Heart at Barnes & Noble (The Grove) in Los Angeles, CA

Heart (Ann & Nancy Wilson)
Barnes & Noble, The Grove, Los Angeles, CA
Thursday, September 27, 2012
7pm

I think I may be a little crazy when it comes to going out to see and support my loves. I’ve driven up and down 12 hours in one day from home to LA to see Dia Frampton on “The Voice” Finale; I haggled my friends to come with me to the “Tonight Show with Jay Leno” on a Friday afternoon to see Dia Frampton perform on there; and I spent two days in SLO and LA over the summer to see Dia Frampton perform a non-publicized gig at The Grove in LA–all in hopes just to see and support the beloved Meg & Dia-gang.

When I took notice of Heart doing a book signing last night at The Grove’s Barnes & Noble in LA, I made sure it was an event I would not miss. Heart (Ann and Nancy Wilson) has been receiving a lot of recent success and publicity as of late, as they’ve had a full-fledged tour throughout the year around the nation, as well as their newest album “Fanatic” being released soon with their Hollywood Walk of Fame star revealed this past Tuesday. As women, mothers, rock stars, and human beings, I bet they would be running low on fuel.

Do I spot Mario Lopez?!?

Why do I always have these tacos every time I go to The Grove? (The fish taco definitely tastes better than the shrimp… and it’s cheaper too! 🙂 )

Wristbands to the event would be distributed once the store opened at 9am on the event day. I didn’t want to not have the chance to get in and see them, so I did all my haggling again and tried my very best to look for someone who was willing to drive the hour-and-a-half to LA on the morning of the first day of school (hah!). Plus, Heart is an older classic rock band that is still current, but not necessarily mainstream; how many old souls would I know who would want to see them?!? Luckily, a friend of mine from Kaba was willing to drive with me there since his class got cancelled. Halfway through the drive, I find out that B&N would be distributing wristbands all day (in other words, there’s no limit). It was too late to turn around and go back to Irvine to make it to our classes. (I ended up skipping my first French class of the day, but luckily I didn’t miss much!) We ended up getting there by noon, I believe. Weirdly enough, we ran into Mario Lopez filming an episode of Extra! right in front of the B&N (I wonder if you’d see me on TV?) I thought that was pretty funny. I probably could’ve gotten his picture if I stayed… Anyway, I went to the store, brought my pre-ordered copy, bought another copy to get the wristband (yes, I had two books now priced at $30 bucks) and went to the Farmer’s Market to get lunch. (I find it funny that all the times I have gone to The Grove (3), I never look around at the shops and stores but rather go into the Farmer’s Market and buy food there and spend most of my time there. Hey, those are pricey stores! And you can’t get a food selection like this at this quality anywhere else… I love it!) We left at around 12:30 to make sure we’d make it back to our 2pm classes. I ended up being 15 or so minutes late to my waitlisted Intro to Journalism class, but I didn’t miss anything. Right after, I caught up with a friend on campus and headed back to my apartment to rest up and drive back to The Grove (with the company of 4 other guy friends!). But, this time, I WAS BEHIND THE WHEEL.

Now, I’ve only driven the freeway once in my life a year ago, and I’ve never driven in Southern California (it tends to be like 10mph faster down here!). But, I didn’t kill anyone so I guess that’s a good sign! 😉 Rush hour traffic sucked and I ended up on the road for 2 hours. I didn’t get out of the car until 7:45pm (the event started by 7pm) so I bum-rushed my butt out of the car while they parked it and ran. Since this B&N is 3 floors, I saw Heart-Mongers and fans all lined up around the escalators and stairs… The line would’ve taken hours to get to them! But, I guess showing up a little late has its perks… 😉

It turned out that since my wristband was labelled “C”, my group had already passed and I was allowed to cut to the very front of the waiting line. They were already going through Group D. I felt a little odd but proud to be by myself (everyone else was much older, in pairs, groups, etc. I was just a lone teenage girl carrying around my “Dreamboat Annie” LP and books and camera patiently waiting to meet these girls).

