As you may remember, my excitement of seeing the rock band Cheap Trick again after 32 years last summer was cut short when the stage collapsed.
I maintained an email relationship with their tour manager since the collapse as I had provided a few photographs of the boys on stage just before the chaos for the bands website .
Back in May of this year, when I heard that they would be performing at the Carp Fair, I once again asked for permission to photograph the band and sent off the required photo release.
So this past Friday, to my great surprise, was an envelope not only containing the only photo pass given out that night, but also a meet and greet pass that allowed me to spend some time with the rock stars of my youth.
What I did not know at the time, was that the crew that was on stage with Cheap Trick on that fateful night last summer, was also invited to meet the band and reminisce of the events of that day.
My first indication of the special bond that had formed between the crew and the band was when Isabelle walked through the door to the dressing rooms, saw Cheap Trick’s tour manager Carla, cried out her name and threw her arms around her with Carla returning the embrace.
Much was said in that embrace, not in words but in the knowledge that a life changing slice of time, shared only between a select few, has brought them together in ways others cannot possibly understand.
To throw a little humour on the situation, after the collapse Cheap Trick sent each crew member a white hard hat, with the Cheap Trick logo on them of course, as a reminder to watch out for falling objects. And the stage crew had taken the bolts that had fallen from the stage that night, had them melted down, and made into rings which they presented Friday night to each of the band members and their guitar tech.
Rick, Tom, Robin and Daxx were very much moved by this gesture and placed the rings on their fingers immediately.
I had a front row seat to what happened on July 17 2011… it was the most incredibly frightening thing I have ever witnessed. But on Friday night, to see the camaraderie, smiles and laughter made me happy and took away some of the darkness of that July summer night.
It’s funny how things come full circle sometimes… how I became a Cheap Trick fan back in the summer of 1979 in Montreal, to the events of last summer and then to be part of the events of Friday night…
Carla, thank you so very much for including me in this special night! xo
The Ottawa Stage Crew are:
Phil Genest, Nick St. Jean, Kevin Wright, Isabelle Izzy Charrat, Wayne H, Nathan Graves and Clammy Exciter, Freddy and Jay.