Step 57 - Eddie Vedder, The NSYNC Catfish, Trapped Lighting, and a New Jersey Vacation
Join us (Brooke & Nikki) as we hear amazing stories from our friends about an Eddie Vedder school visit, Connie the NSYNC Catfish, a pick-a-pic with trapped lighting, and a Brooke & Nikki pick-a-pic from 1995 during a trip to New York and New Jersey
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Jessica's Pearl Jam Story
Ok Brooke, this ones for you!
I grew up in Encinitas, a small beach town in San Diego. I was a major New kids on the block fan since I discovered them in 1989. Now that being said, in the early nineties I started getting more into a lot of different music. I mean how could you not with all of the awesome music coming out in the early nineties. In 1991 Pearl Jam released 10 and I was obsessed. When I got all of my new school supplies for the coming year I immediately wrote lyrics from the album all over my new binders, book covers, etc. I have loved them ever since. It was even a bonding moment between me and my husband when we met in 2000 that we both loved them.
Now skip to 1995. I would be graduating high school that following June in 1996 so I was in my senior year and my favorite class was theater. I was a member of the theater group all through junior high and high school. So one day I was in my theater class waiting for class to start. Our teacher had told us that we would have a guest speaker that day, something to do with acting groups in San Diego. Once we were all settled, our teacher stepped out onto the circular stage in the middle of the room and said, “our speaker isn’t from a San Diego theater group. It’s Eddie Vedder”. There was complete silence as he walked out from behind the curtains and sat down on a chair at the front of the stage facing all of us. Eddie went to my high school and he told us that he loved his theater teacher who he said was his mentor, so he wanted to come and talk to us as sort of a thank you. Our class was pretty small and we were all in total shock. I remember he sat down and said, “it’s ok, be free with your emotions” and we all laughed and started to relax a little bit. We had block periods in high school so we had 3 2 hour long classes every day. So right now we get Eddie Vedder for 2 hours and I was dying. We spent the next hour just asking him question about life. Some people asked about song writing, some people asked about touring and all of the places he has been. It was amazing. I am a little shy at first and back then I was even worse with my shyness so it took me a little bit to get the courage to talk to him and when I did my question was so stupid. A friend of mine had told me stories about her aunt being friends with Eddie when they went to high school together. So my amazing question was if he remembered her to which he answered yeah I remember her. Then everyone looked at me waiting for the next part of my questions and I said, that’s all! So greaaaat that was my Eddie Vedder moment. So after we had talked for a while he said “can anyone run out to my car and get my guitar?” My friend Morgan, (who we called big M little organ ) jumped out of his chair and volunteered. He was gone a few minutes and came back with one of Eddie Vedder guitars and gave it to him. This was the year that dead man walking came out so he sang us a few songs including a couple from that soundtrack and he told us stories about smoking pot with Susan Sarandon which of course we all thought was hilarious. Once the class was over we all got to shake his hand and say thank you. My best friend and I walked out of the class still wanting to scream but we were asked to give him time to get off campus before we told anybody so he could escape without being bombarded by crazy high school students. It was lunch time so we met up with our usual lunch group and walked to the parking lot. We got in our friends car to drive to 7-11 and as soon as we got in the car we freaked out and told our friends all about it. Still to this day that is one of my most special memories.
