The Best Bundle of Musical Joy!

Andye shares her thoughts on The Mayfield Bundle: By now everyone is surely enjoying their Curt Smith Bundle. It is such an awesome package. We’ve been totally spoiled with all of these branded items…it is almost just too much! Like many, I’ve certainly worn my Curt Smith Wristband everyday. I haven’t touched the Skittles and don’t plan to. I’ve taken a ton of pictures of it, shared the contents with fellow music lovers (I gave my autographed CD to a media executive whose eyes lit up when he saw what came out of the box upon arrival & gave The Villains Band lead singer the music card from cd baby that Curt included in this sensational sunny yellow bag of fun…)  I’ve kept everything else in tact and will place it in the TFF archives…

It seems many bought it as a keepsake…a post-tour closure souvenir to go along with the awesome memories we have of the 2011 tour and other great times with the band prior to that. But I’d like to see this Bundle take on a whole new role.

This should certainly be the norm for every Tears for Fears tour going forward. I think 3 months prior to the next one (and we pray there is a next one…there are hints of a new album but we won’t make any assumptions or official statements til the band speaks up and puts their seal of approval and authenticity on the chatter) …a Tears for Fears bundle should be made available for purchase to superfans who want to really make the most of their band following experience. A code should be given to each of those boxes that can be used to buy advanced tickets for premium seats near the front row. This will eliminate the need for us to stand in line as early as 7:30am in front of venues. This is not healthy or realistic but people did do this…in Los Angeles in fact. I and many others lined up ultra early for everything…and I’m talking a day in advance arrivals, etc…it was not easy but you know…when you love a band as much as we do, you do what you have to in order to be on time, present and accounted for.

The VIK badge
This has such great potential. In the future, it would be ultra cool if a TFF Superfan badge could be available for advanced purchase. Perhaps 200 of them with a code. These could perhaps be issued (at cost) to the fans who are already registered with Curt Smith’s mailing list/have remained in contact with the band/have supported them in various projects over the years or especially now. This is tricky however, because let’s face it…there are some wild fans out there that shouldn’t be so close to the stage…given their past behaviour. It is safe to give them up-close access like that?  I’m really unsure how to go about this in the fairest way… but would love to discuss it further… Perhaps it could be handled much like the success of Curt’s solo shows have functioned most recently…Those who follow him should get a chance to continue that support with the purchase of advanced seats much like he offered on his April-June residency at the Whitefire Theatre. First come first serve?

Either way, this was a great idea…I’d love to see it continued in grand fashion…a way that is fair in that those loyal fans (the band knows who they are) buy premium seats. If the show is General admission they must submit a code or perhaps wear the wristband that permits them to go into the venue ahead of time… Nothing worse than seeing a loyal fan screaming from the back of a concert while random people who can’t even sing the words to their songs get to sit up front. That is not cool given the distance that some go to get to these shows…I think of all of those people from New York…and overseas… mercy…we have got to come up with something.

I applaud this bundle for the excitement it generated! I really appreciate Curt for making it affordable in that each item (after doing research) would have cost about $12 each retail. It may seem expensive to some but in the end it was a great deal that brought a lot of joy! Cheers!

Big Thanks to Marcio of Brasil for sharing so many photos! Cool High Five to Amur in the Philippines for going through such over the top measures to get one in her country! You can see hers on Curt Smith’s Facebook page. Muito Obrigada and Maraming Salamat you awesome #Kooks !!

Curt Smith at McCabe’s Guitar Shop (19 November 2010)

Andye Superfan talks about travelling to Curt Smith’s solo at Mc’Cabe’s Guitar Shop.

It hadn’t been 24 hours since I left the presence of Curt Smith at Bardot before there was rumour of yet another show. I think I saw it somewhere on Twitter (of course). Snap Happy Pam (SHP) was determined that I attend. She encouraged me day in and day out to find a way to make it happen even though I had been assigned an Atlanta media week and it would have been literally impossible.  It would also mean I’d be travelling alone for several days in California. I hadn’t travelled alone…ever! But this fear of not having someone hold my hand had cost me a chance to be on set with them during an interview some years ago. So the McCabe’s show was my chance to break this ridiculous habit. Risking the perception of being a stalker I began planning how I’d get away for just the day…even if it meant flying in and flying right back out.

Meanwhile, Team CS had blossomed into a fun online group of 6 (Traci, Janice, The Sisters, Carri D, Alexis and myself) all umbrella’d in (@PapaSFans). We talked about Tears for Fears every single day, befriending each other Facebook and responding to each other’s comments on Curt Smith’s facebook fan page. We were in heaven…all this awesome contact and constant fan club activity. With the TwitChange we got a cool shoutout from Curt thanks to Shaun King and enjoyed following HIM following us.

