1988- Philly Spectrum Night 2
‘Okay, after one last day of packing, paying bills out, more packing and settling things with my landlord until I get home, I have to wonder if the guys do all of this before they leave. Eight months is a long time. I’m both saddened and excited at the same time. Excited for the unknown, saddened to leave friends and family behind.’ Trina wrote in her reporter’s composition book. She decided that she’d treat herself and Kendall to manicures and pedicures before tonight’s show.
Trina could hardly contain her happiness. She eagerly put pen to paper as she waited for her toenails to dry.
Kendall couldn’t help but watch her friend scribble about. She was happy and that made Kendall happy for her.
“Coming up for air soon?” Kendall asked her friend who was still with fervent pace putting pen to paper.
Kendall looked down at her own toenails that were also drying. ‘Shit, they’re still wet.’ She thought to herself. ‘ She looked over at Trina who was still lost in her writing.
“Oh Trina, Trin-a?” Kendall said.
“Okay. How I can get your attention? Ummm, I’ve decided that I’m going with you. I quit my job and I’m going with you. How do you like that? Seeing me all the time?”
Trina continued to write. Kendall looked stunned. “Okay, not coming with you, but I am going to marry Richie Sambora.”
Trina looked up at her.
“Now that got your attention!” Geez, you know how long I’ve been talking to my wet toenails?” Kendall quipped. Trina closed her notebook and smiled.
“I’m sorry, but I wanted to start writing about everything. How I’m feeling, why I’m feeling it…today. “
Kendall gave her friend a curious look. “All we’re getting are mani’s and pedi’s.” She said.
“But it’s more than that. It’s the last time that we’ll be able to do this for a while. Everything is about to change. I want to savor what you and I are doing. How we are getting ready. How you’ll make fun of me for met being too preppie. Then I’ll get on your about dressing too slutty… ”
Kendall cleared her throat. “I look good in those mini’s thank you.” She reiterated. Trina chuckled.
“I’m not going to argue with you on that.”
“What are you really excited about? The job or him?” Kendall asked.
“Kendall, he’s got a girlfriend. “ Trina insisted.
”And look at the opportunity he gave in return for you helping him out with that girlfriend.”
Kendall said. Her look had gone from happiness to concern.
“What are you getting at?” Trina asked.
“Look, you’re talented. God knows that. You deserve all of this. I’m only saying-”
Trina interrupted her. “Is he doing this to get back at everyone? Especially Dot?” Trina sighed. She stood up and walked across the floor now that her toenails were dry. She sat down in the empty chair next to her friend. “Did I wonder why all of this happened? Sure. But when you meet him later, you’ll change your mind.” She continued.
“He’s going to be taking my best friend away for awhile. He needs to know who he’s dealing with.” Kendall eyes flared.
“God, there’s that green-eyes monster. Calm down. I’m going to be okay.” Trina added.
“Not you I’m worried about.” Kendall said.
“Kendall...” Trina said.
“Trina, you don’t know him.” Kendall said.
“Neither do you. “ Trina insisted.
“Rock stars have a reputation.”
“And when have you heard of JBJ in a bad light?” Trina asked her.
“Listen, I know you’re trying to stop me from going. You’re worried that something will happen and that I’m never coming back. I love you and things will be just fine. It’s a job Kendall. That’s it. Once I’m done I’ll be back reviewing bands for the Post and harassing you to bring me more cinnamon coffee.” Trina added.
“Conversation over. You’re right. I’m concerning myself over things that I have no control over.” Kendall said.
“Yep. Live for the moment.” Trina said.
Kendall looked at her red toenails. She wiggled them. “I think they’re dry. Think the guys will like them?”
Trina laughed. “Who cares, I do.” She told her friend as they shared a hug.
It was early evening at the Spectrum. As usual, the back was abuzz of the night’s upcoming performance.
Despite the craziness, the band remained calm. For most of the afternoon, they stayed in their dressing room. They worked out, ate a little, rested.
Jon to his credit; hardly said a word. He kept to his himself by reading and practicing his antique harmonica, a gift from Doc McGhee.
Actress Ally Sheedy, who was Richie’s girlfriend, was looking over some scripts when she came into the dressing room.
The other guys were off doing various things, when Jon was there with Ally.
The cameras didn’t do her justice. She was pretty with shoulder-length brown hair and huge brown eyes.
Unfazed by her celebrity status, the guys thought she was a perfect match for Richie.
Ally watched Jon as he continued to practice his harmonica. “Working hard or hardly working?” she asked him. He looked up and smiled.
“Hardly working.” He replied. “I’ll be working enough in the next few hours to last everyone else in this freakin circuit a lifetime.”
Ally chuckled. She sat on the couch next to him.
She put several scripts down next to her and kept one on her lap. She began to leaf through it.
“So Dot’s gone?” she asked him continuing to leaf through the scripts. Jon looked up at her. “Yes she is.” Ally took a deep breath. “I tried to warn her. It was her own fault. I told her she was meddling where she shouldn’t.”
