Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Rock 'N Roll Trifecta + 1

I have always been "star struck"...meaning that I get a huge kick out of seeing celebrities in real life. I've been lucky enough to get to meet more than my share. Living in LA has it's perks but I have an even better perk...my brother in law is in the "biz". Because of him I've met the entire original cast of E.R.,(George Clooney, Anthony Edwards, Noah Wiley, etc.) Life Goes On,(Patti Lu Pone, Chris Burge, Kellie Martin, Chad Lowe) The Adventures Of Briscoe County Jr., (Bruce Campbell) Steven Spielberg, Anson Williams, ("Potsie" from Happy Days), the entire cast of Bay Watch and Bay Watch Hawaii, (Yazmine Bleeth, David Hasslehoff, Daisy Fuentes, Tom Arnold, Corbin Bernson, Jason Mamoa, Michael Newman, Michael Bergin, Jason Brooks). I also got to meet and talk to Tom Delonge who used to be with Blink 182 and is now with Angels and Airwaves....

I am completely aware that the above mentioned people put their pants on one leg at a time just like I do but nevertheless it is still a big thrill for me to get to be in the same air space with them. Movie and TV stars make me happy and giddy but when I get the chance to meet a rock star I am usually unable to put a sentence together as was the case when I met Jackson Browne, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith, and Elton John. It is so sad to say that I'm sure all of these guys must have thought that I was handicapped due to my inability to speak. Jackson Browne and Steven Tyler both approached me first and attempted to engage me in conversation. Both times I stood there trying to keep it together and not say something totally stupid and scare them away. Instead I said nothing and got the very results I was trying to avoid. I guess I can be thankful that they didn't pat my head as they walked away from me.

The above mentioned rock stars are 3 of my 4 favorites. (I count Steven Tyler and Joe Perry as 1.) The 4th one, (who isn't my 4th favorite,...no...these guys are all in a tie for first place...) is Todd Rundgren. Todd who? RUD-Gren? Didn't he sing "We Gotta Get You A Woman" way back in the 70's", you ask. Well, Todd Rundgren is another one of the worlds best kept secrets. I have been a fan of his since approximately 1975. He is a jack of all trades. He sings, he writes, he produces. He has a very successful solo career and he has played with his band called "Utopia". (I LOVE Utopia. The bass player Kasim Sulton is so cute I can hardly stand it!)Todd's latest endeavor was to replace Ric Ocasic as the lead singer of "The Cars". He has a solo double album called "Something/Anything". Todd played every instrument (as well as sang every part) on the first three sides of the double LP, while a band accompanies him on the fourth. Some of his songs are "pop" and some are guitar ripping rock and roll. I've seen him in concert so many times that he should totally stop what he's doing and wave "hi" to me when I walk in the door.

Last weekend my best friend from kindergarten and I made the trek out to the House of Blues Sunset to see Todd. Debbie is the one who turned me on to Todd way back when we were 15 years old. The concert was advertised as "TODD RUNDGREN" and so I figured that he would be the only one up there on the stage. I've seen his solo shows before and that is how he does it. Just him and a piano or him and a guitar. When the curtains opened I was very surprised to see a drum set and 3 microphones. When the music started Todd came running out and boy was I happy to see Kasim Sulton running in right behind him!

Todd is in the center of the picture and Kaz is to the far right. See the bank of speakers on the far wall? That is what I was standing right next to on the other side of the room.


Debbie and I screamed like little teeny boppers and started dancing with our bad selves. The crowd closed in on the stage and Debbie and I saw spaces where we knew that we could fit that would bring us closer to Todd and Kasim. I told Debbie that I wanted to stand on Kasim's side of the stage and she said ok, but she wanted to stay on Todd's side of the stage. So I went to the opposite side of the stage and staked claim on the last stair that led to the main floor. I was about 3 feet from the stage. I could see perfectly. I was about 12 inches from a huge, huge bank of speakers and unfortunately the play list that night consisted of all head banging, guitar shredding rock and roll.


In this picture you can see Kasim then to the lower right side you can see another speaker in addition to the 6 that were behind it.

They sang for the better part of 2 hours. Todd has 100's of songs and I'm sorry to say that out of all the songs he played that night it was as if he asked me to make a list of any song he's ever done that I didn't like and thatis what he played. He made up for it when he sang my favorite song of his called "Hawking". When the concert was over Debbie and I walked out of the House of Blues happy as clams that we had just gotten to spend some quality time with two of our most very favorite people on this earth.

That bubble of happiness was quickly shattered when we discovered that there were about 100 people waiting to get their cars back from the valet. There were 3 valets retrieving cars but when there are that many cars it is not a quick situation. I had just spent 3 hours standing inside the club. I did not have any desire to stand for another hour in the cold night air waiting for my car. We asked the bouncer if we could go back in to the House of Blues and have a drink while we waited but he said no. Once you leave the room you can't come back. But then he told us that if we asked very nicely the man at the podium might let us go up to the 3rd floor private club.

