Many of you have asked me to write about my weekend in New York City leading up to the release of ‘Wasting Light’ and I have finally found the time to sit down to write.
I guess this is more of a blog entry than a real update. Call it what you want….I’m never really good at this sort of stuff or good at reviews or whatever. What might be fun and interesting to me might bore the socks off of you, but my inbox is flooded with questions so I shall attempt to tell you about my weekend. Not to mention, I walk that fine line of thinking to myself “does that sound too braggy?” because I know that not everyone has the opportunities that I have been lucky enough to have so my intention is not to upset anyone or hurt feelings or make you feel as if I’m complaining over something that you would just be happy to be in the same city as Foo Fighters and I should just shut the hell up about it…..does that make sense?
I honestly had not even planned on going to NYC for album release stuff because my life is somewhat complicated at the moment – trying to save every dime I have to move etc. and anyone who has ever been to NYC knows that you can drop several $100 bills easy and then wonder what the hell you spent it on. So when I opened up my e mail on Monday, April 4 and saw that e mail from my friend Veronica entitled, “SNL” glaring at me, I knew I would be making the trip. We went back and forth with “Are we gonna do it? Are we really going to sleep outside again for tickets? Is this stupid? Aren’t we too old for this? Concrete is really hard to sleep on..” and of course the weather. It was supposed to rain. It snowed on us when we did this in Feb. of 2010 for Them Crooked Vultures. Fuck it. We must represent those fans out there who would give their right arms to attend any sort of taping with Foo Fighters. (Not really, that’s just for dramatic effect.)
The whole week leading up to my trip to NYC, I was hearing things here & there about other tapings. I would get a random text message “Send an e mail to FUSE right now and tell them you want to go to the FF taping on Tuesday – release day.”
I mean, I was sending out random e mails all over the place and still wasn’t sure this was actually happening. Then of course the David Letterman concert. I entered for that too – and to save you from horrible suspense – I did not win, and I did not get in to it much to the shock of tens of you. ;-p In what has become quite a strange thing for me, people automatically assume that I am somehow on every guest list to any function that has a member of Foo Fighters in it. I assure you that this is not the case – and please believe me when I say that I know this and I’m totally cool about it. In fact, I would be more shocked if I was on a list than not. Can we all agree that this is not the case?
On my way down to New York from Boston, I received 2 e mails: one from Veronica who had won entry to the Fuse taping on Tuesday along with a +1 and another from Fuse themselves who seemed to want to give me entry to the taping, but had to make sure I wasn’t too old first. In other words, they asked how old I was… because we all know that people of a certain age aren’t allowed to be fans or to be in the same room as a band that for the most part are actually older than me. Ok, I’m older than Taylor & Chris, but only by a few months. Why I was so shocked at this – I have no clue. I know that MTV requires head shots for the same sort of thing because again, only pretty people are allowed to like rock n roll. (I’m being very bitter here… it’s total bullshit, and you know I’m right about this.) I replied to Fuse and gave them my real age. I’m not ashamed of it… I didn’t think I was too old (until I woke up on concrete Saturday morning). Long story short: Denied.
In a very big “lesson learned” and “I’ll never do THAT again” – I took to Twitter and announced that I was denied entry into the Fuse taping because of my age. Many of you came to my defense – and I really, really appreciate it when you say ‘but you don’t LOOK old, Leecy!’ – really ..thank you. What I did not expect was the tweets that went directly to Fuse from you that called them out. Yikes. So yeah, I’ll just leave it alone next time. I guess I just don’t understand how someone in this day and age can tell someone they’re too old to go listen to something that they really enjoy. I’ve followed this band from day 1, have every album – have been to so many shows all over the country that I’ve lost count and now I’m told that I can’t sit in the same room as them and listen to them discuss this new, AMAZING album because I’m too old. Someone please explain the logic to me because I don’t get it. I don’t understand. Well, you know what? Joke’s on you, Fuse. I got in. I sat in the front row… and I laughed my fucking ass off at every funny thing Dave Grohl said, so there! I watched it when it aired the other night & I heard myself laughing. How do you like THEM apples?
I’m off of my soapbox for a moment. Seriously though, Fuse (& MTV) – get the fuck over it already.
