Friday, April 11, 2014

Confessions of a Hall & Oates Fan (All Embarrassing)

Happy Friday! I've shared a few things about myself on this blog over the last couple of months.

1. I like scrapbooking.
2. I love hounds.
3. I hate exercise but can tolerate Zumba.
4. I love chocolate.
5. I have a husband whom I refer to as "the Giant."
6. I have a 3-legged cat named Booker T.

Here is number 7: I am a huge Hall & Oates fan. Last night was a special night for me and thousands of other fans. Daryl & John were finally inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. They were/are my idols. It got me very nostalgic.

I have been a fan since they looked like this:



And I looked like this:


Apologies for the blurry photo but you get the idea. Circa 1988. Check out the giant Pink Panther glasses...among other things.

This is me at age 11, chubby, nerdy, and a fashion disaster. These middle-aged men were my first crushes. I don't know what that says about me but it's true. My eyes were glued to MTV, watching their video "Everything Your Heart Desires" wondering if they would think I was pretty.

Even before I really knew who they were I wanted to hear "Kiss On My List" over and over again from my mom's four-record collection of #1 hits.  I tried to place the needle on the song myself and scratched it up. I was four. 

I asked to lip-sync Daryl's part in "We Are the World" at a third grade assembly. 

I gasped when I heard Daryl say "bitch" on the song Rich Girl for the first time. It was the first naughty word I ever said out loud...

In 6th grade (age 12), I won a school-wide book writing contest. I wrote a book titled "Sara Smile" after their 1975 hit. I was too shy to read it aloud to the whole school so my teacher, Mr. Johnson, did.



 I will entertain you with the highlights. The introduction reads:



It gets worse.




The very last anti-climatic line reads:


I think back on my 13 year-old self, during the height of my fanaticism, stealing $15 from my brother's change jar so I could buy the red 45 vinyl of "Jingle Bell Rock." In the 8th grade, I had a crush on a boy named Darryl who looked like a teenage version of Daryl Hall. At Age 18, I spent a year at Temple University in Philadelphia (because that's where they went-this is the first time I've actually admitted this out loud), swearing I would someday work in the music business and work for Daryl & John, and if they ever made it into the Hall of Fame, I would be there in person to cheer them on. Instead, things played out this way: 

At 18 I was hit on by their former manager and asked if I wanted to go for a midnight boat ride after a concert in San Diego (I used to be the youngest fan in the room-I said no thanks). I was asked to work for the now defunct Push Records (their former label) by a drunk executive whom when I called back the following Monday morning, didn't know who the hell I was. I worked as a sales rep for a crappy independent music distributor (you know those "Tribute to (fill in with the name of any actual famous artist or band) CD's?  Yeah, I sold those). The company started selling Daryl's solo album "Soul Alone" a year after I had quit. Sprinkle in a few more disappointing, lackluster events...then there was last night.  I was reduced to listening to a barely audible UStream video of the induction ceremony, trying to glean some sense of what was being said, struggling to hear the opening notes of "She's Gone" while some drunk a-hole with an obnoxious Jersey accent called them "a waste." (He was a Bruce fan). 

Such is life.

There were the "I want to emulate Daryl" years. This is me trying to achieve wavy, blonde hair in junior high.



Oh horrid Sun-In spray and bad perm, you are delightful.


This is me (early 20's) with Daryl & John.


Me with the kind and sweet Tom "T-Bone" Wolk, former bass player, RIP.

I tried wearing poet's shirts (the blouses with all of the ruffles...looks Shakespearean), Texas slide ties, and vests like Daryl & John (their 90's look). It didn't matter to me that I am the opposite sex. They were the coolest people I knew and I wanted to be like them even though I was the only one of my age group & in my circles that thought this. I was made fun of...a lot. Once, in 5th grade, a girl came up to me and told me that she heard on the news that Daryl was dead. He had died apparently of old age. 

The confessions continue:

I had a pet mouse named Oates and a parakeet named Daryl.

I had over 20 pen pals (all fellow fans) at one time, all listed on the back pages of RSI (the Rock 'n Soul International fan club-the official Daryl Hall & John Oates fan club.

My dad once drove me to a concert in L.A. in which we had different seats (I was up front and he was further back) and I managed to get backstage passes with a friend after the show.  I sent dad home. He stopped at a Denny's on the way back to get some dinner and got food poisoning.

I once made my parents drive me to Pottstown in PA, (while they were dropping me off at college) and knocked on Daryl's parents front door to ask if it was okay to take a picture of their house for my scrapbook. Daryl's dad was washing dishes. He told me he thought that would be okay.

I have a piece of tile from the luncheonette pictured on this 1973 album cover (it is one of my most prized possessions).



I made a goofy scrapbook in my late teens and it included the Anniversary Bash, celebrating their 25 years together, of which I attended in Philadelphia (their stomping grounds). I asked them if they would please play "a diddy" for us attendees, in typical awkward, shy, ultra self-aware form.





I've been to dozens of concerts.



I walked down the aisle to their song "Forever For You" ten years ago. This is my poor dad whom I ditched at the L.A. concert.


Here I am at the reception singing along to "Sara Smile."


As you can see, I can't blame my nerdiness on my youth. As recently as 2 years ago, I attended FanFest-celebrating 40 years of their music.

 I did this as part of the "Flat Daryl & John" slideshow shown at the convention (a play on the children's character Flat Stanley). I was sick and missed a show in Vegas that year.

I watch every episode of Live from Daryl's House on Palladia, will watch Daryl's new DIY Network show "Restoration Over-Hall", and am busy memorizing every song on John Oates solo album "Good Road to Follow." I signed the petition Rachel Ray started as well as petitions created before then to get them into the Hall of Fame.

So you see, a lot of memories (some cringe-worthy) revolve around these guys. Although I don't know them personally, they feel like family. They've always been there. I've never been embarrassed to be a fan, but I've done some supremely dorky things in efforts to express my gratitude for their music. There are others who are just like me (no really, there are) who were at the induction ceremony last night. As much as I wish I could have been there, I feel proud. Congrats to "my boys" for finally being recognized as the true musicians, songwriters, and performers you are. 

Do you have a similiar story? I would love to hear it! It will make me feel better.

Thanks for stopping by and stay scrappy.

-Gina & the Hounds















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