Okay so where did i leave off? Oh yes sitting in a field at a tiny little festival when the craziest thing in the world that ever happened to me happened. You should probably be sure to read Part One or you wont have a clue what i am talking about.
But the one that will stick in my mind forever the rest of my life as the best thing so far that’s ever happened to me, the coolest one, was the shock of that day in that tiny little festival in Kent.
Now i have had some extremely cool stuff happen to me in my lifetime. been backstage at about 400 rock concerts. Danced with Baryshnikov, met Cyd Charise, Kirk Douglas,Marge Champion, Liz Taylor, Cher, Nanette Fabry, Spoken on the phone with Fred Astaire, and that just what i can remember at the moment off the top of my head.I’ve met and known and been friends or lovers with people in rock and roll most people would kill to spend five mins with. Been in a twenty year relationship with living legend Eric Burdon which i have since written a very well received book about http://www.evenrockandrollhasfairytales.com
But if ever asked what the coolest thing that ever happened to me the first thing i would say is the day Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford gave me the biggest shock of my life and turned the worst day of my life into one of the greatest. Although talking to Fred and meeting Misha was amazing, But i orchestrated all of those other things. i made them happen.
Glenn and Chris were just… sprung upon me
So if you’ve gone back and read part one, you probably get that if it wasn’t bad enough i had already mythologized glenn and Squeeze to completely unrealistic( but i think pretty well deserved proportions) when i was just a kid , having them appear like genies from a bottle on that day in Kent in 2007 was too much to believe, My friend Simon said he was worried i might have thought i was having a hallucination and thats what it felt like. Like the whole thing was a practical joke or some crazy dream.
SO on, that day, do you think THAT’S the day i would have the nerve to speak to them?
My god i didn’t say a word to anyone the entire weekend. My brain just kept saying over and over ” I CANT BELIEVE THAT JUST HAPPENED” and so that’s all that would have, and did ,come out of my mouth for a week. That certainly made them even more intimidating not LESS for gods sake. I hid from them the entire festival terrified of what nonsense would pour out if i accidentally made any actual contact.
thanks to that day, instead of being the most miserable human being on the planet when it came time to go home there was the biggest smile you’ve ever seen on my face and it didn’t go away for months every single time i told the story and comes back each time i think of it to this day. And 6 days or so later with my family sitting in the arena in Virginia when Squeeze took the stage no one cheered louder or was happier than me . The last thing i expected when i came home from my trip.
The next couple of years were great, my kids grew out of the obnoxious stage that was driving me crazy, i was still going to London when i could and Squeeze was still a regular part of our lives. I took the whole family to a gig at The Rams Head, And when we were all in the car arguing about who got to pick the music the Squeeze CDs always won, because every single one of the family had no no objection to a single song on them, enjoyed it and sang along.
My last trip to London was Feb 2099 and in 2010 i started seriously writing almost 24/7 from then until… well, i still do.
I paid no attention at all to concerts and albums and who was coming to town while i worked on my book. But when i did get the rock and roll itch , once i finished the book last year guess who was coming to town ( how DO they DO that?) Sure enough, in just a few weeks Glenn was going to be at The Rams Head a couple hours away. So i bought four tickets to take the family.
I joined a facebook group for Squeeze and so i was really excited about the gig and met the lovely Jane Johnson a huge Squeeze fan and very soon we became friends. My then 14 year old son Ian, who is mildly autistic was really excited about the show.
But unfortunately two days before the gig i had to have an emergency gallbladder removal so we all had to miss it and it was such a disappointment Especially laying on the couch afterwards in pain and miserable hearing everyone in the squeeze facebook group talking about how fantastic the gigs were. it was really depressing the whole next year hearing about all the wonderful events and shows and seeing the pictures and videos while i was getting better of all the fantastic squeeze stuff going on in the USA and UK i had missed out on. SO WHEN TICKETS FOR THE SHOWS THIS WEEK WENT ON SALE FOUR MONTHS AGO I WAS ECSTATIC!
AND NOW… drum roll please at long last we finally get to the shows THIS WEEK im theoreticlly blogging about. lol
Once again bought four tickets to Glenn at the Rams Head the instant they went on sale.
In my excitement i didnt realize it was the Rams Head in Annapolis Not Baltimore and it was a 21 and older only show until the week before the gig. So neither of my kids could go and i had to let them down once again. It would just have to be me and my friend Elizabeth unless we could find someone to take the other two tickets. Knowing Jane was in contact with Glenn and his people somehow i asked her if Glenn had the power to say my 15 year old could come, despite the club rules and at Jane’s insistence that i must get over my terror of speaking to Glenn( i had told her all about how i was terrified of him) i asked if maybe we could get backstage to see Glenn.
This time i was really GOING TO DO IT! SAY SOMETHING Anything to him. for the first time in my life . after 35 years AND NOT SOMETHING STUPID. Hopefully .
The day of the show arrived but i had no confirmation that Ian would be able to go and to get to Annapolis from Germantown on public transport was a feat i had never attempted, which i knew would take most of the day so it would just have to be me and Elizabeth and two empty chairs. Five and a half wretched hours after 3 pm when i left my house i arrived completely shattered at the gig in Annapolis Monday night at 8: 20 and so i had already missed most of the first half. But i walked in the door just as he started one of my fav songs Messed Around which i would have been heartbroken to have missed so I got very lucky in that respect.
