The same thing has happened at shows. For many years, I sat in the back. I couldn’t have hoped to afford a seat on the floor, much less near the front. So I’d sit in my treasured nosebleeds, jam to the music, and to be honest – I wouldn’t even bother trying to see where so-and-so in the band was looking. Didn’t matter, because from my seat in the rafters, it surely wasn’t coming my way! I can remember being thrilled if I could actually make out their faces without the help of binoculars! The only thing that kept me going to the shows back then WAS the music, and in some ways, I was probably better off. But, as the years went by and my income rose out of the depths of despair, I was able to afford better tickets. By the reunion shows, I was up in *gasp* 16th row! Not close enough to actually exchange glances, but I was able to make out John’s eyebrows and watch desperate fans vie for the attention of the band, and I could see their excited faces turn towards one another in triumphant glee when someone looked their way. At the time, I really hadn’t had so much of an opportunity for this to happen, so I was intrigued. What did it feel like to have Simon really look at you and smile, or to have John raise his eyebrow – you know exactly what I mean by that, or to even have Andy nod your way? I didn’t know, but I wanted to find out.
Time flew by, and I tried over and over again for better seats. Eventually, I did as many others have, and bought VIP. My first really close seat was in Chicago of 2005. I was in the third row on John’s side. Nothing could have prepared me for that concert. Nothing. I really don’t think I slept for a week before the night of the show, I was so excited – and yet at the time I didn’t even know where I’d be sitting. (back then, tickets were handed out the night of the show and you didn’t know where your VIP seats would be until you got there – something I had always absolutely hated.) When I saw that we were third row, I was thrilled. I mean, front row seemed completely out of the question, and I was happy to just be anywhere NEAR the front. So we got to our seats, and I could feel those familiar butterflies in my stomach, indicating the amount of endorphins coursing through my veins. We were so close! Then the heartbeat started…and the five (well, four actually, Andy was not there…and people wonder why I’m a Dom girl? He’s been there since nearly the beginning of my most recent madness!!!) made their way to the front of the stage and just stood there. I nearly came out of my skin. I couldn’t take a picture, I couldn’t stand still, and I really couldn’t put a clear thought together. All this before they played a single note.
The truth is, I don’t remember much from that night. I don’t remember any of them really looking my way, that is for sure. I saw John smile at a few other girls though, and I did see a red-haired guy standing WAYYYYY off to the side across the stage in the darkness….but that’s really all I remember from that night. It wasn’t until the next night in Milwaukee that I first got my taste of real insanity culminating from being noticed.
The following night, we went to a show in Milwaukee at the Riverside Theater. (I’m always amazed that I can remember the name of the theater I saw the band…but I can’t seem to recall what I was supposed to buy at the grocery store without a list. Anyone else??) I don’t know what row we were in, but it was not 3rd row, that is for sure. On that night though, a few of us proudly wore light-up horns (a since-retired tradition). We had them on throughout the show, and during a particular moment during The Chauffeur, we saw Roger and Dave Casillas (Dave is their security guy) backstage. Dave was pointing at us…and for whatever stupid reason, I waved. Like an idiot, I waved…because yeah, like Roger Taylor was going to see me out of the sea of fans in the audience?? Stupid, right? Well, Roger waved back. I nearly died. It was truly a nanosecond, but for that single nanosecond, I actually existed in his world. OUR world. I couldn’t believe it!! After the show we raced around to the side of the building and I stood there, horns on head, sign in hand (I had a sign for Roger) and when they came out and got in their cars to leave – Roger saw my sign, pointed, and waved to me. Well, I thought it was to me. Surely it must have been. Yes, there were many others around me…but I had a sign!! (as did plenty of others, as it turns out.) You get my point. It matters.
Those moments are important, and they make a huge difference. Let’s face it – these are guys that plenty of us have had occupying space on our bedroom walls for years. To have one of them come to life in front of you and actually see, even for that very tiny brief second, that you’re alive – well, it’s tantamount to a miracle, isn’t it? That’s what it feels like. I think there’s also a certain amount of “Wait. He couldn’t have. He didn’t really…he didn’t actually wink at ME, did he?” It’s so unbelievable that you can’t really believe it. Yet we do believe it…and to be honest, we want everyone else to believe it as well. I remember when DDM was first getting started, or even my own message board at DDF – people would post photos of themselves with the band, and the rest of us would get so excited. I think that at least at the beginning, part of the reason people would post those photos was to show that yes, it really did happen!! Up until that time, I know I didn’t see many pictures of fans with band members – how could we? These message boards though, they provided an avenue for sharing things like that. I don’t know if I was ever really jealous…but sure, I was envious. Who wouldn’t be? Not only are you getting that second of being noticed, of existing in the same space as a band member – now you’ve got photographic, permanent evidence. A fantastic souvenir of a memory. So not only can you tell the story, but you can show the photos and now everyone else will believe it happened as well. It matters!
