Yeargh. I haven’t had a full night’s sleep for about a week. You’d think now that Styxfest is over, I’d be fine, but nooooo… We got to my parents’ Sunday evening (drove 7 hours from Toronto), and were ready for bed before my parents were—and they pretty much crash at 9 p.m. I stayed up ‘til about 9:45 phutzing with my concert notes for Sarah, and then I dropped off immediately…only to wake up again after midnight. I curled up in the living room with the laptop and a book, and after two glasses of wine, staggered back to bed at 2 a.m., only to find Ken awake. Sometime after that, I tossed and turned for a while, and in total, never felt like I got a full rest. Now it’s 10 p.m. Monday night, and I’m tired-ish, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to sleep. We’ll see.
I arrived in Toronto on schedule, had no problem at Immigration, and then was reunited with my beloved! We collected my luggage and the rental car, and drove around until we decided on a restaurant for dinner (oddly enough, Boston Pizzaria). Then it was a drive through the darkness to the wilds of Orillia to the Days Inn, across the street from Casino Rama. We arrived on the heels of the rest of the staff, all of whom had driven from Buffalo in various vehicles.
Staff breakfast was the next morning, and then we all loaded up with stuff and went across the street to Casino Rama, where we laminated passes and stuffed swag bags and generally flailed about trying to get organized by the time registration opened. I’d say we were semi-successful. Attendance that day was small, which we kind of expected since it would be a travel day for some people, so it was mostly hanging out, looking at silent auction items, eating, etc. The concert that night was, as always, awesome, with the additions of “Suite Madame Blue” and “A Criminal Mind” since we were in Canada, and “Love in the Midnight,” which made just about every female Tommy fan wet her pants. I have to admit, it is an awfully sexy song.
Friday was day two of Styxfest, with a talk by the band’s manager and a performance by the Styx tribute band What Not To Do To Your Roboto, who brought the house down. We held the first half of the live auction, and the advance copy of A Little Night Music went for $69! (Thanks to all my fabulous friends who bid on it!) Also, very importantly, the promised-but-until-now-unreceived leather wrist cuff of Lawrence’s arrived for the next day’s auction. We knew this would be a big ticket item, a fight to the death between our friend Lin (who was incredibly smart enough to ask Lawrence months ago if he’d donate it) and Ken (who’d decided that, by all that’s holy, I deserved that wrist cuff. It is in A Little Night Music, after all.)
The concert that night was even better, thanks to a blow-everyone’s-socks-off performance of “Midnight Ride.” For one thing, Styx hasn’t performed it live in probably 20 years or more. For another, it’s a smoking song. For another, JY essentially said they were pulling out old songs because they knew there was a fan convention going on and they wanted to do different stuff for us. And finally, Lawrence strapped on a Stratocaster and proceeded to rock out, causing all the Gowan fans to do what the Tommy fans had done the previous night, in spades. [fans self, swooning at the memory] Ken recorded video of the whole thing, and also got a still shot, which he said was the real cover of the book. Pretty damn close.
Afterwards, we wandered off to the bar in search of food and alcohol, hung out with various crew members…and I was able to give Ricky his copy of A Little Night Music and talk to him for a while. Have I mentioned that the book is dedicated to “the boys in the band,” with all their first names listed? He seemed quite impressed, and hugged me, then looked at the cover and said, “This looks like it’s steamy.” Yup. He was happy because he said he needed something new to read. Eep! He also gave me his extra beer. I’m not much of a beer drinker, but apparently I’m enough of a geeky fangirl to drink a beer that’s handed to me by a band member.
Then there was Saturday. Oh, Saturday, a highlight of my short, sweet life. Chuck did a Q&A and booksigning, and I was able to give him his copy of our book. He was also happy to have something to read…
The auction. I can’t bring myself to say just how much Ken spent on that wrist cuff, but I can say it was incredibly amazing and incredibly stupid in equal measures, and made us celebrities in our own right. I cried. Then fifty thousand people took pictures of him buckling it on me. (That’s only a slight exaggeration, but it was like a garter at a wedding.) I have to give Lin the credit she deserves, for she is the epitome of grace and friendship—she was the first person to hug me, despite how much she wanted that wrist cuff for herself. She truly does rock.
While we were waiting at the stage for the concert to begin, the assistant tour manager found us and, yes, we were off to backstage to be personally thanked for how much money we gave to charity that day. (In total, Styxfest raised $17,000 for four charities, and the cuff was a significant portion of that. Tani, Ken, and I agreed that we’d put the wrist cuff money directly to one of the charities, a New Orleans one that’s bringing musicians displaced by Hurricane Katrina back to NO. It was the charity that the band requested, and being able to tell them that was a great moment.) Lawrence gave Ken one of his ties (and showed us a copy of a promo band photo that had him wearing it), and I was able to give him and Todd their copies of the book, and they also seemed quite pleased about the dedication (although Lawrence is now probably confused about what my name is…). Because Lawrence and Todd were the only ones who met with us, I gave the final two copies to the tour manager to deliver to Tommy and JY. We also got to keep our backstage passes, even though we were technically supposed to return them, but the tour manager said he trusted us. Since it was my first-ever backstage pass, and something I’ve desired for years, I’m thrilled about the whole thing.
Unsurprisingly, I was totally Lawrence’s bitch during the show that night. (Ken: “You’re totally Lawrence’s bitch tonight!” Me: “So are you, honey!”) It was a gooood concert. ;-) Along with the new songs from previous nights, Lawrence did part of his solo hit “Strange Animal,” which was a real treat. At the end, when he took all his polaroids to give out, he held my hand and took a picture of the wrist cuff, my arm, and me, and gave me the picture. I think I’m going to have to make a copy to give back to him.
The next day, we peeled ourselves out of bed and hopped in the car for that 7-hour drive to my parents’ house in upstate NY. I’m still processing that Styxfest is over. What do I occupy my brain with during non-writing time now?! And, as usual, I’m starting to feel the first niggles of PCD (Post-Concert Depression), which is always worse when I don’t have tickets to my next show yet. (They’re touring with Def Leppard this summer, which means that tickets have been dear, and I’ve found no reasonable seats at any venue I wanted to go to.) Plus, on Wednesday I get on a plane back to CA, and Ken gets on a plane to OR. I’ll see him in mid-June when I head up there for a bike get-together (while will include a champagne brunch river cruise and a ride around Crater Lake), but dammit, I want him to come home with me now! [stamps foot petulantly]
Currently Reading: Three Fates, Nora Roberts
Lately Listened To: Styx, Gowan, Melissa Etheridge, Damn Yankees, the Buffy musical, Taylor Mills…it was along car trip…
Recently Watched: Styx, Styx, Styx