First up was Saturday Night Live. We got in line around 5:30pm on Friday night and for the most part – it really was uneventful. Luckily my sister is way in to camping up in Maine a lot, so I used her sleeping bag, air mattress – all that good stuff. It sprinkled a tiny bit – but honestly, it was not bad at all. One of my friends from Texas who recently moved to Brooklyn joined us and I guess she didn’t understand when I said sleeping on concrete meant that yeah, it’s not the Hilton. It’s concrete. She was not a happy camper to say the least. But she ended up with ticket #2 for the live show & made it in with Emily (#3). Veronica and I chose dress rehearsal and ended up with tickets # 10, 11. We made it in as well. 17 of us did for dress rehearsal.
Sitting outside of 30 Rock for hours & hours – you see a lot of interesting people and you even get to say hi to Bill Hader. Everyone has to stop and ask what you’re waiting in line for and when you tell them Saturday Night Live they either ‘get it’ or they look at you like you must be dumb. Really, really dumb. Then they end their sentence with “I hope you get in..” and walk off probably muttering ‘dumb ass..’
A friend of mine from the UK stopped by – Alison, along with her husband Simon were in town & were lucky enough to get into a few Foo Fighters shows/tapings. They didn’t bother with SNL. I admit it’s a bit nutty, but I promise you it’s better than sitting at home in Boston doing anything else.
Even though you wait in line all night for tickets, it doesn’t mean that you’ll actually get in to the show. Everyone in line gets a ticket. All it does is promise you that if someone doesn’t show up to the show – you have to opportunity to sit in that empty seat. They tell you every time that you are not guaranteed a seat until you’re sitting in it. Once you receive your ticket like the picture I posted above, you go back to your hotel and you get some sleep and then wake up – get ready – go stand in line again and they let real ticket holders in. If they have empty seats – that’s when they come for you.
It’s totally a risk – a gamble – and you know going in that you could end up with absolutely nothing… but when you do get in – and you get to see your favorite band perform new songs off of their new album – and you get to see your favorite musician in a skit looking like this:
…you completely forget about how cold it was outside or how you had to go hunt down a restroom somewhere while someone held your place in line… and that stuff doesn’t matter. You’re right where you want to be.
I should also mention that I have a rule when it comes to new Foo Fighters albums or really any album that Dave is on. I don’t listen to the album unless I have it in my hand or I’m at a live show – standing there listening to the song for the first time live. This was true for Them Crooked Vultures – the first time I ever heard any music from TCV was when I was standing in the front row at the Boston show, and the honest truth is that I’m still trying to wrap my brain around that one. It’s for personal reasons – it’s like Christmas or something. I’m the one in the family that protests “NO OPENING GIFTS ON CHRISTMAS EVE…!!” – I make people wait… and when they don’t wait and open their gifts early – well, I still have lots of gifts on Christmas morning while they’re bored with what they’ve already opened. Obviously in this case, I had heard White Limo because of the video (officially released) along with Rope (officially released) – but I had not heard anything else. All you suckers out there asking me if I’d heard ‘Dear Rosemary’ or ‘Arlandria’ – NO. I did not cave. I waited. And sitting there in the audience at Sat. Night Live, I heard ‘Walk’ for the first time – live – and it was worth every bit of holding out.
Sunday was our rest day. Nothing went on. We hung out. I think we ate at the Hard Rock Cafe (maybe I am too old – I forget..).
Monday morning I went to Dunkin Donuts for coffee & my phone started blowing up with everyone telling me that Dave & Taylor were on Howard Stern & the honest truth is that I was just a few buildings away from that, but you’re nuts if you think I’m hanging out in front of Howard Stern, no make up with coffee in my hands to see them. First of all, Dave would probably steal my coffee – we all know how he is when it comes that THAT. Second – did I say no make up? I mean it’s bad enough I stand in front of the Dunkin’ employees looking the way that I did….
I knew that Foo Fighters were going to be on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, but I had no way in. Tickets were all given out and Emily was on a VIP list through someone else. I figured that I would just go over anyway and see if by some miracle I could get in or if someone had a plus one that they weren’t going to use.
I have to say that when I pictured the Daily Show & where it would be filmed – I did not think it was some random building over on 11th & 52nd. Weird.
On Sunday night I was still at the hotel and Veronica had gone back over to New Jersey because she didn’t have a ticket either. For whatever reason, I logged on to the Daily Show online to look at their tickets on my iPhone and they had 2 available for the next day. I was sure that it was a mistake. I know that they release tickets from time to time, but I never get this kind of luck. I tried to enter my information on the iPhone, but when you’re nervous and trying not to make a mistake it’s usually impossible so I called my sister back in Boston who is recovering from massive foot reconstructive surgery – I knew that her butt was planted on the couch w/her foot propped up and her laptop at her fingertips. She answered immediately…. she entered my info, and in two seconds I had two tickets to the Daily Show with Foo Fighters as the musical guest. I text messaged Veronica to see if she could be my plus one and of course she could so we headed to the Daily Show the next day.
