Travelling with the Tears for Fears Stateside Fan Club is always a joy. I am very very grateful for these opportunities. We’ve made it to nearly every solo show that was made public since September of 2010. We now have new fans onboard who come out and spend a few days in Los Angeles with us. This time we were in back in Santa Monica at the historic McCabe’s Guitar Shop.
Day 1 Arrival
Most of us got there a few days in advance. I arrived just shy mid-week to make sure the resort we booked for the mini-meet-up had everything we needed for the several days. We got an automatic upgrade with my resort membership which was incredible. That meant we had this huge suite for several days instead of the days in which guests were to join us. I phoned Carri right away and told her to come over as quickly as possible and to bring Kai as well. I wasn’t sure where any one else was. While waiting, I stocked that room with as much as room service could bring and began working on various things. My hands pecking away on the computer…my eyes staring at the magnificent Pacific Ocean…my first time actually being able to enjoy it as I’m always on a fly-in and fly-out on trips to California.
Carri got there about 8pm. Kai had to go back home and work on some things. So Carri and I explored the oversized patio and stared at the Santa Monica Pier well into the night while listening to Tears for Fears and Curt Smith solo music. It was so nice to be with her again. I think we hugged for nearly 5 minutes in the lobby alone…then in the suite we were like living dolls running around just happy to be able to have some real fun. By 1am or 2…we were snuggled in our pajamas staring at that magical Ferris wheel on the pier. I am fascinated by lights and colourful things…I think that was evident in the tweets we sent that day.
Day 2 Curt Smith Show during Brit Week is Today
The morning was spent noshing. I had a ton of eggs…like a boat load. Because I knew I was going to be too nervous to eat as show time approached. Filled with protein and ready to exercise, we ran down to the ocean passing a statue that I thought was a human being. I’m very open and love people so I immediately began calling out to it as we approached. “Hello!! How are you??” I asked…only to get no response back…then I realized it wasn’t a really tanned human but instead a bronze statue much like that in the “Change” video. Oops…
Feeling slightly crazy I walked a little slower down to the beach. Once there, we walked quickly to the ocean and splashed around til noon. Then we rushed back. While Carri was tanning, I went to the hot tub and met up with a lady whose husband was from England. We had a long conversation about Tears for Fears, her life in Santa Monica and all the tea shoppes she and her husband frequented. She gave me the names of pubs and places to visit while there. When the heat of that tub nearly left me passed out I crawled up to the patio deck and just stood there…frozen in the gorgeous, but chilly, Santa Monica air. Then I raced back to the room and we started getting ready for the show.
The Queue (shown in the very first picture above) Being in line is just part of being a superfan. Our driver dropped us off around 5pm. The show was at 7pm. We were about 12th in line. Same as last time. Ahead of us were some fans originally from Turkiye/Turkey, a lady who drove up from San Diego and a few from other far off locations. Eileen was in front of us. Kim arrived, then Yara and her husband who slid in line behind Eileen. Then Traci and Lael who drove in from Arizona. The list goes on and on…tons of people, some who were literally snatched off the road and given one of our extra tickets when they expressed interest why we were in a queue . We talked and took photos until we saw (@Wzzy) drive up. Then minutes later she came out and handed us skittles!! The sugar rush of choice among the band and Tears for Fears fans. We were stoked! The Awesome Afton came out and stood with us for a little while before they went back inside. We then went over fan club business and experiences in other fan clubs including Duran Duran and U2. We all expressed excitement and worry over the upcoming tour…awesome dates, excellent evening showtimes and the sad lack of opportunity for early tickets…this is the kind of thing that fans fear…and some didn’t have tickets to the OC show just yet. A few said they wouldn’t go unless they had pit seats…I totally understand.
