Day three. Not too hard so far. Thanks and welcome to all the new folks following my blog – I hope you’re enjoying this project of mine. Comment away!
Today’s prompt is “a treasured memory.” I figure most of the participating bloggers are going to go with something like wedding days and births of babies (incredibly special memories, of course) or significant moments in their careers like “the call” from their agent (haven’t had one yet) and their first book launch (nope, don’t have one of those either).
No, I’m going in an entirely different direction.
I love music, and of all musicians, the one who touches my heart and soul like no other is Peter Gabriel. I came a little late to the party — my first awareness of his music was “Shock the Monkey” in heavy rotation on MTV — but, really, we could all do without “Moribund the Burgermeister” couldn’t we? I’m not an obsessive fan by any means, but I listen to his music all the time, in all of my moods, in random playlists or straight through chronologically. I write to his “Passion” album. I buy the actual CDs and read every word of the little booklet inside (even though they are usually just pages and pages of modern art; the man is a freaking genius).
At the end of the 90s when there was a substantial gap between studio albums and he was getting older, I had started to think that I would never get to see him live in concert. That made me really sad because, like I said, he’s a genius, and his concerts aren’t just a guy on stage singing. They are an experience. I own the VHS tape (yes, you heard that right) of his Secret World Live Tour in 1994 which has on stage a red British phone box and a massive tree, and utilizes a giant dome, a rotating overhead screen, and a people-mover (like at the airport) to get the performers from one part of the stage to the other.
I wanted to see this guy so bad!
In 2002, I got my chance.
He came to the Performing Arts Center in Holmdel, New Jersey. I don’t remember how we got the tickets or how much we paid — I’m sure it was not easy, and I’m sure we paid a lot — but I knew that it might be my one shot. The night of the concert was cold and rainy and I think half of the band had colds because no one sounded that great but what did I care: I was at a Peter Gabriel concert! I sang along, leaping out of my seat and dancing, pumping my fists and waving my arms, near tears when he sang songs with special meaning to me like “Solsbury Hill” or “In Your Eyes.”
It was one of the best nights of my life.
When the concert was over and we were all getting up to head home, I turned around to pick up my bag from under the seat.
The two guys in the row behind me were kind of chuckling and talking to each other.
“Hey,” one of them said.
I looked up at him.
“You are one kick-ass Peter Gabriel fan,” he said.
That’s how I want to be remembered.
Wife. Mother. Writer. Friend. Kick-ass Peter Gabriel fan.