Saturday, April 21, 2007

How Did YOU Meet Alex Van Halen?

I can say this: He has one of the best smiles in the world!

I was almost 20, living between Oklahoma City and Hollywood - wasn't everyone? My two very real jobs were that of a geological drafting tech in OKC while working just as able bodied in L.A. as a stand up comedian sometimes and a writer/writers assistant at others. Back and forth! I usually made more money on the coming and going, as I would literally purchase a VW bug (1966-1972) from Kenny at Bug Heaven (Now K&B in Edmond, OK) and I would have the man fix it up. I'd drive the bug across the world to L.A. where I would sell it for a 500% profit, live off the margin, and work very happily for one of the studios driving their cars, vans, trucks, or trailers to get even more extra cash - my methods of finances have changed over the years, but not my tenacity to find work.

At Gulf Oil (OKC) I had the opportunity to have all four of my wisdom teeth removed at no cost - insurance! Oh, what a thought - cut out the teeth and never have to worry about it again. What I didn't know at 19, and wish I had - was that I'm allergic to nearly all types of meds that put you under. Valium was the first to kick my butt - and I almost didn't come out of it. The days that followed my operation were indeed a blur if not a blinding mind-altering trip! September 30, 1981 I had my teeth removed. I don't remember October 1 and 2, but Mom tells me I was a rubber elephant in her arms while she tried desparately to clean me and the messes I made throughout the house. It was October 3, 1981 that will forever stick in my head.

It was a Sunday, last day of the State Fair of Oklahoma. Of course I had to go, I had never missed a fair, and besides - my friend Sharon could drive my little bug - she was 15. She had JUST THAT DAY won tickets on the radio to see Van Halen in concert in Norman, a little college town just south of us - hosts of the World Famous OKlahoma University Sooners! (Go Bob) We drove, I drove, she drove, I don't remember - to the Noble Center and we took our seats. WAY UP IN THE FRONT thank you, and I had the stupidiest drug induced grin on my face...I can tell you that.

The vibrations of the music coming from the speakers were working their magic on my mouth, and I found it nearly impossible to stay on the floor so close to the stage - this was during the warmup band - I had to move. Sharon had a friend whose mother had brought her to the show, they were in the upper levels, and that was cool with me, the concert was really for Sharon - I traded the friend, and I sat with her mom, a woman in her mid 30's who I believe still had a thing for young Diamond Dave. I was mesmerized by the drummer - he was hot! Alex. I stared a lot that night at the back of the stage.

At one point in the show, as you may or may not find hard to believe, David Lee forgot the words to "Running With the Devil" and I couldn't take it much longer - laughing, and I mean laughing, the stitches which had been vibrated to death by the speakers earlier - BUSTED. Blood spewed out of my big mouth like a fountain! SQUIRTING everyone in my immediate area - I was higher than ...well, probably higher than Dave.

It was then that a policeman, a very kind, and concerned man, asked me a question that I answered in the affirmative - "Hey, are you on drugs or something?" He asked. I was. I said yes, I'm an honest girl. UP and OUT he pulled me by the arm, he drug my happy butt across several concert patrons, over chairs, through doors, under banners and scaffolding - all the way to the back of the stage, where I guess they take people who either answer in the affirmative, or probably are too passed out to do so. I was being arrested!

Alex came from the stage just at the moment that I was being questioned. I was smiling, I was laughing, I was giggle-happy stupid and he began to smile with me. He got really close and said "You wanna another shirt or something?" My white sweatshirt was covered in splatters of blood. "Hi" I said to the smiling Dutchman! "Hi...yes, I'd love a shirt, you need one too." I mentioned, he wasn't wearing one at the time, and I suppose I was a bit concerned that he might catch a cold - don't know what I was thinking. He waved the police off when I handed him my bottle of Percidan - and he said to the uniformed officer "She's with me". There we went - back to the little room off the side of the stage and yes, Alex and I both put on new t-shirts. He was kind enough to help me with mine.

I remember thinking Sharon would miss me, and I have NO IDEA how she found me, however, that evening we ate with Alex at the hotel in Norman, talked for hours, slept, and got up the next day laughing ourselves silly. He liked my car, I remember that. I told him I would buy him a Lamborgini for his trouble - he smiled that smile. (But he said he would let me.) I then, that very day, went to the store and bought a tiny black Matchbox Lambo and mailed it to the address he gave me - I think he knew I was good for my word.

The concert in Tulsa was just a few days a way - tickets arrived in the mail. I was able to spend several more hours with that beautiful smiling man. I have to tell you, if you get the chance to meet Alex Van Halen - you should. Gentlemen come in many different packages - I don't know if I ever really said thank you to the man. Hey, Alex - thanks!

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