*note from moderator Andye* We had a great year musically. It was amazing to spend so much time with our fellow fans and having outstanding (and in some cases life changing) moments with the band and their fams! There are not enough thank yous in the world nor can this be said enough or with more emphasis in any language. We are just so happy that we got to experience Tour 2012. It was more than many of us wished for. That has hopefully been made clear in the previous blog posts…particularly that of Japan.
The Travel Fans would like to say a huge thank you to Curt Smith for looking out for us…at least it felt that way for us. The shows were cloud nine level excitement. Some of us just can’t come down from that kind of a high. We are forever in debt to him for the following:
Constant Updates on Twitter and Facebook
Keeping his website and show info updated 2-3 months in advance of shows
His retweets, His responses
Sharing his family & HIS COOL CLOTHES/SHOES.
SINGING WITH PASSION AND DANCING!
Making dreams come true for so many fans in so many regions (USA, Japan, The Philippines, Brasil)
Taking time with us out of his busy life for his fan family
Giving us permission to be Kooks
Introducing us to Longacre Hall (the Friends of and the building itself) and Lady Tanya
Thank you and Arlene for the amazing, intimate Solo shows and !!SKITTLES!!
Tolerating our excessive retweets and @mentions
Kisses and Hugs
Tolerating our mistakes –the tickets will live forever in infamy (oh mercy!)
And most important, encouraging us to #KeepCalm&CarryOn
Special Thanks from Patricia…
“It’s one very great pleasure & a great honor for me to particiapte in this action with Andye, Carri,for Ur home town Bath and Longacre Hall.I know Uk & Bath has a real place in your heart, it’s your homeland, your childhood, adolescence, your roots.So much memories there low as you have to share with your family, your brothers, your friends.It’s a part of your life, of you to ink your blood and spirit.A lot of people are on this project by giving strength,joy, to bring to succesful conclusion that is necessary to be.When Andye proposed me to particiapte, it was for me a big enjoyment & a great honor.Your biggest fans are in your country USA & me on an another (France) .Far from your fans who admires you and are there for your fabulous shows.But KOOKS is for me a big family of heart, devoted to Curt and TFF. And i’m very proud to be a menber of this group, i would never thank enough.In our turn, we want to particiapte in this donation to honored you, your home town, your roots, your family and your Mum.It’s our way of thanking you for all that you bring through your music, your kindness, your nobility of heart.You are a great artist and a great man.From the bottom my heart thank you.xoxo…Patricia.
Special Message from Amur: Curt’s reaching out to his Pinoy Kooks will forever be treasured by each of the seven of us. Just right before they arrived, our house was flooded and I need to evacuate my oldies (mom and dad) to the nearest motel. But that didn’t stop me from updating from everyone how is it going to be once the duo arrives. And yes, we were rewarded. Rewarded with more than we expected.
Now, everytime sadness visits me in the night, I just go back to that very special moment we had with Mr. Smith. I go back to these pictures and refresh all the bits and pieces of this surprise meet-up… and yes, well oh, well…I am so blessed after all.
With these, I thank you, Curt for being so kind-hearted. Thank you for making us all experience what it means to have “impossible meetings” come true. Until now, I still can’t help but smile (and giggle) everytime I remember that precious moment. Thank you also for binding us all together… Even the Pinoy Kooks… We are all from different walks of life… we just learned to become brothers and sisters to each other because and through you. I thank you because I earned a lot of siblings from all over the world who couldn’t care less but always be happy with each other’s success of meeting you.
You have everything that you ever needed… a wonderful wife and loving children, successful profession… All I pray for is that you stay healthy and free of any harm. Always remember that you have a home here in the Philippines…our hearts will forever be your home. God bless you…Mabuhay! Maligayang Pasko at Masaganang Bagong Taon. (Merry Christmas and Prosperous New Year) . We love you, idol!
The Travel Fans also want to thank ROLAND 🙂 To Roland Orzabal aka Ravishing Rollie Sunshine…
OMG…We’re still speechless… (especially me (Andye)…I’ll probably always be speechless… ::sits shaking head::) You are unreal…and were very tolerant and patient…you gave more than any of us ever expected…EVER! We’re forever amazed and in awe of the following:
That voice…THAT VOICE!!
A lifetime of amazing music
Sticking with the music industry as crazy as it is
The very sweet kiss given to a fan at the OC show
The ultra cool vibe during meet and greets
Giving %110+ percent
Always looking like a GQ model
The Jokes… Andye still wants those dolls (3, Curt, Roland and Julian…just as you stated in Henderson/Vegas)
Remembering the names of fans
His brother coming to Vegas
Speaking to people when spoken to
As much as it is a pain, agreeing to meet&greets as arranged by promoters, etc…AND…sharing yourself with the world through music and the tours.
To the band and all that were on Tour on and off stage…Every single member, every single person on staff… was nothing shy of amazing. The energy of the 2012 road crew was genuine, respectful and kind. That means so much to us as we do by chance encounter them in passing.
Juli in Japan says:
Thank you so much, Curt. Thank you so much, Roland. Thank you so much, Andye. And Thank you so much, everybody who helped us…
Wish to see you again, someday.
Drummer Jamie Wollam, that drumstick is in a special place…Carri and Andye will not forget that. To each member we are ever so grateful…a life time of memories were made on this particular tour and it was something quite majestic…just stunning…every moment, every show…there’s nothing that compares…It is truly the Closest Thing to Heaven.
From Rebekah/Becky (of whom we met via Janice Whaley)
I want to wish each and everyone of you a Very Merry Christmas! Thank you for being part of my life and thank you for letting me be part of yours. We all share a common bond and a love that is stronger than race, religion, creed, sexual orientation, political aspirations, and prejudices. For that, I am probably the most thankful. ROCS (Roland&Curt) thanks for bringing us all together!! I love you! <– AMEN! Here’s to more good times (in due time). Masalaama!
When we first learned about Longacre Hall from Curt Smith we knew immediately that it was a place we’d like to explore. Carri was one of the first to leap right into research. Before long we decided it would be one of the places to which we’d give our annual donation.