Upon first seeing them, I felt a little bad. They had a line of photographers taking photos of them from behind a line, fans were lined up all around the edge of the store, and books/posters/box sets were being drilled down the table as they signed book after poster after box set… They looked bored out of their minds! Albeit, this wasn’t too surprising, but a little disappointing. I’m sure it was for all. One fan even wrote:

“It was an interesting night.. I would venture to say that Nancy was a little more receptive than Ann. In fact Ann looked a little annoyed by the whole process. Not alot of people but B&N look to have these events down to a science so you are in and out within an hour or two. Lovely woman nonetheless.” – Justin Caldwell
“I would agree that they weren’t loving being there…. It was like an assembly line of signatures but no acknowledgement at all, no hello, no eye contact..and I was only about the 25th person in line so they had quite a bit more signing to do..disappointing but I’m glad to have had the experience after being a fan for over 25 years” – Michele Cook

As I was waiting a good 10 or so minutes until my turn, I was prepping in my mind what to say to them, as well as getting my book ready, letter out, camera out… My hands were full! I needed to adjust myself. When it got to my turn, I wanted to “change the game a bit”. I wanted to be a fresh new fan to them and reaching out to them in a different way–they’re just normal women who rock and who lots love! As I got to the table, Ann and Nancy were just looking down as they were sitting, still scanning the books. They didn’t seem to be receptive at all to the people they were talking with before me. First I slid my letter over the table to them saying, “Hi, I wrote this letter for you.” (I wanted to open with, “I just want to say it’s an honor to meet you!” It was way too solemn in the room that I couldn’t perk up enough…) They were still looking down at the materials on the table and, a little late response, said, “Oh,” in a way like they weren’t expecting it. I’m not sure if they said thank you, but then I went on to ask Nancy, “Is it okay if you sign my pick?” I motioned to Nancy my guitar pick. The guy over her said, “No they’re not allowed to sign other things. We’ll get in trouble if they do.” Nancy and Ann were agreeing, saying something how they’re not supposed to. After that fail, there was no conversation as they were just looking down signing the books, so I went on to say, “I love your music really love playing your songs on the guitar.” Nancy looked up from the table and gave me eye contact (in a way, lit up and actually seemed interested as opposed to how she was the entire time) and asked, “Oh, how long have you been playing?” I graciously replied, “Umm, about 5 or 6 years…” (In reality, it’s 6 or 7, oops.) She then nodded and went back to signing the books coming her way. Since there weren’t any possible conversation starters brought up, I went on to say, “I actually saw your guys’ show a couple months ago.” Still signing. Ann asked, “Oh which one?” while I was already saying, “It was in Saratoga… Up north.” They looked at each other and Nancy went on to say, as to her sister Ann, “Oh, the last time we performed there was probably the best we’ve had… *mumble mumble mumble about the show*.” Ann commented, “Yeah I loved playing there… Really cool place.” Or something of the like, and I went on to comment, “Yeah, I just love the place and the scenery there.” As soon as that was done, the B&N employee behind me told me to go and the guy at the end of the table said, “One or two?” I got a little confused and stumbled and said, “Oh, only one.” Then the employee escorted me out, the lady cut my wristband off, and that was that.

After that was done, I returned my extra copy to the cashier and got my $30 bucks from this morning back. (Luckily I already had my pre-ordered $18 version!) I then walked around a bit, asked two Asian women nearby to take my picture near the Heart sign (everyone was probably disappointed we couldn’t take pictures with them), and went outside and walked around a bit lugging my Heart vinyl around with books in hand, camera, bag, everything… A lot of people were looking my direction for some reason. (What! They’ve never seen a young girl around here before or something? Who listens to this kind of music?!) I smiled to them back since I was in a pretty good mood, even if I was tired from the long day lacking sleep! I looked around and eventually went into the Farmer’s Market to meet up with my Kaba guyfriends. Man, I love the Farmer’s Market there! Earlier that morning I saw two familiar men/faces from TV that I couldn’t quite pinpoint what show they were on… They looked my way a couple times, maybe scared I would recognize them, but I let them be. I bought $7 sushi (which was a half-portion too!) and scarfed that down, while all the boys bought $15-$25 Brazilian plates (which looked so handsomely delicious!). I went back around to look at the places that were open, wanting to grab a pastry or ice cream or something to bring back with me… When’s the next time I’d be here? I wouldn’t mind laying down some cash. I ended up not getting anything, and as I was about to resort to ice cream, they told me they were closing and couldn’t serve me! We all left, boys got some macaroons which were amazing, we took some photos around The Grove and left. A fun quick trip to LA to get my deed done! At least they were down and the trip was worth it for all of us?

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