on my drive to mesquite the other day, i was listening to an eighties station. every song that came on, elicited some kind of emotional response, or memory.
one song in particular, put me into the time, space, and place of about 1987. the song,”hold me now,” by the thompson twins.
the thompson twins have always been one of my favorite bands. the trio of tom bailey, alannah currie, and joe leeway made some of the most iconic music of the eighties.
when i was with my first love, my first girlfriend, p****, we spent our time together listening to music and looking at fashion magazines, like vogue, cosmo, and glamour.
being the beauty, that she was, she followed fashion and models, and eventually got me hooked, as well. we would try on the fragrance samples from the magazines, look at make-up tips (for her), read our horoscopes, memorize designers by their clothes/shoes/handbags, and memorize the names and faces, of the models, who wore the clothes.
p****, aspired to be a model and quite honestly, she really could have been. she was a rare beauty, striking without a bit of make-up. she carried herself with poise. she was the woman across the room, that stared at me and made my heart pound.
p****, was obsessed with paulina porizkova, the 1980’s supermodel, who is also married to, ric ocasek, from the cars. she took, paulina’s fashion trends, tweaked them and put her own spin on them.
photos of paulina, adorned her walls…side-by-side, with brian johnson, bon scott, angus young, keith richards, mick jagger, steven tyler, and joe perry.
p****, introduced me to ac/dc, the rolling stones, heart, and guns-n-roses. we listened for hours, discussed lyrics, speculated about meanings, and enjoyed being alone with each other, in an atmosphere of music.
i introduced p**** to the thompson twins, the pretenders, fleetwood mac, stevie nicks, and the cure. together, we went to many, many concerts. we connected. we clicked. we experienced live music, with whole hearts and minds.
together we discovered and shared a love for public image limited, omd, siouxsie and the banshees, u2, berlin, the cult, bon jovi, inxs, simple minds, skid row, the cars, the talking heads, def leppard, and echo and the bunnymen.
some of the concerts that we went to included: the thompson twins (multiple times), omd, chris isaak, iggy pop, the pretenders (multiple times), billy idol (a very wasted performance), the cult (who killed and then, destroyed their drum kit), fleetwood mac (multiple times), stevie nicks (multitude times), inxs (multiple times), simple minds (multiple times), bon jovi, skid row, public image limited (multiple times), the cure (multiple times), duran duran, the eurythmics, sinead o’ connor, and a lot more, that evade my memory at the moment. i have a box full of ticket stubs in storage, to prove it.
man, we weren’t independently wealthy, or anything, we were both maids, at singing hills country club and lodge. i lived at home at the time, so, i didn’t pay for rent, utilities, or groceries. i just paid for my gas, car insurance, and the rest was disposable income. that disposable income went to buying concert tickets, fast food, and drive-in movie tickets.
i remember getting up at the crack of dawn, picking p**** up, and going down to our closest ticketmaster outlet (which was located inside the may company, within the parkway plaza mall, in el cajon.). we would stand in line, outside of the closed store, for hours. there we waited, cash in pocket, hopeful to get tickets…hopeful to get good tickets, before they sold out.
thinking back, that’s when cash was king. i had paper money and coins in my pocket. there weren’t atm’s. there weren’t debit cards. there weren’t cell phones. and, there wasn’t any internet. it was a totally and completely different world
during that period of time, if you wanted tickets, you had to work, to get them. there was no easy way around it, unless of course you went to a scalper.
on occasion, i went to trip tickets, in el cajon. the last time, that i went there, i purchased two tickets, to a show, in the rose bowl, in pasadena. the tickets included round-trip bus fare, to and from the show.
the show was killer. i thought that p****, would want to go with me, but by that time, she had found someone else and bowed out of the who show, as well. i blew that relationship, because i was afraid to come out and be myself.
i was more concerned about my parents belief systems and opinions, than i was for the person that i loved, with all of my heart. that’s completely fucked up…but, the good news is, that i have learned from my mistakes and know better now.
anyway, the show starred living color, guns-n-roses, and the rolling stones. i placed a personal ad, in the san diego reader, for a female companion to go with me, but none responded…just a guy named, m*** r*****.
we met for dinner, at the hard rock cafe, in la jolla, the night before…so that i could lay down some ground rules and see if he was okay. he ended up taking me to see a movie, black rain, and he agreed to my terms. we shook and did a pinkie swear, on them.
my terms were that he paid me for the extra ticket…we went as acquaintances/friends, nothing more…it did not constitute a date…and that, he would respect my boundaries and keep his hands, to himself.
the next day, i went to pick him up. i noticed that he was dressed up and had lots of cologne on. he kept reaching into his pocket and putting chapstick on. my warning flags went up, but i really wanted to go to that show.
before we boarded the bus, i asked him to repeat back my terms to me. he did so, quickly and flawlessly. i looked into his eyes and asked him, if he understood and agreed to my terms. he nodded enthusiastically. we shook and pinkie swore on it again.
we boarded the bus, which was full of rowdy people, with ice chests full of beer, wine coolers, and booze. m*** made me sit next to the window, where i was quite literally trapped for three hours.
