I flounder through this life of mine. I’d say, “I’ve lived haphazardly,” but I don’t mean “aimlessly.” I have always had an aim: poetry, writing, art. Yet, here I am, going gray and still trying to get “there.” I haven’t always been clear on where “there” might be, let alone the path. Nor clear on my self-worth. And circumstances have been insufficiently conducive. It’s been a hell of a challenge, but my aim prevails.
Last September, I saw Heart at the Masonic here in The City. As always, they were amazing. Nancy with her guitar, Ann with her incredible vocals. I love that they don’t act a fool, come out on stage all bare-assed, tits hanging out, spreading their legs, bending over and sticking their asses in the air, or eccentric, like that chick who covers her face with her hair like a fucking shaggy dog. Tony Bennett gave Lady Gaga good advice. You ain’t gotta have all the gimmicks when you have that talent. Ann and Nancy Wilson aren’t squares either. They are fucking cool. I especially love Ann’s style. Ann and Nancy Wilson are ladies, but are still kick-ass, rocker chicks.
Ann Wilson is touring solo. Her tour is The Ann Wilson Thing. She performed at Yoshi’s in Oakland last Monday. We had “meet & greet tickets,” which meant we got special fan seating (right in front of the stage!), and a chance to take a fan pic with her before the show.
Fans were instructed not to touch her, no hugs, no autographs. I stood with my hands behind my back. I was “a total fan chick,” my son said, because I told her she was awesome, when I could’ve said something more like “Your lyrics are beautiful poetry,” which indeed they are. And I told her she looked fabulous, when I could’ve told her I love her incredible voice, it’s beautiful and powerful. But, no. I babbled. I’m embarrassed. What a fucking weenie I am. She was really nice, though, and said, “Thank you.” I deliberately put my hands behind my back because I wanted to make sure I didn’t reach out and touch her. I so wanted to throw my arms around her and hug her. I was totally tripping out. Inside I’m like, “Holy shit, it’s Ann Wilson! Ahhhh!” I maintained, though, other than blithering my admiration.
Ann Wilson and I are the same age. I was born a month and a half before she was. She dyes her hair. I don’t. She’s an entertainer, a rock star, so she has to look fabulous. She’s a beautiful woman, even without the cosmetics. And, my god, what a voice!
She’s doing covers of some fucking great songs. She said there would be no Heart songs, that this was her thing, The Ann Wilson Thing. “We’re going deep and dark,” she said. I said, “YEAH!” Not to myself. Not inside me. I actually did holler that. “YEAH!” Hell, “deep and dark” is right up my alley. I felt that Ann Wilson wasn’t sure fans would accept her just as Ann, and not a representative of Heart. She didn’t want to be Heart, she just wanted to be Ann. I’m sure most of us (fans) love her because she fucking rocks. Period.
She started out with Buffalo Springfield’s For What it’s Worth. I remember hearing that song in early 1967. That was the year my life got shot to hell. When everything went wrong. I got married in March. I turned seventeen in April. I felt like my life, my future, my dreams, got taken away from me. I blamed my mother. Well, it was her fault, but at the same time not. It was her fault because she made a decision that greatly impacted my life. Her decision compelled me to make my decision, albeit, mostly unconsciously. I had to get the hell out of there. My only way out was to get married. I wasn’t the runaway type. Even if I had been, that would’ve been a Hell road too. A worse one, surely. It was also not my mother’s fault because it was just meant to be. Everything is. Back then this song depressed me, but I couldn’t say why. “Something’s happening here. There’s a man with a gun over there, telling me I’ve got to beware…What a field day for the heat. A thousand people in the street.” It’s so relevant to today. The song doesn’t depress me anymore. It excites me. Tremendously.
Yesterday doesn’t matter. Today and tomorrow do. I write my poetry, my stories, and I’m pleased with my work.
I submitted four poems to a magazine last week. I have always heard that rejections are inevitable. I’m prepared for that. I think. I’ll keep submitting, anyway. I have nothing to lose.
Emily Dickinson had an aversion to being public. I totally get it. Sure, “How public like a frog/To tell one’s name the livelong day/To an admiring bog!” Fuck the blowhards and their moronic admirers. Fuck the public arena, where “the masses elevate fools into rich heroes.” Still, an artist wants to share her/his art.