I was born in Los Angeles but when I was 3 years old my mom and I moved several states away to a very small town. Think Footloose but without Kevin Bacon and Sarah Jessica Parker and without the dancing. My mom remarried 4 years later and had my younger sister.
When I was 12, I decided I wanted to live with my biological dad aka sperm donor who lived in California. He was a musician, played guitar and was a singer, and had talent that he eventually wasted. At the time, he was married to my stepmother aka stepmonster aka crazy bitch.
I moved back to California a few weeks before my 13th birthday and kept hearing about this L.A. band that was about to blow up, Guns N’ Roses. Not long after, I saw their first video, Welcome To The Jungle, and was hooked. Flash forward to when I was 14 and living with my sperm donor in North Hollywood.
I just saw Guns N’ Roses a month earlier opening for the Rolling Stones at the L.A. Coliseum and was crazy about them. I found out from a classmate where GN’R bassist Duff McKagan (who I loved at the time and wanted to marry) and drummer Steven Adler (way before he was an obvious mess) lived. The school I went to wasn’t far from Ventura Blvd., which was close-ish to where they lived in Studio City.
My friend Michelle and I decided to hit Duff’s house first. We weren’t sure if he lived in some gated house on lockdown (he should have to save himself from us) and we came up with some lame reason to come knocking on his door so we wouldn’t seem like crazed fans. Ha!
I was going to pretend that I had lost my dog (told you it was lame) and even before knocking on his door, we went to some of his neighbors and fake knocked just in case he saw two crazy teenage girls outside from his window. We thought if he saw us doing this then he would really think I lost my imaginary dog. Because rock stars don’t have anything better to do than look out of their windows all day.
I was surprised by his house, no security gates, no burly bodyguards. We walked right up to his door and rang the doorbell. Nothing. Tried it again. Nada. Then I saw him peeking around a corner from inside his house. Smart man. He even came up to the door but didn’t answer it. Very smart. Then he disappeared and we gave up and went on our way. I’ll never forget, on his porch there was a paper plate with dry cat food so he was probably feeding some stray cat which made me love him even more.
A few days later we skipped the last period of school to walk over to Steven Adler’s house. I don’t know where I got the energy back then because now there isn’t any way you could get me to walk as far as we did. We saw that he lived up this steep hill and even for two 14 year olds we thought holy crap, that’s a big ass hill to walk up. We finally made it up the hill but before we made our way to the front of his house, we had to spray our hair with Aqua Net (I always kept a big can of it in my purse) and put on a few layers of black eyeliner, melted with a lighter of course.
His house was trickier as it had a tall, white wooden fence around it and a security code entrance. Smart man. I was looking through the cracks in his gate to see if anyone was home and saw a few adorable pugs sitting on top of his couch through his picture window in his living room.
So Michelle and I walked over to the intercom with the intention of pressing the call button. The conversation went something like this:
Michelle: Go ahead, press the button.
Me: No way! You press it.
Michelle: I can’t press it, I’m too scared. You press it.
Me: I’m not pressing it, you press it.
The conversation went on like that for a few minutes and finally I said that we might as well leave so I started walking down the sidewalk in front of his house. Michelle stood by the intercom debating whether or not to press the call button. All of a sudden his garage door starts opening and I thought “Oh crap, did I trigger something?” I looked to my left and saw Steven Adler driving up in a black BMW.
I stood there frozen then I tried to get Michelle’s attention. I freaked out and started racing down the sidewalk past his garage to get the hell away since I was too nervous to meet him.
I thought Steven Adler (who was much cuter in person) would see us and close the garage door but as I was speed walking past, not at all obvious (heh), he got out of his car, came up to me, put his hand out, and said “Hi, how are you!” Wha? Me?
I guess I wasn’t invisible like I was hoping so I squeaked out “Hi, I’m fine” and shook his hand. I thought I was going to faint because OMG it’s Steven Adler, the drummer from Guns N’ Roses! Michelle finally realized what was going on and walked down to the garage although the chit-chat between me and him seemed like forever until she got there since I was so. freaking. nervous.
He signed autographs for the both of us, mine said “So Fine Babe” and of course hers said “To My Michelle”. He was truly the nicest, sweetest guy to us. He also gave us both hugs. OMGOMGOMG. I did not want to let him go.
I was so careful with his autograph while we were walking back home. I didn’t have a backpack because I was too cool for one at that age. I had it in my binder and would check up on it on the walk back to make sure it was still there.
The next morning I still couldn’t believe I met him so while I grabbed some peanut butter and toast, I stood there staring at his autograph while thinking I needed to frame it so nothing would happen to it. Then I looked at the clock and saw that I was late for school as usual.
As I was rushing to put his autograph in a safe place, I wasn’t thinking and grabbed it with my right hand that had a glob of peanut butter on my thumb. I raced to wipe it off and ending up smearing it half way across his signature. OMGOMG.
Not long after that I framed it and always kept an eye on it whenever moving after my hubby joined the military. But after 10 moves over the course of 14 years, the autograph is long gone. I find comfort in knowing the peanut butter stain is keeping the autograph company.
*For my mom. After several years of resisting Guns N’ Roses, she was out visiting me about 5 years ago and heard Sweet Child O’ Mine on the radio. She told me she never realized what a great song it was and played it over and over and over again when we were in the car and at home. Or maybe she was just getting back at me….hmmm.