The Curse of Xena is Lifted!
It’s almost two weeks later and I’m so overwhelmed with joy, I can feel my heart growing and tears pushing against the dam. Obsessed all over again, with watching every video, listening to every interview. I worried I might become jaded and my passion would cool somewhat. Sorry to say, just the opposite happened, just as so many have said, written, proclaimed, whispered and shouted. “One is not enough!” A Lays potato chip? a shot of tequila? a square of chocolate? No! One encounter with Adam Lambert.
Anyone familiar with the lament of “The Curse of Xena”, knows how Adam Lambert has evaded me the dozen times I have seen him in concert. Friends stopped inviting me to join them when we attended the GNT concerts. It became a joke in my family with taunts like “Has Adam given in yet?” “What’s next, stalking him backstage and in dressing rooms, disguised as the cleaning lady?” They know that won’t work, I barely know the working end of a broom.
Finally, I settle upon an oblique approach: no wishing, hoping, dialing or fence-climbing just to say “Hi Adam”, they were useless tactics for me. I became sanguine on the topic itself and just focused on our blog, our radio show and a bit of family time thrown in. If it was going to happen, it just would. But I did sneak in a “Plan B” for some insurance.
I guess all those trips to Delphi to plead with Apollo’s Oracle, all those gifts of dates, figs & maple syrup I left for her did the trick! She sent to me a Knight in Shining Armor, Sir Clement of Coors or Sir Clem as we now call him, thanks to a few pints, too many cosmos and sharing a sofa to watch the funkalicious Tower of Power DVD.
Less than a fortnight earlier, Sir Clem’s leader had proclaimed an Acoustic Café be organized, featuring Adam Lambert!! In the town of Hartford where he now made his home, having left County Kerry, Ireland, Sir Clem instructed his people to fulfill the proclamation, they did and there was great celebration! So many Glamberts competed in Olympic sports and complex games to win a coveted spot in the audience. They dialed phones, pressed buttons, answered questions, pleaded their case and there was a caber toss for the Scots. I never win those, I’m not good at them, so I stopped trying after the Highline Show two years ago, the last time I won any tickets. I have so much admiration for those who can get through the hurdles to win a coveted spot.
Sir Clem, a generous and thoughtful man turned to his lovely and talented Lady Ellen and asked if she still had those mad friends suffering from that infectious mass hysteria that had been going around or had all the Glambertinas been locked up in the stocks. “Indeed!” she exclaimed “they all live and are free to travel!” The silver haired Knight offered her forthwith, a few parchments inscribed thusly.
Please Join Us
Adam Lambert performing at Russian Lady’s House
Upon receiving this very special invitation, each Glambertina accepted with gratitude and promises of first-born things, kittens, budgies, etc. Among us, only Gloria of King had met Adam, the rest of us were virgins (a-hem). Juneau had a couple of brief encounters, but they were mere foreplay to the official M & G. I immediately summoned a team of hair stylists and estheticians to help prepare me like the Scarecrow was in Oz. I was soaked, scrubbed, softened, filed, polished, brushed, smoothed and painted. Hardly a square centimeter of my body was left untouched. The Glambertinas shared tips on how to pose for photos – yes there are DIY videos on the topic. It seems however, that all that practice escapes your brain if you try to remember any technique while standing next to Adam. A hug from Adam, causes brain waves to go haywire and you pray the guy with the camera will be kind.
The Gathering of Ladies in Waiting
As I and my Glambertina friend and navigator Northern Spirit arrived at their estate “Irish House”, we were warmly welcomed by Lady Ellen and Sir Clem, a robust, gracious gentleman. Lady Ellen had prepared breads, healthy soups and other delicious food for us. She also shook-up that wicked concoction, a Cosmo. A nine-hour drive, you walk in the door and someone hands you a chilled martini glass with pink liquid – the only polite thing to do is quaff it! Another was called for – we needed a toast! I know there was some great music involved and dancing – probably me as our host was playing the great funk band Tower of Power as our hostess and other friends departed to retrieve more Glambertinas. I was left with the Cosmos, Sir Clem and great music – a recipe for a challenging morning after the night before. This only happens when I’m with Glambertinas – I swear!
