Rock of Love or bust
April E. Clark
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
The first time I heard the bus was coming I said to myself, “I can’t miss this.”
Lord knows I’ve missed a bus or two in my life.
Sure, this wasn’t going to be the classiest or chicest bus to ever pull up in Aspen. But it couldn’t be worse than what went down at the Two Live Crew show back when Belly Up was the Double Diamond.
The nasty-as-they-want-to-be ’80s rap group was banned in America.
With a ticket to see Poison front man Bret Michaels, I could relive a 15-year-old girl’s glam-rock ‘n’ roll fantasy. Better yet, the show would take place a week before my birthday. Impeccable timing.
C’mon Bret, just give me something to believe in.
To take the words right out of Bret Michaels’ often-kissed mouth, I knew the Rock of Love Bus tour stop would rock my world and I couldn’t miss it. Of course there was a catch. The golden ticket was $75, way out of my budget right now. Every rose has its thorn after all.
I could only believe in the mantra, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
A month quickly passed, and Bret was still on my mind. I had read that KTUN The Eagle was giving away 10 tickets to the show. I had to make it happen. Before I knew it, April 13 ” the day before the show and the deadline for the contest ” had arrived. It was do-or-die time.
Rock of Love or bust.
The contest required me to submit a photo and the reason, in 25 words or less, why I should attend the Bret Michael’s Rock of Love Tour concert. So I attached a photo of a really hot blonde centerfold model to the e-mail and my best prose in exactly two sentences. Actually I sent one of my favorite portraits by Kara K. Pearson and wrote, “I’m a local columnist/Poison groupie. Seeing Bret live could quite possibly beat my column about meeting Two Live Crew at a bar in Rifle.”
They’re the kings of talking dirty to me.
For those keeping track at home, I’ve seen Two Live Crew more than twice in concert. Three times to be exact. That probably makes me as perverted as they are.
I’m sure that makes my mother proud.
When I opened the KTUN e-mail on Tuesday morning it read, “April, we are gonna make your dreams come true. Have fun tonight at the Belly Up in Aspen with Bret Michaels.”
This not only rocked my world, but rocked my friend Kendra’s world, too. As former roommates, we watched Rock of Love religiously. This concert would be even better than the time we road tripped to Iowa for her brother’s last collegiate soccer game and tried to fit in with the coeds at a Halloween party. Of course I fell down the stairs dressed as a schoolgirl, so seeing Bret Michaels live would have to trump that.
Not that Bret Michaels doesn’t appreciate a little schoolgirl role-playing to rock his world.
As tempting as a black leather bustier and rock star-teased hair are when dressing the part of a Bret Michaels groupie, I opted for a black dress with plunging neckline, skinny scarf and pointy-toed knee-high boots. I also threw on more eyeliner than I’m accustomed to and some black nail polish for a little edge.
Because I’m sure when you think of me, rocker comes to mind.
The first thing Kendra asked for was hairspray when she arrived at my place ” because, yes, I actually still use hairspray. … My hair is fine, whatever. I was expecting her to go big with the curls. She opted for pulling it back instead and we made our way upvalley to the show. Not without stopping to have my taxes done on the way, of course.
I waited until the last minute on that one, too.
Once at the Belly Up, there was an air of excitement as the mostly female crowd pined for Bret Michaels’ pending stage presence. We weren’t sure if there would be video cameras and a new cast of potential Rock of Love contestants on hand. But since Bret has declared he won’t be returning for another season of Rock of love, the Belly Up show concentrated on the music. He played some new stuff, but also brought back ’80s Poison hits such as “Talk Dirty to Me” and “Every Rose Has Its Thorn.”
Flashback to that 15-year-old girl’s glam-rock fantasy.
The best part was, after a cat fight in the crowd ” to which Bret Michaels responded it’s just like the Rock of Love show up in here ” I was pushed into the front row. Bret Michaels was all about interacting with the crowd, so I can’t count how many times we touched.
If that doesn’t sound like a full-on groupie, I don’t know what does.
Luckily for my boyfriend, it was nothing like the alone time some of the Rock of Love contestants have experienced. I’m not really much for sharing, so I probably wouldn’t do well in that type of love situation. But the ladies are right about one thing on that show, Bret is one hot man.
Again with the groupie.
Contrary to the assumption I would somehow end up on the Rock of Love Bus, there was no after-party invitation. The closest I came to the bus was posing next to the larger-than-life photo of Bret Michaels plastered on the back end of his trailer. I also posed with Bret’s bodyguard Big John for a photo, which is like two degrees of separation from Bret.
That’s closer than I ever imagined as a braces-wearing, goofy 15-year-old girl from a small town in Indiana who always wanted to meet Bret Michaels. Never mind it took 22 years to happen.
See, it doesn’t hurt to have something to believe in.
April E. Clark’s new something to believe in is the Denver Nuggets. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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