The original plan was a quiet donation, no LOUD announcements and EGO driven fanfare. Then someone suggested to open it up for others to donate…which made sense. Why keep it closed to Travel Fans? There are over 500 active fans online. We published a blog entry on the project and encouraged people to give on their own or pool their money with ours.
We knew it was too ambitious, yet we did it anyway hoping for the best. The team leads donated and G-d bless Carri for being the highest contributors of them all. But after converting the money into American dollars (and calculating that into British pounds) the sum was sad…very very sad.
I think we have just enough cash to pay for copy paper or 1-2 hours of legal fees if they end up in need to fight for the building (we hope not). Not being able to do more has sort of…crushed the spirit of our travel fan group but we sure made some amazing friends! Kath, Angie, Mr. Smith (Curt’s brother)…these lovely individuals reached out to us to say hi and thanks. We don’t know how they found out about the project but we’re glad they know we are thinking of them and wish them the best.
We’ll do what we can remotely for these new friends! Though we haven’t met them in person, their kind nature has not only warmed the building’s stones but a ton of hearts and souls on 4 continents. Let’s keep them and their effort to preserve the Snowhill community in our prayers!
It was still raining after a week long of heavy rains and floods. Yes, Manila included. And TEARS FOR FEARS is having a 2-night concert at The Big Dome on August 10 & 11!
I was driving that Thursday morning and i told myself that if the sun comes up at around noon, I will call Amur, Jan, Gie & Lori and will have dinner at Shangrila Hotel. Why there? I had the feeling TFF would be there – I dunno…I just “felt” it. At noon, the sun was shining bright….after more than a week of no sun! It was a sign. 🙂
At 6pm, I was already at the hotel and asked for a valet parking (’cause I didn’t want to stress myself looking for a parking slot). I went to the powder room and decided to wait there for Amur and Gie. My iphone alerted me for a notification from CURT SMITH! My heart jumped. I had a hard time reading the whole message ’cause i forgot to bring my eyeglasses! LOL I had to ask Amur to read the message for me. Mr. Smith asked: “How many Manila KOOKS are there?”
A lot of things were on my mind I couldn’t absorb what Curt was saying. I thought he was asking how many of us were there at the hotel. I even looked at Amur wondering how did Curt know that we were at the hotel? So I said: 5 – then changed my mind – 6. Then changed my mind again – 7. (section removed for the sake of email/text privacy, long story short, these 7 people were notified that they would be able to have a few moments after the show to speak with Curt)
We headed to the lobby and decided to stay and have dinner there. We all thought: Lucky if we’d be able to see TFF that night but if not, all’s good. We were already on Cloud 9 after learning we were going to get to speak to Curt after the show.
At 7pm, while waiting for our food to arrive, Jan asked: “Is that Charlton Pettus?” I said: “Yes! – oh no, I have the feeling they will go down and spend some time there!” My third eye was working that night! After a few minutes, Jan said: “Oh no, it’s Curt Smith!”
And yes, it was indeed Mr. Curt Smith!!! The whole group (Amur, Jan, Rica – Jan’s wife, and Gie) started to approach Curt who was all smiles.
Me? I was there, glued to my seat ’cause i froze! After a couple of minutes, i started to join the group.
From afar, i could hear Curt say: “Oh Joyce, my textmate!”
That made my knees weak i almost fell to the floor! My heart even stopped beating! Believe me, the whole time we were w/ the Good Man, i didn’t utter a word to him! Where did my tongue go????
We spent that Thursday night listening to some good music, having dinner while the whole TFF group was at the next table. Yes Roland Orzabal was there too but we were all behaved and noone had the guts to approach Roland. I wanted to, but I was having butterflies in my stomach. I had with me the sketch I made for Roland in 2011. I desperately wanted to hand it to him personally. Finally, I stood up. Amur asked where i was going. I said: “I’m going to Roland” then i started to walk.
My friends were surprised and Amur even shouted: “Hey!”
I didn’t look back – i was afraid that if i look back, i’d be going back to my chair and do nothing. I thought: if i go back and think of the things i’d say to Roland, i’d stammer and it would be worse. I also thought: Roland is the elusive one – I won’t let this moment pass doing nothing.
I was standing beside Roland and politely said: “Hi – sorry to disturb you but i just would like to give this to you. It’s a simple present i made.”
Roland: “Wow! Thank you.”
Me: “Btw, i’m Joyce”
Roland: “Joyce….nice name. Btw, i’m Roland” he offered his hand.
Me: “I know!” 🙂
Roland: “What is it?” (referring to the envelope i handed to him)
Me: “It’s a simple sketch i made for you”
Roland: “Can i take a look? Oh, but i won’t be able to see it. I don’t have my eyeglasses”
Me: “It’s big – you can see it”
He opened the envelope and took out the sketch.
Me: “It’s ink on paper”
Roland: “Wow! Amazing! I look the same!” (wide smile)
Me: “Of course!”
Roland: “Can i have it?”
Me: “It’s for you!”
Roland: “Thank you! It’s beautiful!”
He opened his arms for a hug and kissed me. One of the best nights of my life! Dreams do come true. ❤
While in transit to Sunset Station where the next set of meetups and show were to be (Carri and the team headed on over to the SF show) I got a distressed phone call. It was Carri…in transit to San Francisco. She explained that she couldn’t find her show tickets. I had feared this being the case since the day she got the tickets. We bought several sets for the team and now ours were in jeopardy. I had extra tickets but I knew others wanted to buy some of them and I knew our show experience should match that of Orange County…and that meant we needed her particular seats. I told her she would most likely have to fly back to LA and help Kai search her home for the tickets. We hung up the phone. I felt sick.
