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.