It’s so easy to forget the people that inspired, directed, or that you admired that lead you into something (hopefully good). Someone extraordinary that took an interest in you, perhaps, when you were looking for a place to fit in within the world.
There were really two escapes for me in life – music and writing. They work in tandem for the most part to keep me alive in a world that so often dampens every emotion.
Once I got out of high school and into the freedom of college life I really discovered the live show. Live shows can be so powerful it feels like an exorcism or sex, and when the object of your musical affection initiates any contact it changes you.
The first artist to take an interest in me as a person – not a fan – was POE. Her genuine effort to connect with her fans was not lost on me. I became somewhat of an honorary member of her crew, and when she packed up for tour I would be right with her entourage in the Texas, Oklahoma, sector. I was eighteen the first time I sat on a tour bus; POE’s tour bus. I philosophized with her merch girl and tech guy on music, and I helped her cellist (Cameron) maneuver between groupies. I was the female William in Almost Famous, except I never ended up Cameron Crowe.
Back then little Ben Kweller was in a much-hyped band called Radish – a wonder boy he was tagged in the industry. Too bad they didn’t live up to the expectations of the machine, but Ben did really well on his own much later – as a man. I’ll never forget the chubby-cheeked blond singer begging me on my 18th birthday (The EDGE X-mas show) to introduce him to POE. About ten years later at an ATO X-mas party, we ran into each other again and he remembered this as clearly as I did.
POE was the real deal, and it left an imprint on me.
Ps. The Angry Psychos = her fans.