The Rock Hall inductions were last night in Cleveland. I didn’t go. I wasn’t even inclined to go, for a change! what with a very early flight the next morning. They were at the Music Hall, a storied venue where I once got back stage at a Cure concert with some friends a very long time ago. I remember them putting their faith in me as I said, c’mon, down this hallway, hurry! They trusted me as I had Backstage Experience, though not at this venue.
Our heavy combat boots beat the old wooden floorboards as we evaded security and ran in to our youth and innocence. We came upon the drummer when we got to the stage, and exchanged a few polite words. It was anti-climactic, but for the achievement.
Some years later than that, I was enraptured by the Black Crowes in the same venue. I was a little bit in love with both a Rich and Chris Robinson; brothers with a tumultuous relationship in a band; not my first time in that position either. Chris was gone to the dressing rooms but the rest of the guys were there, with some roadies. Roadies are great guys if you can befriend them. They run under the radar and have access to everything. And they are hard workers, which is a good quality to have on many areas of life. I waltzed up in my jeans with multicolor leather patches and simply said, “Who wants to sign my jeans?”
I still have those jeans.
A lot of people don’t get the rock hall, and claim not to like it. A lot of Clevelanders haven’t even been there. Some who have don’t understand it is a museum, and cannot be raced throu willy nilly. Would you only spend a half hour at the Louvre, racing by masterpieces with only a glance? If you didn’t see Donovan’s handwritten lyrics to “Sunshine Superman,” or the hate letter from a 13-year-old boy to the Rolling Stones at the beginning of their career telling them not to come to America, because everyone hates them here and they would never be a success, or Jim Morrison’s grade school report cards that his father meticulously kept, or the letter Charles Manson wrote to Jann Wenner from jail (about the Manson cover, which was displayed in my locker throughout high school), you missed out. I’ve certainly had memorable times there, including opening day as a VIP, with Jann and Yoko and I.M. Pei, flowing down the escalators to reveal a big white grand piano with Little Richard himself at the keys. I have a fondness for the place. And know a lot of its nooks and crannies.
Some industry people are on my flight here back to LA. Interns, maybe. Stars do not get up for a 6am departure. But I can tell by the way people dress and in bits of overheard conversations I pick up, it was a fun time.
I was involved for a time with a music industry exec, when I lived in LA. Everywhere we went, people talked about the business.
I return to LA now, for a week, for a different experience. To forge a new path, with a nod to the old.
I am not the best flyer. I love traveling, but the flying part is hard for me. Here in the can in the sky, I feel many hands reaching for me, holding my hand, providing a shoulder to lean on, stroking my hair, calming me.
The key phrase is “fearful flyer,” by the way. Dropped it at the gate, and he alerted the flight attendants. Identified myself as same to FAs when boarding, and they said oh yes, why don’t you go in and meet the guys? So then I met the pilots, who were very nice and pretended I was not crying, and reassured me they would get me there safe.
At beverage service, I ordered bourbon, of course, from the same lady I talked to when I boarded. The FA waved away my card. “you’re good,” she said, and slipped me a second tiny bottle as she passed. Good people, those.