On April 22, 1999 my dream came true. I met Cheap Trick. Well, I met Robin, Tom, was blown off by Rick, and Bun walked pass me like he was no one important. Cheap trick BUN!
The concert was a benefit, all proceeds went to the Cornell Music Foundation. Cheap Trick played for free. What a show. Every ten years Cheap Trick comes to the Capital District. In '79 it was the Palace for El's and my very first Cheap Trick show. I still get chills thinking about it. I became a die hard fan that night. In '89, El's an I saw them three days after Robin's birthday, at the Mid Hudson Civic Center. Excellent show. They started out playing new stuff, but Albany is stuck in the decades of the 70's & 80's. Cheap Trick quickly accommodated the crowd and played their older tunes.
Back to the last concert El's and I saw...
April 22, 1999. Our seats were located in the balcony, Row U, front and center. The lights flashed on and off and before anyone could even sit down you heard the first chords of Hot Love. You saw the flash of red and green and blue spotlights, and out of nowhere Rick started bouncing around on these blocks that would light up individually whenever he stood on them.
Robin's back was to us and we didn't even know he was there until this violet blue velvet suit turn around and start singing. Wow! Tom was decked out in this neat neon-green polyester suit. And Bun, as always, was wearing white shirt, tie and pants.
During the whole show these huge lights would come on and off sporatically lighting up the audience. Twice these spotlights hit us, especially when we all jumped up and started screaming along to Surrender. It was at this time that Jesse Camp was introduced to the mic. My sixteen year old daughter raised her hands to her face an excitedly exclaimed "I am so gonna marry him!"
After the show we ran down to the stage to see if we could find any guitar picks that had been thrown into the crowd. No such luck. It was a possibility, this was a benefit concert remember, a lot of people in the audience didn't even know who Cheap Trick was. Can you imagine that?!? It was then we decided to hit the stage door. We knew that they were still there, a security guard and their bus driver had informed us of their plans and even let us on the bus. Just for a quick look:)
We missed Rick. He left right after the show. Took the chauffeured shuttle bus, exclusively for Cheap Trick, over to the Omni. The driver gave us the towel Rick had used. Then Robin came out. My heart was racing. Twenty years I waited for this. To my horror, I started crying. The security guard pushed me forward and told me to go get his autograph. So, El's stepped up. I wiped my tears as she said:
"Robin? Can we have your autograph? Jewels stop crying. We waited too long for you to be doing that, 20 years to be exact."
"I can't help it. Look, it's ROBIN!"
Robin patted my cheek and said, "20 years IS a loooong time."
"Shut up Robin!" Geez, you'd think I was OLD or something!
"You waited 20 years to tell me that?" He said as he signed the towel in two places. One side is Ellie's the other is mine.
"No! I waited 20 years to tell you your music is great. I love your tunes and lyrics. You saved us from the Disco era and I thank you for that." He patted my cheek again and thanked me. Off he went to the Omni. (HE patted MY cheek! And thanked ME! More tears. Yea, I'm a sap! You tell me how you react when your dream comes true!)
Next out the stage door was Bun. He sailed right pass us.
"Hey, that was Bun E." I informed the small crowd hanging around the back door. I then yelled, "No fair Bun! Cheap trick!!" He did stop for a little girl and signed her album cover though. Talk about a fan. This little girl, under the age of 10, had been to more Cheap Trick concerts than anyone I know.
Tom was last. El's loves Tom. He signed our towel, and exchanged words with El's and he too headed for the Omni. Bun was staying with friends, so he didn't take the shuttle.
We've never been shy. This was Cheap Trick! We headed for the Omni too. My daughter almost had a heart attack. Jesse Camp was waiting for his ride back to the city out front of the Omni. He kissed her forehead threetimes. She gave him a ring, and he slid it on his finger. The man had bracelets all up his arm. They are from fans and he wears everything his fans give him. Nice kid, that Jesse. Even gave his beeper number to a girl who asked him for it.
Inside the Omni, we headed for the bar. Robin was drinking a larger. I have no clue what Rick was drinking. He was not into socializing. He gave us his autograph, but it was obvious he was done for the day. The man works too hard. Robin on the other hand is a true front man through and through.
We gathered around him and he chatted openly with us. Robin is all for children. He said several times "Take care of the children. They are precious." He has three of his own. A daughter,18, who attends University, and a son,16, in High School, and a six year old. He's 46. (Well is birthday is in January, so he's 47 now.) I told him his wife was lucky, and he assured me HE was the lucky one. He had to trick the Catholic church to marry her! That's all I'm going to say on that! ;) They live in They live in Florida. Been married for 20 years. All the while we were talking, he was smoking, Marlboros of all things. Flipped me out. I didn't think singers took that chance. He says when he sends the kids out to play, he has to watch for allegators. Fire Ants are a pain too. :)
We told him the first concert we ever went to was a Bay City Roller's concert at the Mid Hudson Civic Center. "Oh, no! You have to be kidding." He exclaimed. For the second time I told him, "Shut up Robin!"
"No, I have to tell you this. We were hanging with Gene Simmons and talking about this new group that was causing such an up roar. So Gene, Rick and I went over to the Civic Center and went back stage to check it out. They were pulling girls out of the crowd left and right. They laid one girl down on the road out side of the Center. As the limo was backing up to leave, they ran over her legs!"
Robin, Ellie and I saw the same show! I remember reading about that in the paper. Robin, Rick and Gene saw the whole thing happen. I don't remember if there was a law suit or not. Funny. I was a big Roller fan, I lost interest in them when Cheap Trick hit the scene. I never lost interest in Cheap Trick though. They never sold out or got too egotistical.
I remember telling Robin to shut one last time. I don't remember why. I was too excited by the whole thing. I remember asking him about Heavy Metal. They are going to do another one. I also told him he was a great actor. Hated him in The Watcher. Made me worried he was like that. "You saw that? Argh. That was years ago." I'm happy to tell you he is not a loud mouth, egotistical jerk. He is a very down to earth, loving and caring man. He kissed everyone on the cheek and went to meet another cluster of fans, even though he was tired and had a long day ahead of him.
On the ride home Ellie teased me, "Leave it to you. I can't believe you told Robin, Not once. Not twice, but three times! To shut up. Now what the hell are we going to dream about? All our dreams have come true tonight!"
"2009? A drink with the entire band!?!"
"Just don't tell them to shut up, K? I'll kick you under the table or something."
"Thanks El's." I said dryly.
"Don't mention it. What are best friends for?"
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My Favorite Web Sites
Official Cheap Trick Web Site
Ohm Sweet Ohm Cheap Trick Web Page
Cheap Trick - Brian's Encyclopedia
Cheap Trick Heaven
Praise the Lord...Jewel's other page
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