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OK so since the Take That days my taste in music has changed unrecognisably. I embarked on a journey through Britpop and indie rock to classic and alternative rock. I never lost my love of music. I went through a period of listening to a great variety of bands and artists, including classic/old as well as modern stuff. Then I discovered the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Well, I say that I discovered them: it was a strange thing, because I had crossed paths with their music many times before but never really sat down to listen to their stuff. It was completely arbitrary, too: my then partner had their album By The Way on MP3, and I listened to a few of the songs one time when I was making him a mix CD. It didn’t take long for me to develop an obsession with the songs Cabron and Can’t Stop, and ultimately with the entire album. Which led to me getting my hands on most of their back catalogue and various solo albums released by their then guitarist, John Frusciante. By the time I saw them play live in Manchester in 2004, I was in love with the band in a completely new and different way. I could not get enough of their music. They became “my band for life”.

I remember being so obsessed by their album Blood Sugar Sex Magik I would listen to it back to back, more than 3 times; so captivated by their song Scar Tissue that I would listen to it over and over and over in the car on the way to and from work; and so weak at the knees over Mr Frusciante’s guitar playing it prompted me to pick up a guitar again (and then buy an electric guitar), after abandoning it for several years beforehand as I had hit a wall learning barre chords. I was going through a less than ideal time in my relationship and the music not only got me through – it changed the entire way I looked at myself. I went from zero self esteem to 100% self esteem in…well, a very short space of time. I will never forget the friends I made at that time and the many times I turned to that music – they made me a better person.

By the time the band returned to the UK to tour in 2006, John Frusciante’s music, both solo and with the band, had become a presence in my life that I had never had from music before. There is just something about it that nothing else can touch for me. All I wanted to do was let him know what a difference he had made to me. Early in the year, the band did a small promo tour, just a few small shows in London. The gig at Canvas, which I have posted about earlier in this blog, was done in partnership with Radio 1 and I remember literally listening to Radio 1 all day, every day, for 3 days of my Easter holiday that year. I won tickets with the fan club literally 2 days before the gig itself on 14.4.06. I drove down there from Manchester in a car that had not been serviced nor had its oil changed, and on the way home it died. All completely worth it. I thought I might get to meet the guys after the gig as it really was tiny, but it didn’t happen then.

It was around that time that I had rediscovered a flat, rectangular, high-grade piece of chrysoprase which I had worked with a lot for emotional healing when I first discovered the Chili Peppers. It had contributed to my healing at that time. I am a qualified crystal healing practitioner, although it’s not my day job, and it may sound crazy but crystals “speak to me” sometimes. Usually telling me to buy them and therefore leading me astray. On this occasion, I just had this feeling that the crystal had done what it was supposed to do for me, and that this crystal was the gift I should give to John. I had this absolute knowing that I would get an opportunity to give it to him. So I started charging it with storm energy every time there was thunder and lightning, but mostly just with my love and appreciation for his music and his spirit. I carried it with me when I saw the Chili Peppers play at Manchester Arena in the July (when, incidentally, I was 8 months pregnant). No opportunity came at that time either.

Ever heard of cosmic ordering/manifestation? I made this amazing manifestation wand in the early autumn, and placed this wish inside it, feeling the need to do some energetic work as I believed the band would not be returning to the UK for a long time. Within about 4 weeks of that, my friends and I got wind of another small promo gig at the Roundhouse in Camden Town in November, and immediately set about trying to win tickets from XFM or from the fan club. Some way or another we all ended up with tickets. One of my attempts involved singing and playing a stupid song I made up for Allan Lake of Core FM (I think there’s about 8 of us who will never forgive him for the things he made us do and the laugh he must have had at our expense) to the tune of “Don’t Look Back In Anger” by Oasis live on the radio. I cannot for the life of me now conceive of why I did that. He didn’t even give me a ticket! One of my friends won a pair with the fan club and invited me as her guest!

