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Tuesday, 13 October 2015

The BEST Story EVER.



What you are about to read is a miraculous true story about how I learned: If you put your mind to something you can really get exactly what you want and sometimes more.

It was the kind of day you look out the window and the weather does not entice you to come outside. Kind of dreary looking, grey with occasional drizzle, sort of chilly and muddy. I had just gotten off work and had received a message from my boyfriend at the time (Now my husband) Caesar. Caesar is a well known busker that has for many years dressed up as what ever rock and roll act comes to town. He dons a costume and plays outside shows for fans who like to take pictures with him and enjoy an up close, pre show of some of the tunes they will get to hear inside.
This particular day Caesar was planning to busk outside of the Metallica show on Citadel hill. Neither of us could afford the whopping $125 ticket price. So Caesar had suggested we both watch from the outside after he busked or maybe we would get lucky and score some cheap/free tickets as sometimes he does while busking.

I managed to convince my roommate at the time Meghan, to come with me to rock out with Caesar and watch from outside the fence.
When we got there Caesar was standing on a black bookshelf he had fashioned into a stage, with his initials CZR and 2 lightening bolts spray painted in silver on the side. He was in a power stance, with his guitar, dressed as a mix between Dave Mustaine and James Hetfield, belting out Metallica tunes to the line up of people waiting to go in. As I watched him brighten up everyones day and bring smiles to all the faces, I felt a tapping on my shoulder. A man wearing a live 105 Jacket had appeared out of no where and whispered to me: "Do you guys have tickets?" (Referring to Myself and Meghan) "No, are you selling tickets? or are you looking to get some?" I replied. He ignored my reply and asked in a whisper voice "Are you both over 19?". "Yes, yes we are." The guy wasted no time and handed both me and my roommate FREE tickets, told us they were the last 2 and to enjoy the show.

I could hardly believe it, we both jumped up and down like little kids but then I realized that Caesar and some other friends who had now gathered with us to watch from outside, did not have tickets. We decided after some thought, to sell our Free tickets to some well deserving Metallica fans in the line up, for a discounted price. After all we would still see the show from the outside and we would be among friends.

You would think that this story couldn't get much better than that. IT DOES….

As we stood enjoying the Pre-show, two young ladies gleefully holding hands, came up from behind me and seemed intrigued that I was having such a wicked time rocking out to Caesar as he busked. One of them spoke up and asked me, "Is that your dad?". I wasn't thrown off by the question too much, as I realized they were young and to them our age difference was rather apparent. I replied "No actually, that is my boyfriend." The girl who had spoken seemed shocked and said "Really?" I said, "Yes." Then the second girl as if I was joking asked "Really?". Again in a calm and serious manner I replied, "Yes, he is my boyfriend." To which they both in sync Replied: "COOOL!"  As confused as I was by their final conclusion and that they both replied in stereo as if it were a programmed response, I shrugged it off and went back to rocking out. The girls joined us for a short time and before leaving to get a cab, asked if I was going in to see the show. I told them I didn't have a ticket and one of the girls proceeded to take off a brightly coloured wrist band that said STAFF on it. She told me she was working the early shift at the event, was now off for the day, then suggested that I try and get in with her bracelet. I thanked her, put it in my pocket, thinking sarcastically: 'As if that will ever work'.
Caesar packed up his gear and we all headed to watch the last opening band from outside the fence. I told everyone about the bracelet and said "I have to try. If I get in I'll see you all later, if I don't I will see you in a couple of minutes." In reality, I seriously thought it was funny and there was NO WAY it would work. I approached the gate like I knew what I was doing, looked right at the ticket checkers and flashed the bracelet that I was tightly holding onto my wrist, with my middle and ring finger. They waved me through. THEY WAVED ME THROUGH!

You would think that this story couldn't get much better than that. IT DOES….
As I walked into the concert area I was baffled, excited, over the moon. But I had no one to share the experience with. I looked to see if there was a way I could get away with passing the bracelet over the fence without being caught (so I could sneak my friends in).. but alas security would be sure to see me.

