Why would any non- insane middle -aged woman suddenly go from sitting home all day every day and doing nothing but writing for almost four years suddenly decide to relive her childhood ?And return to a world she had left so long ago and so far behind?
A world where she knew you only mattered if you were young and desirable. A place where the men she knew and used to be with when she was a teenager when they were thirty and forty years old and had moved on , retired or were dead ? and the ones still left were quite likely to either never remember her or ignore her as she watched these 60 0r even 70 year old men trying to pick up brand-new beautiful 17 year old girls ( and succeeding) Why in the world was I going to concerts again?
If you had told me three months ago that is precisely what I’ve been doing every week for the last seven months you would think i had gone mad.
Who would subject themselves to the agony of having become an over- looked by the men in the world where she once had once reigned ? No longer the hot beautiful fresh- faced girl , the first to be invited behind the backstage door, the prize they competed for, the one they once fought over who would be the one to sweep her off her feet that night or carry her away with them like a trophy? knowing now that she was no prize to compete for she was bound to be left outside and always left behind, a luke- warm piece of once succulent meat.Naught but an old scrap now to be tossed out, brushed off, swept under the rug, hidden away as not to offend the young and beautiful . To become an invisible woman who no longer has a purpose for being there or belongs. This could clearly only cause nothing but heartache and sadness. Why in the world would anyone do such a stupid, heartbreaking, depressing, demeaning thing?
And even more perplexing Why am i having such a marvelous time doing it ?
Well, because of people like Robin Zander. And the moments that happen when you least expect them, That make it all worthwhile! Happy Birthday Robin! And Thank you!
My guess is its also because its also just another one of ridiculous things i’m alway doing for no good reason at all other than i find it fascinating to just do all kinds of crazy stuff that most people would think was a terrible idea just see what the hell happens!
anyone who has read my memoir Even Rock and Roll has Fairy Tales can attest to that. i’ve been that way my whole life! I seem to have been blessed with an extremely overdeveloped sense of adventure and depending on who you ask i have an overdose of an absurd sense of humor or am just a raging lunatic with the no idea whatsoever what a normal person would do in any situation. And suffer from the absolute worst personality trait of them all, one that just enjoys the hell out of any insane idea i undertake if for no other reason than curiosity or boredom, no matter how horrible the potential consequences could be! And usually the worse they are , the funnier i find it, and the better a story i have to bring home for you.
Which is really the most important thing of all and the thing that really matters to me. So here is a Cheap Trick Story for you. And why i go to shows.
Besides how could I ever consider myself a storyteller if I didn’t get out there in the world once and a while and make stories happen? You have to go hunt them out, sniff them out of the summer breezes, pluck them from the cosmic winds in a storm, pull them right out of the sky ,always carry a net in case you have to fish them out of a muddy rain puddle, capture them on a lazy river, or battle Poseidon to claim them as yours from the ocean tides. Check for them under every rock, roof and rosebush and drag them home with you . You have to get out there and look for them because they sure as hell are not going to drop by your house and come looking for you. Because No truly great story ever started and finished with” I put on my pajamas and went to bed at nine pm exactly where i slept soundly all night in my own comfortable bed until morning and then ate a bowl of oatmeal”
Now I have known Cheap Trick longer than any other band in the world. We first met them at 15 and went to see every gig on the east coast we could get to for about 15 more years. Our best friends in the band were Robin and Bun E .
We knew Rick and Tom but they barely knew us and we never really spent much time with them. When my best friend Shari and i first met Robin he wasn’t that much older than we were and cheap trick was just starting to get some success. It was only the second band he had ever been in and he was still stunned that he wasn’t going to wake up the next day and discover it was all a dream and he wasn’t still playing in a garage somewhere. I remember one night the three of us sat in the hotel lobby all night talking. Being with Robin was always like talking to a guy you had spent a whole year sitting next to in science class with who was mystified that for some reason he could not comprehend he had suddenly been elected prom king. He seemed to have no concept at all of how incredibly talented he was and my god , such a work of art! So incredibly beautiful inside and out, yet completely unaware of why he of all people would find himself fronting what was becoming a world class band somehow.