Before we knew it, 7pm arrived. As that line moved my stomach flopped. I almost leaned over and vomited. I was so excited I couldn’t stand it. I was happy to get inside and sit down…of course, something had to go wrong…Carri lost her ticket while we were standing in line. I nearly died of shock. After I got our seats, I went to go give the ticket receipt to the doorman to prove I bought 4 tickets and her’s was one of them. But nothing needed…she came back and let me know that everything was okay. In fact, Traci Smith came to the rescue and made sure everything was okay. Talk about loyalty among friends. Thanks Traci! She took care of CD while I went to get the seats taken care of. Teamwork indeed! Carri later found her ticket in one of the numerous pockets of her jacket and took it back herself. Despite the fan panic, I was able to cheer up quick after looking over my shoulder to see Curt’s wife in two rows behind us, wearing an anchor on the sleeve of her shirt…thus matching my anchor earrings…yeah, I thought I was a badass after spotting those thus making us anchor sisters…Hey whatever connection we can get right? We sat there chatting in the row…the same row we sat in last time. My hands shaking a little…
The show began on time. The host came out and gave his now famous funny speech about grabbing a guitar and heading to the door in case flames broke out. We laughed and then he introduced Curt, briefly…because he doesn’t really need an introduction. Then Curt spoke to us for a little while which sent chills and thrills through the audience. I wrote down just about everything he said. I held on to my show notes for weeks…but I’ve travelled a lot since then and can’t locate them and I know people are tired of waiting on the details. So, I write this particular show experience from memory. More will perhaps be added later including videos of fan fun. A lot of funny cool things happened. Fortunately, the show was taped by McCabe’s…a good deal of it anyway. You can watch the amazing, mesmerizing, audience inclusive performances here…
Highlights from the show…
There were so many incredible moments in between the songs. Often times we were showered with Skittles and busy chair dancing. Everyone danced in their seat (proof is in the videos)… and let me say, I’m ready to kiss the feet of the guy who videotaped the show. I said early on that I had surely wished someone would video tape these solo shows…it is crucial for our fan archives. So, whoever you are…take your shoes off…I’m ready to go to town on you! Thank you!!!
Refusing to play “Sun King…”
And thank G-d!! Charlton was like, “who put this up here?” And I was so grateful they threw that request out. I put my head in my hands…cause I knew I’d be sick if it was played…and so would a few others near me… Few want to hear that song any more…I have to say it, meaning aside, the song “sounds” beautiful but well…but let’s move on…let’s just put it aside. I’m so glad that “period of silent time” has passed.
It’s always a welcomed moment to hear a band that you’ve followed since you were a small child say your name…or address you during a show…ask you a question…etc… And that happened several times throughout the show. Curt acknowledged those he could see in the crowd. He said hello to Carri, Traci, Kai and I…he went on…stating how we fly in from across the country to shows…to me that is equal to winning the lottery or having a blessing placed right on my head. Forgive me, but many will understand me when I say, “If I didn’t wake up the next morning I would have lived a good life.” That band means that much to me…having a handshake, a hello…and all that care that they’ve given us…well, each moment is like a kiss from the heavens. I feel so blessed and so grateful beyond words for everything Curt Smith has done. And I appreciate he and Roland Orzabal for the constant recognition and sweet demeanor they shower on the fans. I don’t know if we deserve it, but they keep dishing it …and I tell you, it makes us even more excited to work as hard as we can to be present at anything they do…with friends and thank you’s in tow…
A little “Graduate…”
While tuning and preparing for the next song…Curt teased us with a few chords saying, “You’d have to be real die-hard to know this one…” Well I knew it…it was part of a song on the “Graduate” album…I yelled out “Graduate.” A surprised Curt looked down in the audience at me…and said, “Andye’s got it goin’ on…” I said, “you know I got this…I gotcha Curt. I gotcha…” Cause goodness knows I listen to that album as if it came out last night on the MTV music awards…:;sings Julie Julie…:: but I digress…Again, these were one of the moments that Curt called us out…and I was like “heck yeah…superfan represent!”
Afton on the stairs…And throughout the show was Afton…sitting on steps that led down to the stage…sort of like attic steps…tapping her foot and swaying…something about her being there was comforting, cool and sweet. We love Afton…many of us remember her back in the day on KMK’s Tears for Fears fan page. She was an active fan like one of us, checking in everyday and adding to the numerous conversations…and now she’s apart of the TFF team…now if that’s not cool I don’t know what is…It’s been awesome seeing her over the years on stage and off. Big hugs for her!
Disturbances…Ummm, it was made clear that we were not allowed to take pictures…so why was it the person that drove up from San Diego had to be asked twice not to do that? Honey…please do not ruin it for the rest of us. It’s a miracle he let’s us get that close.
Another painful thing was we were missing one person. I left their ticket behind at will call…what was odd was that when the ticket taker saw that I had an extra ticket she said to me, “You have someone else coming?” I said, “Perhaps…the name is…” and before I even got out the person’s family name she’d written it down…as if she knew something…that was very twilight zone-ish and creepy…about as creepy as the situation that surrounded their absence.
