually got their money’s worth.

They Rocked, don’t get me wrong Nancy looked and sounded great, but Ann was wearing such a huge wig I couldn’t even see her face the entire show and such monster six inch boots it could have been Gene Simmons under there for all I know lol  The worst part is that their act hasn’t changed a bit since I first saw them in 1978 and they are women in their 60s now. If that’s your excuse for robbing you fans of a show worth seeing why don’t you stop pretending to be 25, it’s kind of pathetic, take off the high heels, and gigantic heavy wigs, put some pancake on those wrinkles instead and sit down in a rocking chair something and give us at least a full one and a half to two hours BEFORE encores, of your stunning voices, beautiful music and gorgeous guitars. Then, if you like, indulge yourself and cash in on the popularity of someone else with a bunch of songs by Led Zep, a band we all love. I  hate to break to you, no matter how much you love them too you will never BE them and the only person I enjoy hearing play Led Zep songs is THEM. You know, the REAL Led Zep.

if all you really  want to do is show up, do the bare minimum you can possibly get away with take the money and run, after all, I hear it’s the latest thing with all the old washed up bands of the 70s and 80s these days, the least you could do is hire a special effects company that wasn’t my 7th grade prom committee and hire a decent warm up band,  so no one would waste their time and money thinking they were going to have a great evening out just to get on an hour of reheated you and a couple of led zep covers, which actually seemed like the only time you were having a good time all night. Did it ever occur to you that if your own show and playing your own music bores YOU, some changes might be in order? lol

If you are too tired or too lazy to stay on stage more than an hour  maybe the time has come for you to become a warm-up band as a nostalgia act for a young hot hungry band with some potential just getting started in the business who actually cares . Or someone worth paying top dollar for like the gig  that you played the next with a kick ass, vital, alive,  exciting in your face band that always gives you a big bang for your buck and truly leaves you dazed and confused when they rock and roll, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts.

I believe you might even have something in common, and could learn thing or two touring with them as a warm up act since they are almost your age. So don’t you dare give us the excuse it’s okay because if you can manage to totter out on to the stage and do a half -assed job onto we should throw money at you and give you a standing ovation. There is no heart left in this band.

You made several disparaging remarks about the record company execs trying to control you and screwing up your band ( go ahead, blame ‘the suits’ for ruining rock and roll and your profits just like every other band going broke) but I’m warning you, before it too late, the main people ruining your career is you. And it wasn’t just this show evidently, from what I’ve learned, it’s always like that. What a shame. The were heroes to many women of my generation. They were Unique. N0w they are just the same tired old greedy rock and roll has- been act. What a disappointment.

TWO. Don’t go to Wolf Trap in VA by public transport unless you really live close to Wolf Trap.

The shuttle from the Metro is great. That is, if you don’t make the mistake of going the weekend the Silver line opened like I did.  Because the Silver line on the Metro goes closer to Wolf Trap all the unpleasant, burly, rude , typical for the  Metro employees have decided that shuttles actually GOES from the Silver line and not the Orange line as it always have.

I found this out the hard way, by going to the place on the Orange line where they were barricading the doors to where you get on the shuttle and snarling as they sent me back several stops to switch to the Silver line. When I got to the end of the Silver line I was told the Orange line guys had no idea what they talking about and that the bus would today and in perpetuity leave from the Orange line through the now locked doors I had been at a half hour earlier and I would have to take the matter with the lovely surly snarling gentleman who possessed the key. Thus doubling he cost of my trip.

The Wolf Trap Shuttle is really a good deal for five bucks it takes you straight from the ORANGE LINE pick-up to the show and back  but even with the Heart show ending at nine twenty we dint get to the subway until after 10: 15 so almost anywhere you have to go which isn’t within minutes once you get on the subway odds are good you will get stuck halfway home because all the public transport will have stopped after a show of any reasonable length and you have to take expensive cab ride home.That is if there happens to be one where you are at when the last bus or train  has come and gone.

I was lucky. There is a cab stand at the Shady Grove metro but it is still a thirty dollar ride home. I expected as much and had budgeted for it and had it been a better show I would not have gotten home infuriated at an even further waste of my money thanks to Hearts greed and indifference and the crappy public transport in the Dc area.

THIRD AND MOST IMPORTANT

Do not go on facebook when you plan on going somewhere new to get to a gig by public transport for numerous and excellent reasons.

Your idiot friends will not shut up so you can get offline until you are almost late for the bus you really need to take to be sure you actually get some place new you have never been before on time lol. This could result in the following ripple effect.

