What the hell is this?

I Can't Stand [Meeting] You is a collection of all the ridiculous things I've written to and about drummer and composer Stewart Copeland.

I actually did meet him for about five crazy seconds in 2007, again for a few exciting moments in August 2009, and my most recent (and most thrilling!) encounter took place in October 2009, where I proved myself capable of being, yet again, a total dork in the man's presence.

I can't believe what I get up to. And neither should you.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I Can't Stand [Meeting] You: Now With Photos

Tonight, Patrick accompanied me to Hollywood to meet Stewart Copeland, who was doing a signing at Guitar Center for his new compilation CD that I know nothing about other than being able to describe the cover.

First 100 people were to receive CDs. We overheard the couple in front of us saying that there was one guy (one sad, so lonely guy) who had gotten in the line at 8 a.m. this morning, but that the rest of the people in front of us hadn't started lining up until about 3:30. Because we have lives and jobs and shit, and thanks to the horrific traffic and even more horrific parking situation, Patrick and I didn't get up there until about 6:30. Stewart was scheduled from 7-9.

OK, so I've known about this for a couple of days, and I had plenty of time to collect myself and think about what I wanted to take with me, right? I mean, there's the "Everyone Stares" CD. There's my million year old copy of "Regatta De Blanc" - the same CD I've had since high school. There's the recent Rolling Stone, the recent Mojo. There's my green vinyl Klark Kent album, quite possibly the coolest thing I fucking own. There's my DVD of "Rumble Fish." There's the album of the soundtrack to "Rumble Fish." Did I remember to gather up any of these items?


I did, however, remember the camera. Remember this detail. It will come in handy, later.

And then, because we went straight from work, I was feeling a little funny about how I was dressed... For some reason, today I dressed all in beige. Tan pants, tan sweater, black belt and shoes. BEIGE. Stewart Copeland, you do not make me think of beige. Let's just get that out there right away. I don't know what the hell I was thinking.

Anyway, so we got out to Hollywood, and got in the huge line. I've never done this before: I don't know how these things work. No idea how long we would wait, if we would even get in. There were about 20 people behind us, but still, what if we didn't get in? So I'm excited. Antsy. Impatient. When we got in line, empty handed, Patrick had the bright idea of running next door to the used CD store, and he picked up a copy of "Every Breath You Take: The Singles" for me. I thought, well, surely we'll score a free copy of the new CD!, but was glad to be standing there with something (even though "Every Breath You Take: The Singles" has to be the stupidest compilation CD ever. I mean, I would never have bought that CD. Never, ever. No "Darkness," no "Miss Gradenko," no "So Lonely..." What's the point? but I digress... I mean, definitely I appreciate that Patrick was thinking about what I was going to hand this man to sign: my boob was never an option).

Anyway, so by 8:00 we're at the top of the line. And I mean: the TOP. We are the next ones in. The guy working the line, the security guy, he was pretty cool. He stood there and talked to us; he complimented me on my smile; he told Patrick how he was a lucky man. Obviously this dude knew his shit, right? And he counted everyone in line, and he goes, "I have one magic word for you all, and that word is "Free!" Meaning, we thought, they had enough CDs for us.

Soon enough, or maybe not soon enough, we were ushered upstairs.

Stewart Copeland was about 10 feet away from me. I saw him, and he saw me, and then he kept doing whatever he was doing. There was no magic moment. He does not read this blog. There were no sparks, no secret smile. Did I expect any of that to happen? Well, no. But it sure would've been nice.

The line, once we were in, went really fast, and I chose that time (instead of the hour we'd just spent hanging out on Sunset Blvd.) to try to compose my thoughts. Big mistake. To paraphrase Charles Bukowski, my thoughts ran away like wild horses over the hills: I was speechless.

I mean, and still totally me: totally goofy. And SPEECHLESS.

We're called up to the table, and there he is, seated next to a gorgeous redhead, who had been smiling at me the whole five minutes we were standing there, waiting (probably because that's all I could do: smile. Speak? No. Smile? Yes). And then we're up. They were handing out Paiste ads for Stewart to sign, and I didn't even think to hand him my CD. I just stood there, next to Patrick. Stewart signed Patrick's poster, and then he looked at me.

