Google Something Clever 2.0: And You Thought Sneaking Backstage Was Impressive

Jul 16, 2013

And You Thought Sneaking Backstage Was Impressive

Remember when I bragged about sneaking backstage at Cake? And you all thought I was so bad ass? I've done one better.

Nothing between me and the stage but a "Monkey Man"
Last Thursday was my birthday, which I'm sure you know, since I wouldn't shut up about it. And I guess The Specials knew, too, because they decided to reunite and perform at my favorite venue, the House of Blues in Boston (they're not paying me, by the way).

I recalled getting a little guff from you people when I stayed about five heads back at Rancid last month because I was worried about breaking my phone, so I decided to show off and get right up front. I made sure to get proof.


My son had been giving me crap for weeks because I wasn't bringing him. He's a huge fan. But he's four, and that's a little young to be staying up until midnight getting his hearing damaged. I promised I'd buy him something and try to get it autographed. Unfortunately, I brought a black Sharpie, and they only white merch they had were a ladies' shirt (I mean, it even said "rude girl" on it) and a big-ass men's polo. So as soon as the band left the stage, I started hollering at the roadie who was cleaning up. "Sir!" I yelled, "It's my birthday! Can I please have a set list?" Nailed it. I think the "sir" really sold it. I don't imagine roadies get called "sir" very often. Then we met up with my autograph collector friend Mike in the alley behind the club to stalk the band.

We hung out by the bus for a few minutes, chatting and trying to look casual, when a different roadie emerged from the bus with a crate of beer and snacks. As he passed me, he handed me a can of Heineken and said, "Happy birthday." Um, what? Apparently, "sir" goes a long way!

Fun fact: "Ghost Town" is actually about my FACE
So now I have a beer, and it's a lot easier to look casual (remember my tip about stealing soda from Cake?). I'd already had a few during the show, too, so I was able to contain myself when Lynval (rhythm guitar and back-up vocals) walked out of the club. I didn't even squeal, guys. I did, however, run to the bus.

I let Mike go first, because he's a professional. He had a couple records he needed to get signed. Then, I elbowed everyone else out of the way and gushed to Lynval about what a great show it was, big fan, blah blah blah, and asked him to sign the set list for the boy because he was mad at me for not bringing him. He signed it, and then reached into his pocket and produced a guitar pick. He told me to give it to the boy. How sweet is that?

I thanked him and went back to the sidewalk. A few minutes later, a third charming British roadie came out of the bus with another can of beer for me. "From the boys," he said, gesturing to the bus. I looked up and I could make out a few smiling faces though the tinted windows, all waving at me. "Happy birthday!" Are you kidding me? I wasn't even wearing a miniskirt or anything!

I look like I'm more into the beer than the rock star.

The next half hour was more of the same. Horace (bass) was very gracious and hung out with fans outside for quite a while. He was just tickled pink when I told him that the boy's favorite song is "Nite Klub." So much so, that when Brad (drums) came out, and I asked him to sign the set list for my son, Horace popped up and interjected, "His favorite song's 'Nite Klub'!" Another beer from the boys. Roddy (lead guitar) came out last. Somehow, I didn't get a picture, but I got the set list signed...

Now, all I needed was Terry, the lead singer (who, by the way, still sounds like he's 20 years old when he sings). We waited. And waited. And waited. There were murmurs in the crowd that he'd already left. But how the hell could he have left already? We'd come outside as soon as the show was over.

Yes, my cheeks hurt from smiling so hard.
Another roadie got off the bus and stood alone in the alley, smoking a cigarette. I sidled up to him and started chatting. His name was Marcos. "So, listen," I asked him, "do you know when Mr. Hall is coming out?" He told me he'd already left. "Oh, you have to tell me that, right? Did he really?" He said he'd left in a cab as soon as he walked off stage. Fuck.

I told him I'd been hoping to get the last autograph for the boy. He offered to take my set list back to the hotel, have Terry sign it, and mail it back to me tomorrow. Wow, really? Then my husband came along. He was a little drunk. He said didn't believe that we'd really get the set list back. Marcos was clearly annoyed, and said he had to get back to the bus. He offered me another beer, though, so I followed.

I was standing at the door when another roadie appeared and asked what I was doing there. I told him Marcos was getting me a beer. He invited me into the bus.

He invited me into the Specials' tour bus.


Husband's-eye-view of me disappearing onto the bus
You're damn right, I said yes. I climbed the stairs and saw the band and the roadies all sitting around, eating pizza. "Hey, it's the birthday girl!" called one of them. I made my intentions clear up front: "Hey guys! Just so you know, I'm not going to be giving out any blow jobs!" And they still let me stay! Classy guys, those Brits.

Apparently, my husband had seen me getting on to the bus, and he was now hanging around by the door. Another roadie came up and asked him if he was "the husband." He said yes, and they let him on, too.

We were in the front half of the bus. Marcos was nowhere to be found. My husband told the others what happened with the set list. They said that Marcos was a great guy, and he totally would have gotten Terry's autograph and sent it back to us, but not anymore, because he'd pissed him off. Damn it.

And that's when they told him to stop taking pictures






We hung out for maybe fifteen minutes, and then someone mentioned that the bar down the street was doing karaoke. Three roadies, my husband, and I decided to go check it out. I tried to get Lynval to join us, but he needed his beauty sleep.

We stayed at the bar for one drink, and then my husband dragged me away. He thought the roadies were "only after one thing." With me. A thirty-something mom. How cute is it that he still thinks I'm hot enough to be mistaken for a groupie?

I guess I'll forgive him for blowing my chances with Marcos.