Last Saturday night, I got to go backstage after a Todd Rundgren concert. All day long I had this fantasy of returning home with a photo of me standing next to Todd—a smile that stretched the width of my face—but he (Todd), didn't seem to be in a photo op state of mind. So I didn't ask.
I never want to risk waking up in the morning and regret being pushy. And so...I woke up in the morning with a bit of regret for having not been pushy. But I think that's better than…being pushy. I just do. So no picture. C’est la vie.
This photo op stuff can be tricky. What if Britney told me to go f*ck myself when I readied my iPhone? I don’t have one beside Idina Menzel either. She wasn’t feeling 100% the day we wrote a song for her new album and I didn’t want to say, “I’m so sorry you’re not feeling well Idina…but would you mind saying cheese anyway?” I’m just not that girl. (It’s a shame because surely these ditties would have garnered considerable likes and followers.)
Photo op and selfie culture is relatively new for me, a baby boomer. I come from a time when we didn’t have gadgets in our hands 24/7 to take pictures of moments. We actually lived in them.
That said, I've pretty much gotten the hang of it. It's a necessary skill in a time of sharing and branding and finding like minds who may want to jump onto your ride.
But I digress. Back to the concert. I can’t remember the last time I was filled with so much joy over hearing a song. My dear friends Brian and Aileen humored me and documented my delirium. I don’t think they’ve ever seen me like that, or realized I had the capacity. To be honest, neither did I.
This is how I want music to make me feel more often. Out of control.
It may sound vulgar but if ears could come (as in ejaculate), I believe mine would have. No apologies. That’s the way I felt. (I wanted to use that analogy in my book, but my editor insisted I take it out. So I did. But I’m using it here. Because it’s the truth.)
Anyhoo afterwards, backstage, Aileen did her best to try to capture Todd and I together. But just as she went to snap a pic of him shaking my hand, he extended his to hers...So she got this picture of his foot.
But it’s all good. It really is. Cuz about 6 months ago, I saw a sponsored ad on Facebook (the kind of ads I hate—and, umm, the ones I occasionally place myself). It said that Todd was going to be at a local Barnes & Noble, signing his new CD. I flew down to the mall and got this:
So, at least I have one of us together. (I must say I’m feeling a little stalker-y as I type. But so what).
And there's more silver lining: in the 80s when I lived in NYC, I'd ride up and down Broadway on my 10-speed, headphones on, stoned out of my mind, feeling pretty immortal, listening to another Todd-centric album I was pretty obsessed with: Utopia’s Oblivion—on which many of the vocals were performed by Kasim Sulton (Todd’s longtime bandmate). Well, guess who was backstage? And he was very friendly. And I got this.
Kasim gave me his new CD, Three (which I have since listened to numerous times—and highly recommend). Great songs. Same voice...just a little more seasoned. And now, I have even more music with which to be obsessed.
Songs are bigger than a 3 minute recording. They last so much longer than a snapshot frozen in time. They accompany countless memories especially if you were around when a song’s shelf life could last for decades. Because here we are.
So my fantasy of my photo op with Todd did not come to fruition. But I did get to hear "I Saw The Light" hard copy after all the years of listening through speakers. I got to share my mania with a crowd whose feelings were mutual (although they could not possibly have been as acutely possessed as I) and I made a new friend. What I left with at the end of the evening was way more magical than a Tweet-able image.
Life is what happens when you're busy taking selfies.