Instead of having time to get gorgeous and do your hair and make- up and find a fabulous outfit you will say What the hell, I’m just going to a gig by myself, I’m not even trying to go backstage who cares what I look like? And you will throw on the closest pair of sweatpants and a huge very dated band tee shirt from 1992 and race out of your house, forgetting your camera. WHEN you go back to get your camera you will get back to the bus stop right after your bus just left.  When you go back to get your camera, your may be stupid enough not to take extra batteries, but since you have plenty of time now having missed the important bus you really needed to be on, now you can enjoy the momentary joy of smug satisfaction for remembering in enough time to go back to your house and get six extra fully charged batteries and get back to the bus stop. Where you can chew your newly manicured fingers down to bloody stubs because now, even though it only 3:30 you are afraid you are going to be horribly late. Which will have been for nothing because though the Neanderthals that manage the subway screwed you over you still go there just in time to wolf down a nine dollar hot dog and a 15 dollar frozen strawberry daiquiri before the show starts.

HOWEVER because of this when you DO get recognized on the WT shuttle as the writer of the raucous  rock and roll memoir Even Rock and Roll has Fairy Tales and are they discover you are there to review the gig and the entire bus starts talking about it you will learn a very valuable lesson the very hard way. YOU ARE ALWAYS DOING PUBLICITY. Do not EVER leave the house even if it is on fire LOOKING LIKE THAT AGAIN! LOL

Four.  Don’t blow this part

When you pay sixty plus bucks to sit in the third row of a gig by yourself that you really didn’t care about enough about to spend thirty five bucks each to pay for a bunch of people to sit on  the lawn where you might actually have had a good time DESPITE the inferior quality of the entertainment  in order to concentrate on learning to use your camera better and improve your gig pic skills  by taking thousands of pictures WHEN you almost forget your camera and go back for it, or   MAYBE when you go back  second time to get fresh batteries you might want to CHECK AND SEE if the photo card is still in the camera or is in the computer, sitting at home. Guess where mine was? lol

Five. My phone, though actually charged AND working through some sort of miracle of divine intervention, takes really shitty pictures

Six. I am  officially TOO OLD to sit on the third row on a stadium gig without earplugs or going deaf.  excuse me, what was that you said?

Seven . Wolf  Trap gives away free ear plugs. Just ask the Ushers

Once upon a time… there was a band that had to try to please everyone… did they please anybody?

First of all, you have to understand that I LOVE THIS BAND. In the way only a 15-16 year old girl can when she finds a band that is the” love of their life” and grew up playing all their early albums non-stop, till they were worn to nothing and we had to buy new copies. They literally changed my life because the one and only reason my best friend Nina and I started trying to get backstage at every single gig that came to the Capitol Centre was to be ready for Queen to get there. So we would know just how to meet our idols. It was all just practice for the big event. At first, at least. I had no way of knowing then that going backstage and becoming a part of that world  was going to be my life for the next 7 years or so and change me whole perception of who I was and what I could be. No more shy awkward little junior high school punching bag. No more was I the girl that the ugliest boy in school  became offended because a rumor started we were dating.  No more was I the girl the entire neighborhood picked on and despised. Once I found out that guys like Roger Daltry thought I was just fine. A lot of women had their self- esteem destroyed by what went on backstage during those years but I took no crap from no one and I actually came out of it feeling like a person of value with something to offer. So if it had not been for Queen who knows who I would have turned out to be? Probably what I started as before they came along, a depressed, abused, powerless, vulnerable, naive worthless kid who would have latched on to the first  bully that paid her any attention at all and ended like a lifetime movie of the week  .  So to say they were important to me is  the understatement of the century.

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We saw them for the first time at Cole Field House at George Washington University. Fri Feb 4th 1977.  Just a college gig, with Thin Lizzy opening. It was our very first rock concert and just before they become wildly popular in the states  . We knew all about them already, of course, but that’s because we had just discovered rock and roll and loved the English bands, especially the glam bands. We first started watching rock and roll on TV when I discovered the Kinks and we took great pride in owning every fan magazine with our favorite Brit bands and only shopping in the import record stores, but nothing had prepared us for THE REAL THING! Freddie, Roger, Brian, and John in their full glory at the height of their creativity scratching and clawing their way to be nothing less than biggest band in the world. And even though I spent quite a bit of it making out with Scott  during the concert, I kept my eyes open every minute of the show and the make out session (what? You never heard of multitasking? lol) And it was incredible.