On the morning of 22.11.06 (see what I mean now about 22/11?), I was suffering from one of the worst hangovers in my life after overdoing things with my friend’s housemate while waiting for her to return from seeing the Chili Peppers at their appearance on the Jools Holland show, the night before. I felt horrendously sick, could barely drag myself out of bed and couldn’t even stomach toast. I think then and there I knew that this must be the day. Somehow I managed to make myself look remotely presentable. We queued from early morning through to the evening to be at the front. I managed to choke down some digestive biscuits and drank a lot of water. I met Leigh Francis that day, he was there asking people what they were queuing for. I didn’t recognise him and was really rather abrupt with him. I don’t think he was filming anything. I sure hope not.

We managed to get fairly near the front. The concert itself was not fantastic unlike the Canvas night. There seemed to be some tension or friction between the band members and Anthony (Kiedis, the singer) didn’t seem to be very well. John and Flea (the bassist) played well though. The improvised outro was the absolute best. I could feel the bass right through the floor and right into my heart. I was totally at one with the music. I was absolutely in the crush and had lost all my friends in it long since. I’m surprised I stayed on my feet until the end as I felt very faint, was getting bashed around and had had lager spilt all down my back. So by the time we came out, I imagine I looked terrible! A few of my friends wanted to race for the train to get back to where the band were staying in the hope of speaking to them. I literally left my coat in the cloakroom and let myself be dragged along.

Flea had already returned by the time we got there, so I missed out on meeting Flea, but my mission was still forefront in my mind: give John the crystal, which by now I had put in a little purple silk bag, along with a little note penned the night before about what his music meant to me and the fact that it had given me healing and just thanking him for his music and his spirit, and telling him about the chrysoprase, what it could be used for, I think I wrote something like “it will literally take your heart apart and put it back together”. My friend, who is a little psychic, started freaking out there on the pavement saying she could “see” Anthony in a black car. About two seconds later, said black car pulled up and out stepped Anthony and John.

You know how you freeze at some moments? Like, destiny is staring you right in the face and for a few seconds you are just paralysed by it? I wasn’t afraid of him. I knew what I wanted to do…but I was almost out of my body looking down on it from a place of timelessness somewhere else in the cosmos. I’m not a starstruck person though I do admit to a certain sense of euphoria and a hopeless case of tongue-tiedness (I knew that would happen in the presence of my guitar hero, hence the writing of the note). But it took a gentle shove from my friend Silvia to bring me back to the moment and push me into action. My voice was missing in action, so I walked up beside him and took his hand/wrist to stop him. That was embarrassing because he was holding a guitar in that hand and I wasn’t sure if he thought I wanted to steal it – he had to swap it to the other hand. My friend Sarah said later he looked like a rabbit caught in the headlights. All I know was that I held his hand, pressed my gift into it and held his gaze steady the whole time. (Stupidly I could not tell you what colour his eyes were. All I know is that I was seeing further into him – a glimpse of his soul perhaps). I thought “I am gonna HAVE to say something.” So I said something really stupid…”you played amazing tonight” or some such rubbish. What I really wanted to say was, “Thank you for all your wonderful work” or “You have made a real difference to my life” or “It’s always a privilege to hear you play”. But oh no. I have to make reference to a performance on a night that was clearly not great. He said something awful quiet like probably “thank you”, I smiled then and let go of his hand, I knew there were other people who wanted to speak to him, and I checked to see where my friends were, some of them were talking to Anthony, and Sarah was behind me. I kind of freaked out after he went inside, but after the initial heart-beating-madly sensation wore off, I was on cloud nine for the rest of the night and I slept like a baby that night.

This is only speculation, but I don’t think he had had the greatest night, despite the out-of-this-world playing at the end of the show. I like to think that I touched his life on that night just like his music touched mine at a low point. I know that while he was speaking to a couple of other people, he made an offhand comment about the gift to someone I knew on the fanclub forum, before he even opened it and saw what it was, “wow, this thing has some serious energy”. Which made me smile because I figure he felt the energy from my charging of the crystal.

