October 7, 2006

Groupie vs Backstage Pass?

I'm depressed about something (a guy, what else) and when I am down, I write. So here is a story from my past that is somewhat interesting. Up front I will say that a good friend once called me his "Penny Lane" but he was not insinuating that I did the things she did (in the movie Almost Famous) and I took it as a it was meant - a huge compliment about my capacity to listen, care and be compassionate to someone when they need a true friend. In this story I was asked if I wanted to be a "Backstage Pass" which I had never heard of at the time and found to be very insulting, how would you have reacted if you were me and/or my boyfriend in this situation?
I was 23 years old and lived to go to concerts. I'd met a few "rock stars" but no big names, and I never thought I'd have the chance...until that night.

It was the Los Angeles Forum. Aerosmith was playing and I was seeing them for the 3rd or 4th time. My boyfriend and I both liked the band, and I had a huge crush on Steven Tyler.

We decided to try to get down the the area that was near backstage lounge area. We'd done it before and got to hang out a bit with people we didn't know - but seemed "important". We had never even tried to make it to the real backstage area, we figured that would be impossible so why even try.

I remember standing there smoking a cigarette and feeling someone stare at me. I looked and sure enough there were two guys looking at me and talking about me. After a minute or two they approached us and said, "do you want to be a backstage pass?"

At first I didn't get it "Oh, we don't have backstage passes." I told him.

My boyfriend just stood their looking like a dope (he was a dope). The guy ignored my boyfriend completely and put his arm around me, he got right in my face and smiled, "No, sugar - you are the backstage pass, I'm giving you the opportunity to get backstage. Do you want in?" It didn't take a genius to get his message - he was suggesting that I would have to "do something" to get the privilage to meet the band.

Even though I was being faced with the opportunity to possibly meet STEVEN TYLER! I was disgusted, ever so slightly flattered to be "chosen", pissed off and excited all at once. I don't know what the expression on my face said. The guy was waiting for my answer. I looked at my boyfriend and he was grinning from ear to ear - like "yeah go for it!"

I was furious! I looked at the guy and very coolly said "no thanks". Inside I was crying cause my boyfriend was such an ass and I was also kicking myself for missing a chance to possibly meet Steven Tyler, but mostly I was just shocked that someone had the audacity to suggest that I would be willing to perform some sexual favor in return for going backstage.

I'm sure plenty of girls would have jumped on it, but there was no way I would lower myself. The experience left me depressed which is probably why I thought of it today.

My boyfriend could not understand how I passed it up, he said HE WOULD HAVE UNDERSTOOD IF I WANTED TO GO BACKSTAGE! Like he didn't even care if I did "something" to some other guy!!!! UGH!

So, I never got to meet Steven but I did keep my integrity and self-worth intact which is far more important to me than meeting a "rock star".

Oh - and I broke up with my boyfriend the next day!


Jeff said...

Very interesting story, and that's great that you turned down the offer because someones body should never be used as an object of someone else. I also can't believe your boyfriend would react that way.

Layla said...

Neither can I !!! He wasn't a very good boyfriend. I think I was planning to break up with him anyone, and that pushed me to do it sooner.

I am actually writing a book (sort of - it maybe be a series of articles) on the imporatnce of young women valuing their bodies rather than using them as a resource. It's nothing new - girls have been doing it for years, but what they don't realize is how it can impact their life in the future. Wish me luck!

Ben Heller said...

Layla, I think a hell of a lot more of you because you did say no. It would have been easy to say yes, because of the start appeal but I bet they would have tried to encourage you into some kind of debauched act (which I know you wouldn't have entertained).
You did good girl, but what a dork your BF must have been. Surely he couldn't have been that stupid to think nothing would happen ?

Layla said...

Thanks you guys...I RARELY share this story with anyone because its so - disturbing.

angie said...

Good one Layla. I have a huge problem with the attitude that women are just there to be used, ANYWHERE, not just backstage at a concert. I know all too well the impact that this kind of abuse can have on a person.

It also annoys me that men like that presume women can't just be into the music, and are there just 'for the band'.

Good on you Layla, and good on you for getting rid of the boyfriend too. What an ass, if you don't mind me saying ...

Oh, and I'd definitely read your book. I'm very interested in that topic. Good luck with it.

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