Tag Archives: #MylesKennedy

An Inky Elephant’s Tale

Some of you know, some of you don’t, but I have two, usually well-hidden, tattoos.

Yes, I know I wrote a blog on here about seven years ago about whether to ink or not but, in my defence, in that blog I did say “never say never.”

Moving swiftly on to January 2020 and I had this wee guy added. (Thanks to @tubithetattooer)

Cute, isn’t he?

There’s a tale behind him that I thought I’d share with you.

His tale begins back in 2016 when I decided that I was going to be a big brave girl and travel on my own to Nottingham to see a band called Alter Bridge play live. (Anyone who knows me personally knows what a big deal that was for me.) I decided to go the whole hog and bought the VIP Meet and Greet package. The show was the day before front man, Myles Kennedy’s birthday so I decided to buy him a small gift. He has two majestic elephants inked on his chest (incidentally, the prompt for the original blog post back in 2015 about tattoos). I chose a small silver elephant charm on a cord to give him as a gift. When I bought it, I actually bought two of them and kept one for myself.

When the moment came during the meet and greet, I rather shyly passed over my card and gift, wished Myles a happy birthday for the next day and genuinely thought that that would be the last I ever saw of the elephant. Let’s face it- why would a rock star give such a small gift a second thought? I mean…come on!

Wrong!

A few short hours later as I stood leaning on the rail, Myles emerged on stage wearing the elephant necklace. My night was made! He’d not only actually opened the gift but had cared enough to wear it…and he continued to wear it for the rest of the tour and again in 2017 for Alter Bridge’s appearance at Shiprocked.

I’ve no idea what became of that one. I’d love to know. I’d like to think he still has it.

My wee elephant though came to symbolise a few things for me. He reminds me of the confidence I found to make that trip to Nottingham, reminds me of the friends I made that day, reminds me of Myles himself and an awesome gig. In general, it reminds me of happy days.

Move on to 2019 and, sparing you the details, I had a bit of a health scare thing that rumbled on for more months than my nerves would have liked. In an effort to keep those nerves at bay, I wore my wee elephant to all my appointments. He became my good luck charm, my “All Ends Well” talisman. Wearing him reminded me of good times. He made me smile.

I decided during that journey, much to The Big Green Gummi Bear’s disgust, that I would get him tattooed on the inside of my right ankle so that he was always with me. That wee elephant became my symbol of strength, health, and happiness. (Yes, I was wearing him as the tattoo was done.)

Now, after two years of living in this Covid ransacked world and of dealing with the various curve balls life has thrown my way, he’s still there (obviously) to remind me not only of better times but that I have the strength to handle whatever comes my way.

I read somewhere that there’s an inscription on an ancient Greek tablet that reads, “Plato told me that everything I need to know about life can be seen in elephants.”

There’s a lot of truth in that.

Rock/metal fans have hearts of gold – fact! Don’t believe me? Read on…

 It’s no secret around here that I love my rock music, Myles Kennedy and Alter Bridge (AB) in particular. One thing I have really missed this year is my AB family.

Rock/metal fans get a bit of a rough press at times. There’s a misconception that its all big hairy greasy leather-clad biker guys with chains and piercings and tattoos by the dozen. Yeah, sometimes it is but these are music fans with hearts of gold. Male or female, young or old, the people I have met at the numerous rock shows I’ve attended look out for one another. Rock fans take care of each other all the time.

 2020 has been rough on us all in one way or another and, personally speaking, I am really missing queuing out in the cold for hours before sharing the rail with my music family. Throughout the year, the AB family have found new ways to stay connected – weekly Facebook Live parties where we all watch a recording of a set show, messenger check-ins to check we’re ok etc. And, when one of our own needs or deserves a little extra helping hand, that’s when the hearts of gold shine through.

A couple of wonderful people have put together a fundraiser to help one of our treasured AB family members, who is currently going through an arduous cancer journey. It’s a raffle with some awesome and totally unique prizes. ALL proceeds will go to the AB family member. (The costs of running this have been absorbed already) This it totally fan run and not directly linked to Myles Kennedy or Alter Bridge or endorsed by them – just to make that bit clear.( Don’t want to get in trouble from Tim!)

In the interests of sharing the love and the opportunity to contribute to a great cause, I thought I’d share the link and offer each of you the chance to join in.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/ArmyOf12/permalink/3373063762788713/

And the next time you pass a rock/metal fan in the street or in a shop, just remember that heart of gold that beats inside them 😊

Horns up! Stay safe!  \m/

Metal Horns, 2009 – Photo by Mart Sepp (flickr.com/martsepp)

(credits to the owners of all images used)

Memes And Motivational Thoughts….

It never ceases to amaze me how quickly social media has taken over our lives – in a positive and, on occasion, a negative way. How many of you remember life before Facebook and Twitter and Instagram?

I joke about being a “Facebook queen” but it allows me to connect with friends and family all over the world on a daily basis. I get to offer my congratulations to friends on their birthdays, anniversaries and successes. I get to offer my love and support when its needed too.

Social media is my main marketing tool for my Book Babies – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and blogs. The price is right…. FREE!

I’ll admit I post more than my fair share to Facebook – “we know” I hear my friends cry! – but I do try to avoid posting photos of my children and my dinner and the other mundane things that are shared millions of times a day across the world.

Those who know me well may have picked up on some of the thoughts and feelings that I never quite say on my own Facebook wall. I tend to use photos and memes and motivational thoughts to convey my own thoughts and feelings.

No one wants to see what I’ve had for dinner (trust me, this evening it was a very boring chicken sandwich).