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Our next concert would be Led Zeppelin at the Cap Centre and that was it! From that moment onward we would hitchhike around the beltway if necessary, across 6 lanes of traffic to get to every big gig by noon to study how this whole” meeting the band” thing was done. The first time Queen came back to the Capitol Centre  it was the same year Tue 29th Nov – 1977  The Day of the Races tour was continuing and growing to stadium size and stating to set records. Of course we only caught a glimpse of them in their limos as they drove past us into the backstage area but by then we had learned a thing or two so we left the gig early and were waiting in the car when their limos rushed out and we followed them all the way into Downtown DC (giggling and screaming) although they did their best to lose us , until they got to some Japanese restaurant and we refused to budge from out front until they came out again so we could follow them to the hotel. Luckily for us Queen turned out to be creatures of habit and once we knew where they were staying  we could head straight for the hotel every time and if we were lucky beat them there. So we always got to see them pass through the lobby. Nina isn’t in this picture. i think she must have been holding the camera. It took quite a while for them to come back because now they were  massive all over the world.

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But then it was announced!  They were coming back! 6th Nov 1978 to the  Capitol Centre~ on MY 18th birthday!

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We knew where they were staying, we had a ride and crazily enough we got backstage passes!  Crystal ( Chris Taylor , Rogers drum tech and MUCH MORE) loved my black and white striped leotard, black mini skater skirt and black and white striped  over the knee leg warmers  so he said he” couldn’t leave me outside in that fabulous outfit” and gave us all passes  get in to the outer edges of the backstage! Everything couldn’t have been more perfect. It felt like the luckiest  night of my life. Right up until this moron friend of ours who had promised to chauffeur us around all night told about three hundred little girls all wearing I love Roger Taylor buttons (while we were indoors backstage and he had to sit in the parking lot waiting) the one thing we knew that nobody else did. What hotel they were staying at. Because we had passes we didn’t slip out of the show early, hoping to see the band while they were inside the arena, where no one else could get at them, now the secret was out and was spreading like wildfire but  they were just too well guarded for that. I got a body-guard to take a few pics of Freddie we had taken that we were especially proud of into the dressing room and he came out with two words from her highness. “Not bad” A bit rude, but what the hell we would take it. By the time we got to the hotel the crowd of girls who had been outside the back door while our ride John was showing off and running  off at his big mouth had all beaten us there and had packed the lobby of the hotel full to bursting. I started to walk inside but when I saw the throng I knew any chance of a moment or two just to connect with Roger, or even more, hopefully,  was now impossible so as the band entered and he was surrounded I just turned my back and dejectedly started to walk away .

All he sudden I hear this shouting above all the din of dozens of squealing girls surrounding their idol.

In a very familiar voice ” ROGER!” screamed Nina ” ROGER TAYLOR! TURN AROUND RIGHT NOW AND LOOK AT ME! I SAID  NOW!”  Well by now the entire hotel was staring, mouths gaping open at Nina- she pointed her finger at my departing back.  I had yet to have the courage to turn around and she said (Once again extremely disapprovingly at the gob smacked Mr Taylor and company)

” MY BEST FRIEND SHERRY LOVES YOU MORE THAN ANYTHING IN THE WORLD AND ITS HER BIRTHDAY AND YOU ARE GOING TO TALK TO HER! The or else was a given.

By now even I had to turn around, there was no other option,  just to see every eye in the place gawking at me.  Roger said graciously “Why of course. Come here Sherry.” wiggling a finger at me like  dangling tuna at a frightened kitten.   An aisle started to open like the parting of the red sea in a direct line between Roger and I and spread to about 12 foot wide, my hopes of having a private moment when our eyes met and we fell madly in love were hopelessly dashed by this point and this is the last place in the world I want to be now. I began slowly walking towards him totally mortified, eyes down cast. the room was waiting to see what would happen when I got there, like an obedient little peasant girl . I’m standing now, right in front of him, eyes still downcast and he actually puts his hands on his knees and bends over to look me in the face, and says in the  voice a clown says to a timid three year old at a loud birthday celebration surprise… “So it’s your birthday is it? And us how old is it you are then today? (the words little girl never spoken, but they might as well have been, they hung so heavily in the air) ” Eighteen” I mumbled, absolutely humiliated, terrified he was going to pat me on the head before this whole ordeal was over at long last. “Well, happy birthday to you!” and he stuck his hand out with his elbow bent like you would to a kindergartner at graduation. I took it, shook it and ran for my life. Once again he crowd of girls started squealing and giggling as they closed back in on him while he signed autographs but by then I was halfway to the car. I will never be able to thank her enough though, and we laughed hysterically the whole ride home!