I looked at him.

I looked down at my poster.

And I said, "Wow."

Stewart looked at me and thought (I'm assuming), "well, she's definitely stupider than she looks," and then he goes, "Wow."

OK, so now I know something has gone desperately wrong, and I look to Patrick, who saves the day. I say to Patrick, "Well, I'm so verbose!" I don't know what that was supposed to mean. And then Patrick reaches out with his right hand, like the normal person he is, for Stewart to shake, and he goes, "It is a pleasure to meet you. I'm Patrick, and this is Irene." And I'm still standing there, probably with fucking drool on my chin, looking like a goddamn accountant, and finally, FINALLY, I go, "Yes! It's a pleasure to meet you!" and I stick out my own hand for him to shake.

My hand for him to shake. Which he proceeded to do, but honestly, if Patrick hadn't seen him do it, I would question if it had actually happened. What happened to me tonight? Seriously. Marcia had more presence of mind when she fucking met Desi Arnaz, Jr. He touched me, yes, but do I remember it? No. What did it feel like? It felt like my own hand touching my own hand. I don't know what the hell it felt like. I know it happened, but I was just not experiencing it.

In the presence of Stewart Copeland (who was looking quite well tonight, can I just say? Beautiful man), I became a total dork.

So now he's signed one of our posters, and I guess I can't look him in the face anymore (seriously, he was looking very, very nice tonight in his green jacket), because I looked down at my poster and sort of push it towards him, upside down. And he goes, "Would you like me to sign this one too?" Patrick says yes, and Stewart says,

"In case you get divorced...?"

(Meanwhile, I am dying a tiny bit inside. I don't know what I hoped we would to talk about. I don't know what I expected. But not this. Not this disaster. No. This is not the way this was supposed to go, and it took about three minutes. Three minutes to lose my fucking mind.)

Patrick goes, "Don't even say that!" and I retained some sense of myself, and I said, as I walked away (why did I walk away!), "well, in that case, I get them both."

Oh, god, it was the WORST. So embarrassing. And I didn't even get a free goddamn CD. And they weren't allowing photos. NO PHOTOS. God. So all I have as proof is my signed poster, a photo of me holding it on Sunset Blvd., and this post, immortalizing my stupidity.


Anyway, so the point is, I made Stewart Copeland say "Wow."

Just, it's so unfortunate: not in a good way.


Juls said...

I'm sorry but that's one of the best stories EVER! How absolutely perfect. I'm sorry sparks didn't fly and that time didn't stop as he saw your lovely face and say "You are the one I've been waiting for all my life" but dammit, YOU MET STEWART COPELAND!!!! Have you washed your hand yet??

Anonymous said...

oh irene.... that is exactly what most of us, unfortunately, would have done in your position! try not to beat yourself up over it! it's sort of like when you had that crush in 6th grade and you get up the nerve and the opportunity to speak to the hottest boy in school who you've had a crush on for years and you freeze and say something stupid - or nothing at all - and just stand there with a stupid grin on your face while swaying back and forth. it has happened to the best of us! it's a great story... at least you got to meet (and touch) the best drummer in the world! cherish it.

Anonymous said...

Awesome story. I understand you being flustered. I was there too (second in line with the Leroy Coolbreeze shirt) and my brain when into "pause" mode for part of the time I was with him too. But I definitely remember seeing you so I can vouch for you to anyone, you were definitely there. Maybe the Guitar Center camera crew at least caught you in line with their video camera. Look for that somewhere.

Irene said...

Hey, I just have to say, the comments from my Anonymous readers have totally made my day. I am thrilled that you people have found me, and it's totally cool, especially the person who was at Guitar Center on Thursday night, too. Thought I do notice that that person was tongue-tied for only part of their one on one with him - some people have all the luck! Anyway, all I can say (once again) is wow. I hope you keep reading.

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

Irene, you're a very funny (and good) writer. Totally enjoyed reading your Stew experience. I was there too, but since I've met him before I wasn't totally mute. I probably said really stupid things, but as least I got them out of my mouth. The "no pics" was a bummer. You'll meet him again, I'm sure, and you'll be completely eloquent. CHA!