Then I remembered Curt sending me a message that I left my tickets with them. I told him those were just receipts and I was so sorry that such debris was left in the box (good heavens, what else had I left behind? A tear soaked tissue? I dreaded to think). But at that moment, I realised he was talking about Carri’s tickets. I began to shake and tremble dialing Carri’s number…I’d have to explain to her that Curt had the tickets and she didn’t leave them in LA. I braced myself because I knew she was gonna freak out…and she did. I warned the driver that it was about to get loud in the backsteat. Speaking loudly, with long drawn out OMGs, Carri said she kept telling herself to be careful with the tickets but must have forgotten to separate them from her stuff and the band. I replied to Curt re-confirming that he was right (egg all over on my face, spilling onto my lap). I said something like, “Good man, I’m sorry, those are Carri’s tickets. She got nervous…blahh blaah…” even the driver (who is also a fan) was shakng his head in shame for me. Wow, how embarrassing…
I checked into the hotel and casino and started setting up electronics, working remotely on media assignments and juggled fan logistics for those who were coming in early. I was stressed but I knew I had to stay focused. Captain Julian and Alisa (Scurvy Dawg) of WildWorld were coming in and I (Alice, the Salty Dawg) wanted to be ready to roll for whatever was needed. I took a long walk through the hotel and checked out the pool area. I couldn’t tell if the tiny white chairs were set up for the show or something else. The set up didn’t look the same.
Relieved and embarrassed, Carri was able to retrieve the tickets from the TFF team later that night (I know lady Tanya was uber helpful in that…and I heard Janice Whaley was too? Thanks!!) Apparently, it had become quite a conversation piece among the band. We were mortified and came to an agreement that “I” will handle all logistics under all circumstances going forward.
With that taken care, I went to bed in my new Turquoise Peacock blue TFF shirt and drumstick (I couldn’t find the Captain and didn’t think it was appropriate to hunt for him). Just before that, I lept in the bathtub, swim suit and all (it was new, the pool was closed and I wanted to try it out) then fell asleep with band merch all around me. Silly? Ridiculous? Pft, ain’t no shame in my game, I’ll do whatever it takes to get to sleep after a stressful day like that.
Friday-Monday -The Orzabal Ship comes to life w/Kooks &Shipmates in tow
I got up at like 8am, ran downstairs checking every social media platform, my phone, everything… Fans friends had sent me a ton of material and pictures from San Fran. I was clicking this and saving that. Still Josh Debord’s material won out over all and Jeanie Paloma was spot on it making sure we got his contact info.
I went to the pool area and the concert venue to see how everything was set up for the show. The tiny white chairs from the night before were still there. I did not like this. It looked uncomfy and I was sure we’d be miserable and too close together in the blazing heat of the day.
It got hotter as I stood there. I went over to the staff and got a Cabana because I knew we’d never manage in that heat. Traci showed up, then SheeShee and Mark…and many others…I started drinking…slowly floating into this sleepy state of no-man’s land. I realised, Andye and heat don’t mix…When Mark and SheeShee left I started to pass out…I laid down…and Traci was talking…I heard only 10% of it…and then the next thing I knew I was having a reaction… Not causing a scene I get up…and I ask Traci to follow me in case I need to be rolled to the door. It’s about 2:30pm. I’m headed back upstairs to get benadryl…cause Im looking like a balloon. Then Traci stops talking…I think I hear my name…I’m thinking what the hell is the hold up? I turn around…and I see… CAPTAIN JULIAN ORZABAL… and there I was looking…like…a balloon. Soaked and unhealthy…I start to gasp…
Now we adopted a no scream policy two years ago and I’ve been good if not damn near perfect at not passing out or superfan screaming when I see the band or their families close by. In fact my blood pressure drops and I’m quite civil and cheery when they are around. But not this time. I let out a loud gassppppp and went slowly to the ground. In my head I’m screaming, It’s Hiiiiimmmmmmm. But sanity kicked in and I quickly stood up and shook his hand as if we were about to have a business meeting. It was a lovely encounter.
Mortified and angry with myself for drinking in the heat, I contemplated going to the hospital because I was THAT sick and looking nothing like my online photos past or present. But I scooped myself together and went back for what turned into Cabana nights…
We hung out all afternoon. IT WAS AWESOME!!!! More people arrived…Carri and the San Fran crew made it safely to the hotel and the SS DelaQ party began. I don’t know what more to say. I was fairly speechless…(there’s a video of all the hugging going on at the lower end of the page). We stayed until the pool closed and then it was time for the night time shenanigans.
We went upstairs to get ready for dinner. I told Carri to just please bear with me because at some point I knew I was gonna cry from gratitude. Didn’t take long, I fell on the bed and wailed…and wailed..and wailed some more. I have admired Captain since I was 14yrs old. Why? That’s between me and G-d. To finally see him…was more than I could bear…I had to cry and get it over with. My ultimate wishes had been fulfilled. Just as KMK asked us back in 2004 on the official TFF fan site, “What would you do with 24 hours and the band…” I said…a resort and a show.. and there I was…living the dream.
Then we went to dinner with Deb and team in tow. Captain went with Rise, Alisa and other pirates to sweet Lady Liz’. We tried to stay up late but I was still sick. Back in the room Carri and I sat in bed looking at each other, Jamie’s drum stick in my hand. Hers on the suitcase. We could barely speak…just staring at videos from San Francisco, watching Pale Shelter and all the songs from Josh and other fans…anticipating the next 24 hours.
Day of the show. I’m nervous. Where are Roland and Curt? Are they already in the hotel?I get a note from the Captain asking what’s on the agenda for the day. I say, “drinking and cabana time” to be funny. Then I went downstairs to camp out in the cabanas and swimming pool. And that’s exactly what we did. The Cabana teams brought us drinks til 3pm (instead of strait shots mine were mixed with various berries of this, that and the other to prevent any repeats of yesterday). Then Carri and I headed upstairs and started getting ready. Poor Carri didn’t eat a thing. She couldn’t find her contacts and accidentally ate my previously chewed bagels because she couldn’t see hers. I let her deal with her blindness while I pulled out my jewelry and turned on “Floating Down a River” so I wouldn’t get verklempt and forget the words. Cause, remember Curt caught me slip up in Orange County… I was determined to keep that from happening again.
We made plans to do a group picture that night around 5pm. People trickled in off and on and the location changed about 4 times. Some came upstairs like Becky (Texas) Candra (New York) Yyvette (Armenia) and her husband. I wasn’t much of a host as I was sidetracked when Curt posted a picture of himself in the Keep Calm and Carry On shirt, a slogan I had been tweeting all day to remedy the confusion and panic of the ticket situation.