Sat 23rd Aug 1980 – USA, Baltimore, Civic Center was their next show. I had a ticket and a ride arranged but from a friend who was a pathological liar. So when he time had come for her to pick me  after an hour or two, i knew she wasn’t coming and ha never intended to and  I wasn’t surprised at all it had happened. And I was still a bit wobbly from the last show. But that was the last time I ever spoke to her. Good riddance to bad rubbish. Should have been done long ago. two long years pass before they come into town again.

Sun 25th July 1982 – USA, Washington DC, Capital Centre Hot Space Tour –

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By then we were experts at getting backstage at everyone but we had never been able to get a crack at getting any closer to Queen, they were just too tightly secured, too well guarded. and by we i mean me and my new partner in the rock and roll game, the other Shari, 50 percent of the now ” The Infamous Sherry and Shari”

” Able to leap restraining barriers in one mighty stiletto’ed hop, to get to where we had no business being with a single bound. We were only happy if we got inside every single show that came into town free. We approached it single-minded, and  as a science. We made friends with every crew we could, every gig, every tour, and found out when and with what band they would come back to town. We would get the names of their friends on other tours to watch out for, and to ask for personally. We flirted unmercifully with every person working every door, and every goon operating security at every local event. We made friends of every union stagehand, chatted up every truck driver, T-shirt shirt man, all the sound-men, and the entire lighting team. We sweet-talked every gaffer, rigger, and roadie in sight and cozy-ed up to every regular hotel employee at all the hotels the bands were always booked into. We flattered and fussed over every limo driver for a hundred miles around. We made sure we knew everyone and made sure we were known and appreciated by every promoter as well behaved and worth having around, not sleazy, low-class troublemakers. To find out where the best parties were going to be, we did detective and surveillance work that would have made Phillip Marlowe proud. We learned to contact the band’s A & R person at the label in New York or L.A. in advance to see if we could sweet-talk our way onto “The List.” Eventually, somehow we’d manage to schmooze, sneak, or scheme our way in every single time. They all soon learned there was never any hope of us doing sexual favors for passes for any show, like some of those girls at the back door, but you could always count on us to show up at 10 am, bringing fresh baked cookies or a homemade meatloaf for lunch, in order to keep the bored, exhausted boys who lived on the bus company and entertained on a long, hard day and night out here in the middle of suburban nowhere somewhere in Maryland, or Virginia or Washington D.C or Baltimore. Happy to get out a needle and thread and put a button back on their favorite shirt, or run an errand they hadn’t gotten around to, or spend the afternoon before the gig at the hotel doing their laundry. Even better, we invited all our available girlfriends to come down to the gig at show time if they were willing to give them passes too.  Most of all, we truly cared just as much or more about our friendships with the roadies as we did about meeting the bands. That was what made all the difference, made us special. We had a genuine desire to get to know them because they were much more interesting than the local boys our age could ever be, and we really wanted them to have a nice time while they came to town. It was always appreciated when someone would let us in free or give us a pass, and we made sure they knew it and treated them decently so we got the same appreciation, treatment and respect back. Now, I’m not trying to say we didn’t partake and participate in all sorts of notorious backstage naughty-girl behavior; our shenanigans were just about as well- known as our courtesy and our kindness. After all, I did say we were fairies, not angels. But we had a certain set of morals and high standards and ethics when it came to our behavior and reputations, and a limit to how much bullshit we were willing to tolerate. We grew to be known as people you should be kind to, look out for, and take care of when you came to our town.”  from  Even Rock and Roll has Fairy Tales: The Flight of the Sherry Fairy by Sherry Carroll https://www.amazon.com/Even-Rock-Roll-Fairy-Tales/dp/1502490471

So you can imagine our shock when fairly early and easily we scored VIP passes and got into the show! And before it’s over we had the golden ticket. We were invited upstairs to party inside the Hotel where the band was staying! Unfortunately when we got to the party it was only the crew. And even though we made sure to get names and make friends with the people certain to be able to get us passes with no problem, forever after, those the very closest to the band, little did we know, even if they might have had an Inkling, there would be no more next times in Dc. Soon Freddie was gone. And Queen, as we knew them could never tour again.

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Moving ahead to  September 03, 2006    Queen was coming to the convention center with Paul Rogers. By then I wasn’t going to concerts at all anymore but my kid brother who I had turned into an even bigger Queen fan than I ever was, if that were possible, and had never seen them and  I thought should have a chance so I bought him two tickets . At the last minute he was unable to go, so rather begrudgingly, just to keep them from going to waste my husband and I went. And it was all right, I was in the audience just listening , not even feeling it, not even being aware or shutting down any emotions over this being a “ Queen” gig and Freddie being gone . Until, I don’t know, something happened when Roger started to sing Radio Ga Ga. A tune I had never particularly cared for in the past because it was passed the time when Queen music had been able to affect me  because it had changed so much. And I really listened to it. And it really sunk I was here, with Roger and Brian and I began to weep and just cried  like baby the entire rest of the show.

