Monday, July 03, 2006
Sunday, in the Park with my friends...
My feet are hurting from the blisters, my hands feel like I’ve been lifting weights all day, my eyes are merely open, but I feel very happy. It was a great day all along, it was like going to the park with friends, but with great music too.
Chapter One: The meeting with Tomoko and the Hyde Park
My day started at 12 noon when I went to Bayswater to meet Tomoko and her friend Kay at their hotel. What a delight it was to finally meet her, she is sweeter than I imagined and very pretty too, like a little girl, wearing Who gear all over! We went to Marble Arch to get a cold drink and we chatted and laughed like old friends.
It was time to go to Hyde Park. The heat was something unbelievable, even for my Greek standards. We took a bus, which was useless after all because it left us way too far from the Hyde Park Corner entrance, but we managed to get there. The girls got their tickets from the box office and I put the golden wristband on my hand.
We separated at our respective entrances. I didn’t have to ask or do anything. I just showed my wristband and everybody was letting me in. That’s how I like it baby!
As soon as I found Tomoko and Kay again, I called Mark and Jill to see where they were and after a few minutes we met under the blazing sun. After chit-chatting and taking pictures, Tomoko and Kay left to have a look at the perks of their VIP tickets. Tomoko gave me a little something to give to Rachel and they were off. Unfortunately, I didn't see them again...boo hoo:(
My golden wristband was burning my hand! I didn’t want to leave my friends, but I was dying to see what I can do with it… So I went to one of the security guards and he said that I have access to the Special Guests area. We’re on, I thought!
The special Guests area was a huge place full of tents, right next to the backstage area. I went to the security guard of the backstage area and asked him if I could go in.
He said no.
I explained that the wristband was sent by Rachel and his reply was that if I had her number (which I don’t, of course) I could call her and she could come outside and let me in.
Chapter two: The Waiting
I was ready to faint from the heat, so I decided to have a drink under the tent, until my friend to whom I’ve given the other wristband arrived. So I went to the bar and asked for a Coke.
“Pepsi. £2 please” Swell.
I sat in one of the tables and had my drink, and I felt really pleased for the first time after the big “NO”. There was a cool breeze coming, I was under the tent, sipping my ice cold drink and then one of the bands started playing. I couldn’t see them, since I was at the back of the stage, but I sure could hear them.
I relaxed and waited for my friend to call me. At around 4:45 he called me that he was inside, but went to the main stage to see Ocean Colour Scene. I stayed at my cool place and I bumped into Ron from the Shout and his wife. He suggested maybe to go through the other gates, since the Airstream was a little bit to the left and ask if Rachel has given my name to the guards there. And when I met my friend a little while later that’s what we did, unfortunately with no results.
Our wristbands were only good for that area. We had to have proper backstage passes, you know, the ones you hang from your neck.
Chapter three: The Casbah, The Bex and The Rach!
Well, we needn’t worry for that now, for it was time for THE CASBAH CLUB!
We went to the small tent and right at the front (where else?) where we met Tom Matchett and Sarah Beth. Fab!
Simon and the boys came out, sans Bruce Watson of course, and rocked our socks off!!! I could not stop jumping and singing they were incredible! I observed how fantastic Bruce Foxton was, what a great musician. Simon of course was his own fabulous self, giving us one of the best performances I’ve seen so far. The people screamed, they loved it and so did my friend. I was paralyzed… What a great song Vibrate is. It was for me the highlight of the day so far.
As we came outside of the tent I noticed I had a message from Bex. So I called her and it was really funny because we have never met each other.
Bex: I’m wearing a white skirt.
Me: I’m wearing a white skirt too!
Bex: I see ya!
We hugged each other like long lost friends! She is such a character! We stayed in the VIP area and started talking non-stop. Then she introduced us to her father who has the same amazing blue eyes as his daughters!
While there I saw Noel Gallagher, for whom I have an ongoing crush for ages, with his dreamy little daughter. As I took his picture I screamed “I LOVE YOU! Then, I wanted the earth to open and swallow me.
Just a few minutes before The Who went on stage, Rachel came by and started greeting the people on the table. She was looking stunning! Absolutely gorgeous. I called her name and we hugged and kissed.
She asked me how I was doing with the no-smoking and I said: “I just had a fag now!”
Ok, before you start screaming at me, I needed it, after all this! Just on this occasion, as I said to Rachel… am I forgiven?
She was in quite a hurry. So I gave her Tomoko’s present and she was chuffed, and then a quick photo (Rachel looks gorgeous and I look like my grandmother!) and then she disappeared.
And that was IT! It was time for the main attraction and the main reason I was there…
Chapter four: The Who!
My friend and I decided not to get squashed, so we stayed at the back and right side of the stage, on a high slope, where we had a very good view of the stage. The screens on the stage that is. I could see the band like little ants moving around and a little bit of the background, but what I saw, I saw it mainly from the screens.
For those who didn’t watch the webcast, I have to tell you that the band was absolutely amazing. I have never seen Pete doing so many windmills before. He was playing like it was the end of the world. Roger was great too. His voice blared through the speakers and made my heart jump.
The camera was constantly on Zak, who’s getting better and better and better! Last night he was as furious as Keith. I was breathless.
I joined in with the tens of thousands of people who were cheering and clapping, jumping and screaming. What a feeling!
At the encore at the end, the very last song was Listening To You. Pete wouldn’t stop playing!!! He amazes me every time!
Chapter five: The Conclusion
The best thing, except of course the two incredible bands, was to meet all these wonderful people. I didn’t have a chance to meet Steve H, what a pity, but we spoke on the phone and I’ll see him next week, at the Blinner (see Molly? I am stealing your word and inventing a new one).
It was a lovely day overall. No complaints. The fact that I didn’t get backstage, which would have been a dream, hurt me of course. But I cannot complain. What I lived yesterday cannot be lived by a lot of people. It was truly special and I felt truly privileged. I owe Rachel a lot for that special treatment and I hope I can return the favour one day.