March 13th and it’s like the ladies-in-waiting preparing for a royal wedding – as wardrobes were modeled, nail varnish shared, hair sprayed and Lady Ellen’s elegant homemade repast was consumed. Of course I was last to come down but had the lipstick on, hair brushed and ready to go! We posed for the obligatory and cherished “at home” group portrait to record who was there and match the head count for who returns. We were a bit worried about DeeDee, we’ve seen her around Adam before.
Some of the Glamberts had gifts! Beautiful, thoughtful and special – I was empty-handed. “Keep it simple” was my motto for this trip or I’m just lazy and forgetful. Juneau had printed out the original article by Allegra Huston What is it about Adam Lambert? , sent it to Allegra, who signed and returned it to Juneau. The creative and talented calligrapher Lady Ellen made a special card for all of us to sign, then both were inserted into a handmade black envelope with Adam’s name in gold Gothic lettering. Others had drawings and jewelry too.
Finally, we mounted our chariots and rode off to hear and meet our Apollo, Adam Lambert. I say “Mashala” and spit three times to ward off the evil spirits I might have unleashed for even thinking I’ll meet Adam and it’s much too soon to be confident. Anything can happen. I keep this to myself of course, but I’m not going to believe I’ll meet Adam until I am standing in front of him. Some of the other Glambertina’s are probably thinking “I hope the Curse of Xena will not intervene tonight”.
At the Russian Lady
We’ve made it to the venue! They actually welcomed us in, bestowed a gift of a day glow lime green paper bracelet on each of us, along with a good-luck amulet, a photo of Adam, his name and sponsor logos emblazoned on it. It hangs from a bright blue lanyard like a miniature sandwich board on our chests. It’s now an accoutrement on my desk lamp shade.
While others enjoyed a cocktail to settle the butterflies, I deprived myself and drank more caffeine. Didn’t want to be dancing on the bar while Adam came and went. It could happen.
Himself and his Court Troubadour Arrive
The guests are all rounded up, we are led to the barricade and how appropriate, it’s a red velvet rope which must be priceless in value as it was guarded by two young men in white shirts. They watched us, arms crossed to make sure no Glamberts could breach the barrier and run off with this priceless artifact. Did they spot the sword I tried to hide in my little clutch? Who knows when you will need to defend yourself or cut rope? Princess Warriors are always prepared. It’s all very regal looking but the guards of the rope could have been dressed in footmen garb as befits the royalty about to enter….
Lights! Cameras! Action! Some loud preambles by a male radio host and a female TV host, then Adam and Tommy joined them on stage. They almost appeared out of thin air, but for the beacon of light that always precedes Adam’s entrance. Introductions to Adam should include a warning “do not look directly at him with naked eyes” like the one we get when there is going to be an eclipse. I squint until my eyes get used to the brightness.
Adam and Tommy look fantastic, with Tommy wearing all the make-up, Adam gloriously bare-faced. They were nonchalant and casual, just doing their jobs and enjoying themselves, so why was I so mesmerized and could not look away, just impossible. Perhaps my Xena vision will draw Adam to glance in our direction, I focus, train my eyes on him, summon all the forces of Mesmer – alas, nothing, nada, nyet. Pay attention! Yes, I’m listening but my senses of hearing and sight are competing for my attention. When he sings, the multi-dimensional quality of Adam’s voice is prismatic to the ear, a rainbow of sound, each colour appears and melds into the next. This and the difference in the sound quality cannot be recorded on a camera and reproduced on YouTube. They performed Better Than I Know Myself and Whataya Want From Me.
The interviews were fun and gave us a glimpse of Adam “off-stage” and informal with the quick wit he first revealed on Idol. This doesn’t happen on tour. We only had the two songs and there was a moment’s disappointment when Adam said they couldn’t do a song off Trespassing since Tommy didn’t know them yet. We did perk-up when we realized we would get to meet Adam sooner!