I saw the band play at Live Earth and Reading Festival in 2007 but things felt very different, and being high profile events it was impossible to get close. I was glad however to hear Wet Sand and This Velvet Glove live at Reading – two of my favourite less high-profile Chili Peppers songs. In summer 2008, I also got to meet Chad Smith, the drummer of the band, at a Drummer Live event at the London International Music Show. He knows my friend Sarah really quite well and was all smiles and waves when he saw her, so I had the pleasure of being formally introduced, shaking his hand and kissing his cheek. I was always a bit intimidated by Chad but he was lovely to meet in the flesh, and his drummer workshop was very interesting. I’m not sad that I didn’t get to meet Anthony – I have exchanged a lot of meaningful glances with Anthony at the two small gigs I went to in 2006 and sometimes words are not needed. I think a lot of the guy, but we made a connection and that was enough. And I really respect Flea but I’m not too bothered about having not met him. Maybe there will be another opportunity someday. I still hope I will get another chance to speak to John someday and talk to him about spiritual things. My absolute dream would be to have a guitar lesson with him or play a duet with him or something. And I absolutely know dreams can come true…all things are possible. Whatever happens in the future, I’ll always be glad of the events of 14.4.06 and 22.11.06. I am forever grateful and those moments are very much part of who I am today.

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I’ve been incredibly lucky over the years in this one particular area of life! It all started back in 1995, when I was a hormonal just-slightly-older-than-a-teen, crazy in love with the premier boy band of the day, Take That. There was a competition in one of the tabloids and the prize was to meet and greet the band backstage at one of their concerts that summer. I must have put in at least 50 entries, if not more. Somehow, I had a *knowing* that this was for me. And I was right! I found out on my 20th birthday that I had won. It couldn’t have been more perfect.

The only spanner in the works was that Robbie Williams left the band before I got to the concert. However, undeterred, I picked my outfit, bought a disposable camera which was the only type we were allowed to take, and marched off to meet my favourite band and my absolute heroes at the time, with my then best friend Mandy. It was kind of a defining moment, because for all I may cringe at my rather more hormone-driven musical tastes back in the day before I discovered rock music, it showed me that dreams really can come true. There was a backstage tour, and I even had the chance to stand on the stage in the Manchester Arena and look out at all the empty seats, and experience for a second what performers do – and was it scary, even without all the faces looking back at me!

Take That were always painted as such a family-friendly, boy-next-door kind of group, and I have to say that the guys I met were indeed the perfectly genuine, kind, friendly and down-to-earth people they had been painted to be. That seems rare with celebrities. I wouldn’t mind betting that the guys are exactly the same today as they were back then, despite their amazing comeback and their renewed popularity at this time. For once, the photography worked out for me. It certainly does not always! In fact, it was the beautiful photos I found (when going through all our old photographs to make an album of Grandad pictures for Daniel) that inspired me to make a blog post about the day…

Here is me with Jason Orange. Jason was a big surprise, very friendly and extremely good-looking in real life, and intelligent but down to earth with it. I hadn’t imagined Jason that way, or perhaps I had never considered him very much until that day. I was very nervous on the day, it was pretty mind-blowing when they poked their heads round the corner of the room, these guys who had been my heroes with their unique brand of pop music, energy, tireless patience with the fans, amazing live shows, and charity work for the best part of 4 years by then. He very much put me at ease, giving me hugs and complimenting me on my sexy dress. Jason has since developed exponentially as a musician and now plays guitar on some tracks, which always makes me weak at the knees. My favourite of their recent songs is “Wooden Boat”, a touching musing on life and love which was penned, played and sung by Jason. He has opened my eyes in so many ways.

