Wednesday, July 16, 2008


My Brush With Fame

The Squeeze and I headed out around 9:30 Saturday morning, about an hour ahead of the Business Partner and his hubby, on our way to Chicago to see Yaz in concert. Yaz (Yazoo to the folks across the pond) was back with their 25th anniversary reunion tour and from the first day I heard about it, I have been pumped. Only You, Situation, Don't Go...these were the songs that defined my youth and perhaps my entire generation. I still don't get why so many people my age have no idea who I'm talking about when I mention Yaz. I mention Alison Moyet, I get a blank stare. I mention Vince Clarke, again a blank stare. I mention Erasure, sometimes I get a glint of recognition in their faces. How about Depeche Mode? Usually that gets an affirmative response. But by the time I tell them of Vince's connection with DM and the paths which brought Yaz together again, I'm met with that 'deer in the headlights' look. What's wrong with you people!?!? Most of the time that reaction is guaranteed when the people I'm talking to are mid-30's or younger.

Our drive was supposed to take just under 8 hours. Factor in a one hour delay at the border and stops for lunch and a number of bathroom breaks, and we got there in about 9 1/2 hours. Not too bad I suppose. We arrived at our hotel at 6:00, handed the car keys to the valet and went inside just in time to miss the nightly wine hour. Oh well, there would be others. We took the elevator up to our room and flopped on the bed for a few minutes and waited for BP and the hubby to arrive. They arrived within the hour and we set out to find a nice place to eat. We checked out the menu at the restaurant connected to the hotel, but we figured we'd take a quick tour of the neighbourhood to see if there was anything else calling us.

We hiked down the Magnificent Mile for a bit, and headed our way back up State St. and past the venue of the concert on Monday night. We decided to head back for dinner at the hotel, and had a very enjoyable dinner. The staff was very accommodating and attentive. I had a very nice pork chop with white cheddar mac & cheese (to die for!) with grilled asparagus. Our waiter even managed to scare us up a couple of bottles of wine that we really wanted to try but he thought they sold out of. Like I said, he came through.

As the four of us sat at our table following our dinner and discussed business, I glanced over into another booth across from us where two women were just seated. My eyes bulged. My heart stopped. "Oh my GOD!", I whispered to the table. "I think that's Alison Moyet." Everyone slowly turned their heads to take a look. Some said "Are you sure?" I said "Are you new!? I know Alison Moyet when I see her." There's no mistaking that smile, that face. Needless to say, I kept catching glances of her while I turned to talk to The Squeeze, who was perfectly positioned between Alison and me. As I said, we were discussing business, but from the moment I saw her, I heard nothing of the discussion. All I heard was the dialogue in my mind. "Should I go over there? I don't want to bother her. But this is a once in a lifetime thing. What should I do? What should I say? What will she say? What will her friend do? Did I have too much wine? Did I have enough wine? I should go there before they get their food. Am I going to be a nuisance? Will she be nice? What if she's not nice and shatters my image of her? What do I do???"

"I'm going over," I said to the table as the three of them looked on in disbelief. The Squeeze got up to let me out and I approached the table, grinning like an idiot, I'm sure. Alison looked up at me with a smile.

"I am SO sorry to bother you," I offered, "but I just had to come over to meet you. We drove nearly ten hours from Toronto to see your show on Monday and I just couldn't believe my eyes when I saw you sitting here. And I can't believe this is a 25th anniversary tour because you look like you're still in your 20's."

"I'm a fright," she replied as she laugned. "I've been flying all day and haven't even washed my hair yet."

"Nonsense. You're stunning. Could I be a total pain and ask if I can get a picture with you? I have a friend flying in Monday for the show and he is a HUGE fan of yours too and he simply will not believe I met you."

"Oh, absolutely! Can we do it here on the bench?", she asked.

"Squeeze! Grab the camera!", I yelled over as I sat down beside Alison. Just then, their waitress came by and said "Oh, will you be joining them?"

The monkey chatter in my brain said "Yes, yes I will. I'll have dinner again right here!" But reality clicked in. "No, I'm just bothering them for a moment. I'm with that group over there at that table," I sadly reflected.

Thank God I gave The Squeeze a crash course on the new camera the week before. He came over, said hello and got ready to take the shot as Alison put her arm around my shoulder. The flash went, the shutter clicked. It was done. I had to check the screen before leaving. It looked very nice. I was thrilled.

I thanked her for indulging me and told her how much I was looking forward to the concert on Monday. Again I apologized for interrupting them, especially her friend who looked pretty ticked off the whole time I was there. But as my friends said, you can't go out with someone that famous and not expect to have people come up and say hello.

As we left the restaurant to head back up to our room, I had our waiter look up what Alison and her friend were drinking and bought them a round.

"Any message?", he asked.

"Tell them it's from the annoying guy with the camera."

"OK, will do."

"And tell her I'm looking forward to seeing her show Monday night."

"What show is that?", he asked.

"You're not in your 30's yet, are you?", I asked as I turned to leave.

Could I possibly look more like Peter Boyle?

Alison who? ha ha! Just kidding! Having spent so many cottaging weeks with you and whatever stereo you so generously tend to for all of us - I've enjoyed excellent exposure to the Encyclopedia of 80's Music over the years.

But such a panic of internal dialogue! My god, man, have a spine! So glad you approached her. I'd have had to beat you senseless had you declined. Her friend was a knob by the way.

But as one who clicks on FMD infinitely more often than the official Yaz web site I must argue that it was actually she who had the brush with fame.

Too freaking awesome! Although I'm a little ticked you drove through Detroit TWICE and didn't call!

I'm so glad you went over there and talked to her. I would have bet money on her being cool. I'm betting the concert was unbelievable!!!
Actually, we didn't go through detroit. We crossed at Sarnia and went through Flint & Lansing. Took the same route back too. But I did wave to the south as we drove through. :o)
And yes, she was incredibly cool, and it was the concert of my life. There are even some clips from the show on YouTube.
Oh, you're one of those weirdos who take the 402...Flint and Lansing? Those are hot spots! ;-)
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