I asked about my four purchased tickets, and expected to use the single ticket i purchased of the four which was the only one that i needed and was given an envelope. When i opened it up there was a complimentary ticket for me, one for my daughter and one for my son , making an exception to the 21 plus rule, on orders straight from team Glenn thanks to Jane! Now i had seven seats, but no kids, and for one friend but I so much appreciated her help , Glenn’s kindness and the gesture. It all was making me feel i just might just be able to do it!
here is a bit of Glenn for you. So talented! So Nice! So fun !…. SO SCARY ? lol
Turns out they had sent me a message but i had already left for the gig, since it was so far away and without the kids since i wasn’t 100 percent sure they would be able to get in. Ian and Roby would have lost their minds anyway on the godawful over five hour trip on public transport to the show if i had brought them so it really was for the best in the end. I find Elizabeth and we settle in and Glenn is marvelous, as always. Watching him alone on the stage reminded me of the very first time i had seen him and my chin had dropped so far it had rendered me perpetually mute, at least when it came to him. Curls no longer golden, body more grounded, as he played, now longer the light- hearted, fluffy, bands pretty- boy, the golden angel in white, finger fluttering , He and the guitar were more like Fred and Ginger these days then a teennager capturing butterflies. I’ve never been very good at remembering the set list or taking notes on each song when its a show that enthralls me, but Glenn was in fantastic form, funny, brilliant and as always his talent just overwhelms me. I just get spellbound. A mix of old favorites and newer material, a little goofiness and loads of fun. This is an old gig but i haven’t found any videos yet of the shows the last two days.. And i love this song
Before i knew it the show was over and after 35 years at last the moment had come. I had to talk to Glenn. At least to say thank you, if nothing else . There was no way out of it this time!
While standing in line a beautiful , dark haired, tall English girl said “Hello”, how are you? and taking a guess i figured she was part of his entourage so i said to her” Hi, I’m Sherry, Jane’s friend” And she immediately sprung into action. apologizing for us getting the message too late and running off to bring me a free mug and free copy of his wonderful new album Happy Ending. Just then Elizabeth shoved me “GO! Now’s your chance! Go talk to him!”
So after 35 years and all of this, hearing my story… what the hell do you think i was i supposed to? or going to say?
fuck if i knew.
By now i bet the curiosity (boredom) is killing you so mercifully i will put you out of your misery.
Well… i said thanks and explained why Ian couldn’t make it and he autographed the album for him. i knew i only had the approximate three minutes typical and appropriate for a meet and greet. So i gave him the condensed version of this entire saga consisting of summing it up in about ten sentences. which probably came out , without the appropriate context, as complete gibberish. Then quite rudely, but at least sheepishly, asked if maybe i could have a comped ticket, just the one, for myself, for the next night since i had missed the first part of this show, which he immediately and cheerfully agreed to (and actually did) and then we were out the door and in the car.
I DID IT!AND TO MY SHOCK I SURVIVED IT! And managed to not quite to make a complete ass of myself! after all this time i finally had the nerve to talk to him, and i didn’t mumble and drool but i probably did, as i feared, just try to give him too much information too fast to comprehend, but there was such an awful lot i wanted to say…. so instead said it all here.
And hopefully if i get this into the right hands he will get it and maybe even be kind enough to take the time to read it . So maybe he will be able to figure out what the hell i was talking about. and then, at last, he will know all the stuff I’ve always felt and always wanted to say.
The next show was fantastic too. at a cool little place I have never been called Jammin Java way out in Virginia but nothing near the nightmare to get to that Annapolis had been.I had sent some pics of the festival to his facebook page earlier in the day and the same girl from the night before showed me he had received them. I said something about how shy and nervous Glenn made me and she said” Hes just a normal regular guy. just like anyone else”
and i didnt say it but i thought, ” yeah, just a guy. one that has profoundly effected us and been the soundtrack of most of my life and has more talent in his pinky then ninety percent of most of the so called artists out there today and one of a band that i consider the best there is and as a writers, i consider to be some of my idols. but its no big deal. other than that, hes just like everybody else” and the line kept ominously moving closer. To get out the door i had no choice but to pass Him again. I muttered something or other along the lines of Thank you for making my favorite music since i first heard it 35 years ago and then raced to catch the last subway train of the night to spend two hours on public transport getting home. I was home by one and in the hours since then i have i worked on fixing part one which i did in a rush yesterday because i had to get to the gig and finishing part two today.
If Glenn ever reads this it will be such a relief. Because once he knows all these things I’ve been carrying around i always wanted but never knew how or had the nerve or time to say to him and when he does from now on all i will ever have to do after the show is give him a big smile knowing he knows and just say with joy and confidence and no fear at all, all that’s left to be said now…
“Hey Glenn, GREAT GIG!”
and then maybe someday we could have a relaxed normal friendly conversation for a few mins. because that would be pretty cool.
And if he were pass this post to or a brief message along to the Beautiful Boy i would greatly appreciate it . I told Glenn his name. I hope he remembers it.
Hi Beautiful Boy and surprise! i bet you never expected this ! Remember me?
here is what i look like now, i wonder what you do? Best wishes to you and your family and i hope you’ve had and are having a wonderful life. I still think of you fondly whenever i think of Squeeze and the one thing i’m really sorry about is i didn’t get to say goodbye and i really regret now i never had a picture to remember you by . if you want to contact me here ( any comment made wont show up publicly until i see it and unless i approve it) i would love to have an old snapshot from way back in those days, especially before you got all your curls cut off lol and to say hello. Luv,Sherry