I actually met up with Jennifer who won the Birthday Book contest back in January. She got a ticket as well so we hung out – sat together inside the taping and now I have an awesome new friend. Alison & Simon got in as well and another friend Sara. It’s always very cool to meet up with people you talk to online because of Foo Fighters.
The Daily Show taping was really cool. It’s not something that I ever thought I would be a part of, but I’m glad that I was and I’m always blown away by how television makes everything seem so big, but the truth is that these studios are so TINY. Ahh, the magic of television. Not only did Foo Fighters play two songs, they played two that I had not heard before because again, I had not listened to any of the music. Arlandria & Bridge Burning. Awesome. Just completely awesome to have these news songs played to you in such a small setting. Again, totally worth waiting for….really.
Monday night we stayed at our friend Risa’s apartment. Everyone had a way in to the Fuse taping the next day and Veronica said I could be her plus one, but of course I was convinced that they wouldn’t let me in because I’m OLD. We met up at Fuse and stood in line and when they came to check everyone in, they got to Veronica and checked her name off and gave us two wristbands and guess what, suckers.. I was in….
For this taping, it was just interviewing – no music. That’s a really tiny studio and the dumbest thing is that there’s a huge, square pillar right in the middle of the room so the audience can’t even see anyone being interviewed so they shove these two huge flat screen TVs in front of you so you can see the taping. Of course the pillar was right between me and Dave so I know he never saw me because I never saw him! It’s ok though. It was a good interview and a lot of fun and I was just happy that I got in. I got to talk to Gus for a few minutes, but by far the funniest thing I saw that day was Chris denied entry into the (one) restroom because it was occupied by Emily. To see him turn the handle and it not open and hear him say, “Aw man!” and then to see Emily come out of the restroom and the look on her face when she realized that Chris was the one trying to get into the bathroom…. priceless. I mean, I guess you have to know Emily for that to be funny. We’re all human, right? When you gotta go, you gotta go – but I doubt it ever occurred to Emily that she would be holding up Chris one day. It’s just funny to me.
I ran into these two boys outside of Fuse after the taping:
When I put this photo out on Twitter & Facebook – I got so many compliments on my coat (thank you!!) but I think you girls jinxed me because I ended up spilling an entire large Dunkin Donuts coffee on it and now it’s at the cleaners and I hope that I can save it. The other thing was that just a few minutes after we took this photo, Dave came outside eating a bag of – I think – potato chips and these two guys were begging for a photo with him and I took hold of his arm and said ‘Dave’ a few times, but he never heard me and never saw me and then had to leave really fast to get into the van to go to the next venue. Seriously though – I’m just not aggressive. I suck at that sort of thing.
That evening, Foo Fighters were on The Late Show with David Letterman as well as the Letterman Internet concert. Neither Veronica or I had tickets for either one – our friends all did. It does suck to be the only ones that didn’t get in.. I totally admit that, but Veronica and I both agreed that overall we could not be disappointed with our weekend. We have had so many opportunities and to be mad about not getting into a show is just not cool. We’re thankful for the things that we got to do.
My bags were in Risa’s apartment on the upper east side, so we just hung out until everyone was out of the concert to get them so I could head back to Penn. Station to catch an overnight train back to Boston (and be at work at 8am). We sat on the side of the building where they load out and I could hear the concert – and hear Dave singing. Not gonna lie – a little painful not to be in there – again, can’t complain though. It was when I heard that they dressed up like the Beatles that I muttered ‘mother FUCKER’ to myself, but seriously…. I’m good.
Here are a few other photos taken outside of the Ed Sullivan theater. Pat is my new friend. Him & his finger puppet….
I took the overnight train back to Boston, went straight to work – survived on insane amounts of coffee – went home and in my mail box I found this:
Thanks, Mr. White Limo driver for sending the T Shirt to me. It was a great ending to a great few days in NYC. And yes, I have officially listened to Wasting Light and I absolutely LOVE this album. I have lost count at how many times a day I listen to it. It’s all I want to listen to. I can’t say enough good things about it. Some day I hope that I’ll get to hear all of the songs live. I know I will. If I could wait for the official release, I suppose that I can wait to hear it all live. Nice work, guys. Amazing work.