 I don’t tend to rant either online. I vent in private (that’s what Messenger is for)

Another consequence of sharing photos, memes and motivational thoughts is that my mobile phone ends up home to literally thousands of them. Ok, I hoard the ones I stumble across and think “I might share that when the time is right”. Some never see the light of day again. Or you share it then delete it and years later Facebook reminds you that you posted it so you save it to your phone again…..and so it continues……

So, what have I shared in the past week or so?

Well, take a look….

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(images sourced via Facebook – credits to their owners)

 

Oh….and I might share the occasional photo of a certain rock star 😉

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(Credits to the owner Kevin Nixon via Facebook)

When All The Stars Align…

Ever have a day where all the stars align and everything falls into place? They’re rare, I know, but recently I experienced one of them.

Six months ago, I’d bought a ticket to a rock show and made the decision to set out on a solo adventure.

Those six months disappeared in the blink of an eye and, on the last Saturday in November, I found myself sitting at Glasgow Airport with a coffee and a cinnamon whirl, waiting for my flight to East Midlands Airport.

I was heading to Nottingham for the weekend. No, I wasn’t in search of Robin Hood or the sheriff. I was going to see Alter Bridge headline a show at the Motorpoint Arena.

Those who know me, know how much those guys mean to me, especially the front man, Myles Kennedy.

Those of you who are going “Alter who?”, Alter Bridge are a rock band from the USA, fronted by Myles Kennedy. (Look then up on You Tube!)

The flight from Glasgow to East Midlands was a hop skip and a jump on a rather small propeller plane..eek!!

An hour after leaving Glasgow I was sitting in the café at East Midlands Airport with a coffee and a panini for lunch, waiting for my American friend, Miss Janette, to arrive from Amsterdam. (Her devotion to Myles and all things RnFnR makes the rest of us look like rank amateurs!)

Bang on time, her flight arrived and we were soon in a taxi, chatting at a million miles an hour as we sped towards the city. (I hadn’t seen her for two years so we had a lot of catching up to cram in!)

The whole day almost came to a spectacular halt a short while later. Having checked in to my Travel Lodge home for the night, we set off on foot in search of the rest of the “AB Family” who were lunching at Annie’s Burger Shack.

Round the corner from the hotel we found a Kitty Café!!!

Both of us have Crazy Cat Lady tendencies and it took a lot of will power to drag ourselves past the Kitty Café and to resist the temptation of kitty cuddles!

Without too much bother we found Annie’s. (Gotta love Google maps!) Cue lots of hugs and hellos as we caught up with some of the members of our “AB Family.” It was a little surreal being face to face with friends I’d only seen on Facebook up until now. It really was an international family gathering!

Apart from a love of Alter Bridge, we all had one more thing in common. We were all doing the “Meet & Greet/VIP Package” before the show.

The city’s Motorpoint Arena was only a short walk from the restaurant and, by three o’clock, the AB Family gathering had expanded considerably. Some of these people have been following this tour, The Last Hero Tour, all over the UK and Scandinavia, having already followed it through the USA. I really felt like an AB lightweight but each and every one of them made me feel so welcome and a part of it all.

I’ll not bore you with a blow by blow account of the Meet & Greet but the whole experience was amazing! Even standing in the centre of that huge almost empty arena was a breath-taking experience. I can’t begin to imagine what it is like to stand on that stage and perform in front of a sell-out crowd!

The Meet & Greet package allows you entry to part of the band’s sound check before you are whisked back out of the arena to briefly meet the band, when they will happily sign stuff for you. (“One item each” we were told. “And don’t talk to Myles. He’s on vocal rest.” I had three. I chanced my luck and got two signed. Huge thanks to Miss Janette for getting the third item, my CD insert, personalised and autographed.) The next part was a photo opportunity with the band. There’s no denying that it is all a bit of a conveyor belt that involves a lot of standing in line. There wasn’t much time to speak to the band other than to say hello and exchange a few precious words, including a few with Myles to wish him an early “Happy Birthday.”

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The final part of the deal is that you get priority entry to the venue for the show.

By five fifteen I was standing on the rail beside my new friend, Miss Monica and Miss Janette. Cue one of the best evenings of my life. The show was incredible! (You can read all about it on my sister blog, The525to Glasgow  https://the525toglasgow.wordpress.com/2016/12/01/alter-bridge-at-the-motorpoint-arena-nottingham-261116 )

It was eleven o’clock before the last notes faded away and the lights went up.

The tired smiles on everyone’s faces said it all! The mad dash up the arena to the loo was hilarious. Six hours in one spot is a LONG time!

In the foyer of the arena and outside there were small pockets of AB family chatting and posing for photos with one another and with one of the support bands, Like A Storm.

A few minutes later we gathered again as an AB Family in the bar next to the arena. We’d picked up a few extra family members along the way. Tired and weary, and in my case starving (that panini at the airport almost 12 hours earlier had long since worn off), we sat and chatted, reliving the musical adventure we had just shared. We posed for “family” photos. We took photos for each other with various family members then the bar called “last orders”. It was time to head back to the hotel and bed.

There were hugs and kisses. There were some goodbyes. There were some arrangements made to meet up again in a few days in Glasgow when the tour reached the SSE Hydro.

A lovely member of the AB Family walked me most of the way back to my hotel. (Thanks, Marin)

Once safely back in my room, sleep refused to come. I lay snuggled under the duvet smiling to myself in the dark.

It really had been a surreal perfect day. It brought it home to me the combined power of social media and a common interest (rock music). Without those, none of it would have happened. Without the online interaction, I’d never have met these people. I’d have missed the opportunity to make new friendships.

Memories were created that will last a lifetime.

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Oh and by the way, I found Robin Hood next morning. (It would have been rude not to while in Nottingham) He too happily posed for a photo!

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