“She sure did.” Jon said.
“So what now?” Ally asked him.
“Play…Play…Play…” Jon smiled.
“Hey Jon, have you ever thought of doing movies?” she asked him.
Jon snickered. “Nah, seriously don’t think it’s my scene.” He said. Ally put her script down. “Oh I don’t know. You got the looks, the presence, the talent…I’ve seen your performance backstage. You’re very good.” She reassured him.
“Good at singing and playing an instrument doesn’t mean I can translate that on a movie screen.” Jon said.
“Sure it does. You have talent. Next time we’re in L.A. you should go to a screen test with me.” She said.
“No way!” Jon said laughing.
“Why?” Ally asked.
“I remember those whack jobs when I was with Diane. No. Way!”
Ally smiled. “Okay. You win… For now.” She winked at him. “I just wondered if you ever thought about other stuff, other than music?”
“Not at the moment. This is my current girlfriend, wife and muse for now. Well, at least until the tour ends.
“After?” Ally asked him.
Jon began to mull it over. For the first time in his music career he had no idea about what he’d do once the tour ended.
Trina, Kendall and Darryl arrived at the Spectrum.
Kendall parked as per instruction by band management on the side lot reserved for official band staff and road crew. Waiting to greet them were Obie O’Brien, Polygram’s publicist, Heather and Jon Bon Jovi’s personal assistant, Juanita McGregor.
“Hey there Trina! Welcome to McGhee Entertainment and Officially to the Jersey Syndicate Tour. May I present to you, two other very important people responsible for the band, engineer Obie O’Brien and Jon’s personal assistant, Juanita McGregor. She’s a long-time family friend of Jon’s.
“Glad to meet both of you.” Trina said walking over to them both. Obie and Juanita smiled widely. Obie grabbed her hand. ‘She was beautiful.’ he thought. No wonder Jon got giddy when he spoke to her. Trina wore a pair of blue jeans, a long-sleeved black T-shirt with matching belt. She left her brown wavy hair down flowing freely framing her face.
“Well hello there. “ Obie said. “We didn’t meet the other day.” He continued. “No we didn’t. So you’re the engineer?” Trina asked.
“And I make Jon and rest of those guys sound sooo good-“
Juanita interjected. “He wishes he had that power. Hi darling, I’m Juanita.”
Juanita was a large African-American woman. Her brown eyes were jovial and warm. Her dark brown hair was wrapped in a bun. Trina warmed up to her quickly. Juanita and Obie seemed down to earth and kind.
“Hello Juanita. These are my friends. Darryl and Kendall.” Trina said.
Juanita walked over to Kendall and hugged her. Kendall began to laugh. Trina and Darryl looking bemused.
“Obie, keep Sambora away from this one.” Juanita said.
Obie laughed. “I have a feeling darling, that’s going to be hard to do.” He replied.
Kendall wore a black mini-dress sheath with a black leather jacket, red belt and shoes to match. She also decided to wear her hair down.
“Well then do something…” Juanita quipped. Kendall began to look worried. “Did I do something wrong?” She asked.
Obie, Heather and Juanita laughed.
“Oh my god no!” Juanita said. Obie looked her over from top to bottom. “Kendall, you’ve done everything right. “ Obie said with a wink.
“Oh.” Kendall said. Her eyes suddenly opened wide.
Trina smiled. All of them began to walk into the arena.
“Our wardrobe lady, Spanky will have someone get your stuff Trina.” Obie said.
The rest of Bon Jovi’s staff greeted the six of them. Trina couldn’t keep up. Person after person coming up to her all seemed like a blur. All were friendly and helpful.
The whirlwind continued as Obie and Juanita took Kendall and Darryl one-way and Heather took Trina into the Bon Jovi offices.
Trina began to take out her notebook and pen. She put them back when Heather brought her into an area where both Doc and Paul shared an office. The two men sat waiting beaming from ear-to-ear.
“Don’t put that away on our account.” Doc said. “How are you Mr. McGhee?” asked Trina.
“Oh hell, call me Doc. I feel like I’m an old man when someone calls me that.”
Trina laughed. “Okay Doc. How are you Paul?”
Paul laughed. “I’m fine Trina. Welcome to the belly of the beast.”
“Feel free to write down anything and everything you see. Good or bad.” Doc said.
Trina nodded. “Okay. Is there anything off limits?”
Jon walked in. Still in his street clothes,” he looked rested and more relaxed than she witnessed the other night.
“Nope.” Jon replied. “Write at will Miss Trina.” He winked. Trina eyes lit up. “Hey there.” She said. Jon gave Paul a piece of paper.
“Here’s the set list.” Jon told him. Trina couldn’t help but to lean over and look at it. The two men looked up at her and began to laugh. Trina looked up, her face felt flushed.
“It’s okay babe.” Jon reassured her. “No worries.”
“Now do you always go by this? Or does it change?” Trina asked.
“Oh it can change. I can give the management and the guys this, and then decide at the last minute to do something different.” He replied.
“Very nice.” Trina said.