needless to say, shakes and pinkie swears mean absolutely nothing, to complete strangers, from personal ads. i put myself in a really bad situation and threw caution to the wind.
my thinking was so clouded. i was still so hurt, from the breakup. and quite honestly, i was mad at myself for being gay.
i just couldn’t understand, why i just couldn’t be “normal,” and make myself like boys. i realized that, my life would have been, so much easier. i tried to like boys…i really did…but, i don’t and i won’t.
anyway, my terms meant nothing. the three hours trapped, on a bus full of rowdy, drunk people…meant that nobody was watching, no one was paying attention, and no one could hear anyone yelling for assistance.
yes, i’m so glad that i went to that show. it was awesome!! i can tell my nieces one day, that i saw the stones and that they played with guns-n-roses.
the ride back to san diego, was different. i made him sit by the window and i miraculously found a small, phillip’s-head screwdriver, in a bathroom stall, at the rose bowl. the next time he tried to touch me, i threatened him with it. he backed down, pouted, and kept his hands to himself.
when we were getting off the bus, he forgot his chapstick, ironically enough, and went back for it. i made one of the best decisions of my life, i ran to my car, hopped in, and took off. i drove off, like a bat out of hell and left him yelling and screaming, in the parking lot.
i did things differently, when i had to find a taker, for my other who ticket. i took a friend of my mother’s. i was nice, safe, and untouched. it was a phenomenal show, but i missed, p****, and it was bittersweet…but, i went…i saw…and, i experienced…the who, in the san diego, jack murphy stadium (that’s what it was called, at the time.).
***i have to apologize at this point, because i have talked myself around, in a big, fucking circle. now, i am going to go back to my original thought and feeling. THIS IS THE STORY THAT I WAS THINKING OF, WHEN I HEARD THE SONG. I GOT OFF TRACK***
p**** and i, heard that the thompson twins were going to be playing, at the irvine meadows amphitheater, with omd and chris isaak.
we only had enough money for the tickets, parking, and gas for p****’s car. we had absolutely, no other money. i was still living with my family and my parents forbade me to go to the concert. they had also previously forbade me, to spend the night, with p****.
i lied to my parents about where i was going and who i was going with. p****’s, mother ended up going with us and we sped off to irvine.
now p****’s car, was a 1978, toyota corolla. it wasn’t in the best of shape, but it ran, and it was covered, by triple a. we were, so excited to be going to see the thompson twins again, we parked the car and left p****’s mom in it, because we only had two tickets.
p**** and i, ran off to the show. i brought my binoculars, just in case, but we had great seats and didn’t need them. we stood the whole time, yelling, clapping, singing along, and holding up, our lit lighters. we stayed for all three encores and then went back to the car.
we were half deaf, excited, and pumped with adrenalin…talking non-stop and wildly gesticulating. we were too distracted to notice, what didn’t happen, when p****’s, mom turned the key, in the ignition.
suddenly, p****’s, mom was yelling. the car wouldn’t start. we had to walk and find a pay phone. thank god, that p**** found two nickels, in the bottom of her bag. we called triple a. triple a arrived with a tow truck and the three of us, squeezed together in the cab, with the driver. i got the pleasure of cozying up to the driver and trying to sit around the gear shift.
we ended up at a closed mechanic shop, but someone had to let us in to use the phone. i then, had to call my parents up in the middle of the night. oh my dad was absolutely livid when he found out where i was and whom i was with.
of course, the absolute icing on the cake, was asking my dad to wire me some money and to pay to have the car fixed. i had to grin and bear the verbal lashing, that i received. however, he knew that, in order to get me home, to properly punish me…he needed to send me money.
we had no choice, but to spend the night, in p****’s, small car. p****’s mom stretched out across the two front seats. while the two of us were left to happily, curl up together, holding each other, in the afterglow of our glorious concert. i laid there with the song,”hold me now,” going through my mind, until i eventually fell asleep.
we awoke the next morning. the mechanics fixed the car, gave us the bill, and my dad paid the bill over the phone, with his credit card. we drove over to western union to get the money, that my dad had wired. he sent twenty dollars. we needed fifteen dollars worth of gas, to get us home.
we were left with five dollars to get the three of us something to eat. we ended up at burger king, where they had “burger bundles,” six tiny sliders, with fries and a drink for $4.50. that’s what we ordered and that’s what we got.
we each got two and a few fries. they scarfed their burgers right down. i took my time, bit into my slider, looked down, and it was completely raw inside. i was disgusted and tossed them. p**** and her mom, looked pretty disgusted, as well.
we put gas in the car, which was ninety-nine cents, per gallon. we piled back into the car and headed back home. the closer we got, the more worried i got about my impending punishment.
when i finally arrived home, i heard an earful. i had privileges revoked and i had to pay my dad back with interest. when i went to sleep that night, i thought about all that had happened. in my mind, it was worth it…just to fall asleep, in the backseat of that, small car…holding my girl…while the song,”hold me now,” went through my head, as i fell asleep.