I went to the top of the hill and looked down. All the people looked like tiny ants. It was surreal to me. Being from Newfoundland I have rarely ever seen that many people in one place, at one time and it fascinated me. Here were all these fans from all over the maritimes coming together to see one of the most well known bands ever. And I was lucky enough to be a part of it…
 The thing is though, that going to concerts never made a lot of sense to me. I can understand if you get an up close experience but to be one of thousands, looking at tiny dots onstage or staring at jumbo-trons the whole time, for $125? It just seemed impersonal and not  worth that kind of investment. I like being on stage or right in front of the stage but for this show VIP tickets were (I think) $225 to even be in the up close section.

As people were starting to fill the concert grounds, my internal monolog took over….
What do I have to lose? I came this far. Who says I can't get in front of the stage or on the stage? Who says I can't maybe even meet Metallica if I want? No one. If I get kicked out trying to get in front of or on stage, I have NOTHING to lose. I come out with extra money in my pocket, at NO loss, AND still get to see the show from outside with my friends. There is nothing and no one holding me back right now. I HAVE TO TRY!!!!

I could feel courage and excitement welling up inside me, my feet began to move. I leaned forward like a toddler just learning to walk and followed the momentum… Halfway down the hill, the internal monolog suggested that I go get some fuel (Beer) for the under taking of this adventure. I bought 3 beer tickets because they sold 3 at a time, then got in the long line up for my drink. Once I made my order, they told me that you get 1 beer for 2 tickets, leaving an extra ticket that was useless, unless I lined up twice again for a really long time. It was their frustrating and genius plan I suppose, to stop people from drinking too much, too quickly.

As I sipped on my beer I saw a friend who seemed also on his own. This guy is a HUGE Metallica fan and was obviously stoked to be there. I mentioned the drink ticket scam and he admitted he also had fallen victim. We decided to use both our remaining tickets to split a beer before the show starts.
I explained to my friend how I had gotten in for free and that I planned to see if I could jump the VIP fence. Without any further questions he said: "Let's go!" We approached the VIP section, realizing it was not "A Fence" It was 2 fences, spaced apart, with security posted approximately every 10 feet on one side or the other.

The odds of us making it in did not look that great. We both were silent for a moment, when a friendly dude next to us lets call him "Drunk guy", turns and says "Are you guys excited or what? Wooooo!" I answered his rhetorical question with a serious statement. "We are looking to get over the fence." Drunk guy, wastes NO time and bends over with hands clasped, to help boost whichever one of us is willing to step up. I proceed without thought, to also bend with hands clasped. My 6'4(ish) friend stepped into our hands and used the first fence as a second step, he flew miraculously into the air like an albatross and sailed gracefully over both fences landing in a small clearing on the other side. Security saw him and he started to run disappearing into the crowd. He.. He did it! Drunk guy high fixed me and suddenly I felt someone pulling on my jacket from behind. It was a security lady! "Hey! are you with that guy?!". "NOPE." I replied and slipped out of her grasp, weaving along the fence in the opposite direction.

It IS possible! I told myself, as I lost the security that had been tailing me.
    
At that moment I saw a guy, by himself, sizing up the fences. I could tell immediately that we had the same goal and without hesitation walked directly up to him and introduced myself. "Hi, I'm Wendy!" I said smiling enthusiastically. "I'm Dave." he said, sort of thrown off by my overwhelming friendliness. "Lets start a restaurant!" I said. But I could almost hear crickets because he did not get my Wendy's/ Dave Thomas-restaurant reference/joke, so I skipped to the point. "What are you trying to do Dave?" (Even though I knew the answer) "Well. I was TRYING to see if there was a gap somewhere in this fence so that I could slip though, but it really doesn't look promising." "Me too." I said with a huge smile. "Well are you having any luck?" he asked. I told him that my buddy had made it over, down on the other end but security might be a problem and he said: "You lead the way there, I'll follow."