The band were all really nice guys and perfect gentlemen, because we were so young( at least while we were so young, lol) and after their set one night in largo in some moment of insanity on their parts, when we begged them to take us with them in their van to NYC as they were leaving they said”sure why not?”well , there were about a million reasons you probably shouldn’t take two obviously underage girls with no money and no plan at all on anyones mind as to what would be done with them when you got there , after you brought them on your bus and on the road with you to NYC it n a spur of the moment absolutely terrible decision. but i think he whole bunch of them were very naive and inexperienced as well, just learning this whole how to be a rock and roll star thing. this plan was so insane that shari and i who had nerves of steel and did whatever we pleased whenever we felt like it actually had to be the voice of reason and chicken out. the first and only time we ever chickened out of anything IN OUR LIVES and bailed off the bus at a gas station in baltimore a good two hour hitchhike from home at midnight.
Over the years we had so much fun with them and they were touring all the time so we saw them a lot! One especially memorable trip i decided to catch a ride with some friends to NYC just to see Robin and Bun E play the palladium. I ended up at the next show a few days later in Buffalo as well . I was standing alone in the dressing room and Rick entered with the most hideous troll i have ever seen in my life. wild white hair and skin so pales it was almost translucent. he was short and scrawny and had huge purple bursting zits all over his face. Rick said to me, and not in his usual genial tone” Show us your tits” and i must admit i was dumbfounded. He had never talked to me before like that. so i snarled the word NO. Then took my seat in the audience for the show. Many years later i opened a copy of a People magazine and there was the troll! It was Andy Warhol. Ii still wonder to this day how my life might have changed overnight, how much i must have missed out on! The adventures that may have come! The fortune and fame! the wacky adventures and shenanigans that may have ensued! If i had just that once in my life , had the good sense to show Andy Warhol my tits! lol It certainly explained why Rick was trying to show off! And a year ago i found a picture from that night on Bun E s facebook page!
After the infamous sherry and shari had seen them probably a hundred times , we both stopped going to concerts and moved on with our lives. i still went to the shows but with my family and never backstage. I hadnt seen them to talk to them for at least 20-25 years until i decided to get a ticket for this gig and decided to try to say hello. Just for the hell of it. Unfortunately that month my whole family was having pneumonia and i had just started to cough so i thought it best NOT to go down early for the meet and greet and breathe all over the band.
So i sat in the audience, took some terrible pics then called my daughter to pick me up after the show. but old habits die hard so i arranged for her to pick me up where the bands bus was. just in case anything interesting happened before she got there. And it did!
Rick and Tom came out and were as charming as ever and i spoke to them momentarily. even though ,at that moment, at least they couldn’t recall at all who i was.
Then as the bus was revving up to go finally, all wrapped up for the cold weather even though it was august, and with a burly bodyguard that he was walking behind close enough so that whenever he felt the need to cough it was all over the back of the guys shirt, so I figured he was fighting some sort of flu too HERE CAME ROBIN!
I started the same speech i had used on the other two. ” Hey i bet you don’t remember but i used to come to all your shows thirty years ago with my friend.. and before i could say it he said OH MY GOD its Sherry from Sherry and Shari! I would have known you anywhere!”
The poor guy looked like he had seen a ghost! it was so adorable. and we went to give each other an awkward” dont breathe on me im sick ” sort of hug and all he could do is just keeping his head back and forth saying… “sherry and shari … sherry and shari. i just cant believe it. i cant believe it” and then the body guard rushed him up the steps to the bus and they were gone.
It may not sound like much, but those are the moments that make make me smile and make it all worthwhile
And you better believe next time they come back I will be certain to get to that Meet and Greet.
So Happy Birthday Robin from your old friend 50 percent of Sherry and Shari! I knew you would remember! See you next year