October 26th, 2012
Today is November 19th, 2012 and here I am with a chance to reflect on what has happened to me the past month. Life has been busy these past couple months, but really I don't think I would have it any other way.
I wanted to take some time to really take you back on what happened for my Billy Idol birthday party. A lot of you have seen the video's and media appearances but there is just so much to cover I figured why not take a look back on what really happened.
The weekend of the show is still kind of a blur to me. I had my friends Alex, Dusty and Eric flying in from Minneapolis the morning of the show. The whole week was filled with friends flying in from across the nation. My buddy Christian and his girlfriend flew in from San Diego. Laura and her son Steve came down from British Columbia, Cousins from Oregon, so on and so forth. So The Thursday and Friday of the show week was mainly spent hanging out with friends whom had come down to the show.
Thursday was filled with media interviews. Everyone from the BBC in London to CBC in Toronto. Locally doing King 5 Television, KOMO Radio, etc. I really could get no sleep even if I tried. Between spending time with friends, to doing Media interviews to Band practice to attempting to eat food and get some exercise I was stretched very very thin. However I loved every minute of it.
Friday morning was more 5 am phone calls from radio stations, mainly on the East Coast, wanting to pick my brain on my big day. You figure this is a once in a life time opportunity so I would have my friends wake me up in the morning, I'm quite the heavy sleeper. I would Literally do these 15 minute interviews, Eat a bowl of cereal, answer the next call, take a shower, answer the next call, check e-mail, more interview requests, Film an interview at my house with a camera crew, Oh crap time to pick up more friends at the airport. As you can see it was a test to see how much I could handle. I don't think I have ever been that exhausted in my life. Now I understand why celebs have managers and publicist!
At 11am I picked up my Minnesota friends at the airport and informed them what a memorable, trouble filled night we had awaiting us. The whole time I had my ipod by my side looping the six song set list my band, Nite Wave, was about to perform in opening up for Billy Idol. "Relax", "I Ran", "Hungry Like The Wolf", "Lets Go", "Lets Go Crazy", and "Fight For Your Right". Lord knows of all nights to mess up the lyrics or chords to a song this was not that night.
Around Noon I headed to dinner with my Minnesota posse to meet up with my Mom and family friends for a final big Italian meal in Seattle before chaos was about to hit that night. I filled up on some chicken tortellini and headed back to the house to start getting ready for a 5 pm load-in at the Showbox SoDo. I was planning on hitting the gym before the show but as time allowed I had 90 minutes to shower, load all my gear into my car and take a deep breath. Luckily my buddy Dusty is a personal trainer and took me through a quick 30 minute routine including steel chair bicep curls, overhead triceps extensions with a blanket that he pulled against to use for resistance. I was quite comical but I was about to be on stage in front of 2,000 people and cameras nationwide. I needed to look good!
I took a shower. Then opted to pick four different outfits to wear during the show, I was too hard to pick just one. I started with a Michael special of my New Kids on the Block 1989 concert shirt, red jeans and my Puma high tops. I started my drive to the Showbox and here we went. Finally a moment to myself in the car. I turned off my cell phone and just drove while pondering. What was about to happen tonight? Is this real? I sat to think my life was about to change. I remembered the project from start to finish and all the people whom had helped me along the way, even those who choose not to speak to me anymore for their own personal reasons.
I arrived to my private parking spot alongside the Showbox SoDo and drove by at 5pm to a line of people sitting in the rain and a small gathering by the artist entrance. I stepped out of my car to a lot of stares of whom could be stepping out of this car. "Hey Michael, nice job man!" said a fan after I stepped out of the car. People speaking over each other saying "Hey Michael!" For a moment I felt like Justin Beiber.
I walked into the venue through the artist entrance to hugs from the Showbox staff. The hallway was filled with noise. Holy Crap I thought, Idol and crew seemingly were sound checking "Eyes Without A Face". I slowly walked into the room to Steve Stevens, Billy Morrison and crew sound checking. No signs of Billy Idol yet.
I went to go say hello to the rest of my band whom was watching sound check and smiling as if it were Christmas Day. We sat and watched for a couple of minutes while I went to the Backstage area to find Laurence. Laurence works for East End Management and his been my point of contact this whole experience. He has been nothing but a treat to talk to and we met for the first time the day previous over at Idol's Hotel.
I met up with Laurence and went through the game plan for the night. Meet and Greets, Media interviews, Merchandise, etc. We went to the Merch table where I finally got to see the exclusive T-Shirt made for the show. WOW! My own concert t-shirt. Very, very cool. Idol's peeps donated a handful to me to have as a gift. Then I went back for the rest of Idol's Sound Check. Finally 20 minutes later comes in Billy Idol!
Straight to the stage he went with his security guard "Toast" next to his side. (I have no idea how his security guy has the name "Toast" but its cool!) He sound checked "Ready Steady Go" to my applause and immediately got back into his get-away car and back to his Hotel.
