My mom talks about me a lot and to pretty much anyone who will listen. It can be nice at times, embarrassing at others. She almost always mentions that I’m a musician. Her hairdresser, the woman at the dry cleaners, the clerk at 7-11 where she buys her lottery tickets, the mailman, bank tellers, and clergy are among the many who know I’m in a band due to the fact that my mom tends to go on about it. As things go, that’s actually good. Promotion!
On one of her trips back home to London, she was telling the flight attendant on her Virgin Atlantic flight about me. Here’s where it gets interesting. Now, my mom would fly business class on the old company’s dime. She had legitimate business to do and as the president of that company always flew first class, he did not balk at a business class ticket for her. Virgin Atlantic, however, does not have first class. They have Upper Class. Business Class pricing with better-than-first-class amenities. Go mom!
So on this one particular flight, she noticed several guys who looked a bit . . . ragged. Torn jeans, etc.. Just not the normal Upper Class attire she was accustomed to, whatever that may have been. Back then (early 1990s), Virgin used to pass around a guest book for all the Upper Class passengers to sign on each flight. When the book got to her, the raggedy guys had already signed. Next to his signature, one of them had written “We Are Def Leppard!” This was totally lost on my mom. No idea. Clueless. But she decided to go talk to them.
“Are you guys in a band?” Yes. “Oh, do you have any records out?” Yes. You can probably find one at HMV. Well, she felt so bad for them, in their raggedy clothes, that she was certainly going to go buy one of their records to help them out. Which she eventually did. (And which is when things dawned on her… but I’m getting ahead of myself.)
What she did not do, however, is mention that her son is in a band. That’s right. Tell your hairdresser, tell the bank teller, let the flight attendant know, because all of these people would be so incredibly helpful in furthering my musical career, but do not tell DEF FUCKING LEPPARD! Seriously? SERIOUSLY?
I learned of all this via a phone call from her hotel room after she had been to HMV and figured out they MIGHT be slightly famous. (Apparently, the fact that they were flying in UPPER CLASS did not impact her assessment of things.)
She did ask me one thing. “Now, dear, I know that it was the fashion several years ago to wear an eye patch even if your eye is good, but that one boy, well . . . is it the fashion to pretend you only have one arm?”