When Queen announced that they were going to come out of retirement  and  tour this summer as Queen with Adam Lambert I wasn’t as thrilled as you might have expected. I figured it would be some big stadium gig where I would pay hundreds of dollars to see them look like ants and after all the other, so much better experiences, it could only be a bitter end to a tragic tale. I had my crazy little memories; they were good enough for me. I could watch them on you tube in their prime doing anything I wanted to see. I didn’t need to be one of 200,000 people in the audience of a football stadium.

But something crazy happened on a Wednesday night in March. I got an email with advance ticket sale password to get Queen tickets 24 hours before the general public  at MERRIWEATHER POST PAVILION.  A tiny little nowhere venue, a place where I could be closer to, or have better seats then I ever had in my life to see Roger and Brian one more time in my lifetime, or theirs. If I could be one of the first ones on line to purchase online at 9 am in the morning the day the pre-sale began.  And a feeling stated to wash over me. One I had not had about a concert in 20 years. It kept building and building until it could not be ignored.

I didn’t know if I was going to be able to do it, but dammit I was going to give it all I got to try.

I called my kid brother to see if he is keen. I knew one person could get at least six tickets if they got though and he was all  excited for it. The night before I started getting so nervous and excited I knew there was no way I was going to be able to sleep. I logged on the ticket site just to see if by some fluke the pass word would work early and almost had a sheer heart attack myself. The tickets down in front were 295.00 dollars each. Well, I’m sorry but I don’t even have a proper job , I’m  a writer, a starving artiste,  and the only way I could, or would spring for three hundred dollar tickets to see anybody Roger Taylor would have to be playing the drums from my lap.

And I could see AmEx members had an even better pre-sale deal where their tickets were on sale already. So the odds of their being anything left by the next morning worth having were slim to none. Luckily I’m the kind of girl who finds the words ” it’s impossible” to be just the challenge I need to be the one person who can actually manage to  pull it off. After sitting at the computer all night debating would I be willing to pay the 295? I could get one just the one? Or if all that was left was us all sitting on the grass on the lawn for fifty bucks  a million miles away was it worth going at all?

I suddenly realized while prowling the venue site that the expensive seat weren’t even seats! They were paying for the privilege of standing up all night smashed up against the stage something I hadn’t had any interest at all in doing since long before I turned thirty. But the SEATS were about  180.00 dollars each and every seat in Meriwether is a winner, not a dud in the bunch. Maybe, just maybe, I could get us three of those. But by now its 2 am and my banks are all closed and the tickets go on sale at nine am and I have to get every single penny I have out of every account, off every credit card and have it all in one place and be back in my seat at the computer not one min later than 8: 50 the next morning. I moved everything I had electronically into the checking in one bank and everything I had electronically I could into the checking in the other other. now all I had to do was get up the next morning, hit one bank and wipe it out, hit the other and drop it all in and have it all in one place on one working credit card.

The problem was I had to do it all by taxi cab. During rush hour. As soon as my banks opened and be back on time or it was all for nothing.  I’ve pulled off much crazier schemes plenty of times ( see Ian Hunters Birthday Post) but I hadn’t done it in a long time. And with every hour that passed it was getting more important to me that I get in, no matter what, if there was any way humanly possible.

At 7:00 am after being up all night I was ready for the plan to commence, Luckily one of my banks opened at 8 am and the other 8: 30 if I had the money out of the eight am one and could get it to the 8:30 one he moment the doors opened I could be home at 8: 45 .  Called the cab company and there were no cabs at all for an hour. So I jumped on the first bus that took me straight t my first bank. There at 8:05 money removed to the last dime and right next door to a cab stand. Surely phase two would kick off any min. but stood and I stood and I stood the cab stand in the freezing cold as the minutes ticked past and no cab was to be found. Until 8: 36. I leap in like the police commandeering a car and scream at the driver” We have to fly like the wind or all is for naught!  GO!” and bless his little heart he does and I have all the money I could beg borrow or steal in one bank and on one working credit card and am home by 8: 55…  For the HARD part.

My heart is pounding, my adrenaline pumping, I’m buzzed to the gills, wired to the max,  and this is not something I am going to fail at.  And when I’m that determined I rarely do. The minute he clock hits 9 I am frantically logging into the site, and I keep getting offered great seats ( OMG THERE ARE SOME LEFT) but every time I go to pay I get booted out of the system from so many people trying to use it at once and every time I log back in the tickets are further back. Soon there will not be any further back to go and I start to resign myself to the possibility of failure. But at last the machine doesn’t boot me out of the system , and I’m so relieved to have gotten seats at all I spend the 180.00 I had leftover to put back into all the accounts to last the rest of the month on  a  fourth ticket! I HAVE THEM! They are mine!