Sheila/SheeShee was sweet and kept a group together so at 7pm and we all got crazy shots with Captain Julian. Then we rushed off to the show. Rushing and forgetting my infamous yellow fan, the incredible Captain J comes running over to me and gives it to me. Weeks after that you could see pictures of Julian floating around the internet with that fan in his hand. It’s mine. LOL.
Merch table was sweet. More items and brightly coloured tshirts. More waterbottles and Carina Round souveniers. You name it, they had it, we bought it…there are very few items left.
Carina Round didn’t get upset at the audience and was well received.We sat extremely warm and snug in those seats connected together. We were careful because if you moved too much you really pissed off the person next to you. I think my arse fit just perfect which was a relief.
The show started big and bold, Curt right in our faces, Roland to his left just as gorgeous as the day is long and the supporting team of talented guys Charlton, Jamie and CJV blaring on their instruments. Life rarely gets any better than this. EWTRTW and the whole set from before was played… and like clockwork we danced, moved, sang and hit the notes right on time with the band. There were jokes…about dolls. Now, anyone that follows me on Facebook knows I love dolls and have wanted some Tears for Fears dolls since I began collecting in my youth. Roland said that one fortunate person would find a set of dolls and could go backstage afterwards. Now, I believed it. I looked under my chair but Roland then said, “wait, looks like we have a winner in the back…see us after the show.” I didn’t cry but I was effin pissed. I wanted a doll and I wanted to see Roland again. Just for a few minutes.
More songs played and then afterwards Roland talked about his brother being there and we all screamed “We love you Julian.” Then he said he too had a doll under the seat…that’s when I realised it was the Orzabal humour, the same humour that let me know there would be no garage sale on the lawn of the guys’ homes and I couldn’t purchase the toaster, kitchen wear or socks…yeah, that was me. Now you know. I’m so gullible.
The wind blew a little but Curt’s shirt was wet as was my salwar kameez. I fanned Carri so she wouldn’t pass out, we sipped water between songs as if we were onstage with the band (We need to work on that, come on guys, let us sing along onstage one day in a clap section on Head Over Heels. We’ll clean up good! we’ll practice). I couldn’t get enough of that night despite the heat. Who cares how hot it was…we were with Tears for Fears baby!! Gold!!! It was Gold!!!
After the show we interviewed an gentleman named Graham (originally from Birmingham England) who was escorting his family on the tour. He has been in the US for 33years. He said he played Tears For Fears latest ELAHE for his neighbourhood and his family. They became obsessed with it and travelled from Ohio to the show. We have video of some of the conversation and will try to get it online soon.
That night we hung out in the lobby til the wee hours of the night. I think we drank and planned future meetups, fan conferences, etc til Julian went to bed. Then we followed (not with him but to our own beds)… Although I’m sure many of us were up for a big slumber party and I’d have gladly hosted the whole crew in my suite…blankets and a shot of baileys for everyone!!
Sunday was recovery day…back to the Cabana, more drinks, snuggling with each other til we nearly cried. Roland and Curt came downstairs and were on their way out. Then Alisa comes walking out to the Cabana and tells me to shake her hand. She smells lovely and I’m trying to figure out what it is she’s wearing. She says, “I just shook Roland’s hand.” Ahhh so that’s what it was, Roland’s cologne!! The cologne of which we’ve been trying to get the name of for over 3 years!! I start wiping it on me. Then she tells me the story of how she nearly knocked him down because she ran in the door to go get her children. She was scanning the room in a rush and almost ran right past him til she caught herself just before twisting into an upright angle to shake his hand unconsciously. Again, we try not to bother him so not even a handshake is gonna be initiated from us and that’s an order. He shook her hand and she gave up the chase for the kids who by chance came out with me. Alisa can tell the story better than I can. Go on and ask her.
I swear from 10am til 4pm we just hugged and sat in the Cabana and drank. Carolyn drank the Captain’s beer (by accident she says). Deb and I started crying (not necessarily b/c Captain’s beer got nabbed -we made sure he got replacement…poor Lady Carolyn has been deemed the mead nabber since the day). Deb had a great excuse for our tears; she claimed we had a case of the vapors! Then we sang EWTRTW together. I messed it up and we had to start all over again.
Then it got too hot. Time for a pizza party in my suite! Then off to the strip to take care of business…yes, the shipmates running around down the boulevard making it do what it do…hilarious…and hot. I was of no help (I seriously felt useless), melting but majestic running around with the team. We got done late in the night and headed back to the casino to get ready for Monday plane rides. I wanted to die. Why did this have to end?
I scored a cool Hello Kitty doll while walking with Julian. I cherish it. It’s a band cat. And that cat and I curled up in our cushy Delta seats. When I got back, I gave myself a week to unpack slowly, then donated everything to charity as it was Eid, and I perched, sitting ready for the next one…which I trust is in 2014. Plenty of time for us to get ourselves together.
We all sat online with TFF Japan fans and The Philippines’ TFF Kooks. We slowly got back to eating normal and buying luxuries like nail polish. And we’re just waiting patiently cause nothing else matters but G-d and the band right? This is our family and we’re sticking with it.
And we all lived happily ever after…
(snippet from Pale Shelter, Cheers Carri! &Thanks!)
(Andye, Carri & Kai’s experience – narrated by Andye)
It has taken longer than I personally would have liked to publish these experiences. I learned that many others were also suffering from post Tears For Fears tour syndrome which is a real illness that leaves fans incapable of remaining focused on reality. Fiascos occur, people break things, drop the purse dog…a number of things seem to collapse and go ignored in the outside world… and in my case I was just sleepless and a ball of depression because my “happy place” is always with that band. Eventhough my experiences were logged and typed I couldn’t bear to re-read/edit them without whimpering and wishing to repeat it all over again…even the crazy stuff.
I know we’re beating a dead horse here. But how we made it to the tour was nothing short of a miracle. I’ll leave it at that. You talk about going into war ration mode…smh. How people’s children were fed is beyond me, cause mum & dad were determined to make it to at least two shows and that’s how it was for members in each region.
