Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sometimes I wonder if Beagle remembers if his blog exists....

But he has a wife that blathers so prolifically it really matters not. She also has access to many many friends that love the both of them and find it wildly entertaining that she wants them to guest blog on his blog rather than hers. How wonderful! Recently one of these lovely compadres was moving and came across a ticket. Such a benign little thing but it had memories. Ah, perfect stuff for a blog post, thank you Anna for the blast from the past....

July 2008, I'm standing in line to get one of 100 autographs of Hiro Mashima for my nine year old son. It seems my son has a love of many things, including the Manga series FairyTale, written and illustrated my Hiro Mashima. I am striving to be elected parent of the year, and have obtained a ticket , and am standing in line with people ten years my junior , most wearing costumes, myself terribly out of place.

While standing in line, the next autograph section over starts filling people with an amazing speed. In walks a beautiful woman with flame red hair, and a beautiful black dress with an upright collar. Who is it?? Why is everyone in that line my own age? The moment my mind realizes who she is, I'm transported.

August 1992.. Sixteen years ago.

Many of us had yet to leave home, did not have cars we had to pay for, or take care of, we didn't buy groceries, and heaven forbid, we did not have an email address.

(How many do you have now? I think I have five!)

What many of us did have, and still do, was a love for music.

Sure, our tastes have changed over the years. Occasionally that song that was passé years ago will play and we're mentally transported to another moment. The sights, smells are as real as the day the memory was made.

For me, one of those days is August 26th, 1992.

On that day, I saw my idol of the moment ; Tori Amos. Fresh into the world promoting her first album, Little Earthquakes. She had played once before in San Diego, in a tiny club called the Bacchanal; and now, she was playing at UCSD. In an auditorium! Not a giant concert venue, an auditorium. I had to be there. Without regret, I found a way to get tickets, and convinced the Beagle to attend with myself.

Memories are funny things. The whole evening isn't crystal clear, merely snippets.

Tori's birthday is the 22nd of August, we saw her four days later. People walked flowers up to the edge of the stage, and sat back down.

I don't remember it being a loud raucous event, calm patrons of the arts. Ironic considering our personal ages at the time, 23 and 19; as well as the artist. Calm is not a word that typically describes her.

Her piano had some issues as I recall. It was either replaced or repaired while we waited. Those details are sparse. I know that according to historical information on her she performed solo with a Yamaha CP-80 unless the venue was able to provide a piano for the entire Little Earthquake tour. What I remember is that she was delayed from starting on time.

At one point she sat on a stool facing the audience to tell her story, and sing, a cappella, Me and a Gun. Words will never describe the moments of an intimate setting, with a victim sharing their pain.

Overall she was an amazing sight to see. Flailing on the piano bench, looking for all the world as if she would fall off at any moment.

I remember thinking that she wore the strangest shoes… but now, I don't remember what they were.

And she told stories. Tons of stories. She would sit there and talk to this group of people, and tell them things… that even in the next four of her concerts I attended, could ever be rivaled.

The most vivid? The Rod Stewart story.

There is a species of hoofed animal, a deer, the black tailed deer, I believe she said. The Black Tailed deer has a color pattern on its ass. This, in her thinking, shows the deer where to aim when they wants to copulate.

To her, Rod Stewart, is this animal. He has these same markings as this animal.

(Or she needs these markings so he can find her. I realize now that this story makes no sense logically)

To see, and hear this woman, that I admired, talk about zeroing in on a rock stars ass, chat with the masses, and perform without seemingly breaking a sweat.. was amazing. Something that was seared into my memory.

I attended a panel at Comic Con 08 because she was attending. I wanted to be there beyond everything else. My staff made their own sacrifices for me, and I appreciate that.

Promoting a book of comics based on her songs, she did not have the bulk of the speaking time. It was a session where you never know who would speak next.

When she did speak, I was enthralled, just as much as I was sixteen years ago. I wasn't as close to the stage, or to her, I was far off to the side; and I am sure the crowd was larger, but I came full circle. And Beagle, you were the first person I thought of.

*My ticket stub is on a page from the new book; Comic Book Tattoo by Image Comics.

The piece is Leather, originally released on the Little Earthquakes album, illustrated by John Bivens.


Death before Decaf! said...

I remember that concert well.
It was my first real exposure to Tori. Actually...not only did Anna introduce me to Tori, but also Clannad.

That show was, incidentally, the first and only time I heard Tori perform her cover of Led Zeppelin's "Thank You" which was extraordinary in the truest sense of the word.

Beautiful and fucking epic.

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