Monday, September 7, 2009

Hanging with Jewel

Summer of 95, I was excited to finally see one of my favorite singers- Peter Murphy, formerly of Bauhaus. I like Peter better than Bauhaus but that's neither here nor there. I would highly recommend his album DEEP. The concert was held at the now departed Fairpark coliseum in Salt Lake City. I saw lots bands there - (Everclear, Primus, and some U2 cover band that Ryan Darger demanded and got his money back from because he said they weren't a good enough cover band-Zoo Station)

Anyhow as we were standing in line to get into the concert I noticed a girl with purple eyes. I remember this because it was weird AND because a very interesting man had recently told me perhaps only a couple weeks earlier that you could recognize Aliens as in extra terrestial's because they have purple eyes but are otherwise human. And he told me that if you recognize them and they know you recognize them it is a way a breaking the ice with them and becoming their friend. YES, he was serious and No, he was not a homeless drunk, I can't say who he was but he is actually a very respected local scientist who doesn't usually put such info out there.

Not saying I believe it by any means but I remembered purple eyes. So maybe this girl was an alien on her way to enjoy a Peter Murphy concert or she might have one of the 95% of goths in black going to the show. I remember remarking to my friends that we were almost the only people not dressed entirely in Black, but I digress because purple eyes are weird and she might have been an Alien.

As we were slowly moving inside the coliseum I saw a couple of pretty girls who also weren't dressed entirely in black and as me and my friends found a good spot to watch the show -high up in the back near a spotlight platform- I went and said "Hello," since they sat nearby.
"Hello." She was the opening acts tour manager. "Who is the opening act?" says I.
"Her name is Jewel, you'll like her, Peter himself picked her out for his tour as opening act. You should come to an after concert party," she invited, "She will play live again there." "Maybe if I like her sound," I said. I wasn't going to sound too overeager for my first after concert party invitation.

I went and told my friends about the invite and we agreed that it would be conditional if we liked her, after all as everyone knows, most opening bands stink. My first thought was her name is Jewel? I pictured the lead singer from the Cranes-their best song was titled Jewel. Very gothic band, so that influenced what I thought Jewel would look like. Frowny pale faced girl with hair black like the abyss. Instead a short smiling blonde came out with an acoustic guitar, my mind wants to tell me she was barefoot just to fit in with the down-home good old girl image but No she must have had shoes on.

I actually liked her songs and her performance, trouble is I have never ever heard those songs again. When her national career broke out a good fat year later the songs I liked were not to be found. One of them was something about a bunch of backwoods boys finding a beautiful blonde and the chorus of the song was "Da-da-da-daddy can we keep her?" It was humorous. We agreed we would go to the after concert party.

Peter did put on a particularly good show and at one point I seem to recall that he acknowledged us high up in the back on the spotlight platform. After the show, we went to the designated place a little dive off of west temple called the cyber-space cafe, cyber space being a rather novel term at the time, as absolutely redundant as it was considering it was not an Internet cafe as I recall. It was small and narrow with but a few tables crowding the length and I was hungry and there was nothing left to eat but dry biscotti. It was packed even though I would not say there were very many people there. The only table left available was all the way in the back. We took it grudgingly thinking we would not be able to see very well at all. Everyone who had beaten us there took the seats and tables closest to the door- assuming she would play there.

We lucked out. Jewel came in and set up right next to my table. We had to slide it back and crowd the people behind us to give her a little more room and she even asked if it was alright if she placed her water on the table with ours. Sure it is. As she played her set we clapped loudly and were encouraging and I drank her water. Which got me a playful scolding. Again she played some songs I liked that I have still never heard again. She told me she was Mormon but her dad got X-ed a long time ago so she didn't show up anymore. After the show we hung out for a while and it was pretty cool. It was a pleasant thing to start hearing her on the radio about a year later although most of those songs really weren't my style, it was cool to know someone who had their dreams come true after a lot of hard work.


Nichole Giles said...

Sounds like a memorable night, for sure.

Maybe you should email Jewel's publicity manager and ask if she's ever going to record her early songs? Although, come to think of it, I'd never publish some of my earliest work--because it isn't my best. Maybe that's how she feels about those songs?

Kind of makes you wonder, huh? Cool experience.

Karen Gowen said...

Wecome back David J. West!! This post is you at your best, loved it loved it. I'm going to tell Maggie to put it up on the WiDo web page of featured author blogs. It's priceless.

M. Gray said...

Cool experience!

David J. West said...

Thanks Nichole, Mary and Karen. Though I have to admit that to me this was quick fodder to get into the groove of posting again and I don't see how its worthy to be on the author featured blogs.

Karen Gowen said...

What? The alien comments and the girl with purple eyes says it all.