And here I am with Howard Donald. I didn’t get a lot of chance to speak with Howard but he was perfectly friendly and lovely. It made me cry when I watched a documentary about the band a few years ago – shortly before their comeback – and I heard that Howard had been so upset when the band had broken up back in 1996, he had contemplated committing suicide. However I can understand his intense love of his band. Howard has a beautiful falsetto vocal which featured on many of my favourite songs back in the day.

I was extremely shy about speaking to Mark Owen. Funny because it was always Mark who was my heart-throb, but when I met him in real life I didn’t remotely fancy him – there was no chemistry in that way! Mark was very kind and told me not to be shy and put his arm round me, resulting in the most fabulous picture of the four – I don’t know if I’d have had the patience in his shoes! He worked hard that afternoon to try to speak to everyone who wanted to speak to him and collected presents we had brought. I went on to see Mark perform his own solo songs in concert and very much enjoyed watching him on Celebrity Big Brother. He was always the caring one of the band and that still shines through today. I love that he has come into his own as a band member, and his track “Shine” is one of my favourites from their new repertoire. Not sure about his dress sense here though! (Only kidding!)

And finally, here is a picture of me with Gary Barlow. While it’s not as good a picture, it was my favourite moment from the day. Gary had always been my biggest hero of the band. Although I’m not into that kind of music now, at the time I was, and he is a superb musician. There was a certain something about his songs that got me. To get to tell Gary how much his music had inspired and helped me was amazing. It was a moment of love emblazoned on my heart forever, and imprinted in my psyche to the extent that I now have a fixation about getting to tell people when they have made a difference to my life. He must have appreciated what I said because I was absolutely pressed into his chest here as you can see, and he kissed my hair. Love attracts love. Unconditional love for someone who has truly touched your life is a really beautiful thing. A quiet but talented, soulful guy, Gary continues to be a hero of mine to the present day and I love the song “Rule The World”, which always brings his energy to mind for me: “Yeah you and me we can ride on a star, if you stay with me girl, we can rule the world…”

Incidentally, the guy in the background there was their photographer, Phillip Ollerenshaw. He did our tour. He is an incredibly nice guy whom it was also a pleasure to meet.

The story doesn’t quite end there on 15th August 1995. Robbie Williams was one of my heroes too. And as fate would have it, it seemed that it was still written in the stars for me to meet him too. I came close in December 1996 when I managed to get into the Christmas Top Of The Pops filming and see him mime his hit single “Freedom” close up, but did not get to speak to him. It was around the time when he was launching his solo career. My then best friend Amanda (different to the first Amanda) and I had got to know his lovely mum a bit and had her address. We used to go there to drop off presents or letters for him periodically. For his birthday in 1997, I had found a picture frame which said “Life is beautiful – You add to it” in Afflecks’ Palace. And on 22nd  February 1997 when we went to see his mum to drop it off, she rolled up in her car, and he was in it.

After giving him his present, I said I’d let him go inside, because it had started to rain. Instead, he asked me to wait and popped inside to get a tape (how old does that make me feel! tapes are all but redundant these days!) and we sat in Amanda’s car. He shared the tape with us. It was bits and pieces of demo songs which ended up on his first album, “Life Thru A Lens.” The one that sticks in mind is “Ego A Go Go”. He was so excited about his new music and seemed to enjoy sharing it, although he was also pensive and talking about having had a bad year. I didn’t know what to say, so I just stroked his arm. I did not ask for a photograph, as I didn’t want to spoil the exchange for what it was, especially not at his mum’s home when he was clearly not “on work time”. He called us both “ducks” and gave us a peck goodbye. I think I spent about a week in total disbelief. We told very few people at the time. However my memory is getting to the point now where I really want to record what happened so the memory is there for me forever.

I never did go and see Take That again when they came back together for their reunion tour. I didn’t want to spoil the memories. However I think I might crumble if they do tour again, just purely for nostalgia…

Notice the date when I met Robbie. It will become significant when I post part 2. 😉

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So much happens in a year. It’s really quite terrifying. And then some intrinsic things always stay the same.