Now. Jump forward to 2003 -2004. I was working at a skateboard distributor with one of my friends from a few years back. He was a major Pearl Jam fan and was a member of their fan club and always on their website chatting with other fans. Somehow the band found out that he worked at a skateboard place and got in touch with him. They were interested in having Pearl Jam skateboards made for their fan club. Emails went back and forth for a little bit and finally the day came when Jeff Ament the bass player came to our warehouse. I was the receptionist so I talked to him on the phone for a sec when he called to say he was on his way and I greeted him when he arrived. I was so nervous but I think I played it pretty cool for once in my life. He kept saying how excited he was and how this was a dream for him as he has always loved skateboarding. He got a tour of the place and talked to everyone for a bit and was on his way. Pearl Jam was playing a show in San Diego a few months later and he got us all tickets and back stage passes for after the show. My husband and I went along with a few other people from work and it was awesome. They played for 3 hours, even after the house lights had been turned on. After the show we headed back stage. Once we were back there we heard that Eddie had already left, I guess he wasn’t feeling well. I was bummed because I wanted to talk to him about our high school meeting! We walked around for a bit, saw some of the guys from the band and we randomly saw Hyde from that 70s show walking around but didn’t talk to him. My friend who had put the whole Pearl Jam skateboard deal together was taken to a room where the band was and they gave him one of the skateboards that all of the guys had signed.
Since then Eddie has been back to my high school a few other times and has played some secret surprise shows at an old local theater and even just out on the beach. I love that he is such a fan of our little beach town and that he still wants to come back and surprise us. He also donated money to have a new theater built at the high school. I’ll attach his high school yearbook photo from my school. It’s so cute. I wish you could have been there Brooke! Thank you both for your podcast. It always a happy, fun place to go.
See you on the boat!!!
Jennifer's NSYNC Story
The following is the story of the most traumatic experience of my young fangirl life. 1998 was my senior year in high school. By now my best friend (also Jennifer but she went by Jen and I was Jenn) were fully obsessed with *NSYNC and had heard they’d be coming to the area in January 1999 but neither of us had jobs and our parents weren’t buying us tickets.
So on went our lives until Jen’s mom must have been talking about our obsession at work because one of her coworkers told her she had a connection with Lance. This woman told mom that she was Lance’s Godmother. She was originally from Mississippi and had been very close to the family. She told mom that she had pictures of baby Lance and his sister. As soon as we heard the news we were peeing our pants excited! How did we get so lucky? In the next week or so, Connie (the coworker/Lance’s Godmother) called us a couple times to tell us about childhood stories. We were drinking those stories up like no one’s business. It was around Thanksgiving and she got flowers at work from Lance saying “I miss you Connie Con but will see you soon in Sacramento.” Connie told us that she would ask Lance if he could get us tickets. We were beside ourselves! Right around the beginning of December she got a letter talking about how excited he was to see her and that of course she could bring us. He said he would have our tickets at the venue along with some backstage passes. She let us have the letter and we eat took turns taking it to school (we went to different high schools) and showing it off to everyone. We told EVERYONE about how we were going to meet them. Christmas came and Connie received little gifts in the mail and some of the 4x6 trading cards/photos signed by Lance for each of us. Again we took them to school and showed off to everyone. The day of the concert was finally here. Connie said she had 4 tickets for us. Jen and I and her mom and mom’s best friend were coming with us. The day was finally here. We both went to our first period classes just to let everyone know today was the day and we skipped the rest of the day to get there early. Jen’s mom drove us there and we were so excited we could barely contain ourselves. It was at a tiny venue in Sacramento, CA which was about 45 minutes from where we live. Connie was supposed to meet us there. We got there before lunch and there were already girls everywhere. Connie was supposed to meet us at 1. We finally found her and she told us Lance had the tickets with him and wasn’t there yet. So we went around the back and waited for buses to arrive. Buses showed up and all the girls screamed and chased the buses but no one came out (it was still really early, only maybe 2pm). After a while of standing around screaming at a bus her mom made us go get lunch. Connie said she was staying there and get with Lance. This is where things start to go downhill. When we came back and found Connie she told us that Lance couldn’t get us any tickets but he was trying. We were crushed. We had to think of a plan and fast! Around 4 the local radio station that was there announced a contest for front row seats. You had to make up a song about why you should get in and sign it on air. Then they’d pick the winner. We were on it! I can still remember our terrible song that really was stupid because we only changed like 5 words. Seriously bad: “You’re all we ever wanted, you’re all we ever needed, so tell me what to do now, Cause we want back stage” (is it sad that I still change it when I sing it now?) So surprise surprise, we didn’t win. At this point we were getting desperate. Connie found us again and said Lance was still trying but sent us out some soda and snacks (Cokes and Hot Fries). I have no idea what happened between then and the concert starting because we were in despair. Mom was trying to explain to us that Connie had to be a fraud and was just paying a super mean trick on us. We cried hysterically, like someone had died, the entire way home.