Nowadays, we need not only rely on in-person smiles, nods, photos and even for the lucky few – hugs. We have social networking. Twitter. Facebook. I see fans wanting that acknowledgment on an almost daily basis. I have to admit, I often wonder what the big deal about getting a RT is – so many will ask a celebrity to RT them, and so they do – simply recopying the message and adding the RT, it seems silly to me, but to those people, it matters. That tiny bit of attention, the acknowledgment that yes, we all are on the same planet and have the possibility of interaction, is important. There are those who jump on Facebook, Twitter and various other types of media in hopes of trading a note with any one of them – even I do. Anyone who knows me is probably aware that I’ve tweeted Dom before. I’ve also posted very excited (and silly) notes on his facebook page telling him that once again, I have scored tickets on HIS side of the stage. Why on earth would I be so stupid (and possibly crazy) to even bother? Good question, and one that I ask myself sometimes – usually while I’m in the middle of tweeting Dom. (My apologies, Mr. Brown) I suppose on one hand I write for comedic relief. I figure that I’m not hurting anyone, and goodness knows I don’t actually expect for anyone to answer me! On the other hand though, I figure that if I don’t at least put myself out there from time to time, there’s no way to know whether or not I’d ever have a chance at being noticed/acknowledged/recognized. I don’t know whether anyone actually reads their tweets or not…but let me tell you a story that I still wince about from time to time, and this should probably either convince you all that I’m still very much a fan like anyone else, or you’ll be convinced that I need to spend some QT in a psych ward. Or both!
Around this time last year – give or take several weeks, a show for Durham, North Carolina went on sale. As soon as it was announced I was telling Amanda that there was no way I could go. Several days later, we bought tickets to that show because we are sick and desperate people. I immediately bounced on over to Dom’s Facebook page and left a post saying that I was going to the show and that once again – our seats were on his side of the stage. Now, as I wrote that very post, I knew in my head that he probably wouldn’t read it – but I was being silly and I didn’t really care. I figured other friends WOULD read it though, and then we’d chat. Well, not long after I posted, someone decided to be mean. Some guy, whom I do not know nor have ever spoken to, replied that poor Dom must get sick of these frumpy middle-aged American women posting on his Facebook page. I have to tell you – my first reaction was to be mortified. Completely and totally mortified. It’s the kind of thing I’ve heard before, unfortunately from people I care about – and it plays into every last insecurity I have. I wanted to go and erase my post and never, EVER post again. I mean, not only did friends see that response, but I knew that Dom himself would see the response if he actually read his page. That was truly embarrassing for me. I have not trouble acting as though I don’t care here online, but if you knew me in person, you would know that is not the case. As I sat there thinking about this jerk and what he said to me, I got mad. Really mad. My Italian temper came to roost in a major way, right beside my injured pride. Perhaps in real life I have a hard time standing up for myself, but there was no reason to allow this one person the pleasure of knowing he got to me. I was going to go back there and stand up for not only myself, but for the other fans out there that excitedly post. I can’t have this jerk take our moments away from us… So I went back and I let him have it with words, and not long after – so did a few others, including a few people that I truly admire. I have no way of knowing whether Dom ever saw that post, but I *do* know he saw me at the show that night in Durham, and yes – I did get noticed, and it definitely mattered. Not long after that show was over, I flew back home to California. I spent my time trying to keep updated with the news from Nick (he was ill and the tour was possibly ending), and one evening I was on Twitter after it was announced that the tour was in fact ending. As I watched my twitter feed roll, I saw a tweet from Dom, basically saying that he was sorry it ended but that he had a great time. Then he sent something thanking the fans, and that we were incredible – we knew who we were, but that we were incredible. I gasped in surprise. Well surely that was to me. I mean, there’s only what – five gazillion people on Twitter and all as it turns out, and I’m pretty sure that every single seat (at least the ones in the front) were all taken every single night of the entire tour, even the ones in front of Dom, and he probably winked, smiled and handed picks to thousands of people on tour… but hey – I was there….along with all of you….so I think it was to me, erm…all of us…right??
(I hope you got the sarcasm there. I am not nearly that self-assured. Truly not.)