I took Dave's hand and dragged him to the spot where drunk guy was. The second that "Drunk Guy" saw me, he yelled "YOUR TURN!!!" and bent with hands together. Dave reacted as I had and did the same without question. For some reason in the adrenalin rush, my brain had just decided to follow whatever comes next, without using proper judgement. I stepped into the hands of a guy I met seconds ago and a guy who was obviously drunk then let them hurl me into the sky.

2 things I DID NOT take into account:

#1 When my friend had jumped the fence, there was a clearing where he had landed. NOW there were people, packed together like a sardine can, because Metallica had just hit the stage.
#2 My friend was 6'4" (Ish) and I was much shorter. I did not have the same long limbs that assisted him with take off and landing.

In mid air, in the freakin sky. Here I was.

It was like a movie going in slow motion as I sailed though the air making the biggest jump I'd ever made in my life.

Internal Monolog: "THIS-WAS-SUUUCH-AAA-BAAAAD-IDEAAAAAA!!!!"
THUDD***

I landed on two tall guys, who had no clue I was about to drop on their heads, from the sky. They managed not to take too much of the landing and moved quick enough for me to hit the muddy earth below. Now I was afraid that they would be mad I had landed on them and was in a panic that security had seen me. One of the guys looks at me, in a ball, on the ground and asks dumbfounded: "Are you OK?" I opened one eye, squinting and realized that they were not upset. I stood up and cheered "YEAHHHHHHH!" And security walky-talkies near by, began to conspire.

"Uh oh!"

Like a cartoon road runner, I shot through the sardine-can crowd toward the front. Instead of seeing dust clouds behind me, it was more like that mud hero race. I seemed to have lost them after some creative ducking and weaving but found myself in a mysterious clearing. I looked in all directions and thought "Why the heck is no one standing here?" In every direction beside this muddy circle there was a packed crowd. My attention was suddenly drawn to a short guy, trying to see over the crowd at the edge of the clearing, just ahead. Metallica was introducing a song and there was a break in the music. They tore into their next song and the short guy turned directly around to face me, closing his eyes and began to swing his arms like a human windmill, with legs.

I was IN the MIDDLE of the MOSH PIT!

Before I had any time at all to really react, bodies were flying EVERYWHERE! The short guy came at me so fast, he actually punched me in the face. I had never been punched in the face before so my reaction was: shock. But I didn't have time to even recover. The guy who punched me, stood there apologizing repeatedly after he realized I was female. I said "That alright, just don't do it again." And as I held my right hand over my face, I felt a SHARP elbow hit me with the full force of body weight behind it. Another dude had been pushed from several feet to my left, had flown off the ground backward and his elbow connected with my side.

I was now being propelled by an astounding, gravitational force, that spun me in circles, sideways. (Another slow motion moment)

Internal Monolog: "THIS-WAS-SUUUCH-AAA-BAAAAD-IDEAAAAAA!!!!"

Arriving at the right edge of the mosh pit, I gathered myself and decided: This is it. I'm in. I'm still alive. I AM GOING TO FRONT ROW CENTRE!

The first 20 people I passed didn't seem too impressed but then I hit "The WALL".
If you can imagine every Metallica fan in the Maritimes who has been a fan for LIFE, who has paid $225 for their VIP, maybe even flown from Newfoundland to get there…. Picture a thousand men dressed in black, mostly in their mid to late 30's-40's with tattoos(some that say Metallica)/piercings, real tough looking dudes. And here I am, by myself, a scruffy looking gal with no make up, in a ponytail, greasy/muddy, came strait from work, wearing a pink rain jacket and jogging pants.
NO ONE was going to let me pass. They had either left their girlfriends at home or had a good grip on their ladies arm (So as not to lose them in the intense crowd) enjoying the show. As I squeezed between a huge guy with a bald head and beard, he took me by the jacket and flung me backward (as best he could in the limited space). "Where the (Expletive) do you think YOU are Goin??!!!"

