They say you can’t relive the past. They say you can never go back. It’s over, forget about it. But, they’re wrong. Because I did it. I went back. I did.
I spent one night being seventeen again. And that is my amazing thing.
Back in the seventies when I was a teenager I was a huge fan of the band, Cheap Trick. You know them. “Surrender,” “I Want You To Want Me,” “Live At Budokan…” My girlfriend Liz and I loved them. We saw them in concert about 50 times. We met them many times in New York City where we both grew up and we followed them across the country the summer of 1980 before we both went to college. I was madly in love with the hot, brunette bass player, Tom Petersson. Liz worshiped the blond lead singer, Robin Zander.
We had so much fun following them, tracking them down, sweet talking limo drivers to tell us what hotel the band was staying, waiting by back stage doors… All for an autograph, a photograph, a special moment. Sigh. Yeah… Liz and I WERE groupies. That is, we were groupies in every sense of the word except one. The one you are thinking of…
Fast forward to now. I am 47. I’m Married. I have two kids. A part time job. I volunteer at my daughters’ Catholic school. I try to keep up on laundry and I try to cook. Yeah, I’m busy. And, yeah, I’m happy. But I haven’t seen Cheap Trick or Liz in years.
But, I still like my rock and roll and yes, I still like Cheap Trick. I still have my photos, my pictures, my autographs and my memories. When a local band performs their rendition of “I Want You To Want Me,” I’m the first one on the dance floor. So, when a friend of mine was able to get tickets to see them about an hour away at a small club in Baltimore, I was truly excited.
When we arrived my old “groupie ways” came back. It was like riding a bike.
I had a sense of who knew something and I befriended them. I showed them the photo I had brought of Tom Petersson that was autographed: “To Maureen, Love and Kisses, NYC 1978” Yes, I even (tried to) sweet talk a bouncer to find out what the band’s plans were after show – when and where they would be exiting. I don’t know if they were impressed with me or they simply felt sorry for me, but I was able to find out what I needed to know.
During the show I was able to finagle my way up front – right in front of Tom Petersson. He was 60 now…but still hot… still a turn on. I mean, there he was, the object of my desire during my high school years. His pictures were plastered all over my bedroom walls and there he was. After all these years.
But it wasn’t like a high school reunion where you meet your crush and the knowledge of all those years gone by slam you in the head with pot bellies, graying hair and wrinkles staring back at you. No, no – when I stood at Tom Petersson’s feet at the edge of the stage, it was… the same. He was…the same. The music…it was…the same. He performed…he looked…I felt…the same. Everything felt exactly the same to me. I literally was 17 again. It was all the same. Really.
After the show I went to the back stage door where I learned they would be exiting. There were only a handful of people waiting. And sure enough Tom Petersson came out. I felt the same thrill I felt at 17 when I had met him all those years ago. I held open the photograph I had of him with the autograph and I asked him to sign it.
“Tom, the last time you signed this was in 1978. Don’t you remember?” He looked at me with half a smile and said, “uh… why yes. Yes, I do.”