And immediately I burst into tears and fall apart at the seams for the entire weekend. I did not  realize how much it meant to me and how much emotion I was holding back until I had them in my hand and was sure I would get in. so you can imagine  how special it was going to have to be for me, and for all different ranges of Queen fans, Old timers like me, and some who never thought it would be the same without Freddie, those who only knew Queen from the eighties with iconic stash Freddie, people wanting them too succeed, people go expecting them to fail… how in the world were they actually  going to pull this thing off? But I didn’t care. I didn’t think about that just then. I was going to see Brian and Roger again. That was the only thing that mattered to me.

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And by the way, my kid brother reimbursed me for not just his girlfriends but for my ticket as well, which I never expected. Really nice thing for him to do. So I wanted to make a point of pointing it out. That left me with one to give away or sell. I figured by the show time came, if I couldn’t find the perfect person to take it I could probably sell it for enough to cover the three original tickets.

So you may be asking yourself right about now ” When the hell is she actually going to get to the review of the show?”  Excellent question. I’ve been trying to get there since I  started this and still haven’t made it have I? Maybe I better let this be part be the prologue, part one and the concert itself be part two. Not that it does you any good if you have read this far already might as well tough it out to the end lol

The day has arrived . It’s Sunday June 20, 2014. I was supposed to spend all sat resting but of course I couldn’t possibly sit still so I spent the whole day and night cleaning the house. I’ve never even more ready for a concert in my life! My hair is professionally done a fetching combination of blood red with streak of cobalt blue, my fake fingernails painted like beautiful blue butterfly wings. There was a close to last minute crisis about my dresses not arriving by show time but I decided to make due with a silver and black Gothic ball gown! After all there is no such thing as too glam for Queen or even too over the top. The sky is literally the limit!

I’ve taken to creating and collecting dolls the last few years and I made a lovely set of Queen with not one but two Freddie’s I was determined to take on that off chance I could slip past Queen super security but fairly sure that I couldn’t. If I could not get near them as a gorgeous teenage girl the odds of me doing it as a middle aged nut with a basket full of creepy weird large queen dolls were not going to be much better, but one can always dream. And I enjoy the hell out of taking my Queen out for photo ops and I thought the rest of the fans might  get a kick out of seeing them as well.  If I had been going on my own or had my own transport I would have been up at the gig working on it at ten am when the crew was fairly relaxed and there was no union security but I figured by the time the doors opened at show time all I could do was give it one last desperate shot.

To my brothers misfortune his girlfriend  didn’t feel well enough to go see a band that she just wasn’t that crazy about ,  and so to my great delight my adorable daughter agreed to go in her place! I was thrilled to  bits. I had wanted her to go all along and she kept saying no, more firmly the more I  cajoled begged and  insisted but by the evening of the show she hadn’t arranged anything better to do and decided she was keen after all!

There was an almost catastrophe the day before when I didn’t realized the tickets had already been mailed to us and I finally  found them by accident at the last minute so as concerts go, this was having a less than average number of  screw-ups in advance so of course I was terrified.  So far nothing had gone terribly horribly wrong. That’s a bad sign when it comes to a road trip in my world. I get dropped off at my mom’s in Baltimore where my brother lived about 1 pm and somehow four hours just did not seem time enough to get ready!

But finally at 5: 30 he shows and we are off to the gig where the doors open at 6: 30. I hadn’t been to Meriwether in thirty years and  forgot how much walking there was to do from parking lot to seat, but adorable daughter cheerfully gave a hand whenever necessary  at getting to our seats with a heavy basket of huge goth queen dolls that probably weighed almost as much as she did. And I was right, the fans loved them. They were petted and posed with and passed all around us so people could get pics. And Roby, the adorable daughter didn’t mind a bit trotting over to the other side of the venue to the closest spot you could get to the backstage for a Hail Mary play before show time. At one point I spotted a beautiful girl with long dark curls  and a smoking hot bod covered with enough official laminated credentials as most of the crew put together and she came when I called her over. She couldn’t have been nicer and said leave the dolls here and  I will be right back and show them to the band, but it was ten mins until they were due on stage and I loved them too much ( and they cost way too much money) to make to let them out of my sight the entire show, on the off chance they got to Brian and Roger, and then back to me safely after the show and I knew the security guard would or take responsibility or guarding them for us until we got back, so we wisely decided since it was minutes to show time to head back to our seats so we wouldn’t disturb anyone coming down the aisle once the show started. I had just enough time for a few snaps of my own with the dolls

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Before  a cloud of  white white fog started to rise off the stage and the unmistakable sound of brains guitar started to fill the air.