I suppose I must have changed in many ways because I have finally taken the scary step of going part-time at work. It will be happening in the next week or two. I am hoping to be able to do some spiritual work from home, readings, making wands, making spell kits, perhaps some crystal healing work, writing e-books, as well as selling crystals and planning real-life workshops. It will be a tall order whilst potty training a wilful 3 year old who, we have found, is likely to have learning difficulties, which was rather a shock my family and I have been coming to terms with over a number of months – as well as ferrying him to his appointments and working with him to help his social skills, but hopefully there will be some time for working from home. On my “to do” list once I have gone part-time are setting up an Etsy shop and a simple website with a small spiritual forum.

I am hoping this will also give me more time to pursue my first love in life…music. I really miss just getting out and playing my guitar. It has happened so sporadically over the last year and it’s such a shame. It means I’m all out of practice if anyone asks to hear anything and I’m so shy, I can’t bear to play when I haven’t practiced for some time. I have joined a community choir which I would like to be able to give more commitment to as currently I don’t make it every week. It is an open “singing for fun” choir and I’m one of only a few who can actually read music or play an instrument so I really ought to make more commitment. It’s not only time, it’s confidence too, but at least I will have more available time for working on myself. This year’s undergraduate studies are more broad-based over different periods and styles of music, and start in just under two weeks. I have already started my reading for them. I passed last year’s course with a grade equivalent to a 2:1 and the summer school was life-changing! So I am halfway through a Diploma in Music now.

One of the big catalysts to me finally taking the leap of faith and asking for part-time hours was the unprecedented snowfall we had in early January this year. It was nothing short of wiping the slate clean: that blanket of snow fell over everything and made it pure all over again. We did take Daniel out in it to make a snowman in the park. That snow truly was a miracle, although it became the bane of my life for 2 weeks as I was having to struggle into work. But, looking for the silver (or white?) lining it has led to me making a final decision on this. If you didn’t have snow like I had snow, here are pictures! Share in the magic!

Iced Tree, January 2010

No Way Out, January 2010

Snowscape, January 2010

Frozen In Time, January 2010

Awe, January 2010

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Despite being ill, I got well and truly stuck into my course today. For those who don’t know about this, I am enrolled this year on a second-year music course with the university that employs me. When I went through the education system the first time round, music wasn’t open to me at GCSE level because the requirement was that you would be able to play two instruments, and could only count your voice as one. At the time, after failed attempts with the flute which was forced upon me by well-meaning parents, I only had my voice. Thus I never got the opportunity to study music, and I have always wanted to.

I’m hoping that it will also help me with my guitar playing…you reach a point when relying on tablatures and copycatting what you hear can take you no further…I’m pretty okay with rhythm guitar (though I could use a lot more practice as I do get rusty – it’s difficult with an infant and a full-time job) but have not the faintest clue about finding and playing individual notes on it. So, I’m hoping that learning music theory will help. I’m also thinking long-term that if I do one day re-enter teaching, though at this point in time I would rather not, I will have a music qualification, which is more desirable than the English degree I already have.

Trust me to come to a very difficult concept for me when I had a banging headache and awful nausea. Compound time. It’s kind of my nemesis in terms of music theory. I can handle simple time signatures. I understand how the notes work on the lines and all of the different types of notes. I understand accidentals. I have a good basic understanding of intervals. I understand decorations. But compound time had me tearing my hair out even on the preparatory reading.

After a lot of reading around on the internet, referring back to the preparatory reading, and re-doing various exercises on my keyboard and various aural training exercises, I think I have it and am recording it forthwith for future reference! In compound time, each beat divides into three. The three most common compound time signatures correspond to the three most common simple time signatures:

2/4 and 6/8 are both in duple time. Whereas in 2/4 there are two crotchets or four quavers per bar, in 6/8 there are two dotted crotchets or six quavers per bar grouped in triplets.