“Keeps everyone on their toes.” Jon her.
“And he lies to do that.” Doc chimed in.
“Ain’t that the truth!” Obie said waltzing through the door. “You ready for sound check Boss? Told Trina’s friends they could watch.” He said.
“I’ll be right there.” He said.
“Trina, feel free to use the inner sanctum here to write, vent, yell scream. Whatever.” Jon said walking towards the door.
“Thanks Jon.” Trina said.
“Coming” He asked
“Yes.” She replied. She quickly followed him out. The two didn’t speak, however she noticed Jon’s demeanor quickly change from easy going guy to all business in a matter of seconds.”
She couldn’t help but to watch the transformation. His pace was quick and deliberate, he was no longer on his own time. He was on everyone else’s and seemed to be mindful of that.
By the time the two of them walked to the stage, Obie had Kendall and Darryl front and center showing them everything. They seemed so excited to see something that very few people do.
When they saw Trina and Jon, Kendall couldn’t help but to run over to her friend.
“Oh My God. This is outrageous!” Kendall said. Trina and Jon laughed.
“Well here is more outrageous for you. Jon Bon Jovi, meet my best friend Kendall.” Trina quipped.
“How are you Kendall?” Jon said. Kendall was speechless. He was even more handsome in person than in all of those pictures. His eyes were so blue, his skin was perfect and the hair was nothing but an endless sea of waves.
“Hmm. Hi there.” She said. Jon and Trina laughed. “Hi.” Jon replied. He flashed a smile at her. Kendall became numb. “Hi.” She replied back. She continued to stare at him. “Did anyone ever tell you that you have the most perfect teeth?” Kendall asked him.
Trina was stunned. “Kendall!” Jon let out a huge laugh. “Trina, it’s okay. Kendall came back to reality. She couldn’t believe that she said that. It was involuntary. Her mind wanted to say the right thing, however her mouth did the opposite.
“Oh my God. I’m sorry.” She said looking at Trina. “Think I’ll sit now.”
Kendall said slinking away from them. Trina and Jon couldn’t but laugh. “I can’t believe she commented about your teeth!” Trina said.
“People have commented on worse things about me.” Jon said.
Darryl came over. “Hey Jon. I’m Darryl.” “How are ya man?” Jon said.
Darryl looked around the stage again. “This is insane.” He told him.
“It sure is.” Jon said.
“What a rush to see all of this from this angle.” Darryl said.
“It’s a drug. Nasty one. Nothing comes close to it. Not even sex.” Jon replied. Trina looked at him. Jon shrugged. “It’s true.”
The rest of the band came in one by one. Trina and Jon introduced them all to Kendall and Darryl.
The last to come in was Richie, who came in with Ally. As Ally went over to talk to Jon and Trina, Kendall and Darryl decided to sit and take in everything they were seeing.
Richie put on his guitar. He began to tune it. He waved over at Trina and Jon. He played for a few minutes, but noticed something wasn’t quite right. He tried a few chords, and still didn’t seem satisfied.
Kendall and Darryl watched as Richie called for his guitar tech, Lumpy. Lumpy came out tried a couple of chords. He stopped for a minute, attempted to just the strings. He also wasn’t satisfied with the sound. He left the stage. Richie became agitated. He shook his head, his hands flew up in frustration.
He went over to his guitar rack, which was next to where Kendall and Darryl were. Richie saw Kendall watching what she was going to do next. That was it. He couldn’t help but to watch her also. His frustration turned to curiosity. Obie walked over to him.
“You all right? Guitar is not working for you?” Obie asked. Richie grabbed his Les Paul and turned towards him. “Not the right sound.” He replied as he put the Les Paul on and began to play. “Now that’s better.” He said to Obie. “Lumpy, told me to grab this one instead of the Gibson.”
“He knows his shit.” Obie said. Richie continued to play and smiled. “Indeed he does my friend.” Richie said turning to Kendall.
She was mesmerized. She put her hand underneath her chin. His concentration intrigued him. He was so intense. She had never seen that before in anyone else except for Trina.
Darryl watched the trance-like state between the two of them go on for a minute or two. Darryl decided to pull Kendall up for air.
“Hello?” Darryl said. Kendall continued to watch Richie. He was beautiful, tall and lean. His long hair shook in unison with the chord progression. His eyes were closed, feeling every movement, every beat. She couldn’t help but to keep her eyes on him. Darryl tired to get her attention again.
“Hello? Hello? Kendall?” Obie came over and saw Kendall looking at Richie. “Uh-oh.” Obie said. Darryl looked at him. Obie looked at Richie continuing to perform his private concert for Kendall. “Uh-oh?” Darryl asked. Obie said. “I knew it. It’s too later. “ Obie looked over at the front of the stage where Ally, Jon and Trina continued to talk.
“The lightning bolt. Its hit…Hard.” Obie said. His eyes widened
Richie continued to play for Kendall. Kendall smiled in admiration. Obie shook his head. “This is all the tour needs. More Drama.” He thought.