The whole place went nuts and the show HAD BEGUN! It kicked off with some early Queen! How delightful, and wisely none of it song too identified as Freddie’s. I must admit by the time they broke into The Seven Seas of Rhye I was violently shaking my poor daughter by both shoulders shouting  PUT BEFORE ME WHAT IS MINEEEEEEE the SEVEN SEAS OF RHYEEE but then I took pity on her and gave her a break due the terrified look on her face and tuned her loose. Since she will probably be the one to pick out my nursing home I thought it best if I not appear any more senile than already am.  Adam Lambert was doing a fantastic job vocally and physically but even though I was totally caught up in it and enjoying the hell out of every min there were already a few things starting to stick in my craw. Rogers drum kit was so low and so far back it almost felt as if he were intended to be in  the parking lot out back  behind the venue. And there was no volume on his mic.   Plus Adam could not stand not to be in very single frame of the big screen cameras. So it seemed every time Roger was finally appearing in close up about 40 foot tall on the screen doing some fab drum parts Adam would leap in the frame and the camera would shift to him!  or he would us the time Roger was playing to elicit screams out of the audience drowning out everything Roger was doing.

I don’t know if it was vanity or choreography or if he was just not a seasoned enough a musician or  accustomed enough to being in a band with musicians of his caliber but he didn’t really seem to get that the drums are actual MUSICAL instruments and not just a beat to gyrate your hips to, to make the audience squeal like stuck pigs and  seeing Roger play them is a very large part of Queens appeal. It was not the time to prance across the stage or do the can-can and shout out some nonsense that  would get the crowd screaming and rowdy, it was completely  unnecessary  and unwanted, there was absolutely NO need to do something ” interesting” so people wouldn’t get bored, We were watching Roger! there is absolutely nothing boring about that! For some of of us he was 50 percent of the reason we were there so STFU and get out of the spotlight when he is in it Adam. Roger seemed to be not anywhere near as highlighted as a star should be… where was the huge drum risers we were used to ? covered with flashing lights? if there weren’t for the few moments he was on the big screen you would hardly have known he was there at all!

And during  all the songs Brian and Adam were out front clearly having the  time  of  their lives ,Brian giving Adam some whispered stage directions, or musical cues, the two of them laughing and chatting between the songs, even during them! and don’t know about Rogers feelings but I was having real pangs of jealousy for him. I didn’t come here to see the Adam  and Brian show, I wanted Roger to be the one out there, laughing and smiling and chatting with Brian, like it had been with Paul . It was the Roger and Brian show then, the loss of Freddie was still so fresh and they clung to each other and sang their songs with Paul  just helping out when absolutely necessary. I was hoping for much more than a stadium gig  in a small venue, so polished and rehearsed and designed to highlight the thing in the show i had the least interest at all in seeing, Adam.

It was so very sweet though, there were moments Brian was so clearly moved by the reception he was getting and the energy coming back and how the crowds knew every word to every single song you could feel the love coming right back  at us in waves and on many an occasion he had to wipe a tear from his eye.

At the time it felt like Brian and Roger did almost nothing together, of that sort of thing for this show  and Roger got slighted and had almost no opportunities to sing and certainly it is true he had very few to sing. but to be fair before I wrote this tonight I watched the whole show one more time and there was a good 45 mines at the start of Brian and Roger interacting and Roger  did sing  one song The Days of our Lives , but not even” I’m in love with my car” or “Drowse” or” Tenement Funster”

It just few by so quick at the time and so close to the start that it seemed  those moment o f Brian and He together just lasted no time at all.

Rogers son Rufus came along to fill in on the drums when needed but it gave me the same feeling as the last  Indiana Jones movie, that were trying to phase the real Indy out so they could sneak in a new young fresh one and I didn’t like it any better with my fav band then I did it a fav movie!  The  second half of the show got even  flashier than the first and that’s when it started to annoy me a bit because they were doing more songs that were too well associated with Freddie  but in all fairness, there were also moments, quite wisely they had left out just for that reason.  For instance he did Fat bottom girls but ended it without the classic bicycle race ending Freddie did so well.

One thing I kept trying to remind myself   the second half  was Queen are consummate musicians and perfectionists and their shows so elaborately designed with such dramatic special effects that they must be choreographed and blocked out like a Broadway show. Believe me If there is going to be a shooting plume of fire and brimstone directly behind your back  during your solo your butt better be  standing right smack in the middle of the electrical tape x put there to tell you just where to stand  or the results could be very unpleasant indeed.