After Adam and Tommy finished their songs and Adam had answered all the questions, we were told that we would have our pictures taken with Adam, in the next room. We were lined up, with our group at the back, to wait to be called. We had noticed that they were taking people up in twos which was fine as a picture of Juneau and me with Adam was ideal. I am calm and cool, because anything can happen. Before I reach the doorway, Adam could fall ill from some bad kale, be whisked away in an ambulance and the curse lives. If I’m lucky, he’ll be healthy…so far, so good. I have not planned to say anything, but do what comes naturally which of course is to – say something!
Adam, Juneau, Xena – Shock all Around
We’re at the front door! “Put everything here” and a hand slaps a table. Juneau and I are doing all we can to hold it together. I remain calm and grounded, drop the few things in my hand. Juneau’s held up a bit as she’s brought the gifts. The room is very bright, with the light emanating from the backdrop and as I turn to my right, I face the brightest, white-hot aura I have ever experienced. I’ve only met two other people who possess such a powerful magnetic field around them. One was the late Lady Diana who positively glowed and the other a major military commander.
The first time I saw Adam in person, standing outside of Much Music in the dark and foggy drizzle, even partly obscured, I could see his luminosity. But this time, I was so drawn to this blinding aura of radiant white light – moth to flame? As I approached him, I automatically lifted my arms and smiled as if I were meeting a long-lost and beloved relative. Of course he lifted his arms when I did and we hugged.
Holding him is to capture a lightning bolt and hold it still for a moment, I expected electric shocks. He is of course, completely unaware of this or he would be dangerous and those I’ve met who possess this aura also had light eyes to capture and reflect light, animating them with sparkle. This is but one factor to imbue Adam with a powerful stage presence, but can be overwhelming in close quarters, to which others can surely attest.
Of all the things I could have said first, I blurted out happily “Thank you, the curse is lifted!” as we hugged. I am quite sure he’s never heard that line before. Adam asked “What curse?” “It took three years for me to meet you, finally!” I had to yell over the voices. Thankfully Juneau arrived before he could say “who the hell are you and what’s wrong with you?” . She introduced herself “Hi I’m Juneau”, we do make a good tag team. With that, I heard a disembodied voice “let’s get this picture taken!” We quickly straightened up and posed, then a quick flash for a second shot but no time to fix anything.
With that, someone attempted to rush us away. But it’s taken me three years to get here and they won’t get rid of me that easily, so I employed a technique I’ve used effectively before. I ignored the noisy guys with logos on golf shirts, turned my back and Juneau stood next to me, forming a blockade (well more like a soft curtain) so Adam could not escape and the white shirts couldn’t get past us. It’s all attitude. Adam was cornered.
We looked at Adam and I said “I suppose we should introduce ourselves. We’re Xena and Juneau.” We held our breath. As soon as the “eau” was out he took a big step backward with those long legs and leaned even further back! Heart’s jumping now “oh no he hates us!” Adrenaline rush, fight or flight – do we turn and run?
Adam loudly exclaimed “I know who you two are!” everyone can hear this! What have I done? I should have left it with our photo and obeyed orders, but that’s not the Juneau and Xena way, is it? Noooo, we have to push that envelope. I felt my sword and shield in my hands. We’ve stood in rain and frozen our feet in stylish shoes waiting outdoors in December to catch a glimpse of Adam, perhaps an autograph. We trailed him all over New England in the Glam Van, meeting wonderful friends along the way, but no Adam for me. Finally we’re in front of him and we’re staying. Even if they cuff us, we’ll be going out with a bang, not a whimper.
Juneau “we wrote the… book….” “are we in the doghouse?”
Great big smile from Adam and laughing “NO! I read some of it, not like other fan fiction, it’s ummm… interesting.” What was that expression on his face as he said that? Wish we had video, or maybe it’s better we didn’t. We’re so relieved to learn that he just stepped back to take the measure of us and not because he was trying to escape. Glad I’m wearing nice shoes and Juneau’s are gorgeous. Nothing is hanging off us, no hems stuck in the pantyhose, no lipstick smears and Adam is just smiling and approaching us.