I took a huge gulp, then a deep breath. I knew I was doomed if I didn't pass this man. If I didn't get through this wall, I would be stuck and the story would end. There was no way to physically break this wall so….

 I turned around and made my face look like a mix between a small creature begging for food and a deer in headlights. I don't like to lie and this part I'm not proud of, but it was the only way I could think of at that time.

"I'm so sorry.. I.. I was just trying to get back to my boyfriend. He's up at the front. I went to the bathroom a half hour ago and I can't get back to him." My quivering lip and doe eyes broke his heart. The guy actually looked at me and said "Aww" sypmathetically. "MOVE! Out of the way!!!!" He began to clear a path for me and explained on my behalf, the whole way to the front, that he was heroically trying to help me find my boyfriend and that I was lost.

The next thing I knew. I was THERE. Front row, slightly right but mostly centre, to take in the last few songs of the Metallica set. The guy, just left me there and retreated to where he had come from, without even giving me a hard time that my fake boyfriend was not there.

You would think that this story couldn't get much better than that. IT DOES….

As I stood there looking up in awe all I could think of was that NO ONE is going to believe this insanely amazing story. I took in the last couple of songs AND THEN THE ENCORE.

*******FLASH BACK*******:

The first time I ever heard Metallica I was about 9 or 10 years old in my hometown of Flatrock Newfoundland. Every year, we had an outdoor concert with local talent and traditional artists during the summer, that drew the largest crowds I had ever seen (Maybe 200-300 people). They would get busses of seniors from the city to fill up the space and to celebrate our traditional music and heritage.
At that time, I had only ever heard old country, traditional music and some classic rock.
I will NEVER forget: Standing in front of the speaker for the local talent part of the show, the seniors still ready and waiting to dance to the next band. Up on the stage stand 4 teenage boys, dressed in black with long hair and funny looking guitars. One leans into the microphone and without any introduction growls the words "SEEK AND DESTROYYYY!!!!" It was another one of those slow motion memories- Old ladies scattering, as the sound of distortion blared from the speaker next to me. It was like magic to me. I didn't understand what it was or how they could call it music. This is nothing like what I know of music. It absorbed me and left a huge impression in me for the rest of my life.

********FAST FORWARD********

Metallica comes back on stage for the encore and plays THE FIRST METALLICA SONG I EVER HEARD. I felt the universe had given me this. It felt so destined. BUT NO ONE WILL BELIEVE THIS STORY!

You would think that this story couldn't get much better than that. IT DOES….

There were two Jumbo-trons behind Metallica and a cameraman on the stage was panning the audience, capturing around 100-200 people per shot. Suddenly I noticed there was a guy directly behind me crying his heart out. This guy was having a religious experience and kept repeating "My favourite guitar player! Kirk Hammett!!! Kirk Hammett!!!!!" As I turned back to the stage I realized that the camera man was laughing at this guy. He thought it was hilarious. So as the camera moved in our direction I saw the zoom lens and the panning of 100-200 became less and less. I knew he was going to get a shot of this guy behind me so I waited…

Just as the other camera cut from Metallica to this shot I JUMPED IN THE WAY! My face filled the Jumbo-Trons behind Metallica for a few seconds. Long enough for everyone who knew me to see and long enough to take a snapshot of. The show ended. I got two Kirk Hammett signed guitar pics when he threw them. I ran up to everyone I know, that I could find on the way out and before I could open my mouth they said "How the heck did you go from NO ticket to front row?"

I have included a picture with this story of my face behind Metallica… The day I realized, I can do anything I put my mind to.

Conclusion:

If you want something. Go get it. You lose 100% of the time you don't try.

2 comments:

  1. Best story ever Wendy, I loved hearing the story at Riverfest . the picture is awesome!!

    Mel

    ReplyDelete