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Brushes with Fame:
Meeting The London Suede and Oasis

Janet Kuypers article
from “The Indie Review/Reverberate” free magazine, April 1-15, 1995

“Meet and greet:’ and invitation-only party before or after a rock concert where guests have the opportunity to meet, talk to, get autographs from and otherwise harass the band members.
And interesting concept, really, and one that can make a person feel pretty big-headed. I found my way into meet and greets for both The London Suede and Oasis. And besides feeling important enough to get a special pass, both events proved to be... Well... Intriguing.
The first show was The London Suede at Metro, and the party was held before the show at the Smart Bar. The evening started off well enough: we bypassed the lines and got in my merely giving a name (I felt important).Then came the free beer (what more could a girl want?) and pizza before The London Suede showed.
Suddenly the people split into a few groups; if you wanted to find a band member, just go to a group and find the person in the center. The first person I met was the lead singer, Brett Anderson. I watched the crowd, because it’s just amazing how people react to fame. One dreamy-eyed woman walked up to him, barely saying a word, handing him a lollipop (which he later gave to another woman, crushing the first fan). A guy walked up to him and started asking him about lyrics to a song, then asked, “You mentioned a Volvo. Do you own a Volvo?”, and Brett replied, “No, I don’t drive.” I was intrigued enough to ask, “Is that by choice?”, and he responded, “No, it’s just ineptitude.” Okay, pal.
That was my cur to move on to band member #2, the drummer (Simon Gilbert). He was signing a few autographs when we walked up. He looked at my jacket, and my button that said, “Kiss Me - I Smoke A Lot.” He loved that button, and since we had to, we gave him one. With a wide grin, he pinned it to his jacket. By this time, we had to leave for the show.
And what a show. From the balcony, I had a great view and avoided the moshing on the main floor. “Metal Mickey”caused an uproar, they put on a lively performance, and, all in all, it was a great show.
Seeing Oasis at the Vic Theatre was a little different. First, we met them after the show, and second, they were completely incomprehensible. Let me explain.
As a performance, Oasis, in my opinion, fell short. The lead singer stood completely still while he sang, and looked quite irritated by even being there. When he wasn’t singing, he was sitting down by the drummer watching the crown throw one willing victim after another across the room. He looked so bored I wanted him to say in the middle of the show, “Piss off, you stupid Americans,” then walk off the stage.
But the crowd absolutely loved it. If you were looking for an opportunity to lose your keys from your pockets while being carried by a crowd, you missed your chance. Everyone was so hyped for this show that Oasis could have told us to piss off and it wouldn’t have mattered. Everyone loved every song, including their finale, “The Walrus” (they, they’re equated with the Beatles, and gee, they’re from Britain, so they have the right, don’t they?). And off they went, no encore, with the fans still screaming.
The meet and greet was in a balcony, so we waited for the Vic to empty out and headed upstairs. We made attempts to talk to a few of them, then worked our way to the lead singer (Liam Gallagher). I noticed first that he put off signing any autographs for men until he depleted his resources of clamoring female fans. Then as we were standing there, he looked at us, and for the first time it looked like he actually had feelings,opinions about somehting, as opposed tot he apathy he possessed on stage. He was going to say something to us, and we could just tell that it was going to be pretty important. So we anxiously waited, and he leaned forward and said (and I’ll do my best to quote him directly):
“Haveuh unuh yeahnuh inno abbah.”
Not a single word this man said was comprehensible. So we looked at each other, then said in unison, “Yeah, sure!”, then quickly walked away.
So twhat’s to learn from these brushes with fame? Sometimes it’s better to not know what the stars are like, and just appreciate their music. And sometimes meeting them is a good laugh.

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Chicago poet Janet Kuypers.
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