Lael has been so loving and kind over the years in her fan following of Tears for Fears. This year she is contributing to the Arizona fan fun by assisting fans with any questions about their travel plans. Read more about Lael and be sure to look her up before the upcoming TFF Arizona show to participate in the fan fun!
A Soft Place to Land
Tears For Fears has always been a soft place to land for me. I first heard of them in October of 1983 when their hit “Change” became a college radio hit here in the U.S. I was very drawn to them, as they appealed to my quirky, nerdy side. I was blown away by their ability to express childhood trauma in such an universal manner, at such a young age. It was intriguing that their harmony followed a classical idiom, which was not common for popular music at the time. I was raised on classical music, especially opera, so I loved Roland Orzabal’s operatic voice. Combined with Curt’s quintessential pop voice, they created a sound that was inviting, soothing, and timeless.
Their music has always been there for me during the worst of times: The passing of my mother, my highly dysfunctional upbringing, and my divorce. Due to the amazing strangeness that is Social Media, I was able to sing a duet with Michael Wainwright when he was the opening act / backup singer for Tears For Fears. This experience was life changing, as I discovered that there were people truly like me in this world. I finally learned that it was okay to express my creative side, and with insight from the band regarding songwriting, I am now able to write poems and sing much more freely.
I have met many other intelligent, talented, and compassionate people through my involvement with Tears For Fears; fans that understand the legacy of this band, and the overall importance of art and its relationship to our humanity. I look forward to this continued journey of self-discovery, self – actualization, and cultivation of enduring friendships.
We want to thank Lael for organising on two occasions fun things for fans to do and riding out through the desert to Curt Smith Solo shows in Santa Monica. Speaks volumes when people go above and beyond in the manner she has. Cheers Lael! Let the good times roll!
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.
The 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.
About 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. Many 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!