I guess I was us hoping for something a bit looser, a few flubs or bloopers, something more intimate, it being a smaller venue. Roger and Brian to look at each other and share a grin but I guess when you have been playing together as long as they have they are its  a well-oiled machine as they don’t really have to have  that eye contact or little visible  telepathic moments  between them to be playing in perfect sync.  Now, keep in mind I’m still really enjoying the show, they’re Queen songs performed beautiful by Adam Lambert and I was doing just fine with that. UNTIL they go to Radio Ga Ga. AND  Adam began to sing it instead of Roger.

I’m sorry that just plain wrong, no matter how you try to look at it. What is this kid? 25 years old or something? Hes probably never even owned a vinyl record in his life!  What does he know about laying in bed at night listening to a radio serial because you don’t have a telly yet? or hiding a tinny old radio under his pillow to listen to a bunch of static on am or pirate radio? Does he even know who Wolfman Jack or John Peel is? Does he even know who John Deacon is  for gods sake? and that really bothered me, especially considering how much it touched me the last time. And all week  it bothered me more and more and I think it was the one big terrible flaw in a show  that really  was as close to perfect as anyone could have gotten it under the circumstances, So many people to please, so many people expecting so much, so many that would be so easily upset, striking a balance being so incredibly hard.

but  the next  thing you knew there was Freddie fifty feet tall singing Bohemian Rhapsody then a single encore, We will Rock You and We are the Champions and then it was over, and they were gone.

Just as always, I figured the band had taken off before the crowds knew the show was over, but the rest of  my little group were very cool and accommodating and had no trouble taking the dolls back over to the backstage area to see if the black haired beauty from MTV came out to find us. And surprisingly  she did!

Even though the band was long gone she said she would take pics of the dolls to show them but only snapped a few before she was called away, although she said she  would come back. We were just about to give up when a very nice man came out and said she had sent him and the first thing he did was ask for our contact details and hen take about 5-6 shots of he dolls for her, even though I not sure if he knew what he was supposed to be doing with them. And I was so pleased that she had been so kind and thoughtful and sincere as to follow through on it all, especially when she was clearly insanely busy, I was perfectly happy to call it a night and head for home.  It took us ages to get to the car and adorable daughter carried the dolls most of he way. We kept having to stop stop  so people could play with them. It was really all a person could ask for and more.

The rest of the week I spent  resting on the couch, ice pads on my knees in terrible pain from taking a ridiculous number of steps up and down, so many times when I wasn’t used to it,and watching snippets of Queen gigs from this show and over the years and began to pick the show apart. Which is why I found it in full tonight and watched he whole thing start to finish without the distraction and it being live and there being a huge screaming crowd  BEFORE I wrote this and I really hadn’t been fair to them with my bitching during the week, comparing them to the Queen shows of old, and the first shows without Freddie. The whole show had just all happened so fast and there was so much to take in and remember while it was happening.

But tonight  watching it I also remembered how hard Queen had it creating this show in the fist place. Trying to find away to please everyone,  replace someone who truly was irreplaceable, which was really a task that was so close to impossible the fact they gt anywhere near it at all is astounding  .

The only real moments I truly still hated ( and there could have been dozens) was  Rogers almost complete absence from Radio Ga Ga vocally and visually which I just can’t comprehend .  It would have  been  the absolute highlight of the show for me. But you can’t please everyone and they come as close as anyone could have gotten . So God Save whats left of our Queen.

It was a marvelous evening and a beautiful ending? I don’t know . They are back in the studio. There may be more happily ever after to come. .. Maybe. and maybe not, for me.

If the next Queen gig is Adam Lambert and Rufus Taylor on drums and couple of nameless faceless musicians and Brian and its selling out massive stadiums you know I will not be there. I will be doing what Roger will most likely be. Watching it the next day on YouTube with big bowl of popcorn and that’s okay by me.

I never did hear anything from Queen Management about the dolls so I guess they never saw the pics but I don’t really  mind in the least. Queen have always been the big fish that got away and it only makes me love them more. What would have I had to say if I had been ushered back gate for Brian and Roger to pose and autographs my dolls? Or if I were to get some kind of lovely thoughtful note from the band?  I’m quite sure it would be more than I could take . I wouldn’t give clue what to say back and  don’t think i ever want to be in the position to have to worry about that.

It would be the one and only thing in my lifetime that could make his girl speechless!

If you want to see the show and decide for yourself there are lots of clips on you tube. i hope this one works   Enjoy