Mid October, SHP was still asking about the show. “Are you coming?” I didn’t have an answer. I still hadn’t figured out how I was going to get there given that I’d be on assignment right up to the day of the show. He was also appearing at the TedxSF event…he was a guest speaker. I suggested to my media team that we go out there for that and learn something. But again, we already had plans for the week so nothing doin’. But, being the determined superfan I stayed up all night finishing up every inch of the project. I had booked a room in advance, already had a print out of the show ticket and within hours of the approval to leave I got a plane ticket and headed out to L.A. the day of the show…an 830 flight on Delta…all…by…myself!

Miki from Summit Limousines was there at L.A.X. to scoop me up and haul me down to Santa Monica. I checked in and begged for a room within view of the venue. After I lugged my suitcase up the stairs to the 3rd floor (in heels), Alexis and I met on the sidewalk and hugged for as long as possible before troplopsing back to my room and all but screaming with glee that we were about to see Curt Smith again. I was not feeling very well because I hadn’t slept in about 2 days (all that rushing to get through production so I could get out there) but was getting better in that healing California air and just happy to see a familiar face. (Its so funny that now I willfully hop on a plane to California with no need of a soul to guide me)

I remember trying to sleep a little. But I turned the TV on and just “shivered” for hours. I was a live wire! I phoned SHP. She promised to be there at 5pm and then we’d meet up with the rest of the fans outside and wait early for the show. And she kept her promise. Full of jitters and nerves we crossed the street to meet a line that had already formed. It was about 6pm at this time. I think doors were to open at 7 or  8pm. We met CS fan Margie Rivas and her family. Traci showed up later as did a ton of others from his facebook page who had travelled quite a ways to be there. It was like Curt Smith’s fan wall had come to life. We leaned against the building and waited for permission to go in…many of us completely shaking from excitement. A girl walked by and asked what we were waiting for. We told her “Curt Smith…” and her face lit up, “Cooool!” she said and waited around looking for a ticket. Sadly they were sold out…as expected.

Then the doors opened. We rushed into the venue and got our seats snuggled up on the 3rd row behind what turned out to be a few members from the Psych Crew? The pineapple was on stage as well. Wild right? I was thrilled to peaches! I made about 6 trips to the vending area to get a few cds and guitar picks (sp?) for the Atlanta fans who couldn’t be there (Todd, Michael, etc). I also wanted to get an autograph for my magnificent ATL superstar cousin Michael Roland Magno. The amount of things to buy was endless. So many different albums to choose from. I just kept grabbing and grabbing.

The Show

This is certainly the hardest part to talk about…I don’t know where to start…I remember a person speaking before hand and welcoming all of us to this historic venue. He said, “If in case there is a fire…each of you please grab a guitar from the wall and head toward the exit doors.” We roared with laughter and a few of us looked around toward the walls to see which one we would save from the potential burning flames. Then the house lights went down…and band members begin to come down to the stage one by one…sharply dressed in dark jackets and dress pants. Suits! We all clapped…then…His High Highness…The Good Man Curt Smith stepped down from the heavens to the front of the stage and we just lost it with praise. You’d have though G-d delivered him to us with His own hand.

Everything from this point forward is just a dream…I remember Curt singing “Drive” by the cars…with a story about his daughter and how she is growing up and…well, he’s preparing himself for the day she may be driven home by someone other than himself. If it was up to us fans we’d all be waiting up with he and his wife for whatever fortunate fellow that gets to take her out on a date. As he spoke before the song I imagined us all behind him with squinty eyes peering down at the fellow reminding him 11 o’clock means 10:59 latest. LOL…seriously…it was very precious and he sang so clearly…I can’t even begin to describe it. And from that, a number of stories came… Stories about his family, his current life and why certain songs were on the Halfway Pleased album. It was a very intimate and “moving” experience. And I just cried. I cried so hard…not loudly…just tears running down my face as I listened to him. I cried so hard my nose got all stuffy. I as busy wiping and snottin’ as I watched a man that I have admired and kept with me in a cassette case through the best and worst of times. Through my family’s coming and going in and out of theUnited States, to my first days at University, my adapting to new technology (Curt was the first person I ever emailed) and again at the very media post that I suggested they interview the band regarding ELAHE and the list goes…AND THERE HE WAS!!! …right there…singing…watching us all watch him…in total amazement! And the light shone down on him like a spirit…it was immaculate and I was delirious with gratitude. I just couldn’t believe it.

