As exciting as it was to be handed the news that a trip to the dressing room was not out of the realm of possibilities, it still required suffering through the opener. I mean no disrespect, but a seven year old really has no connection to a comedy duo - and a mediocre one at that. Nonetheless, I sucked it up, surviving simply by living inside my head – what if this actually happens? What will I SAY? How do I possibly carry on any sort of conversation with the person who means more to me than anyone on the planet? My brother had virtually no interest in or connection to them, but they were the only band that mattered to me. I nervously tapped my pen in anticipation. Finally, the house lights went up and my eyes shot across the room, stage left, towards “the door”. This is the location where we were to look, per instructions from Mr. Security Man. There he was. He waved us toward him, in the corner of the room in front of “the door”.
I stood there, back against the wall, waiting for what seemed like an eternity. Suddenly, the door opened and we were ushered in and around a corner to the right to another door. Someone knocked on the door and the door opened – SHE opened it. Standing in front of me was Karen, donning the biggest, warmest, kindest smile I had ever seen. I nervously smiled back and handed forth the bouquet of flowers. She bowed her head to inhale the fragrance and appreciatively exclaimed, “They’re beautiful”! I next passed forward my newly acquired souvenir for her signature. Karen asked how to spell my name – “D-i or …”… “D-e”, I responded. She put the poster up on the wall in order to sign it, pen tilting slightly backwards, her signature to this day a bit faint as a result.
Richard was planted in front of a small TV, engrossed in what I remember to be a football game. She walked towards him and called his name – “Rich. Rich. RICHARD” and elbowed his side to garner his attention – to which he briefly turned, waved, said “hey kids”, signed the poster and handed it back to Karen before submerging himself back into his program. I apparently asked her if I was too old to begin drumming, worried that letting a whole seven years lapse would somehow be the end of my aspiring career, to which she apparently chuckled and said “No”. Whew. There was still hope.
We left the confines of the backstage area and rejoined our parents back in our seats, relaying every last detail. Then, the show began.
I truthfully remember very little from that evening and quite honestly am grateful to remember what I do. I can’t give you the details of Karen’s drumming – I just remember her being featured on stage behind her kit, as was customary during their live shows. She fronted the band and sang the many hits, but then was given her turn in the spotlight doing what she loved most - drumming. And it wasn’t her playing one of the ballads -it was her blowing chops, fearlessly soloing and tearing it UP. She completely blew me away. Her frail, 5’4” frame attacked those drums with all the thunder, passion and musicality imaginable, with a smile as big as the moon and bright as the sun. I vividly remember sitting in my seat, eyes no doubt bulging from my head in amazement, thinking, “I want to do THAT”.