Okay, let me say the meet and greet was over an hour long…and how fortunate were we to be in his presence for that amount of time?!! 🙂 I took a lot of pictures of everyone that spoke to him. He took a moment with each person that came to the show. I should’ve brought my iPad so I could have taken top quality pictures vs. those blurry ones on my blackberry. A few came out pretty cool and I think there’s a collage of pictures from that day floating around on Facebook. Again, every single person in line got a moment with him. A few people went a little nuts but the quiet of the room hushed them into good behaviour. They got their hugs, hand holds and a nice picture to take with them. Some had gifts…including myself. We gave him a runner’s watch from Vestal. That’s our thing…watches…we like to express our appreciation for what Carri calls his “genuine-quality time.” TeamCS (Carri, Kai, Traci and a few others including myself) sort of gathered around him at the same time.
We took pictures and video and then he sent a hug to SheeShee (Sheila) of which many have already seen in a video on SheeShee’s and Carri’s wall. Sheila is a long time travelling fan who couldn’t be with us this time around. It hurt not having her there because she always plans some cool thing to do…last time we sang happy birthday to him on stage…that was wild and fun…that man brings out the best in us…and sheeshee ring leads!
Then he signed a ton of cds I purchased for the media team to which I belong…he signed posters, artwork…you name it. He was extremely generous of his time. We were floored standing there watching him and absorbing as much of this majestic moment as possible. Before I walked away I said, “I will pay you x amount of dollars for one of those T-shirts.” Curt replied, “Which one?” Kai leaps forward and says, “This one!!” referring to the awesome blue shirts that came in the Curt Smith Bundle. He said, “Ohhh, well, I may not have more of those but I’ll get you another one.” Carri perked up…”There’s another?” You know us…we want to collect everything… and while we wrapped up our chat he kept mentioning that he was going to get a shirt for me… and then he asked Arlene (@Wzzy) where were the ones I was specifically requesting…
I stepped back and continued to take pictures of the other fans and then the guy from McCabe’s said he was closing soon so we might need to clear out. I thanked him and as we walked away Curt yelled goodbye saying, “Thanks Andye, Thanks Carri!! See you!” and then I heard, “Andye…Andye!!” It was Curt…he threw me a shirt…everyone said “awww…” and smiled at his sweet gesture…I thanked him and then turned away quickly toward his wife…tears of gratitude stinging my eyes. We told her goodbye and she smiled and said goodbye… then we headed back to the beach.
Afterparty I swear we meant to invite more people but many had already vanished so this turned into a gathering of 3 and I was very happy that it was that small because we were exhausted and in no mental condition to arrange Valet parking for everyone, lead them to the suite and get them situated. We ended up dancing around on the patio, drinking and rehashing the show in total awe…there were moments of just complete “OMGAAAh, did you hear this…and that…” Then we see this tweet come in on our news feed and that was just another huge bonus!
You can imagine…it was craaayycraaaay on that patio…we were running around with our hands in the air amazed at that stellar show, the fact that we met Frances (his beautiful wife), how many times he kept speaking to the crowd and shout outs to us for travelling across country ANNDD that he threw me that shirt! I love my Curt Smith shirt collection…It is growing!
Day 3 The party continues
We slept late…but we got in our swimming, walks through Santa Monica…all that…we all did what we wanted and then came back to the suite and danced around…there was a lot of dancing…you’ve perhaps seen some of the videos…it was too much fun…wayyyyyyy too much fun…still in our swimsuits, talking to the handsome man in the cool swim shorts in the suite next door (our patios were touching) and just living it up in Santa Monica…I knew it was going to be hard to leave…
We had a freakin’ blaaaasst. We made a new playlist on the iPad with The Fixx ( our preshow band with our anthems Stand or Fall and Saved By Zero)…then Tears for Fears favourites like, The Working Hour, Music For Tables, Girl Panic by Duran Duran…we lived the life…well up til Sunday afternoon when it was time for us to head back.
Thank you will not suffice in this situation. I want to fall on the ground and just cry tears of joy because that’s how I feel everytime I think about Brit Week 2012…it took me a while to get my thoughts together…to try and explain this without crying…and here it is…that’s what happened on this magnificent Curt Smith Solo extended weekend during Brit Week 2012. Curt spoils his fans. He looks after them and he notices everything. We love him, we appreciate him…we could go on and on… til next time! Cheers! Thanks for reading! Enjoy the madness…