Firefly Pointer Fiberglass Jacket: Through Any Weather: Finally Meeting Joan Jett

Monday, July 7, 2014

Through Any Weather: Finally Meeting Joan Jett

 All of us have those idols we scribble down on our bucket lists to meet. Since I've been a kid two things have ruled my life: Star Wars and Rock n Roll. From a young age I took a hard mental note on who were my all time favorite rock stars and the ones I had to meet before I croaked. July 6th 2014 I was able to cross off my favorite rock and roll goddess....Joan Jett.

One of the best things about working in music and with "music people" are the connections you build. I'm not talking business, but that too,  just connections (in the "hippie dippy" way). A few years ago as many of you know I started working with The Gits, which was without getting too cheesy here, life changing. About two Summers ago Steve (from the Gits) contacted me inviting me to a Joan Jett show. Long story short, due to traffic I arrived too late to the concert. I was like a sad kid watching the show end and the concert clear out. I missed the show and missed getting backstage. As I stood there in a dissipating crowd and plastic cups every few inches I felt so shitty for missing Joan Jett. On the other hand, I felt more determined than ever, I've seen Joan Jett live many times but I was hell bent on meeting her.

  Fast forward to 2014 and Steve calls me out of the blue with an invite and a VIP pass. This time he and his wife offered to come get me which made a huge difference in my ability to get there. When Steve told me I basically went silent on the phone, thinking of how I've felt throughout my life and how I felt 2 Summer's ago. It was time to make this happen...through any weather. We arrived to the fair grounds early, which happened to be the last day of the fair for the rest of the year. We pretty easily got our passes and found the backstage entrance. I was starting to feel nervous, all this lifetime of fandom and build up and there I stood donning my VIP sticker.

 I saw Joan walk by to the tent and backstage. My first impression of her was that she was so short. Not to be rude at all, and not that I expected her to be tall, but she's even shorter and more petite than I thought. I think of myself as small and skinny and I felt like a giant compared to her. But she had an undeniable presence just walking down the grass in her shiny black and leather. We went up to her and Steve introduced me, which I asked him to do. I figured that way I wasn't just some chick standing there like a dummy. When she asked my name and put her hand on my back I froze. It took me a minute and her asking again for me to say "Becca." Then I instantly had an "IDIOT" feeling because I wont lie...I'm trying to maintain my cool but I can't even say my name.

 She got a couple of pictures with me and I wanted to ask for her autograph before I lost the chance. In these situations I always try to observe what's going on. I don't have a lot to say but I love being a fly on the wall for these kind of things. Stage crew, the manager, roadies, friends and family were all calling out her name and vying for her attention. Nothing at all wrong or abnormal about it--it just made me not want to push it. Suddenly she came over to me and took some time to autograph my BTD logo and sign. Once again, I stood there stunned being Mr.Cool. At this point in my life after meeting a lot of "famous rock stars" and what not I just think it's easier to own it. I try to be polite and cool when I meet these people, but often times I come across and quiet or awkward. This is something I just can't help, maybe I'll grow out of it? Until then I'm just gonna keep being awkward me when meeting rock stars. Rarely am I ever able to come across "cool."  About the only suave thing I was able to pull of tonight was flirting with the Black Hearts. I think I did well with that.

Joan Jett's signature on my BTD logo!

  Steve and Joan stood and chatted before the show, with me standing there smiling like a big dope. The sound check guys finished their thing and it was about 7:30. Joan had to leave and prepare to walk on stage. I can't remember who it was but one of her staff told us we could go sit inside. I was expecting to sit at the side of the stage...and I was stoked about that. Low and behold our "seats" were ON THE STAGE we were literally sitting on amps and equipment next to the sound board guy (which was kosher). We were all surprised (me the most). My immediate reaction while walking on stage to sit on an amp was "HEEEYYYYY PEOPLE!" and I started to wave to everyone. I couldn't believe where I was....let alone what had just happened. Joan's staff and the fair people were super nice to us! I kept thinking I was going to get in trouble for singing, dancing or taking pictures....but none of that happened.

Just to give you an idea of how close our seats were! Right behind the sound guy ON the stage!

Check out my videos here!

 As we sat on stage Joan and the Blackhearts entered the stage, Steve turned to me and said "What do you think the first song'll be?" I was like "I dunno" and he said "Bad Reputation" my guess was she'd end the night with "I love rock and roll." Joan and the Blackhearts opened with Bad Reputation and went on with a stellar set of all the hits and new songs from "Un-Varnished." Sitting on the stage I had a great view of the audience. I could see all their faces, all the dancing and joy. I even saw some folks who were hilariously dancing and I thought "Youtube gold" but chose not to film them (but at least I can commit them to memory). I saw so many people who looked just like me. All I could think was "You all look like you could be my friend" as if I were looking out onto an ocean of my people. 

From my view.

Me in the background from the audience view.

 Obviously I've always been in the audience, and only ever had the fan view. This time I literally got a different point of view that gave me a sort of love for humanity. I love rock and roll was at the end of the set but not the last song. They came out for an encore and did "Everyday people" and another song. Not to brag, but it was nice to feel special and privileged during the show. I'm not saying my life isn't great and I'm not grateful, but even in everyday life and through out I have often felt unheard and invisible. Things like this make it hard to feel invisible. As we walked out after the show I ran into some girls who looked like they teenagers. It was obvious right away by the look in their eye that they wanted something from me. "Did you meet Joan Jett?" the tallest girl asked. "Yeah" I replied.

"I see you got a VIP pass. You wanna party with us?" she said in a teenage monotone voice. I kinda laughed and said I couldn't because I was with a group of friends. She continued and to me the whole thing was kind of hilarious. They went up to me acting like they knew me and tried to use me to get backstage to meet Joan even though I knew and just told them she left. That was a pretty great way to end the gave me a good laugh and a good feeling strangely. It felt like High School again, but this time I was the 'popular person' and thankfully mature enough to just keep walking with my friends plenty content it what has happened.

Made these guitar picks into earrings! Got these from the band. 

1 comment :

Deborah Fischer said...

So how short do you think Joan is ?

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