3/4 and 9/8 (ugh, I hate both of these equally!) are both in triple time. Whereas in 3/4 there are three crotchets or six quavers per bar, in 9/8 there are three dotted crotchets or nine quavers per bar grouped in triplets.

4/4 and 12/8 are both in quadruple time. Whereas in 4/4 there are four crotchets or eight quavers per bar, in 12/8 there are four dotted crotchets or twelve quavers per bar grouped in triplets.

Can’t you tell I’ve had non-stop fun transcribing this stuff this afternoon?! And I’m still not altogether sure if my answers are right because I keep being foxed by random stray quavers. I hate when quavers do not come in simple pairs or threes. Sometimes you get a stray one preceded by a note of random length…that’s my stumbling block right now. 😦 Once I’ve got past all this rhythm stuff I will be fine! It’s the most mathematical part of music that drives me nuts!

I have also worked out that I will be better off doing a couple of hours per evening in the week and then a longer session on a Saturday and a short one on a Sunday. Having to go back to revise something you did 2 weeks ago in order to progress is no fun at all.

It sounds like I’m having no fun studying and that really isn’t the case! I have just found today hard going. I will be happier when we get to the fun creative bits about actually playing chords and harmonies and composing them on the keyboard. I’m sure there are some students who are in their comfort zone right now with the technicalities who will be dreading the very things I’m looking forward to! That’s the way the cookie crumbles, or maybe that’s the way the beats divide!

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More poems written late at night inspired by “The Empyrean”.

 

Magicality

 

As I sear through the candlelight

Into the black velvet ether of starless night

 

Breaking through the third eye into the expanse within

The unknown beneath a tilted moon – I enter in

 

The six-point star is written thereon,

This badge of transformation will never be gone.

 

Each progression and tone an invocation,

Channelling higher ideas in revelation.

 

From the unseen but deeply felt force

Residing within and without, the all-loving source.

 

Between love charms and aspirations to ascend

The music weaves sensual spells to the end;

 

Encoded arcanums lock between the lines

As melodical patterns paint symbols and signs,

 

Repeating cadences emphasise secret keys,

Voiceless…yet voicing universal harmonies.

 

The heart is taken apart a piece at a time,

And caressed back together with each beat, each line;

 

Transformative alchemy inside of the soul –

True magicality which makes brokenness whole.

 

Wisdom, beauty, truth and love

All parts of the secrets you’re speaking of

 

And all bound together in these cyclic rhythms,

Freeform magic for the good of all is given.

 

As with all magic, embedded is the universal law

As you give, you receive more and more;

Then all dreams manifest should be your right

For this more-than-music of the dark and the light.

 

Copyright: 4.2.09.

 

Infinitessimal

 

Everything is here and it is now

Our journey as ongoing as it is complete.

We look into a future and a past,

Though in our essence we are both of these;

All our lessons in love amassed

Into one absolute and one forecast.

 

Slicing into my soul

A cross-section of concentric circles

As if slicing into an ancient tree;

A luminescent spectrum

Telling the story of the moments that made me

Written in the records for all eternity.

 

And every day is sacred

For each day the soul grows

Through those infinitessimal instances;

And dances in the light

To the music of our hearts and souls –

The soaring crescendos and the soft sad lows.

 

Use the moment with joy

And with freedom to express your truth

In this lies our true power;

And our blazing hearts

Can become free of pain when we allow our flame

To touch those we love in the present hour.

 

Copyright: 4.2.09

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I was inspired by listening to “The Empyrean” (see below) and was up writing poetry at gone midnight last night.

