Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Grateful & Blessed - One Music Fan's Feelings

As a lifelong music junkie, I've often been envious of the people I hear about that can travel to and attend multiple concerts by my favorite bands/artists. Now, I'm not saying I haven't done that myself, to a point. In 1990 Depeche Mode could not play in Seattle because of the Goodwill Games, so I traveled to both Vancouver, BC and Portland, OR to see the World Violation tour. And in 2003, I traveled to Portland to see Dave Gahan's Paper Monster tour a night before also seeing him in Seattle. But to travel to multiple shows/states/countries to see an artist play is something that I can't do now - financially or as a parent of a young child.

I thought about it, though, after seeing She Wants Revenge and The Psychedelic Furs live last week, and realized that I have been incredibly fortunate and blessed to have been able to meet and have my picture taken with my favorite artists. This is big for me, as I care so much about music and the role it has played in my life.

In 1990, while in Portland for the DM show, a friend and I got the opportunity to meet and photograph Bon Harris from Nitzer Ebb (they opened for DM). Of curse we didn't think to ask if we could take pictures with him, so I don't have a picture of me with him, just a picture of him alone. He was very nice and later waved at us and pointed us out to Douglas McCarthy as they walked past us into the stadium during sound checks.

In 2003, at the Portland show of the Paper Monsters tour, I got to meet Kenna (who opened for Dave Gahan). At that time I just got to talk to him and had him sign my cd insert. But the next night, back home in Seattle, my husband and I got the opportunity to talk to him both before and after the show. At our encounter after the show, a friend of ours took a picture of us with Kenna. Jump forward to 2007 and Kenna opening for She Wants Revenge. To our great surprise, when we went to say hi to Kenna and have him sign my t-shirt, he remembered us. 4 years later, Kenna remembered us. How awesome is that? Again, we got to have our picture taken with him.

In 2005 the most amazing thing happened - thanks to my husband, my friend Stephanie and I got to go backstage to meet Depeche Mode at a meet & greet before their Touring The Angel Seattle show. Steph and I were amazed enough to have gotten 4th row seats to the show. But to get to meet the band - I don't think you could wipe the shocked smiles off of our faces the whole day/evening. It was brief, but magical. Dave, Martin, and Andy are even more beautiful in person and were very warm and friendly. Stephanie and I even got hugs from Andy!

In April of this year, I got to have my picture taken with Io and Leo of Io Echo. I've been a huge fan of them since 2007 when I saw them open for Kenna and SWR. I got to briefly meet Joanna (Io) at that show and she signed my cd cover. I've followed them since, and was given the wonderful gift (by Joanna) of being put on their guest list when they played in Denver, opening for A Place To Bury Strangers and The Big Pink. After their set, I went up to the merchandise booth and got to talk to Joanna for a bit. She is such a sweetheart and seriously one of the nicest people I've met. She and Leo took a picture with me, which was awesome.

Finally, last week, after missing out on seeing She Wants Revenge for years (yes, even though I saw Io Echo and Kenna open for SWR in '07, I missed their performance because we had to leave - crummy, I know), I FINALLY got to see them live, thanks to Adam from SWR. He, like Joanna, gave me the most amazing gift of putting me on the guest list. After being completely in awe of their live set, I got to meet and thank Adam in person for putting me on the list. And, of course, I got a picture with him.

I think I've finally gotten over my envy of people with money, who have the ability to save money, and have the time, or the ability to make time, to see their favorite artists multiple times on a tour. Because, quite honestly, I'm proud of opportunities I have had and am more than thankful for each and every one of them. I'm sure to some out there, the meetings I've had are miniscule to what they've done and who they've met. But to me, they mean the world and I couldn't be happier with the experiences I have been blessed with. I loved all of these artists before meeting them, so they were all special moments that I will never forget.

If you don't know these artists, here are some links for them all:
Depeche Mode
Nitzer Ebb
Io Echo
She Wants Revenge (who also have a shop on Zazzle, btw - She Wants Revenge)

I thank them and the other people involved in our meetings and photo ops. You won't find a more grateful or devoted fan.

Thanks for reading from Rdwnggrl's World!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Pleasures Remain, So Does The Pain

...words are meaningless and forgetable.

Yes, those are Depeche Mode lyrics. No, that's not really a surprise coming from me. But there is a significance to using lyrics from Enjoy The Silence.
ETS was released in 1990. Another thing released in 1990 - me - from school. This year marks my 20 year high school reunion. It's a hard number to swallow at times, because I don't feel that old, and sometimes it just doesn't seem that long ago that the pleasures and pain of high school took place. My reunion doesn't take place until September, so I'm hoping that between now and then I can come up with the money to go back home and (let me) take (you on) a trip (around the world and) back to see everyone again. The Depeche Mode lyrical inspiration just never dies - not even after all of these years. That's one of things the people I went to junior high and high school with probably still remember about me - even if they don't remember anything else.

I worked at a record store during my senior year of high school - a dangerous place for a music junkie. I was on the yearbook staff (boy did we get some flack with the 89/90 yearbook). I was in drama and I filled up on art classes throughout all of junior and senior high. 20 years later I'm still a music junkie and I still love art. I love to be creative and create. My days on the stage, however, ended with my high school career.

So much has changed in our country in the last 20 years.
Gas in 1990 averaged $1.34 - oh to have those days again!
A new home averaged $123,000. Now you're lucky to get a total fixer upper for that!
George H.W. Bush was the US President and in 1990 his "no new taxes" statement from 2 years earlier went completely out the door.
We entered Operation Dessert Storm in 1990.
Ghost, Home Alone, Edward Scissorhands, and Pretty Woman were popular movies.

It's easy to long for the simpler days of youth sometimes. Spending my formative years in the 80s was an adventure and while I'd never want to go back for good to relive it, I certainly wouldn't mind a visit - and I especially wouldn't mind some of those prices again!

However young or old you are - cherish each and every day. Respect the people who come in and out of your life - even if you disagree with them. Their influence for the good and their differences that make you think will shape you and the person you become. And even if you hated school with every ounce of your being, consider revisiting your past when your high school reunions arrive. Thanks to Facebook I am in contact again with people I used to be friends with but lost touch with. And I'm now acquaintances and friends with people I knew but didn't exactly hang out with 20 years ago. Life is a roller coaster, school is a necessary evil, and growing up in inevitable (maturity, on the hand, is an option...lol). Learn from it, grow with it, and carry on!

Happy 20 years KM Class of 1990 and GO ROYALS!

Thanks for reading from Rdwnggrl's World!