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Monday, December 14, 2009

Celebrity Sighting- Rikki Rockett (Backstage At PNC Arts Center, July 2007)

A few years ago, I was fortunate to work at Baker & Taylor, an entertainment distributor of books, DVDs, music, and video games. Even though my boss was a handful to deal with, he actually was fair to me and made the job somewhat stimulating. I was responsible for purchasing video games having the opportunity to test new games before they hit the market while also getting plenty of free games to play. Plus I was one of the first people to own a Nintendo Wii before the whole craze hit. Although I only worked there for about eight months until an offer came out of the blue that was too good to turn down, I enjoyed my time there. I worked with some great people of which I had some stimulating conversations with about music. Talking about music and such always brings a smile to my face. But the greatest perk of the job was getting the free CD's, free movies, and best of all when available, free concert tickets for hard rock bands that the music buyers had no interest using for themselves. Strange that just as I was leaving the company, I got my first set of tickets through one of the nicest girls I ever worked with to see Ratt opening up for Poison at PNC Arts Center.

So my brother and I were on our way to another kick ass rock concert at the PNC Arts Center. We had already seen Poison three times prior, and I had seen Ratt in Albany the year before. But.. this time around RATT was performing with their original front man and rock & roll legend, Stephen Pearcy. Since I had the time, and the tickets would be free through Ratt's record company, it was a pure no brainer to go. Scott and I arrived a bit early. Instead of tailgating with a group of girls who we had quickly met while walking past of which one of them I had actually gone to a high school dance with many moons ago (uggh!), we headed straight to the will call pickup window. I provided my information to the guy at the window, and he passed on an envelope to me with what I thought just contained two tickets. But lo and behold, included in the envelope were two special passes which could maybe get us into the backstage area and hang with Ratt.. My brother and I were doing our best Wayne & Garth impersonations acting like major league egomaniacs showing off our prestigious passes while walking to and fro. But apparently, these passes didn't do much for us. We couldn't get into the VIP dining area to use the cleaner bathroom, and none of the crew could tell us anything except we were Stephen Pearcy's special guests and to wait around. Since we didn't want to miss the show, Scott and I hit our seats which were located about a few rows back from the stage so we could get our faces melted by Warren Demartini and the boys. We'd figure out how to use the passes after Ratt's performance since we really didn't care too much to see Poison.

So during Poison's set, Scott and I went roaming around to the backstage area to meet Stephen Pearcy. We were told to wait until after the show when the crowd would filter out. So Scott and I hung up near the snack area super excited about not only meeting RATT, but hoping to view the same debauchery Ratt was known for back in the 80's so we could really get an experience. The show ended, so we headed toward the stage area to wait where we were told to take seats while the road crew was sorting everything out. Lucky for us, sitting next to me was this cute girl who started chatting with us and speaking about her all girls tribute band to Motley Crue. Of course I was interested, so I kept asking her smart and snappy questions about her band, what songs they played live, and if they ever met their idols. I always say that listening to people talk about themselves and showing you are interested always leads to great things. While chatting, we heard that Stephen Pearcy and the rest of the band had already left, so our prestigious passes were going to get us nowhere. It might have been time to chalk up another disappointment, but our new friend with the name of Nikita Sixx (get it, Nikki sixx with breasts?) mentioned that she had gotten in touch with Rikki Rockett from Poison per a connection and had some extra passes because two girls in her band were last second no-shows. The gods had spoken, and finally we were going to experience a back stage brooha. We figured that we would get to meet the entire band, throw around the football with Bret Michaels, and check out hot rock chicks fawning for his attention. Not to be, as each member of the band had a separate room in which to meet the fans. Oh well, this was still going to be a moment we would never forget.

Some dude mentioned it was time for us to go back stage and meet Rikki Rockett. So we headed toward the room with our new friend and right in front of us was the legendary Poison drummer. Of course he only cared about our new friend Nikita, so Scott and I slipped to the back of the room and poised ourselves on a sofa not knowing what the next move was. There were a bunch of his friends, fan club members, and crew in the room wondering who the two rinky dink dudes who look alike were. We were offered some beers, and although I was already a little buzzed from the concert, how could we turn down the opportunity to down a cold one with Rikki Rockett? Eventually, we spoke to him and I inquired if he had his own albums loaded on his new iPhone. Rikki told us he had just gotten the thing and had no clue how to use it. I wanted to ask him if he still spoke to Richie Kotzen, the guitarist who replaced CC Deville during CC's time away from the band due to being a messed up coke addict. Lucky I reminded myself to keep my mouth shut, as he would taken one of his drumsticks and shoved up right up my ass. Why you ask? Because Kotzen was kicked out of the band for hooking up with Rikki's fiancee on tour. Rikki posed for some photos with us, but I only had my cell phone which is why the photo up top is so grainy. He was a nice guy, but was too involved in a conversation with a photographer as well as trying to score with our new friend for us to be able to talk to him about Poison's history. We thanked him for allowing us to hang with him, and I'm sure after we left he asked his road manager how the fuck we got back there. We got some some photos with our new friend Nikita, told her we would eventually go see her band and hit her up on myspace, and headed toward our car. It was one of the best nights of our lives, and another moment on the bucket list of life that could be crossed off. I sometimes forget how blessed I am for these experiences, and always want more.

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