 

Moments

We are the moments

That thread together our lives on an endless string

An infinite stream

Of silent love

Dreams made manifest

Hearts unfolded

And in our eyes

We tell our story

Of the moments that make us who we are

The defining times

The hard truths of our soul

Though they come

Intermittently through the course of one lifetime

They are condensed into one spiral of thought

One tunnel of memory

One stream of being

And made a jewel resplendent in the central heart

Locked away and protected

From time and space

For time is only

The moments we collect

The truths and beauties of our soul

The afterglow of triumphs

The developments of dreams

Which make us real

Copyright: 2nd February 2009

 

Heartburst

Taking me through the next barrier

Awakened and alive

Recursively through the heights and lows

Of soul activation

Realisation

From light into dark

And back to the peace

The soft sense of surrender

As I lucidly sleep

Out of time and out of place

In the heart of the deep

In the grip of release

And within this irrationalisation

This surreal unlimitation

A heartburst

Is felt and a new door is broken

A new cycles turns

A new world is open

Copyright: 2nd February 2009

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It was only because I was working on my Photobucket the other day that I was led to think deeply about an amazing miracle that happened in 2006.

My favourite band in the world, “my” band for life, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, decided to do a very small gig in London shortly before the release of their latest album. I happened to be off work – I was teaching at the time and it was half-term; and I remember that the main method of winning tickets was calling Radio 1 whenever they played “Give It Away”. My best friend Silvia and I got up at stupid o’clock every morning and listened to Radio 1 as much as was humanly possible.

Me being me, I also prayed, and prayed hard. I reasoned that if it was not going to hurt anyone else, there was no harm in me having two tickets for Silvia and myself. And on the Thursday of that week, my prayers were answered – I was one of the chosen few who won two tickets through the fan club.

Of course, I had little time to think about it! I had to drive down to London – the car hadn’t been serviced, I was 20 weeks pregnant, it wasn’t at all ideal! But it was one of those times you just have to take the opportunity and to heck with it. We got up early on the Friday morning and queued all day to make sure we would be at the front. Again, this was well-rewarded; we were in the second row of this incredibly tiny club – “Canvas” in London – standing right in front of the guitarist, John Frusciante, who is my favourite musician.

The night was so surreal it’s forever etched in my memory. From the first moments when they materialised onstage playing “Can’t Stop” – one of their signature tunes – I was absolutely lost in the music. When my eyes locked with John’s, during that first song, I couldn’t help smiling from one side of my face to the other – and he smiled right back. The whole night was jewelled with moments like that.

You just forget the painful feet, the being bashed (I spent the night having to push and shove people getting too rowdy to guard my bump), trying to scream across at the singer, Anthony Kiedis, who Silvia particularly liked, in between each song to get him to look at the camera – sadly every time he looked in our direction, she wasn’t ready with it, the fact that another best friend, Sarah, didn’t get in (though she had her moments later in the year!) – and all of that.

I remember instead Flea being on top high-energy form, climbing on and jumping off the amps and feeling his bass right through the floor; catching Anthony’s eye when he was singing with all his heart and soul; the smiles and enthusiasm from Chad, the drummer; being so close to John’s amp that if I closed my eyes I pretty much fell into the melody of the rhythm guitar and felt the solo sections deep in my soul; hearing  four or five songs on the new album for the first time live.

How precious that memory is to me. And somehow I knew that night that it was a precursor to something else; but that’s a story for another day. For now I just want to revel in the magic of that day, and the magical events and miraculous universe that brought that together. The memory will never fade, but consigning it to this collection of thoughts and stories will ensure it lives on beyond me and is there for anyone who would appreciate it to read.

Life is full of such miracles. You need to ask for them; you need to believe in them; you need to take the opportunities you are given; and you need to hold on to your dreams. You need to be prepared to throw caution to the wind and take action, too!

Some of my favourite pictures from the night:

 

 I am the only person I know who has killed two cars for the love of a band.

I’m not exactly proud of it…but…the first time was on this occasion. Driving back from London to Manchester on the Saturday, the car I’d had for many years and absolutely loved like it was alive dropped a con rod on the motorway and…died.

Twenty weeks pregnant, I had to stand by the side of my car and call the RAC, withstand a tirade of chastisement from my then-partner, who doesn’t have the same love of music as me and just didn’t understand. To this day I smile when I think about it. I still know that I did the right thing. ;-)~

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