As mentioned in previous entries, this tour caught us off guard. The band (particularly Curt) is really good about letting us know well in advance the schedules and shows. So the announcement in May/June sent us into turbo mode and we just got crazy working two jobs, selling art and cutting back on luxuries so we could have the resources to follow the band for a few days.
Ahoy Mates, Captain J is coming!
When Captain Julian (Roland’s brother) came onboard we wanted to make sure it was a really memorable fun week and a half on the fanship. When we finally got word on what Henderson/Vegas venue we were going to be in I booked rooms, flights, etc using reward miles and our fan club funds that miraculously had been pooled to a level of promise. (Alhmdl)
I was scheduled for the first and third show as I wanted to get in town to salute the Captain on Thursday which would mean I’d have to miss San Fran show (supposedly the best show of the entire US leg of the tour). I made my checklist and packed on Sunday night, sat in the sauna, chanted and did other pre-tour rituals including cleaning my flat from top to end.
Tuesday I finished up at the network on time to be whisked off to LAX. As customary I was whisked away to the airport by one of our AABCE team members who owns a car service company. Mind you a week away for me in Atlanta where I’m running a number of media projects for network TV and global social circles doesn’t stop, television and the daily goings on of community life have to keep going. So there I am in the airport looking for a quiet place in the Delta terminal to pop in my tunes and start pecking away responding to some friends who were hosting a holiday show (the Tour was smack in the middle of one of the most important days on the international calendar…Me pecking away on a device was a common scene…
Kids from Montreal were rolling around me. The sound from the TV seemed to penetrate through my headphones but I kept going; determined to try and sleep on that plane so I’d be extra alert for the meetup planned for that night at the Hilton, which was the official hotel for the Orange County Fair.
Not sure what sort of nervous energy I’m sending from deep inside of my conscious but I always seem to be on planes where someone has a heart attack. It happened again mid air. I was fearful we’d have to land and I’d be late meeting my new driver friends from Russia. The man was taken care of by doctors on the plane and Delta staff. He was so well afterwards he rushed off the plane. The guy beside me, also a Tears For Fears fan, and I looked at each other in awe. “Did he just run off the plane? Was that him?” I asked. The fellow fan whose chin was practically on the floor looked at me and nodded ::yes:: eyes as wide as the grand canyon.
Walking this now familiar route through LAX, I got my bags on my own because the driver was late. This is an issue for me. I pay extra for inside pick up not b/c I’m a stuck up snob who can’t carry her own suitcase but I’m so nervous from excitement I can barely focus. I become shaky and weak.
Driver came, crazy apologetic with his Russian accent still in place after 17years…as an expat’s kid it was comforting. Arriving just after 7pm to the Hilton, I changed clothes with a fellow fan who came upstairs (people were staying everywhere in the area not just the Hilton). We met the bar manager who explained how the seating and billing would work the next day for our meetup. I met our hostess and sent a note to everyone I could think of to have them come over before the show then we’d all carpool over and march in like fan club soldiers to the venue.
Dinner at the Hilton is under-rated
Linda Lulu had a Sirloin something and fries I had Mushroom stuffed Ravioli w/Spinach and goat cheese puree. It was unreal….We had 5 types of sorbet and ice cream for dessert. Again, dinner there is pretty darn good…
Morning came so fast. I got up and began exercising, running around, enjoying the healing California air. Breakfast and all…I lived like a healthy normal human being vs the stressed rat I can turn into when I addictively take on too much in Atlanta. I’m a member of overcommitters anonymous, Hi My name is Andye and I like to do too much. Hi Andye!!
…and fans came in and picked up their tickets from my room and headed over to the fair early. I stayed behind, got dressed and then met up with Eileen (Duranie: Duran Duran’s fan club is the sister Fan Club to ours) for the meetup. One by one people text regarding the awful traffic and told me that they couldn’t get to the Hotel…even Carri and Kai were stuck in the LA usual. Eileen and I left and went to get settled in what people term “our fanclub seats.”
Meetup 2 was for a group shot at the front of the fair. But everyone was lost and scattered. Eileen and I waited, me on two phones looking like an agent trying to figure out where everyone was. Just before going in we headed to merch, stocked up, rolled our eyes ultra hard at the gentleman who not only held up the line but seemed to not know the names of the band and tried to correct the merch dude who looked shocked as we did…I scooped up my boat load of branded items including the incredible blue Tears for Fears water bottle…thing of beauty and skidaddled off. Inside we found lots of fans, Carina Round was just getting to the stage. It’s funny Carri and I bought our tickets 5 hours apart and ended up in the same section right next to each other. Mixed emotions and grunts were in the crowd. Carina apparently felt we should already know her music. I sadly hadn’t had a moment with all that pre-tour prepping and travel back and forth to LA to listen to it all.. So I didn’t sing along but paid attention respectfully. Her song, “Pick up the phone,” was an eye opener and touched heavily on what sounded like the results of unexpected pregnancy?? It was so painful to hear and a few men squirmed in their chairs which is perhaps what was supposed to happen. I’m glad she wrote it. Makes a great gift to those who need to hear it. Lesson given. Lesson learned. Don’t fuck around. Carina didn’t stop there she kept it going, calling out to the audience to sing with her. Again, all I could do was hum along. When she said it would be the first time an audience hadn’t sang along a man yelled very loud and clear, “We don’t know the song!!” I can’t remember what happened after that…I don’t know if I want to.
When she left the stage “Stand or Fall” came on and Carri, Kai and I went nuts. Especially me…singing loudly to the dismay of the woman on the front row of the circle. She stared, I sang at her…hoping she would join in. She seemed stiff, uncomfy and alone…not sure why she chose a seat next to the stage and didn’t expect superfans to be near. I gave up on her and we continued singing. Then the lights went out and superfan Andye (my alter ego) came out of nowhere, stood in the aisle and just went into Tears For Fears mega-fan mode. It was unreal..
