4 October 2007
ON THE GO -
Today I hit the GOGO road in a rented Chevy HRR. I’m thinkin’….Will this get me all the way to Reno? Sure. Why not?
I drove up the coast to Santa Ynez. I spent the afternoon with my cousin who lived in nearby Solvang. Now I know where all the Danes are.
I got there in time to scope out the place. Lots of smoke. Lots of slots. Lots of sad looking people. The hotel and spa next door seemed kind of interesting… for about 5 minutes.
I had to check out the world famous Creekside Buffet. I heard so much about it. However - I decided to pass. I was impressed with the dessert bar though. It got high mental check marks.
FOR STARTERS -There was no start up band tonight. thankyouthankyouthankyou...
THE WAY IT GOES - The doors opened at 7:30pm. The room reminded me of a big bingo hall. Conference chairs were placed in rows in front of the stage. Two large TV screens were on the walls at each side of the stage.
The room filled up with lots of old people - like me? Most of these people sported haircuts right out of the 80's- like me? jeez.
My seat was not the best - half-way back and to the side. So - as soon as the lights went down - I high tailed it to the front and settled into a vacant seat I had spotted earlier. Now this was more like it!
The show started promptly at 8:15 pm. The staging was kind of cool. There were lots of colorful lights. There was a big round thing in the background that looked like an on-end trampoline. The lights played off of this. Not sure what that was all about.
The girls were in perfect form. They must have had the full spa treatment that afternoon. However, they were not as chatty as the night before. Maybe the big bingo hall venue felt a bit impersonal. They left the laugh-track and sound effect machine in Anaheim. Good move.
Jane Wiedlin had a lot of stage energy that night. She was funny and wore a Darth Vader t-shirt which said, Whose your Daddy?
What a minute - I've seen this t-shirt before? Could it have been at the recent L.A. Star Wars convention?
At first the crowd was a bit stiff for a typical GOGO show. There were an assortment of older casino-types, tour-bus-types and girls having a night out. Of course - there were the fans willing to go the extra mile (like me).
They started off the show with Vacation- and it only went up from there. However - 30 minutes into the show- most people were still in their seats. It was obvious many in the audience wanted to come forward and dance. However, security guards pushed them back to their seats. jeez.
About midway through the show, drummer Gina Schock went to a microphone and asked the security guards to chill and let those who wanted to - come forward and dance. The audience was delighted with the invite and immediately obliged. As everyone moved forward it suddenly felt like a real GOGO show. Way to go Gina!
All-in-all the concert was about 90 minutes of pure 80's bliss. You Go girls!
WORTH NOTING - The following.
HIGH NOTE - After the show I had no where in particular to go - so - I went up to the stage and watched the roadies break down the set (they are all pretty familiar to me at this point). A few other fans were also hangin' around hoping to get hold of a set list or souvenir guitar pick. Some lucky fan just got the drum sticks. #*@#! I didn’t get anything. Disappointed, I turned and slowly walked towards the exit.
What happened next was totally surreal.
Before I reached the exit door, I heard a voice from behind me ask, Would you like to go back stage and meet the GOGOs?
I turned around to see who asked me this. He then continued, You looked so disappointed when you didn’t get that set list - you must be a true GOGO fan. I have a back stage “meet and greet" pass that I can’t use. Would you like to use it?”
I smiled and said YES!……I would luv to meet the GOGOs! thankyouthankyouthankyou...
I slipped the plastic Meet & Greet wrist band on my wrist and headed straight away to the stage door. There were maybe four or five other people standing there too. I got behind a woman and we started to chat. She said she was a cousin to one of the band members. With her blond hair and blue eyes I thought maybe Gina. She turned out to be Charlotte’s cousin from Ventura. She was impressed that I drove all the way up from L.A. to see them play. Maybe I shouldn’t tell her about the SF and Reno shows I was planning to do next next.
A security guy with a clipboard in hand asked to see all our wrist bands. He then asked for our names. I was afraid my name won’t match any of the names on his clip board. But he didn't seem to notice. He only ask me how many were in my party? Just me.
He then led the 5 or 6 of us through the side door and onto the stage. He told us to watch our step since there were wires and electrical equipment all over the floor. Roadies were packing things up. I took a moment to looks at the equipment... especially the drums. cool!
We went behind the stage and into a small room (maybe 10’x10’) As you walked in there sat Gina a chair near the door. Maybe to make a fast exit? Also against this wall was a long table with cold cuts and veggies put out.
On the opposite wall as you entered was a small leather sofa with a small coffee table in front. Almost everything in this room had to be small. Jane (small) was sitting on the sofa by herself. There was a little guy standing near her showing her his photo album. She tried to look interested.
On the floor to the left was a small ice-chest full of water and soft drinks. To the right near the door as you entered stood Belinda chatting with a friend or family person. Charlotte chatted with her cousins from Ventura. Kathy stood next to me again talking with someone she seemed to know. Gina sitting by herself, looked bored and soon got up and left.
And there was I - feeling very awkward. I felt like I had a crashed a private party. I couldn’t get my nerve up to say anything. I just sort of listened in on the conversation going around. How stupid. I got a coke from the ice-chest. Finally, standing beside Kathy, I told her I really enjoyed the show. She asked me who I was. Good question. I think I must have had a panic attack. I was overwhelmed. I couldn’t say anything coherent. All I could think was - my name wasn’t on the list.
LOW NOTE - Afterwards I felt so stupid. How dumb was that? What an idiot! Now I can think of loads of things I could have asked each one of them.I was taken off guard. I wasn’t prepared for any of that.
I slunk back to the parking lot and sat in my car. I couldn’t believe what just happened. Did that really happen? I had no autograph, no picture, no clever bit of personal conversation I could share with others. How stupid, stupid, stupid. I drove all the was up to Paso Robles beating myself up.
Now time for some serious reflection...