OKAY, so… 2002? 2003? I wanted to wait out traffic after work so I stopped at the Chin Chin in Bev Hills for dinner. I walked in, approached the hostess stand and… talk about dim sum and then some… Elliot Easton was there, eating with three dudes! I wondered — did he notice me noticing him, and if he did, was he flattered or creeped? Keep in mind I was alone and staring right at him for like a solid minute. And then I called a friend from high school and talked in hushed tones.
I felt 15 again. Back then, I’d often wonder “What is Elliot Easton doing this very minute?” And now I know! Eating lo mien in Beverly Hills! I thought to myself, depending on what happened in the next half hour, I could be married in a year’s time. To him!
My table was kiddie-cornered to where he and the dudes sat. I craned to hear what they were talking about but heard nothing except some discussion of Bobby “Blue” Bland. After I ordered, I pulled a script out of my purse from work and started reading, demonstratively – I was not above trying to appear more important than I really was. I tried to catch Elliot’s eye while in this tableau. I thought, once our eyes locked, he’d see I wasn’t just some hanger-on, but a real Hollywood player, and we could be the power couple he’d always dreamed of being a part of.
Then my Chinese chicken salad arrived. The bowl was overfilled and the wonton crisps were spilling out every whicha way. I wondered if Elliot saw this, and if he did, would he think it was clumsy, like a woman in a romcom? Or clumsy, like a woman who had forgotten to take her medication? I used the time I spent corralling the crisps to try to decide if I should say something to him.
I decided against it, because I do not approach those I admire, for fear of their contempt, see roller skating story a few posts back. And I was sure another, more ideal opportunity to meet Elliot would present itself – maybe something that involved working together on the internet.
A couple of years later I heard a commercial on the radio (which is a miracle since I always flip past them because I like no talk just rock): the New Cars would be playing the Universal Amphitheatre as part of their Road Rage tour. The New Cars? I was intrigued and hopeful. I got home and went to their website and discovered that the members of the New Cars were: Elliot Easton, original keyboardist Greg Hawkes, Todd Rundgren, and a couple of guys he knows.
I had only seen the real Cars in concert once, when I was 14 with my friend Craig Rodgers and his brother and his brother’s girlfriend. Seeing them live moved me so profoundly that I cried when it was over. Craig and the others wondered if I was okay. That depends, Craig: do you call having your soul torn out and then your heart torn out, leaving you with empty heart- and soul- holes that will never, ever be filled okay? Ugh, I hate everyone!
Now. How was I going to get good tickets to this show? You can’t just camp out on the sidewalk outside a Sears like a hobo like you could in the 80’s. As a teenager, I did this many times with varying degrees of success. There was Bruce Springsteen’s Born In The U.S.A tour, where I couldn’t get off work early enough from Baskin-Robbins, so I was, like, 30th in line. Then the sprinklers went off — people scattered, there was lawlessness. But then I got front-row tickets for being first in line for the Moody Blues. I was actually the only person in line for nearly 3 hours. I didn’t get it – what teenager wouldn’t want to see the Moody Blues play the hits from their parents’ records?
I found out from the New Cars website that for $500, you could get a VIP experience, which included a premium seat and you could watch the sound check and meet the band! This situation brought together two of my favorite things: Elliot Easton, and throwing money at a problem.
Come back everybody and find out what happened next!