The show…could have gone on for four hours and it would not have been enough for me or the hundreds of others who flew in. I was elated with every moment of it. Those two hours are what I wait for all year round. Knowing this was just two of several that I’d experience over the coming days just thrilled me to bits. I didn’t bother trying to stay still I just went nuts.
Curt and Roland come to the stage moments after this phenomenal musical intro (Romeo and Juliet’s Dance of the Knights ::thanks Lady Arlene::Curt told us what it was back in 2011 but I kept forgetting b/c I didn’t write down the exact name. It’s a strong heavy piece of classical music that is slightly haunting…and I LOVE IT!!
Anticipation grows as it continues. I begin to lose it. I just start freakin out screaming… (like a person watching a football game, it was …scary in hindsight). I can barely listen to it without kinda freakin’ out again. If you hear it (in the link above)…I kind of just go into French, and then I make one of our cultural tribal calls…Funny, when I’m standing next to them at random, I’m quiet as a mouse. Then the lights go up and EWTRTW begins with those first chords and my soul soars to sky like a helium balloon…I’m high above myself as if it’s G-d holding me above the stage…and the sing-a-long of all sing-a-longs begins with everyone up, dancing and belting it out word for word. I’m like first chair in a band, loyal like a career soldier soaking it up like a sponge… Our happy place is LIVE! This is a dream come to life …our reality, hard work and months of waiting have come to fruition. I’m in total bliss. They sound crisp, are looking alive, well rested, refreshed and very strong.
Roland is well dressed (no plaid shirts– Plaid isn’t worthy of Roland. Only solid button downs, jackets are smart enough for his handsome build and angelic slightly tanned skin tone…he is so fine he is too hot to hold). That saying Clothes make the man, well, honey ::He makes the clothes:: They looked so good it was hard to look at them without shouting like a sinner in a church, pray.
Our souls drifted above us dancing around while our physical selves became a drenched pool of excitement. The whole team could be seen. Jeanie and Colleen, Kim, Margie and Traci…all of us.
I continue to go into full international superfan mode with a wail of zaghareets after EWTRTW. Carri and Kai were cracking up at me. I’ve been told I’m quite a show in the show because I start “speaking in tongues” (which is just me yelling in my Arabic-French)…I’m on cloud9 so I have no idea what is going on behind me, my focus is this heavenly show.
I had every word right, Carri dancing front of me, Traci recording the show and I’m doing every move from the video decked out in my traditional Nigerian-Indian dress. Then Floating Down A River came on…I tripped up the words, damnit and I swear Curt laughed, looked right at me… ::BUSTED:: (I spent the next Thursday morning with that song on repeat just to make sure I had it corrected for the next show). Can’t be a superfan if you can’t sing the songs. After Badman’s song I had given my all. I felt faint. I almost fell off the steps that were connected to the stage where I was standing. I was literally fainting from just pure bliss. I’ve decided to start drinking water between songs. I’m sure a lot of it is dehydration.
There were three women up front who remained standing. It was fun waving back and forth to them on “Floating down a river” one of the many songs audiences didn’t seem to know. The woman got a kiss smack on the lips as the show ended. (Video is below, complete with gasps and OMGs from fans in shock or longing for the same)
And when the audience didn’t know a song they shamelessly sat down.Who sits down at a concert!!? Since their music has a good beat, not sure why people didn’t stay on their feet …and dance… Blows my mind. I could have cared less! Sure, FDAR was new to me too at one time but I didn’t sit down. I was disappointed with the crowd.
The venue was okay, The Higher Power gave us good weather and that just made it a perfect show coupled with the band’s talent. I tell you, I danced. I mean, I moved. With less than a footwide step of space next to the far right hand side of the stage, I made it work. In my pink and white salwar I could not be stopped. The insanely strict security didn’t even try to say anything.
Carina’s dancing… Bless her soul she did all sorts of awkward movements. We just laughed. She was fun and funny. We yelled for the encore and out came Curt’s kids and a few other sweet ones. They sang into the microphone just like the kids on the video…I tell you, that band…that band…it does not begin or end they are just an infinity of excitement on and offline LIVE at shows. They bring about so much excitement I have to literally go to a comfy spot of sunshine and serenity to complete these blog posts because the emotions of reliving those show and tour moments are hard to handle. I often have to sit down.
The show came to a close and Jamie and Charlton waved goodbye. Jamie walked right over and handed me a drum stick and Carri took the other. I’m still overwhelmed with gratitude every time I think about it.
I had some personal biz to take care of with the Good Man and Ravishing Rollie Sunshine. I waited 10 mins before going backstage and while waiting a woman came over and said the funniest thing. “The guitar player really took to you. He was staring at you a lot. I got some pictures of him starring if you’d like?” I told her I’m always around and nothing new to him. Charlton was probably laughing at my Roland dance during “Change.” She then realised we were the superfans and she shook her head knowingly.
Backstage…This was not planned. I had no intentions of going back there. It was a suggestion made by a higher authority that we take care of business back there. So, there we went, Carri, Kai and I with our passes stuck to us visibly as instructed. I smiled and nodded at familar faces then someone said Roland was at the far end of this open night sky area.
The area was lit with red and yellow stage like lighting reflecting off of walls and the night sky. There was what looked like a cash bar but turned out to be a nicely arranged serving dish with ice in it and bottles of wine and beer. I politely didn’t touch it as I wanted to be as brief as possible. I sadly live in fear of getting on their nerves so I’m known to keep a safe distance, wave, nod and then go my way unless called to do otherwise.And let the record show, I’m always open for otherwise but again, fan club etiquette rules to which I signed my name in blood, keep me well-behaved.
Curt came out and began handshakes and his beautiful family was in the mix. Everyone raved about how awesome the show was and you kind of had to make sure you didn’t bump into anyone as hands were being shook to the left and the right as people greeted each other. There were hand all reaching out in every direction. Curt saw us and began inching his way over. We met in the center and he began re-introducing his wife to us of whom we hadn’t really formally shaken hands with but had always smiled, nodded and spoke to in passing. Curt was about to give me a hug but I spared him getting soaked because my Kamiseta was damp as was my veil. So we air kissed. It was cute and funny. Love that man…I swear, under G-d there he is.
