I'd always wondered what it would be like to hang out with a big, international rock band. I'd grown up around boys who were more into guitars than cars, and I got into music, metal and moshing at a young age. So, when one of my favorite bands booked a gig in my city, there was no question about it -- I was going.
The only problem was they'd become so popular that their gig was at a stadium rather than one of the smaller venues I preferred, where you could weasel your way to the front (my high school boyfriend taught me how to do this) and practically feel their sweat spray onto you as they head-banged to the beat. I conceded that if I didn't make the effort to go to the stadium, I'd never get to see them live. So, I booked my ticket and off I went.
The concert was everything I'd expected it to be -- large, rowdy and ear-ringingly awesome. It was only slightly less deafening than listening to those same tunes in my car with the volume cranked up to "about to blow a speaker" and singing at the top of my lungs. Toward the end, just before the encore, the lead singer announced where he and the band would be hanging out after the gig. It was a nightclub in town, and I thought to myself, '"Yeah, right. He's just told 20,000 people where he's going to be tonight. I'm sure he won't mind if we all stop by for a drink." I laughed it off and didn't give it another thought... until about 3 a.m.
After partying with my friends at a nearby bar, I was just tipsy enough to pop into the aforementioned club and see if Mr. Rock Star was really there. The voice of reason in my head said, "He's not going to be there. And if he's there, you won't get anywhere near him. And if you get near him, you won't get to talk to him. And if you get to talk to him, you won't get to hang out with him. So, don't even bother." Shhh, voice of reason, you bloody killjoy!
I walked into the club and, much to my surprise, there he was: Mr. Rock Star, drinking with his friends, albeit behind a velvet rope. My heart skipped a beat -- I might actually get to meet one of my idols! As I walked toward him, I had absolutely no idea what I was going to say. I'm not really one of those "I love you. May I please have your autograph... and your babies?" kinds of fans.
The security guard manning the roped-off area shook his head and looked at me with that :as if you're going to get in here" expression. Humph. Just as I was about to give up, I realized I could talk to Mr. Rock Star from across the velvet rope. I asked someone to grab him for me (as though I'd known him my whole life) and struck up a conversation. He invited me join the party and, for the first time ever, I found myself on the fun side of the velvet rope. No need for a T-shirt -- I was well and truly "with the band."
I spent the rest of the evening waiting for something to happen that would make me feel uncomfortable and want to leave. Well, so much for "sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll." I didn't see anyone stripping off, shooting up or tripping out, so I stuck around. We got chauffeured in limousine style from exclusive club to exclusive club and given the VIP treatment. I ended up back at Mr. Rock Star's hotel room with a group of people, drinking fine wine and watching the sun come up over the city from his five-star suite. I'd talked with him, laughed with him and even sung with him. It was quite surreal.
The combination of getting my drink on (hello, free alcohol!) while keeping my wits about me was a smart move, as it allowed me to take it all in and savor every moment while also letting loose and having a good time. Throughout the evening, I found myself being hyper-conscious of keeping my mouth shut -- if you want to party with rocks stars, you can't afford to argue with them or steal their limelight in any way. I wasn't alone. I noticed everyone around Mr. Rock Star would constantly nod and smile and kiss his ass. What a strange parallel universe to live in -- one devoid of honesty, fairness and true friends. It made me a little sad for him. As a result of his success, he had a distorted sense of reality. He was a nice enough guy, but a little cocky, and definitely affected by his fame and fortune. Toward the end of the evening, after we'd had some interesting discussions, I felt confident enough to ask him one burning question:
"Does anyone ever tell you the truth?"
"I'll tell you the truth," he replied, and motioned to my shoes. "Women should wear high heels."
"I'm wearing low heels because I've just been to your concert," I snapped back.
"Doesn't matter. Women should wear high heels," he declared.
You try wearing high heels to a concert, you tool, I thought to myself. But, of course, I just nodded and smiled. Aww, it was our first (and last) fight.
As the experience had already well and truly exceeded expectations, I felt as though it was time to call it a night... or, more accurately, morning. It was 9 a.m. and I was starting to wonder what Mr. Rock Star had in store for me. (Without going into detail, let's just say that sex had been implied.) There were only a couple of people left in the hotel room, and the idea of being alone with him made me feel icky. I didn't want to sleep with him. I loved his music -- not him. And he certainly didn't love, respect or even seem particularly taken by me, so I would have felt used. I announced that it was time for me to go, thanked him for a wonderful evening, gave him a hug and walked out the door... and I've never regretted it. I'm no groupie. And even though I didn't sleep with Mr. Rock Star, I felt well and truly satisfied.