I couldn’t believe a guy just wanted to have sex with me. A rock star just wanted to be invited to my indoor picnic? I was in shock. Truly. Before that day, there were plenty of guys who spent time with me cause I was so cool. Right? I mean heck, I was damn interesting: All 20 years of me. Call me silly. Call me naïve. Call me straight off the boat from Missouri. Thirty-one years later, I’m still Pollyanna.
1984; Hamburg, Germany: My friend Jeanne and I were newbie models. There were usually foam headphones attached to me cause I was attached to my Sony Walkman. An ungodly amount of time was spent on subways, buses and walking because I had to go on “go-sees” to see photographers and potential clients. I was always low on cash so this meant I had about three cassettes in rotation. One of them was David Bowie, one was the Police, and the other shall remain unnamed as he’s the subject of this essay. It’s not like I’m trying to protect the innocent. He ain’t innocent. But he has offspring, and at the time, he had a wife.
This band was BIG in 1984 and the album was huge. Before meeting him, I remember thinking “this guy seems so laid back and fun, it would be great to hang out with him some day.” Yeah, I know – be careful what you wish for.
The concert was announced and I was giddy. I realize now that being away from home made things from home seem even better: American music in the land of weiss bier. Two general admission tickets later; Jeanne and I were set. We were front and center. In my striped skinny jeans, beret, funky- ass fake braids, tuxedo coat, and ankle boots I looked just like a model was supposed to look.
The concert was thrilling. I knew every word. I sang along and HE was right there. Arm distance. The guy from the videos and all the guys in the band. The guy from my foam headphones. Right there. All the songs. How wonderful! How uplifting. What a night. How joyful. It’s music for God’s sake! What could be better?
I was 20 – he was in his early 30s. So it wasn’t a crush thing. Ew. Gross. That’s like almost dad age. Plus, I had a boyfriend back home. I do know concert-love-pain. Like the love pain I felt at the Shaun Cassidy concert back in middle school. This wasn’t it.
Jeanne, Me, Julie, Silke (we lived together in 1984, Germany)
Right after the show a guy came up to me and said, “I know a guy who really likes tall women.” I knew it was a corny line – but, whatever – it was a chance to meet Singer Man! So Jeanne and I went with him. Backstage. This was before “meet and greets” were invented. You actually went backstage after the show into the area where the musicians hang out – where the food and booze live. Singer Man was there and said “Hi.” I must not have impressed him too much because he disappeared. So Jeanne and I chatted with the band and other backstagers. Very nice. Next thing we knew, we were on the tour bus. And it was moving. Okay. Be Cool. Fun. Wow! We’re on the tour bus with Singer Man and the Band. I assumed the next stop would be a fun party to celebrate this exciting night of music. (Pollyanna)
Well, the next stop was the hotel where they were staying in Hamburg. Duh. Now that I’m 51 this makes sense; experience in radio and promotions has taught me that for them, it was just another day on the road. I’m guessing all the backstagers who also got on the tour bus were supposed to be going back to the hotel. Maybe they wondered what we were doing on the bus. Maybe they didn’t notice. Or, maybe this wasn’t the first time in rock history young chicks ended up on a tour bus.
Everyone got off the bus and went into the hotel lobby. Next thing I knew, I was without Jeanne and in the elevator with Singer Man. This was, of course, because I followed him onto the elevator. There were other people in the elevator – and one by one, they exited at various floors. So there I was, alone in an elevator with the guy who’d been singing into my head for months. Duh. What do I do now? How exactly did I get here? What dumb-ass question was about to escape my mouth? Stay tuned.
The elevator stopped. He got out. I got out. He walked. I followed. He was probably wondering what my intent was. I was wondering what my intent was. I said “Where are all the fans to mob you?” (I warned you.) He replied “I don’t know. You can mob me if you want.” Ug. Shitballs. In these situations I always say the wrong thing. My response was some sort of nervous Barbie doll giggle – assuming Barbie dolls get nervous and giggle.
He opened the door to his room. He went in. I went in. He was probably wondering what my intent was. I was wondering what my intent was.
He grabbed a beer and took a swig. I asked for a sip. Then I started spewing about how much I loved the concert – blah blah blah verbal vomit. Alas, he knew I was sincere. And I knew he was sincere when he said it was great to have someone to perform for. And since we’d had a whole minute of good, solid conversation – I was convinced we were gonna leave the room and go to where the party was (Pollyanna).
Jeanne, Me, Silke, Julie (1984, Germany)
But no. Singer Man made his own dumb-ass statement. Looking back, perhaps he was just being efficient. As I was mentally prepping for an hours-long conversation in the hotel bar, he said, “All I ask for is a kiss – I’ve never been kissed.” Next thing I knew his tongue was down my throat and his hands were getting friendly with my ass. Whoa Nelly! Hello. Hell no.
Needless to say I was surprised. But, I acted cool and simply asked “Where is everyone else?” He gave me a room number – so I left – assuming the party would be in the other room. (Pollyanna) Wrong. That road crew guy who took us backstage was there with a prostitute. Another story. It’s legal there. The phone in the room rang. Singer Man was calling for me. He said he had to meet with concert promoters until 2 AM and wondered if he could meet up with me afterwards. I lied and said I had a photo shoot early the next morning and said goodbye.
Yes, I am Pollyanna as I assume the best of people. But I’m not a complete dumbass. By that point I knew he wanted to touch my ass again. And my boobs. And probably my elbows. At that time in my life, I wasn’t an innocent virgin, and I was getting the impression he wanted to put his pee-pee into me too. Men.
I took a taxi home and found Jeanne safe and sound.
So where’s the taking of the innocence?
It was the first time I’d been treated like a piece of ass. Somebody who I really admired had no desire to get to know me as a person. Luckily, it’s only happened a few times since then – twice more with famous people (and I was nowhere near their hotel rooms). Perhaps they are used to women throwing themselves at them or simply getting what they want.
I’ve met many respectful men and many respectful famous people. They certainly outweigh the assholes. I guess I’m still Pollyanna.