Meeting Superman.

“You don’t know what it’s been like meeting someone like you.”


Of course I was nervous and excited at the same time. Days leading up to Stereophonics’ Malaysia concert, I was trying to appear cool that if ever I could not weave my way to their ‘secret’ press conference, I would be alright, even though I probably would not. And after knowing I have been granted access – double access, in fact, just in case – to meet them, it was pretty hard to keep calm and carry on. I mean, who am I kidding? They are Stereo-fucking-phonics!

So, I do apologise beforehand if this entry sounds a little too fangirlish. Just be thankful it wasn’t Damien Rice I was meeting.

In the span of my journey to Nikko Hotel, where the press conference was held, I smoked three cigarettes just to calm my nerves. Trying to pretend that meeting Kelly Jones  and co was not really a big deal. I made it just in time, and was still catching my breath as the escalator carried me to the second level. Lugged against my back was Vern‘s Takemine guitar, probably bigger than me; this is why I don’t play the guitar.

I expected the band to pull a diva card, being fashionably late and all, but there they were, huddled together behind a pillar talking to a camera. My heart started up triple its normal speed. There they were.

I was caught in a funny situation when I was heading into the ballroom for the press conference just as Stereophonics themselves were going in. I mean. Should I walk past them to go in, would that be impolite. Or should I let them go first, because you know, they are fucking rockstars. At the same time, trying hard not to go on overdrive for being just a breath away from them. Before Kelly Jones led the band in with their own improvised interlude, Javier Weyler caught my eye and smiled at me. I melted inside. Guh.

I did not speak much that afternoon for one reason: I was starstruck. And I am never good with making witty quickies to catch their attention like Reta – pro-rockstar stalker that she is, so for the better half of the press conference, I was pretty much quiet, snapping pictures, and sitting quietly chewing my gum, pretending to be listening to them, when really, nothing was registering in my head.

After calming myself down a bit, I decided maybe I should ask some not-so-silly questions. It is not everyday I would find myself in the same room with people whose CDs are lined amongst the collection I take pride in. I would probably regret not saying enough in later days. So, it was either stay shy and let this moment pass by, or just say something and risk sounding – well, stupid.

Half of the time, whilst my eyes were fixed on Jones, my head was bewildered, “oh my gawd, he’s looking right at me, answering my question. Wait, what was his answer again? Oh gawd, he’s looking at me.” It was such a fangirl moment, anyone would find it funny.

The photo session came afterwards, and of course, I managed to snap a shot with the band. Jones’ height proved true, as I slipped in between him and Weyler. He was merely a couple of inches taller than me. And everyone knows how short and tiny I am. Heh. I also remember Weyler’s arm leisurely placed on my shoulders as we looked at my camera and smiled. He is such a sweetie pie.

Before we media were shooed out of the room, I quickly took out the guitar and have the band sign it. Seeing the guitar, Jones asked if I play, but sadly and embarrassingly, I had to say no and that it belonged to a friend. Our conversation would have been more interesting if I do actually play. Would it be silly to start learning guitar just to have more meaningful conversations with my favourite musicians?

Richard Jones reached forward and ran his fingers down the strings on the neck and said, “Wow, these strings are well-worned.” Even for a non-musician, I thought it was some sort of a compliment.

I muttered to Jones something about Vern being an aspiring musician himself, and he was a little bummed he could not be there that day, and perhaps a little word of encouragement may help? So, he scribbled a quick “be lucky”, before signing his name.

The Takemine has been blessed by one of Brit rock’s bests.

So much so that after that, I could even strike up a tune of Bright Red Star. Not. Heh.

Some roundtable interviews followed. Unlike MTV World Stage last year, we had plenty of time to spare, journalists asked the quirkiest questions in regards to life back home in Welsh – recommendations on where to visit and when to visit, of Lolita Bootsy, Kelly’s baby girl, something about their albums, something about their concert later that night.

It was call time for the last question once again. The journalists have pretty much exhausted themselves with questions, so my hand shot up. And it was quite a cheap thrill for me, when the band got all excited that the quiet me in the group decided to ask the question – well, for me, at least.

“My favourite song is Bright Red Star,” I started.

“Ah, really?” Jones said. “Well, we play the song every night!” (Another mental giggly moment for me)

“I just wanna know: who is Mary in the song?”

There were some chuckles in the group, and Weyler got all mischievously shifty eyed, probably knowing some secret meaning behind the song.

“Mary is just someone I used to know. She’s sort of a girlfriend, but not really.”

“Was the song written to woo her?”

“Nah, it wasn’t really a song to woo her, but more about her. It’s a lot to do with phone calls. Those long distance ones. And you know how sometimes you get to know more of a person through the phone than in person. That’s kinda how it is with her, and that’s what the song is.”

And that concluded our intimate session with Stereophonics.

But not forgetting, of course, to shake each and every one of their hands, especially Jones’. Le sigh.

Listening to Pull the Pin on the way back, every other second, I could not believe I actually met Stereophonics in person just a few minutes ago. Years I have spent loving Jones’ raspy whiskey voice, and making favourites off almost every song off their albums, listening to a few favourites a little too often. It actually happened. It was surreal.

Probably the best fucking day of my life. 🙂

More about the Singapore concert HERE.


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One Response to “Meeting Superman.”

  1. PauKacang Says:

    I was never a big fan, heck I knew only one song Dakota. But the concert was awesome. Totally worth it. On a side note, the link to Reta seems to be broken. Points to some spanish blog.

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