There's no time to lose, I heard her say
Catch your dreams before they slip away
Dying all the time
Lose your dreams
And you will lose your mind.
Ain't life unkind?
I finally caught my dream on Saturday evening in Las Vegas, after waiting a mere 27 years! I was backstage at the MGM Grand and was allowed to go to the Wardrobe room to meet Keith Richards and get a few photos taken with him. It was a surreal and fantastic experience.
I had met Keith briefly on a few other occasions, the first being in Pittsburgh, PA in January 2002, and that was a thrill enough, getting a hug and kiss & a "thanks darling" from Keith in the lobby of the hotel. I also met him again in 2003 as he left for the SARS show and he grabbed my hand as he walked by, and then in 2005 in San Francisco Keith gave me another big hug & kiss backstage in the Rattlesnake Inn.
But Saturday night in Las Vegas was different. It was special because it was just me and Keith and Keith's security, Bill. If it wasn't for the kindness and generosity of Bill, this would have never taken place and I want to thank him from the bottom of my little Keith loving heart for all he's done for me this tour.
I was told at the "second" opening night in Boston back on Sept. 20, 2006 that I might get this opportunity to have my photo taken with Keith. So every show since then (6 times to be exact), I prepared for the possibility. It meant sneaking in a camera of course, and picking the right outfit...I mean I wanted to look good right? Well, for different reasons, things just didn't seem to work out show after show, so by Vegas, which was supposed to be my last show of this tour, except that Atlantic City got postponed, I had all but given up hope. I didn't wear anything special to Vegas, no cleavage or anything, LOL, just a new skull t-shirt I had gotten.
We were in the Rattlesnake Inn, but things were SO hectic, busy and crowded backstage. Time ticked away, and the prime time would have been after the boys finished playing snooker, but that time came & went, as did the meet n' greet, etc. Bonnie Raitt was finishing her opening set, which meant the Rattlesnake was closing, so my hopes faded away, but I made a last ditch call asking "Is there any hope?". To my surprise, I was asked where I was at the moment & within seconds I was at the doorway and whisked behind the curtain up the backstage hallway. We were walking fast, but things were in slow motion for me.
In a few seconds I entered the doorway of the room marked "Wardrobe", and was told to wait in the doorway. I did so, standing beside the cases filled with the band's stage clothing. Jo Wood walked in carrying 4 hangers of Ronnie's t-shirts. I didn't speak to anyone who passed. I just waited. I wasn't nervous. Maybe I was in shock.
I was told to get my camera ready, so I turned it on, but it has a 1 minute shut off if left idle. So, it shut off as soon as Keith came around the corner, looking just fucking fantastic and ever the pirate with a huge smile, and gave me a big hug. Bill introduced us again, and I gave Keith a red, white and black skull scarf, which he hung around his neck. I thanked Keith for letting me see him and he said "Thank YOU, you keep on giving, and all I do is accept." Keith was all smiles, genuine, friendly, cool, sweet, everything you'd imagine he'd be. He grabbed me and pulled me close and Bill asked how to turn on my camera and then he took a few photos of us. I didn't even notice until afterwards that Keith wore his sunglasses for the first one, and then took them off for the second...but I do remember him leaning his head against mine. Then a woman snapped a photo of me, Bill and Keith together and when I lined up next to them, Keith said "You get in the middle" and I said "I'll be happy to be in the middle". I just couldn't stop smiling. But, funny, either could Keith. I told him I'd been waiting for this since I was 12 years old and then thinking of the song "Far Away Eyes" said "Thank You Jesus, Thank You Lord" and Keith laughed and said "Don't thank them!" to which I replied "Thank you Keith!". Then the 3 of us walked out of wardrobe, down the hall together to Camp X-Ray, where Keith said goodbye and I said thanks for the 10th time to both Keith and Bill. I remember watching Keith duck into Camp X-Ray and then peak his head out again and smile at me. I think I floated out of the backstage area to where my friends were waiting in the hallway.
I couldn't believe the photos came out so well, I couldn't have asked for better shots! Not a lot of words were spoken between us, but the emotion and the happiness and Keith's genuine spirit could truly be felt. He really did touch my heart.
Again, my heartfelt thanks to both Bill and Keith for allowing me this opportunity of a lifetime. I love you both! Tears came to my eyes a few times that night during a stellar performance by the Stones, especially when Keith sang my favoirte song of his...
YOU GOT THE SILVER
(M. Jagger/K. Richards)
Hey babe, what's in your eyes?
I saw them flashing like airplane lights
You fill my cup, babe, that's for sure
I must come back for a little more
You got my heart you got my soul
You got the silver you got the gold
You got the diamonds from the mine
Well that's all right, it'll buy some time
Tell me, honey, what will I do
When I'm hungry and thirsty too
Feeling foolish, and that's for sure
Just waiting here at your kitchen door?
Hey baby, what's in your eyes?
Is that the diamonds from the mine?
What's that laughing in your smile?
I don't care, no, I don't care
Oh babe, you got my soul
You got the silver, you got the gold
It's just your love, just leave me blind
I don't care, no, that's no big surprise