Curt’s Got Jokes

Every now and again Curt would reach into his pocket, talking about the suit…and his hand would move around. He assured us, “I’m not playing with my marbles.” That got a roar! He’s hilarious! The set went on and he joked about the music equipment additions and why they decided to wear suits…saying they got them when they were on tour with “Tears” but hadn’t had a chance to wear them. So they figured that this night was as good as any. They looked so smart and dashing…one would have had to have been there to see them…so handsome they were! And he played it up by having Charlton do some jazzy style extended instrumentals between songs and leading into songs. There was of course Mad World and some of the TFF favourites but mostly those soul stirring, warm ballads from his latest work Halfway Pleased…songs like Aeroplane and Trees. There was an intermission and I dried my eyes…and bought more merch!  And part two was just as engaging as the first…and again tears engulfed me and I just let them roll as I lip-sang the words and sat through what felt like a glorious ceremony on Cloud 9.

Curt Smith’s solo shows are not like anything I’ve ever attended. Being in the media industry, I have to sit through so much music and dance week after week…My weekends are filled with one band or dance troupe after another but NONE of them move me like a Curt Smith’s solo show. There just aren’t any words to describe it. You have to go, see and hear for yourself.

End of the Night

It ended with the Psych crew singing back up on “Shout.” OHHH, that was a treat! They did such an excellent job adding in their own energy and dedication to this incredible band. It was surreal. We applauded and headed out to the front of the Guitar shoppe. We waited about 10 minutes then Curt appeared in his cool casual clothes (he’d shed the suit) and spoke to us. It got quiet as we shuffled around arranging ourselves a distance away from him. No one said a word. They just looked with big smiles on their faces. Then he said, “Hey Andye.” I returned the hello and struggled with my decision to refrain from touching the ground as one does in my culture for people we honour. And we sort of stood there away from him and just stared for another 3-4 minutes. Clearly we were excited and nervous. Then Curt says something like, “Who would like to go first?” I was standing closest so I stepped next to him. He asked me, “Did you really stay up looking for a flight?” I nodded yes as if “You better believe I was determined to get here.” He gave me a quick hug and then signed a cd for my cousin Magno. I wanted him to sign everything but I knew that would be rude so I stepped aside and Alexis stepped forward second and gave him some bumper stickers for his car and asked for a picture and autograph. The next group stepped forward…and back in the crowd they went. And that’s kind of how it was the rest of the night. He received us with much grace and we all but bowed down at his feet. Sweet Afton took a few pictures of us with Curt. And we left completely changed. It was awesome. Its been a year now and we’ve all changed drasitcally since then. Three of us going on what we like to call the Curt Smith Fitness routine. He inspires us in so many ways. It’s a load of fun!

We stepped outside the venue, riddled with nerves and jetlag but unable to go to sleep. So we hopped in Alexis’ car and drove around til the morning came. That next day I headed off to a media event for which I’d been given tickets to attend since I was going to be in the area. I think Curt went with his daughters on glamping trip J or something like that…It was such an exciting excursion and it was on this trip that I truly began thinking about moving toCaliforniafor good. It’s such a nice place and the weather seems perfect. All of my East Coast ailments melt away when I’m there.

I never did recover from that trip. My sleep pattern was permanently thrown off and I’ve yet to have “shakenL.A.” It’s stuck to me like glue and I can’t scrub it off for anything. I want to thank Snap Happy Pam for the encouragement and constant push to move toLos Angeles. Mahalo to Team CS for making the effort to travel great distances to be there and continuing to do so even if it means great sacrifices. Who knew this would turn into a lifelong habit! In the name of Tears for Fears…Cheers!

Curt Smith Performs at Bardot Hollywood

picture taken with permission by SnapHappyPamCurt Smith performed at Bardot -Hollywood 19 September 2010. It was a night to remember! Here’s Superfan Andye’s story:

Curt had tweeted that he’d be performing there for DJ Chris Douridas‘ birthday and at the time I didn’t even think of going…simply because media assignments called and…well…I have to work right? And also, I figured I had gotten on his nerves by now. I mean all that tweeting in Atlanta, showing up at the show, going to second row and then first…and just well…being a fan and remaining ultra excited about anything he was involved in. So, I thought it best not to even dream of going out to California. Until…

One of the leads on my team said I’d be heading back to California for a media week. When I looked at the schedule I noticed it was to start the day after Curt’s performance. Still reluctant for the reasons stated above I decided to not to bank on it…and then I thought…wait, I’ve loved this band for way too long to be worried about these petty issues. I’m going to make an effort and go to this show. Besides he wouldn’t have published it if he didn’t want people on board. So, I asked my leads if I could head out early and after finding out for whom I’d be flying across the country to see they approved, wishing me the best.

