Like most teenage girls I had a rock star crush growing up. My rocker of choice, Trent Reznor.
Redbeard loved Nine Inch Nails too. This came in great handy because Redbeard was karmically blessed. He had a knack for getting things for free and winning contests.
So, when I heard that KROQ was giving away tickets for a private NIN show I told Readbeard to get on it.
Redbeard did as he was told. Poor Redbeard. He was stuck with me in a city where he didn’t know anyone. He knew if he failed there would be emotional hell to pay.
Plus I probably wouldn’t give him any pootang.
Redbeard started listening to the radio 24/7. He called in everytime they opened the phone lines for tickets.
Two nights later I was on my computer, while listening to KROQ on my stereo, when I heard it!
Redbeards voice filled the airwaves!
“Lucky caller 20, what is your name?”
The announcer asked.
“Congratulations Redbeard! You won two tickets to the private NIN performance at a secret location! Do you know who you are taking?”
“Yes! My girlfriend! She was going to kill me if I didn’t win these tickets!”
Redbeard was an intelligent man.
We went to that show. Redbeard pushed us up to the front of the crowd (he was good at that too). He put me directly in front of him and placed his arms on either side to box me in against the railing.
It was freakin’ awesome.
The show ended and we snuck our way to the back entrance and sat there most of the night.
Trent never came out. We did not get to meet him that night but we did make friends with the guitar player. We took a picture of him with his dog.
Flash forward: A few months later Redbeard had won (yes, again) two floor tickets to the NIN show at the Anaheim Pond. I had already bought two just to make sure we would get them (can you believe I doubted Redbeard’s winning abilities?). This left us with two extra tickets. Redbeard gave one to his friend, Josh. I gave the other to my friend, Charles.
The four of us watched the show. Halfway through something happened with the mics and for two songs there weren’t any vocals.
We didn’t care. Redbeard and I had already seen this band at least three other times on this particular tour.
The show ended. Redbeard and I left the stadium and went to the back entrance. We were going to meet Trent THIS time. Josh and Charles followed.
We got to the back entrance. Our plan had been sabotaged. The back door was filled with security guards.
Almost defeated, we walked back to the front.
Thats when we saw it.
The tour bus!
Trent wasn’t on it but you know who was? Thats right! The guitar player, Danny, with his girlfriend. We caught him as he was boarding. I had brought the pictures that I had developed of him and his dog (this was before camera phones people). He remembered us. Then, Redbeard did what he does best!
“Are you guys going back in the stadium tonight?” He asked Danny.
“No man, we are done for the night.”
Redbeard pointed to Danny’s neck. Then the magical words spilled out of Redbeard’s amazing mouth,
“Can we have your all access passes?”
Danny thought for a second. Then he said yes.
Everything is now in slow motion.This is the most exciting moment in my 19 year old life.
Redbeard and I throw the passes around our necks and RUN back into the stadium leaving our friends in the dust.
We get past security, we use our passes to get access to the private level and then we enter the after party.
We waited, mingled, snacked for a good half hour.
Then, we heard it. The voice of our Rock God.
He was in the hallway, in the center of a small circle of fans. He was complaining and bitching about losing vocals halfway through his set.
Redbeard and I took our positions in the outer circle.
Then it happened!
Charlie walked out of the elevator with tunnel vision, on me!
“Where the hell did you go?” He screamed. “I told my mom you would drive me home!”
Yes, in front of the Rock God, Charlie was talking about his mom!
Single most embarrassing moment of my 19 year old life.
How the hell did Charlie get in anyway? Then, I noticed the fat girl behind him wearing a pass.
Charlie stopped. He jumped. He finally realized what he had just walked into.
He shook Trent’s hand and said, “Nice show, man!”
Before taking his place in the circle and shutting the hell up.
Trent went around the circle greeting everyone and signing autographs.
Then he came to me.
I grabbed the pass from around my neck and handed it to him to sign.
Trent looked up at me in my vinal dress and my six inch tall boots.
My heart fluttered. I had been waiting for this moment for my entire 19 year old life.
Trent looked me right in the eyes, he opened up his rock star lips and he said something that night that I will never forget:
“I’m a lot shorter in person.”
Thats right. Thats all he said.
Then he handed me back my signed pass and walked away.