.....a book by one of my favourite authors right now, Pamela Des Barres. Pamela was a famous groupie back in the 70's.
Anyways, I love her books, and have become convinced I was a groupie in a former life. In a thinner, hotter & more exciting past life.
It all started with Aerosmith. (If you do not share my affinity for this particular band, I don't think less of you. You may want to skip this blog posting though. And, you may want to re-consider your musical preferences as I think you'll find they will really enrich your overall happiness. Just my opinion.)
When I was a kid, I remember my Dad had an Aerosmith t-shirt. I don't think he particularly enjoyed their music. And I'm 99% sure he'd never seen them in concert. For all I know he may have picked it up at a thrift store. But that winged logo stayed with me for years.
One of the first cd's I ever bought on my own (I use the term "bought" loosely - this is back in the day when ordering dozens of cd's from mail-in record companies and then never paying for them was pretty much status quo) was the soundtrack to Wayne's World 2. I wanted to original soundtrack but couldn't find it so I settled for the second edition. Featuring, of course, Aerosmith. It's mortifying now, but when I was 12, opening all the windows in the house and playing "Dude Looks Like a Lady" at top volume seemed like the best idea in the world. (It's a good thing I grew up in a very small town, where things like this were generally not thought to be too strange. I did move out the day after my high school graduation though. Onto the big city, small apartments and lesser judgement regarding my love of classic rock bands fronted by men 30 years my senior.)
A little later, I dated a guy who proclaimed himself to be the world's biggest Aerosmith fan. The weird part is, I didn't find this out until after we started hanging out. At one point in high school he had even been the singer for an Aerosmith tribute band. I know, right?! "Love in an Elevator" was totally our song. It's ok. You can laugh. Or be disturbed. Embrace your feelings either way I say. Anywho.....I never told him about the extent of the affinity I had for the same band because I didn't want to steal his thunder. Everyone knew that was "his" band. So I let him have it....until one night over drinks, my childhood best friend, having just been introduced to this guy for the first time, brought up the subject my Aero-love. This guy just looked at me in stunned silence. He had many questions...How come I had never told him?! We had so much in common! It was meant to be! (As it turns out, it was not meant to be. At all. But that is another story altogether.)
While in the end this relationship went down in flames, it did nothing to damper my enthusiasm for Steven Tyler & company. In college, two girlfriends, Shanna, Lisa and I road tripped it to Toronto for the weekend to see Aerosmith play there.
Then, about 5 years ago, I headed home to Ottawa to celebrate my birthday. Of course, Lisa & I had picked up tickets to see Aerosmith that same night. See, they were playing in my hometown on my birthday. (As you'll see, this evening eventually goes down in history as one of the best birthdays ever, and henceforth Lisa & I no longer celebrated my birthday, but instead acknowledged it as Steven Tyler Day.) Anyways, after a big dinner with family & friends, Lisa, her sister & I headed to the show. The first thing Lisa & I did was load up on drinks so we wouldn't have to leave our seats. We're classy like that. With that little task taken care of, the second thing we did was buy matching bright yellow, too-small Aerosmith t-shirts from the merch table. While standing in the concourse, sipping our coolers and admiring our new purchases we were approached by an angel. A real, live angel. Or, maybe this person happened to work with the band's inner circle. Whatever. The point is, this person thought we looked like big fans and that we might be out for a good time. We were handed two tickets to the VIP area front & centre of the stage. No questions asked. Tears were shed. Hugs were exchanged with this wonderful stranger. Then more tears. And screams. Drinks were gathered & spilled and we made our down to the front. That night Steven Tyler held my hand. I swear. Just for a minute. But it felt liketime stopped. My friend, after consuimng 8 vodka coolers, took the more brash approach and lunged toward his waist, and succeeded in..um..groping his inner thigh. More tears were shed. More drinks were consumed. Much dancing and singing and screaming took place. Neither of us had a camera. But it doesn't matter, I didn't need one. Those dear memories, and Steven's tender caress, will be cherished forever as a photo developed in my heart.