What’s Your Anthem
October 8, 2013 § 2 Comments
It’s one thing in the 7th grade to attend a Hanson concert
singing screaming at the top of your lungs from the 14th row of Lakewood Amphitheater and convincing yourself that Taylor Hanson most definitely just waved at you and your BFF. It’s an animal of different stripes, however, when two years later you learn that the key to meeting Tay (his affectionate namesake) is to wake up at the ass crack of dawn and wait with your sisters, BFF, and Johnnie Mae outside Blockbuster Music on Peachtree Street for 3 (plus) hours.
The waiting in line wasn’t so much a problem as how I would make my first impression to win Taylor’s heart. Enter, Bop magazine’s legitimate article on, of all topics, making a great first impression with your celebrity crush. First, I will allow no judging. If you must, keep it at a dull whisper. It’s emergency preparedness though when you are in the 9th grade and 14 years old. In hindsight, Bop’s advice was about as revealing as it comes for those magazines. Smile. Look celebrity in the eye. Recite this phrase, “Hi, insert celebrity name. My name is insert your name. Nice to meet you.” Naturally, after your stellar introduction, you and your celebrity crush take hands and walk into the sunset.
Once we snaked our way through the aisles of CD racks and Blockbuster’s CD slingers set-up Hanson’s grip and grin table, it was a waiting game. I carefully reviewed the Bop article a few times in line, practiced my introduction with my BFF, and then it was time. Fate was at work. We snaked closer to the front of the line and with every inch I was that much closer to my certain fate as Taylor’s “forever.” Shocker, fate’s agenda was a little different from my own at the time.
Despite the handshake I led with that resulted in an awkward hand-holding moment, this brace-face delivered a silver-tongued introduction. What Bop forgot to add to its compelling article was what to do next. Apparently, after the introduction you are on your own. By the time Taylor signed my CD jacket, said, “Nice to meet you,” and we properly shook hands, it was over before it began.
That’s how its suppose to be though. When you are a 14 year old, everything has a heightened importance. Everything is: “I am going to die if insert teenage gripe. Only until life doles you a few more experiences does reality take shape.
Johnnie Mae used to play Red Grammer (fact: Andy Grammer is his son) in the car for my sisters and I when we were little. Red was big on the kid song circuit and we were well-versed in his lyrical work. When we had the opportunity to ride on the same float as Red in Atlanta’s Martin Luther King Day parade, I was thrilled. Sing and hang with Red? Hell, yeah. On a parade float? Stop.
I don’t recall what I said, if anything. At six, I probably just stared up in amazement at him, but I recall what disappointment I felt when he didn’t recognize me. Because I knew who he was, I assumed he would know who I was. I was certain he would spot me on the float, stop talking to the other children and apologetically say, “How could I miss you? You are my biggest fan. You know all my songs, and you sing them in your mom’s car with your sisters all the time.”
Instead, I stared in disbelief indulging my internal dialogue, “Dude. I sing all your songs. I have all your cassette tapes. Quit acting like a stranger. Let’s share the mic and sing for the people.”
I should have taken a note from that Red Grammer experience and realized that Bop’s five sentence article was not going to be a game changer for Taylor and I.
I have grown up since Red Grammer and Hanson (although, some may beg to differ). I still make sure to see Hanson when they roll through NOLA, but I don’t chase their bus when they peel out. I did that one time after the Blockbuster meet and greet, and only because I thought Taylor needed one more opportunity to change his mind about us.
Flash forward ten years and some change and I’m just as content dancing and singing in the back of the House of Blues enjoying the tunage. Those in the know are savvy to the good show Hanson delivers. Like a good mixologist crafting your favorite sipping sauce, its the best combination of everything you’ve always loved with something new to set your tastebuds on fire. And just like that, you remember where you came from but how far you’ve come.
Along the way, should anyone ask you about it, point to your rock tee. Everybody has an anthem, and you gotta represent the one ya love.