We both stayed home sick from school the next day and cried pretty much the whole day. Jen’s mom was ready to “beat Connie’s ass” when she went back to work. Connie never admitted that she was a fake but we started to look back at things with a different outlook. The “baby pictures” she showed us were all ones that we had seen in magazines. The autographs on the pictures looked nothing like ones we saw in magazine articles. Things in the letters that Lance would have been able to spell were spelled incorrectly. We were mad at her mom for even introducing us to Connie in the first place. There were so many things that we didn’t know how we could miss. This lady wasn’t even from Mississippi, she had lived in Stockton her whole life but we were so blinded by fantasies of meeting the guys. Connie was eventually fired from her job with Jen’s mom for something stupid and we moved on but were still traumatized. Months went on and soon it was announced that *NSYNC would be playing at one of those radio station concerts that had a bunch of different acts. We were ready to get tickets but before we could a letter came to Jen’s house. It was 4 tickets to the show with a note from Connie saying Lance was sorry for letting us down before. We were so confused. Her dad took the tickets and somehow verified that they were the real deal. They were nothing great, upper level, but we had tickets. We went to the show which was about 2 hours from home with Jen’s dad and another friend. Tatyana Ali is the only other act I can remember. When *NSYNC came on and did Sailing they flew up. I held my “I love Lance-alot” sign up as high as I could and Lance looked over, pointed and waved (because we were like at the same level as he was flying.) We still have no clue if this Connie lady was the fraud that we think she was or maybe did have some sort of connection. But we never did get over that. Fast forward to August 1999. The boys of Summer Tour. Jordan Knight, 5ive (who we also loved) and *NSYNC. We had our tickets and we were there, lower level, 2ndrow. But we had to let them somehow know the drama we had been through. We got out my parents huge 1980something camcorder and made them a video. We talked about the whole ordeal. We cried and displayed our addresses and phone numbers because we were sure they’d see it and want to make it right. (we also sent a copy of the video to Oprah). At the concert we were trying to think of how to get it to them. Before going into the venue there was a small stage outside with some sort of entertainment and Jen spotted Joey’s brother, Steve (Jen was a Joey girl), this was our chance! We went over to him and told him something about something and gave him the tape. We about peed our pants when he took it because OMG that means the guys would get it! We never did hear back from them, never got a letter or a phone call. Now we look back and cannot believe we made that video. We pray that they didn’t want it and are so embarrassed to think of what they must have said or how hard they probably laughed if they did watch the video. So that is the story of how we were catfished by a grown ass woman when we were 17 and 18 years old. We still talk about it sometimes and get a bit teary eyed. We never did get to meet them. I did run into Joey at Disneyland about 5 years ago but that’s another story.
I hope this all makes sense. I can’t bring myself to reread it after reliving that sad time in my life. Seriously traumatized!!!
Here's one for you guys. And one with a pretty funny store at that. It's from my 5th birthday. I was at a science center with my family and saw this cool lightning thing. I, being young, and slightly naive, believed that they had trapped real lightning in this machine and asked everyone how they thought the lightning felt about it. So for the rest of my life. And to this day my family calls me "the lightning thief"
Brooke & Nikki's Pick-A-Pic
This picture is from July 1995, when Nikki joined Brooke and her family on a road trip to Six Flags in NJ, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
Clearly, we were very proud tourists - complete with foam hats, bags full of souvenirs and Nikki with her camera 'round her neck!