I didn't think we stood a chance at getting inside the private club. Let's face it...I'm almost 50 years old...my "cute" days are behind me. So, imagine my amazement when the guy in the suit gave both of us lavender wrist bands and opened the gate so we could climb the stairs. Debbie and I were very impressed with our selves. We. Were. Going. Inside. A. Private. Club. In. Hollywood.
We acted like this was no big deal as we walked in to the dimly lit room with the chiffon curtains blowing in the breeze of the air conditioner. Aerosmith was playing on the overhead speakers and that made me feel like I wasn't too far out of my league. I could smell incense burning ever so slightly and it smelled good. I took a deep breath and decided to act like I got to do things like this every day of the week and twice on Sundays. I was almost completely deaf from being so close to so many speakers but that just added to the mysterious feeling of the evening.

I made my way up to the bar, with Debbie behind me, and I ordered our drinks. When I turned around to hand Debbie her drink I was thrilled beyond belief to look at Debbie and very quietly say.."Oh my God, Debbie...Todd is standing right behind you." She was butt to butt with her idol and she didn't even know it. Her eyes got very big and she slowly turned to look over her shoulder. She saw him out of the corner of her eye and then she turned and looked back at me. We had to walk away from the bar because other people were waiting for their turn to order and as we walked away Todd started to head for the door. "Do you have a pen give me a pen should I ask for his autograph Oh my God I don't believe he is right there", Debbie said to me as she dug in her purse for a piece of paper for him to sign. I gave her the pen out of my purse and I gave her the receipt for our drinks. For some reason she didn't want to have him sign our receipt so she continued to forage through her purse for something that she thought was more appropriate. I fished my brand new camera phone out of my purse, the one that I purchased that very afternoon just in case this event took place. I wasn't certain how to turn it on so it took me a minute to push the right buttons...only to find out that it was deader than a freakin door nail. Are you kidding me? UGH! I couldn't believe my phone was dead. It makes me mad all over again as I write this. Stupid phone. I shoved my phone in my pocket and I walked right over to Todd like I'd known him for years. When there was a lull in the high 5's and the congratulatory comments he looked around at the people who were surrounding him...then lastly..me. He smiled at me, I was already smiling at him and I said, "Hi Todd. Can I have a hug?" He said, "What? A hug? Sure." And he reached over and gave me a real hug. Not just a squeeze to shut me up but a real hug. The mob shifted and I had to get out of the circle. I said thank you and he said thank you and I walked back to Debbie who was still looking for a piece of paper. I can't believe that I actually had to convince her to walk up to him. I knew that she would regret it forever if she passed on this opportunity so I did everything but give her a physical push. She took a deep breath and walked up to him. The crowd sucked her in so I couldn't see their communion but when Debbie returned to me she told me that he was happy to be handed a pen that actually had ink in it and that she, too, gave him a hug. She said, "I snuggled right in to his chest...he's so soft and squishy!" We laughed as I told her that I also thought that he was squishy. Todd left the room as soon as Debbie was finished talking to him so I'm glad that we didn't hesitate to walk up to him any longer than we did.

He was so much nicer than I ever, ever imagined he would be. He has an air of arrogance about him and I was really afraid to find that that was the true him. I wonder if, at the next meeting of my favorite rock stars, he can stand up in front of the crowd and tell Jackson Browne that I'm not handicapped?

P.S. It's been 5 days since we went to the concert and I'm still partially deaf. Please pray that I recover all of my former hearing.

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6 Comments:

Anonymous Mother said...

Like you say...in so many words...you've always been star struck...now you've developed the nerve to make it pay off! What cha gonna do if you ever come toe toe to toe with Keyano?

8:47 PM  
Blogger Tami W. said...

You know me too well!

I'm sorry to say that if I were face to face with Keanu I would stutter, stammer, drool & cry and then probably faint.

He'd be VERY impressed and would want to marry me immediatley. I would be Tami Jo Reeves. Feel free to call me that starting now.

8:56 PM  
Anonymous Amanda said...

Did Todd play Parallel Lines? That's my favorite. It reminds me of our summer tapes, the beach and Jan's....good times.

12:20 PM  
Blogger Tami W. said...

I'm sorry to say that Todd did not sing Parallel Lines. He chose all heavy metal, hard core music, none of which you'd be familiar with because I would always skip over them when I played his music. Also, sadly, Kas didn't get to sing any of his songs...so there was nothing as light and airy as Parallel Lines.

I am so happy that you have good memories of our summer times. Thank you for letting me be your mommy.

1:28 PM  
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