Business was handled then Carri, Kai (and the kids ??) took pictures. They turned out amazing. Curt asked to see and we turned the camera around. He approved. Look at that photo above, stunning! It’s like looking at a ray of sunshine. I swear you could hear stars just clinking against each other as we all stood there. It’s like the band just oozes goodness.
We stepped aside as others were mixing and mingling closer in a tetrits sort of way. Then…I stepped back to just stay out of the way while waiting for Carri and Kai who were chatting with Jamie and the team. I saw that Roland was doing the same…standing there off to the side listening to someone talk. His son had just stepped away and the Good Sir Orzabal was left with a stranger, holding a glass, nodding and listening. That convo ended and they sort of stood there looking at others. Roland looked at me. I nodded respectfully like a well-trained child. Roland told the guy he was gonna slip on out. The guy shook his hand and was already in another conversation with another person within seconds. Roland stood there very casual as if we were at a dinner party just hanging out..he was looking at me as if he’d seen me a thousand times, like you look at your neighbour at the monthly townhall meeting…as if to say, “Well Ralph here we are again…another fine night…”
Now, this moment in reality couldn’t have been more than 1-2 minutes…maybe less… But every second felt like 60 and everything slowed down to a historic Thuc Indonesian style speed.
Now there are two levels of energy going here. There’s Roland’s casual “hey Andye” vibe (as if I’m a neighbour he sees everyday)…and then there’s mine… The “I’m standing in a space that contains the only two people I care about next to G-d …I am in the level before heaven, the ruler of the majestic cloud 9 is standing here before me, in a beautiful shirt, with perfectly done hair, immaculate skin, a physique to envy for days and no cultural judgement against me for wearing a hijab in his show.”
He leaned forward putting his head closer to mine (yes there’s that amazing hair) I’m sorry guys…I’m fangirling…He leaned down closer so he could hear what I was saying as I handed him the non-conflict commodities. In doing so I went into full on Nigerian mode. I was bowing and courtseying as if I was standing next to the leader of the Ibo Market. I thanked him for letting me sing last year…bowed again. He said something like, “Yeahhh,” with a you’re a friend look…as if I was a 20yrs long staff member or something. And I’m like, “wow, really?” I was in such shock because I expected to feel low and unworthy in his presence (a total Wayne and Garth moment) and instead I felt like…like a…a friend…and I was so shocked my last sentence just fell into French and I bowed again and he put the commodities away. Like waking up slowly from a dream I turned in a daze, everything was hazy and I found myself heading straight for a wall. I turned just in time, avoiding what could have been a bloody nose, to find Carri, Jamie, Charlton and others chatting.
We stayed about 15-20 mins. Then we told Curt we had to go catch the plane to the next city. Roland had vanished off behind a second area of the backstage section. We waved goodbye then QUICKLY met up w/some fans for funnelcakes and photos by the sunflowers…then a mad dash to the car to get ready for the rest of the tour.
All I can say is…duuudee…Roland and Curt are like too freakin cool! Again that Rollie Sunshine encounter was no more than a few seconds…but a beautiful coherent blur I cherish…it’s wild knowing what it’s like to see a miracle play out before you. After seeing that I can recognise the hand of G-d on many occasions. He is real. I don’t mean to turn this into a spiritual thing but that moment was Euphoric. (Ohhh great, I’m crying now)I remember at one point I had to look down to fiddle with the box because he is so good looking my mouth and chin were dropping and my eye brows were furling because I couldn’t understand how someone can look that amazing! I remember my hand trembling slightly and I lifted it up so he wouldn’t notice…he probably did. Oh well…
By accident we took the long way out of the fair…We were stopped by man near a water machine. “Dehydrated me” took a glass and the man selling the water almost talked me into signing up for a year supply of it for an office cubicle. Then we dreamily walked back to the car chatting with a rabbit I named Julian that sat perfectly still in the grass like a guardian as we walked past. G-d was with us. I’m convinced.
Traci S. has all of the good side stage video where we stood… but she’s busy trying to strike a deal with Curt on politics so when she and he get out of the friendship supreme court maybe we’ll get to see them. In the meantime, these are what were posted by people we don’t really know that well…bless their souls for minding the sound.
(Kiss from an Angelic Rose named Roland …just keep watching this Shout Finale to see it. We have a freeze frame of it but…let the video speak for itself)
(for the record, there’s singing on here…by the band and the fans… Go Kai Go!! 😉 Thank you Kai-Kai for getting awesome footage of the show. My hands shake too bad to even try!
(far away shot, but great volume)
(little bit better if you’re just wanting to “see” them)
We sure hope we can get all the pictures and video contributions by those that wanted to contribute. Just let me know…We’ll make sure they are featured.
Duran Duran Revisits Atlanta
It’s been about a year since we were graced with Duran Duran’s outstanding show. They are reportedly back in the studio preparing another album. But before we dance into the future, let’s look at their amazing past tour and particulary the stop in Atlanta as that’s what I’m most familiar with.
Duran Duran have travel fans just like Tears for Fears. They are a group of VIPs that are registered with the official fanclub and attend performances all over the world. They are an impressive group of people. We were fortunate to get in touch with a few of them, mainly Ingrid and she is just a delight! She and several of the team have been featured countless times on the Duran Duran page and at the Atlanta show were allowed to announce the band. It was quite a moment in superfanland.
I arrived early as always. It had been raining as it always seems to do on concert days in Atlanta. We get all four seasons for sure when certain bands come to town. There we were humid and damp from the elements, people in plastic ponchos covering gorgeous outfits that were carefully put together celebrating milestones in the band’s history. I stood for what may have been an hour in the merch line. Soon enough I got several things…a leather manpurse, Tshirt and bunch of other things. I was grateful for it, caught up in the fandom.