Exhale, breathing…. I dare not look away, we got this far, let’s see if we can hang in a few seconds longer. That magnetic force field of his has no “Turn off” switch, so we can’t move. A couple of more words are exchanged.
Exit Stage Right
With that, the sounds of the people around us invaded our space, the spell was broken. I believe I heard some kind of marine commander barking orders, “move it along! Go down the stairs! Go back outside!” Now I know how sheep feel when the dog herds them into their pen barking at their heels, but we behave more like meandering cats. Blinded by the bright light, I’ve lost my bearings now, not just in place but time too. Does that sheepdog not know what our footwear looks like? He should try hustling about in Juneau’s leopard print designer high-heeled pumps or my black satin closed-toe sling-back stilettos with feathers and sequins on the outside over the buckles. We did manage to break away from the group to go back and pick-up our things. Sword aloft, shield in front!
Juneau sadly retrieved her carefully prepared mementos and we left Adam empty-handed, not knowing that anything left there would be given to him. Gloria’s Canada bag of goodies, Bonnie’s drawings of Adam with Sauli and of Tommy were left behind. Since I had decided on a no-hassle, no-complications event, I picked up my meagre cares and woe and we joined the rest of the Glamberts winding down a steep staircase out to the street.
Some of our fellow revelers were sad they were unable to directly proffer their carefully, lovingly prepared gifts to Adam, although Lady Ellen had secreted her piece of handmade jewelry in her pocket and place it in his hand. All the security people just assumed we wanted an autograph, but everything we had was meant for Adam to keep. Autographs were not on our agenda anyway, we had our hearts set on other prizes; face to face with Adam, perchance a hug and a photo needed to indelibly etch the event in our minds. On the street, we did a head count – DeeDee was still with us and not trying to persuade people to believe she is Adam’s make-up artist. The ploy might have worked but Adam isn’t wearing any make-up tonight.
Adam Beware of Dark Alleys
Now we’re back to our fangirl ways, find Adam and Tommy’s black Suburban behind the building, off the parking lot in a laneway. Of course we’re all on an endorphin-induced high and a bit dazed, so we just chat, hoping Adam will emerge from the building soon so Juneau can hand him the gifts. The door opens, the driver and entourage of one walk out. Reassuringly we’re told that whatever was left on the table would get to Adam. As he emerges, the darkness subsides as he slides into the back seat on the far side and Tommy comes around to our side. Juneau summons her courage and plunges ahead toward Tommy and as the door is closing, manages to hand him the precious black envelope, which he graciously accepts with a smile. He hands it to Adam, already holding Gloria’s bag of goodies and he opens the envelope as they drive away…mission accomplished!
Our group gathers in a restaurant on the next street to debrief and gather our wits about us. Some say “too bad it was so dark in that room”. I didn’t know what they were talking about “which room?”. “The room where they took the pictures.” I thought it was lit with spotlights and extremely bright, but realized what I saw and felt is Adam’s aura of energy, blinding. Is there a way to take an infrared photo of him? I don’t say too much then as no one else has mentioned this. They’ll think I’m hallucinating from the Cosmos effect, but it is that mysterious something so many have described but are unable to identify.
Juneau and I try to fathom what just happened. We met Adam and didn’t slip, trip or stutter – what a relief.
Adam is so gracious and happy when he meets people, it’s obvious that he does enjoy it. Had we not been so unceremoniously tossed-out, I could have stood and enjoyed watching him interact with his fans, each of whom gets a beaming welcome smile and that’s something that is yours and yours alone. I would like to be the next person they see, to enjoy the blissful faces as they go by. Don’t you wish you could just take off your jacket or put on sunglasses so no one recognizes you, run around to the back of the line, grab another hug, another “hi”, another smile?
Now I must send my gratitude to Apollo through the Oracle, but more importantly to Sir Clem of Coors and his team and the divine Lady Ellen.
La vie est belle, je me sens bien, tout va bien dans le monde
P.S. The meeting of the “I haven’t met Adam Lambert Anonymous” group will take place at it’s usual time. I will attend as a “survivor” now and lead a discussion on “So you’ve met him, now what? Where do we go from here?”