I RSVPd and it stated something like, “you’ll know if you’re on the list the day of the show.” Well, that wasn’t going to work in my case. The ride from Dana point, Monarch Beach was not an easy one. Without making it seem too major, the cost to get from Monarch Beach to Hollywood and back was more than the plane ticket from Atlanta to Los Angeles. Reaching wayyyy down into the fanclub funds (thank goodness for ING) the money was available for me to make this trip. And I got my “on the list approval” two weeks before the show which took all my fears away. I wouldn’t have wanted to show up and then find out I couldn’t get in.

andyeandpambwThe day arrived…by now I had tweeted at least 2-3 times that I was going to be there  because I was thrilled to have the opportunity to sit and hear his voice again so soon. It was miraculous for me. I made a new friend, my band  sister Pam (SnapHappyPam) and she and I met up at the show where my new best friends (Summit Limo Company) dropped me off and waited. *I really wished I could have gotten Steven, my driver, into the show. He didn’t stop talking about them the whole way there.* Pam sent me a text stating, “I’m right up front.” I joined her and there we sat through an incredible evening.

CurtBardotAbout the show
A talented young lady sang, then a big band came on to sing happy birthday to DJ Chris D and…and then Curt walked up to the stage along with Charlton and another kind chap whose name I didn’t catch:(. I couldn’t see the other side of the very unique stage and I didn’t want to wiggle around and become a distraction. So I sat there guessing it was Doug? I have no clue, sad sad sad!

Well, sitting there Curt begins to talk and the crowd is hanging on every word. He thanks everyone for coming and mentions how this show came about. Then there was a bit of a pause…he said something else and glanced over toward Pam and I…the band was still tuning things and settling into the setting. He looks away and then I hear, “Hello Andye:)” And I could swear the world just stopped for a brief second. Red lights paused between green and yellow. A fork was mid air from falling to the ground. Wine had not yet touched the lips of the man next to me…and when the world snapped back,  I responded *grinning from ear to ear* “Hi Curt” with a little wave. I’m sure the fans that were with us there in spirit were saying, “Bravo Andye for not fainting on the spot.” Then he says, “Andye flew in all the way from Atlanta!” The crowd begins to clap and people on the balcony lean over to see who he is talking about.  I nodded with ultra humbleness to those sweet, kind souls around me. G-d bless everyone of them…
He concluded with “though I think she’s had other business out here too…” 🙂 I reassured him I was there for him and I was. I could’ve easily wiggled my way out of that conference but knowing I’d see him to start the week off was more than enough for me to high tail it out to California early and get ready for media week…which turned out to be one of the most informative and helpful events coupled with his performance. I’m truly grateful for the opportunities given to me by my fellow team members and leads. I’m truly one of the most blessed people on earth because of them. Not enough gratitude in the world to thank them for the assistance and also to Curt for being such an inspiration over the years in many different ways.

Curt sang his solo works and also included the song “All Is Love” for the first time to a large crowd. He said he didn’t feel it went over well but we in the crowd sure did and we let him know it. He also ended with Mad World (more of the Gary Jules re-make of his original classic) which sent the crowd into an enormous roar. Seven of Sundays was also included as was Aeroplane…ohhh, that man can sing! It’s awesome to see him live and in person. It’s like a spiritual experience mixed in with one of the most incredible music highs known to mankind…nothing compares. Nothing! It was a spectacular night and I’m still uncertain if that’s the right word to use…it just doesn’t do justice…Curt is incredible! **and he looks great! Fit as a fiddle!”

I didn’t really want to leave but Steven was outside waiting and I knew we had a 2 hour ride back to Monarch Beach. But you only live once right? So, Pam and I stayed outside chatting, taking little peeks over at Curt’s cool car. Some of the familiar road crew was around. Just moments before we left, Afton came over and gave me the play list cards from the stage. I kept them in my bag for nearly a year and then handed them over to the archives for safer keeping.

That night was a new beginning for me. Since then I’ve always tried to make it out for shows on the west coast or anywhere else I can reach within reason. I appreciate how he tweeted about me coming all the way from Atlanta on social media and well, I just think Curt Smith is one of those ultra awesome musicians that no matter what he always finds some kind of way to make his fans feel like the effort they put into getting to his shows and buying his work was more than an investment in great art but an investment in the good life…a real blessing. pam and andye car shotMany thanks to Pam (ProudMom27 on YouTube) for her continued support and love. Huge thanks to Curt Smith, his manager and fellow bandmates for smiling and being kind. It keeps the energy of the industry alive and thriving!

Eileen and Traci D with Curt after the show.
Eileen and Traci D with Curt after the show. This was an amazing evening!