Something I haven’t mentioned much of yet is my love of music and my past life as a total hair band groupie. (Aside: For you older/younger folks, that does not mean that I had a thing for wisps of ribbon in my hair…think Metallica, Aerosmith, Whitesnake, Winger et al…if you don’t know who they are, maybe you just wanna sit this one out. )
You see, in my life, I have had three serious (if you can call them that) careers. In the 80’s-90’s, I worked in record stores (Youngsters, those are places where they sold music, recorded on a laaaaarge vinyl disk…think Empire Records). In the late 90’s, I was a floral designer. And in the 2000’s, I worked for a law firm as a records administrator (not the same kind of records…but kinda ironic just the same) Now days, I work as an administrative assistant at a florist and I listen to music a lot. Go figure.
This blog goes back to some of the best times of my life, the wild, wonderful 80’s! The music industry in Pittsburgh in the 80’s was pretty interesting. We had only two major record chains, Camelot Music (now mostly F.Y.E. locations) and National Record Mart (NRM). This was way before “big box” stores like Best Buy, Circuit City and Wal-Mart rolled in and took over. And waaaaay before the iPod, Amazon.com and digital downloading. The huge scandal at the time was the labeling of “explicit” material and whether you could, in fact, make an exact copy of a CD. The horror!
Anyway, because retail locations in Pittsburgh were so limited, we received a lot of attention from record labels and radio stations. This was TOTALLY AWESOME for a teeny bopper/20-something, because we got tickets to EVERYTHING! And with those tickets came BACK STAGE PASSES! I am the first one to admit that I completely led a charmed life and was utterly, unabashedly spoiled rotten. My best friend and I went to see absolutely everyone we could think of and met most of them. The moment we knew we were way too spoiled was the time we were standing backstage at a Skid Row concert and weren’t particularly thrilled with meeting Sebastian Bach (he had just had his bottle throwing incident on that tour). We looked at one another and went, “we’re outta here.” Afterward, I said, “did we seriously just walk out of a backstage meet & greet?” We both just shook our heads and laughed.
I figure I’ve met just about everyone I’ve ever wanted to in the rock & roll business. There are a few megastars that I never had a chance to see/meet. But all things considered, I can’t complain one bit. I just found my scrapbook of ticket stubs, and though I didn’t count them, I did see a few that I don’t even remember being at the show (I saw Sting twice??)! Others though, I remember a little too well (Richard Marx?? What a jerk!). Hahaha! (Okay, for my potty-brained friends…you KNOW I didn’t do that so don’t even go there. It was just far too much alcohol in most cases!)
So, I figure I’ll publish a more complete list later. In the meantime, here are some highlights:
- Aerosmith – First saw them at the beginning of Permanent Vacation, just before their comeback. They were awesome, friendly and Steven Tyler was hilarious (and HOT!) He was eating pistachios and his speaking voice was so raspy, I thought he had laryngitis. I asked if he was feeling okay and he rasped loudly, “OH NO! CANCEL THE TOUR!”
I’m on the left, wearing a Camelot sweatshirt. Hey, gotta represent the company! (I was such a dork). My BFF is behind me and my sister, between Steven Tyler and me. I was pissed, but her grin made it worth not standing next to him. We saw them three or more four times and went backstage a total of I think three. I have pictures from the others somewhere, but this one was the best.
- Whitesnake – Steve Vai was playing guitar with them then. He would appear in several more back stage events, but we definitely drooled all over him during this one. David Coverdale is so tall, he towered over me. My hair was so big, I looked taller, but then again, so was his. Ha-ha! Seriously though, the dude is like 6’4″ and I was 4’10”. ❤
- Van Halen – Monsters of Rock tour (festival at 3 Rivers Stadium) – Sammy Hagar had already replaced David Lee Roth. I remember them being jerks. All of them except for Michael Anthony. There’s a group picture out there somewhere. I don’t remember ever getting it.
- David Lee Roth – Eat ‘Em & Smile, Skyscraper and Dirty Little Secret tours. He was always funny and actually had conversations with us. Steve Vai was his guitarist so my BFF was in heaven again (she was into the guitar gods…me, front men). Again there are pictures, but I have no idea where. I do still have my passes and autographs though. ❤ ❤
- Don Henley – End of the Innocence Tour – Ok…not a hair band, but still…it was fricken Don Henley! He was very southern gentlemanly. Signed a huge promo poster for me in gold paint pen. It hung, framed in my living room for years, but disappeared when I got divorced. 😦 Still…nice guy. Too galactic superstar for my taste though.
- Black Crowes – Shake Your Money Maker tour – Chris Robinson was very talkative, his brother Rich was doodling. I asked what he was drawing and he turned it to show me and actually sort of smiled at me. It was a “moment”.
Okay, so this is long and only a bit of the fun I had. If I knew then what I know now…… Whew! That would be an entirely different story (and I’d be writing a book!)