6pm and still no meeting with Billy. Time for sound check for my band Nite Wave! Let me just say this performing in such a beautiful, big venue like the Showbox makes us sound just fantastic. My vocals were a thing of beauty, my guitar was a fat and loud as it's ever been. We sounded great.
During the middle of Sound Check from my right came a huge TV camera crew. "Hi, we are from Good Morning America". Wow. They threw a mic on me and started filming me the rest of the way. Despite all this I was keeping my calm. I could start to hear the fans as they were being let into the bar area of the venue. Its closed off from the stage so they couldn't see us but to feel that energy of them cheering at our sound check was a hoot.
After sound check finished I had an hour to kill. I really wanted to go outside and meet some of these people whom have been supporting me this whole time. A lot of these people I have never met before. I had camera crews following me so I went outside in a line that stretched seemingly forever. I had my megaphone and "Idol" banners that I had used at previous rallies and went up and down this line being a goober and making a scene.
I had met people who were giving my birthday gifts in line. From Starbucks gift cards to Hugs to Idol T-Shirts. It was just very overwhelming and I was very thankful. People kept saying how happy and excited they were to be at this show.
I had by this point 15 minutes til doors opened and totally forgot there was a large portion of family and crazy Idol fans inside at the side bar. So I hurried into the room and got the loudest reaction I have ever heard in my life. All for stepping into a room!
By this time I had about 15 minutes before I went on stage. I had to quickly get changed and meet up with my band. My band was getting ready to kick some ass as I stepped into our makeshift dressing room. I had my friend Caety throw some jewels and sparkles on my gig jacket to make it look as sexy as possible. Next thing you know the production manager was about to escort us to the stage to go start the show.
Whatever happened next is a total blur to me. I felt surprisingly comfortable on stage playing in front of that many people. I was more worried about catching my breath from all the dancing I was doing on stage. We played our 30 minute set and from what I hear we sounded really good. Take a look at some fan video from below.
As soon as we stepped off stage it was time to tare down our set! In record time We demolished our equipment and got it back in our cars. Then I immediately sprinted back to the backstage area to get ready to meet Billy. That's correct it's nearly 10pm and I still haven't spoken to Billy Idol!
As soon as I went back upstairs, I could hear Idol doing interviews with the media but opted to keep walking as I needed a change of clothes before I met the man. I was quite sweaty and gross but I made the most of it. Laurence came to find me and told me to wait in a room while Idol was about to come and say hello for the first time. Rather then me explain it I will let you watched what happened below.
As you can tell I was NERVOUS. Speaking a mile a minute, shaking Idol's hand a million times. What was a guy suppose to do under such pressure? He soon then gave me some birthday gifts, including a custom Pendant Necklace! Wow.
It still proudly sits around my neck as I don't think I could ever take it off. Is that weird? I literally had five minutes to talk to the guy. Not much time to really say anything to him. It would have been nice to go grab some lunch or something but I understand sometimes that just doesn't work out. Billy as you can see is a really nice guy in person. He seemed quite thankful for all my hard work and had a great sense of humor. He looked a little overwhelmed as it wasn't a typical concert. Soon after we met he was about to take the stage and wow did people go Ape shit when he hit the stage.
I followed him up to the stage before he went on and watched the first song, "Ready, Steady, Go" from the wings of the stage. His security guard "Toast" came up to me and asked "Why are you not watching this show with your friends?". Good point. I then sprinted down to the stage floor where I could hardly move due to the mass of people around and found some friends to watch the show with. All while distracting fans who were trying to figure out if I was the guy who just came off stage a minute ago?
Idol's people had planned a nice birthday moment where I would go on stage and Billy would sing happy birthday to me right before the encore. I came onstage as Idol asked "Lets get Michael up here, where the fuck is he?"!
I then went back into the crowd to enjoy the rest of the show....
What a fantastic night. I got to hang out with friends and enjoy the show. As soon as it was all over people were pulling me left and right trying to take a photo and get an autograph with me. Yes...me haha. Sound silly right?
After the whirlwind of taking photos and giving hugs ended I was finally able to go back stage to take a seat. Here we go again another TV crew needs more interview footage with me haha I can't complain. So we meet in the backstage hallway where Billy Idol walks past me to his getaway car to leave the venue.
I finish the interview up and collect all my belongings. Time to leave the venue. As I leave at around 12:30 am, there is still a group of a dozen fans waiting there to meet me?!?!?! I was just floored. I couldn't believe it. Some couple asked me to sign the gig shirt they bought for their daughter to show them that dreams can come true. How touching right?
I met Doug from San Diego. He had kept in touch since the beginning of the project and I did my first interview with him back in February of 2011. He and his friends had come to this show and waited for me to say hello.
See that awesome white leather fringe jacket? Yeah he gave that to me for my birthday. From his own personal collection. Just what an amazing guy. Just goes to show how blessed I am to have this project in my life.
I then took the rest of the night to party. Party to the point of getting ZERO sleep and head to TV studios at 9am for CNN and Today show Australia satellite interviews.
What a night.