I bought my ticket to the show months in advance through the fanclub. Because I didn’t choose the VIP option I was only able to get as close as “the stage door” as my seat. It’s a great seat but I would have loved to be in box seat or the first 3 rows. I mean, when you know all the songs, all the words, practice dance moves and the like you want to be near the mike, right? So there I was next to the stage door. My friends teasing me that I’m probably going to get to sing. Duran Duran don’t know me THAT well to let that happen, again, this isn’t Tears For Fears, these are their friends. I continued tweeting and the band’s social media group RT’d everything. It was amazing. Something about getting an RT and knowing “they know you’re alive and supporting” is just everything and more.
MDNR opened for them and I thought she was great. She had upbeat lyrics, dressed in fun fashion and her songs were very club-like and modern 80s meets the Millennial. I know some were not pleased but for me she was stellar! She interacted with the crowd while playing instruments, a sort of one-woman show. She was just…FUN! After she left the video began…a long intro to what would be one of the best shows in ATL that year (with all due respect to the B52s at the Fox earlier that summer). The video was of a woman, dressed beautifully in Victorian and Rococo era style dress and hair…running for miles. She just kept running…and that drove people insane. They weren’t sure when it was going to end and the man beside me put on quite a show of his disapproval to the point his girlfriend became embarrassed and asked him to sit down. I think he rather liked the attention. I admit, that video was long and I had wished someone would have come out onto the stage running around in Roccoco attire to sort of bring life to that. But I liked it nonetheless…
Then with a burst of energy Duran Duran came to the stage, playing the set list just as we expected including songs that everyone had requested. The DD social media crew was on it like lighting. I tweeted, “The show is now Live. Duran Duran starts now” along with a picture of the audience from where I was standing and dancing. They quickly retweeted it. There were tributes to issues that fans were going through and several times Simon Le Bon, the Great came over to our side and paid some real attention to us, grabbing Anna’s hand the whole way. The subtle cues and recognitioin didn’t go unnoticed, thank you kind Sir, much appreciated!
Again, one of the travel fans from Los Angeles (Ingrid’s travel pal) on the front row was given the microphone to announce a few fun things the band asked of her. Simon said, “We’ve never met have we?” Which was a lie, any travel fan and dedicated fan knew who she was. She’d been at every show. In fact, she is so well known she’s got as much of a fan club of her own. These girls are hot! They look amazing and always perch up front like loyalist. It’s something to be proud of, I’m certainly proud of them.
“Leave the Light On” was played for a fan who had either died or gone missing during the tour. It’s clear that the band pays attention and checks their twitter feed. This was precious and very important, and again, appreciated.
Also, the band said they’d been to Atlanta more times than any other city on this particular tour. It’s true, they’d been there 4 times and with every show the crowds got bigger and bigger to the point it was sold out this time. We can’t wait for them to come back.
This concert was even better than the one from Oct 2011, if you can believe that. I had a great time. Danced like a soldier of sound and people around me joyfully made note that I didn’t stop singing and dancing… and I didn’t. I held it the whole time, choreography and all that jazz with every song. I made a lot of new friends…many of whom danced along with me.
So how are they a sister fan club to Tears for Fears?
If you have to ask at this point, you’re gonna get your band fan card revoked. LOL. JT and Curt are friends (remeber the infamous twitter pictures?). There was a joint tour at one point and there remains a comraderie so we are happily tagging along with their fans as well, supportive and showing up much like DD fans do at TFF shows. We’re sister fans.
So, both bands have new material underway, looks like 2014 is gonna be bananas!!! Bring it!! 🙂
Everybody on the Travel Fan Team works so hard to make a peaceful and ridiculously fun experience for all involved. Carri and her gift of getting seats, Becky and her talent for picking perfect shirts, Cammie’s calm nature, Traci’s positive attitude (even if she does argue excessively w/Curt over politics. Mercy!) and our teams in The Philippines, Japan and France who are always very active and promote the band in ways that many might not ever see… Someone took notice of all of that and wrote a song about it! It’s a very touching song (and in my opinion is as beautiful as the band & their family’s spirits). Roland and Curt, the entire team and their families have been a beaming light for us 365 days a year for over 2 decades…and it’s just overwhelming. We are all steeped in infinite gratitude.
This song was originally released on 14 December. Due to the tragedies of the day, we felt it would be best to highlight it another time. May we dedicate this also to the lost children and their friends who may now be using music to heal through hard times. May the innocent love of creativity and art always be celebrated in music programs for all ages. Thank you Roland and Curt for your inspiration, huge hugs to the supporting band members and families and GARGANTUAN THANKS to Robert for creating this tribute!
**note from the moderator, Andye**
Robert spoke to me one night on Facebook …and asked me a very tough question. He said he knew I cherished both Curt and Roland equally and do not believe in putting one over the other. I adore their solo work and thrive on the two being together BUT if one of them was going to write a song about me who would it be. I told him this: That’s easy, Roland. I have had the ultimate pleasure of hearing Curt and learning his solo style I almost feel I could predict what he’d write if he wrote a song about me. Although with all due respect, I can’t see why on earth they would (??) Do musicians write songs about fans? Roland, of whom I’ve only had quick interactions and miraculous moments…well, I have no idea what he would write. I think it would be amazing to hear his thoughts about a fan musically. So, there’s my answer.
Robert then asked, well what would you think Curt would write. I said, perhaps he’d mention how everything TFF, CS and RO are my life…this and prayer keep me going…two days later, I find this song in my inbox and twitter news feed. Wow! I tried not to cry…to be tough…and say, amazing job but my eyes were soaked with tears by the time I stood up…and I hadn’t even finished listening to it. I found out other fans felt the same way…
*Note from Robert O.* Being a TFF fan myself, I know how much the band means to the Travel Fan team. I am humbled and honored that my music was given any consideration at all since TFF is such a tight, innovative, and masterful group whose music will inspire generations to come. I love their music!
Here’s another song by Robert inspired by the band…Enjoy! Follow him on Soundcloud! (you’ll have to click thru to youtube to view it…it has some restrictions on it)
Welcome to whose life? Our Life… steeped in gratitude!! This rare find is the long version of EWTRTW. If you’ve never heard it you haven’t lived! Cheers to all the musicians who are inspired by this band, have worked with this band and their dedicated fans!
-Sincerely, Andye, Carri, Marcio, Carolyn, Juli, Joyce, Becky & Robert