May 5, 2011 

It seems as though the entire 70's will be touring this summer. Styx, Yes, Journey, Foreigner and Heart are just a few of the bands coming to town. I'd really like to see the Heart/Def Leppard concert in August. The Wilson sisters have got to be in their sixties by now. And who cares? As we all know, Social Security doesn't go very far. Who can blame anyone for needing a little supplemental income these days? I think it's great that Nancy Wilson is using her walker to hold up her guitar during long solos. Okay, that was totally a rude joke. (By the way, if anyone knows any of the members of Heart, don't tell them I was making fun of them. I know I can outrun them, but still ... )

I also strongly disagree with Def Leppard's decision to change the name of their song "Pour Some Sugar on Me" to "Pour Some Prune Juice on Me". That's just wrong. And it doesn't even fit the melody. (Okay, that shameless joke is for my supervisor, who I'll call "Nicole".)

Before you go thinking that the only concerts I see are the old nostalgic groups, guess again. I may be 44, but I can still get down with the hip, young kids. I'm not sure the hip, young kids "get down" anymore. And if they do, I can't literally get down because it's just too hard to get back up again. But I'm definitely there in spirit. Just to prove it, I wave my iPhone back and forth over my head at concerts. In the old days, we used a cigarette lighter. Now, the smart phones have an app for that, of course. I think the old way was better even though my iPhone has never left a burn scar on my thumb.

I was inspired to write this article because I'm contemplating doing something I've never done before in my life. No, it's not finally vacuuming behind the recliner. I am actually going to write a fan letter. That's right. I plan on getting an actual piece of paper and writing complete sentences on it. Who knows? I may even use a comma or two in the appropriate places. Crazy, I know. One thing I won't be doing though, is writing it by hand. After years on the computer, the dexterity in my fingers leaves my handwriting looking like the scrawl of a serial killer.

So who is this performer that has compelled me to do something so radical? Certainly, you must be thinking it's someone enormously famous—like Justin Bieber. And you would be so horribly WRONG. I plan on writing my letter to someone who's actually talented. (Again, if anybody knows Justin Bieber, tell him I'm only kidding. Him, I can't outrun.)

My letter is going to an indie artist named Emilie Autumn. She's someone I actually recently discovered and was fortunate enough to see in a small bar in St. Louis last month. I had special VIP tickets enabling me to meet her and get the picture you see in the middle of the page. Some of my friends have accused me of being an obsessed fan. I like to think of myself as fully immersed. Obsessed would be mailing yourself to an artist in a large box. I checked. The Post Office flat rate boxes aren't nearly—uh, nevermind. Yes, I got a Twitter account to follow her messages. But so what? I guarantee you she has more interesting things to say than Ashton Kutcher. Not once has she ever commented on what she was eating for breakfast. Well, no—wait a minute. She might have commented on food once or twice, but I guarantee you, she eats far more interesting food than Ashton Kutcher eats.

I think I might have also gone to Build–A–Bear® and made a stuffed bunny to give to her when I met her. But you can't just show up to a backstage meet–and–greet empty handed. Right? Stuffed animals are a common gift her fans like to give her. I couldn't run the risk of giving her the exact same thing as someone else. I even colored black and white stripes on the little socks because Emilie Autumn and her back up performers wear striped stockings as part of their on stage costumes. That's not obsession; that's just a good eye for detail. And it's not like I was wearing striped stockings. Just my little stuffed bunny.

Many of her hardcore fans showed up wearing elaborate corsets; another main component of the on stage attire. I left the costumes for the younger kids, who still have a metabolism. And they were all really nice kids. I had a blast meeting people. Not once did they treat me like the old lady crashing the party. One girl even told me I was awesome during my conversation with Emilie. It made me feel much less silly about standing in line for an hour with a Build–A–Bear box at my feet.

Aw, to be young again though. You know, I once dreamed of being a rock star. I played air guitar with my tennis racket and made up cool band names. I even wrote my own terrible music. It kind of makes me feel like I'm past my prime to know I'm too old to start a rock band. And what would I name it now? Achy Knees and Pesky Chin Hairs come to mind. Maybe I'll learn how to play drums and form an 80's cover band. Or, I can just learn 5 notes on the organ and put together a Flock of Seagulls tribute band.

P.S. Would it be obsessive of me to make a sock puppet video for one of my favorite Emilie Autumn songs? Hmmm.

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