Not by a long shot....So, where were we? Ah!
The story so far....So, here we are...The Glow Girls. Two teenage girls who like every other teenage girl, had fallen for Roger Daltrey. Hit between the eyes by the movie Tommy, the obsession grew at rapid speed. We'd been to see The Who in Philadelphia and sat up in the nosebleed seats. From there, we went to see them at Madison Square Garden in New York City. It's 1976. We hopped the gate from the back of the orchestra. The crowds seemed to part and we walked a path that led us to the front row...staring straight up at Mr. Townshend.
Scoping out info about where The Who would be after the show, some obscure guy, think his name was Terrence, told us if we wanted to see Roger Daltrey, he was staying at The Plaza Hotel. We raced up to the hotel, and it seemed our luck had run out when we heard the girls racing through the lobby screaming, " We met Roger Daltrey!" We had missed him ....two entrances...we were at the wrong one.
So, here we are, in the lobby and we are crushed. We were surprised when from around the corner, who showed up, but Terrence, the guy who had told us Roger was staying there. He could see how destroyed we were. Who knows what led him to tell us what room Roger was staying in...but he did. One of us...terrified. The other...like an arrow to the mark.
It was late...after midnight. Who does that? Who even thinks about going up to ROGER FUCKING DALTREY'S hotel room and knocking on his door at midnight????
I was prepared to think about it...she was ready to do it. She pulled me up off the couch where we had been waiting for him in the lobby. Trying to be cool and act as though we were guests...ridiculous...we turned the corner, and walked toward the elevator. She pushed the up button. As the door to the elevator opened, it was clear this was gonna happen.
We weren't alone. A hotel security guard had followed us in the elevator, and oddly, so did Terrence. Know that this all happened so quickly...seconds...so it's difficult to recount all the details with precision. But that's not important. What is important, is, that the elevator had arrived on the 8th floor and we were stepping out.
We made our way down the hall, looking for room 831. And then, the security guard stepped in. He said, " Girls....Mr. Daltrey has retired for the evening. You can't go there." Mr. Daltrey???? Was this really happening. Not only were we in the same building as Roger Daltrey, but, on the same floor! Are you kidding????
She turned to him and in a style only she can pull off said, "Please... we are not crazy fans, we won’t make a scene..we were waiting at the wrong entrance. We waited a long time, please just let us knock on the door..if he does not want to see us, we will go quietly.” Who knows whether he planned to let us try or escort us out...but by then, we found ourselves in front of his door. Room 831.
We stopped dead in our tracks. There it was....the only separating us from Roger Daltrey was the door to his room. And then.... we heard it! We would have known it anywhere....that voice! It was without a doubt Roger Daltrey speaking on the other side of that door! We heard him laugh... that inimitable, throaty, Roger Daltrey laugh!
I wanted to die...I was never so frightened in my life. What if got angry at us??? It was late...what the hell were we going to say?? I was speechless already..This was a fucking big mistake and I wanted to get out of there asap! She turned to me and once again she said..."It's now or never." She raised her hand to knock.
...She knocked on the door. And then it happened. The door opened and we were standing face to face with Roger Daltrey. He had one hand on the door knob and he stared...no....he glared at us with that Roger Daltrey face we all know so well. And this is not the softened, a little older Roger we all know now. This was Roger Daltrey in his absolute peak Roger Daltrey magnificence....long flowing curls, golden brown skin, that jaw....oh my god...that jaw!
He stood in front of us looking like a caricature of himself! Wearing a white button down, long sleeve henley shirt, red suspenders and high waisted, 3 slit-pocket bell bottom jeans. But it's the eyes that hit you the hardest.... there is something about them... they were absolutely hypnotic. The most intense, piercing eyes in a color we've never seen before...or since for that matter. Like Caribbean blue water...and when you look in those eyes, it's as if like a laser went right through you...freezing you in your tracks.
I took a moment, then found my voice, and searching for the right words, I said something like this:
“We missed you downstairs, we were waiting at the wrong entrance
…We sent you a letter"...
And with that...he... Roger Daltrey... broke into a smile. He poked his head out from the door, looked down the hall and waved both the security guard and Terrence away. He turned to us and said:
" Well, you must be the ballet dancers...you don't want to stand in the hallway, do you? Come on in...."
She had knocked on the door and Roger Daltrey had not only opened the it, he had invited us in. I was so out of body at that point, that all I kept thinking was, " How the hell does he know we're ballet dancers." I had completely forgotten that we had sent a 3 page type written letter as registered mail backstage to the Garden. We never expected he would get it. We certainly didn't expect he would read it.
It was awkward at first. Heather walked in. She was in her nightgown and it was pretty clear she wasn't pleased when she looked at Roger and said she was ready for bed. But you know Roger's style. He does what he wants, and he made it clear he was into having us stay. With that, Heather left the room.
Roger had a pot of tea in front of him. He was pouring himself a cup and paused for a moment. He looked at us with a devilish grin, and said in that inimitable Cockney accent, "I'd offer you some tea..but I want it all!" That accent....every word that poured out of his mouth was magical. He was just so....what's the word...Roger Daltrey! He was everything we knew and expected and more. More intense, more beautiful, more witty, clever, sexy, engaging...all of it. He was...even more Roger Daltrey than we expected!
Neither of us knows exactly how much time we spent in Roger's room, or, for that matter, what we discussed....but it was other worldly...more than we ever had dreamed could happen. We had hoped to see him up close. We wanted to have him know who we were...but this? There are no words....
We were not going to overstay our welcome. We gave each other the eye and proceeded to get up. One of us said, "We've taken enough of your time. It's late. Thank you so much. It was really, really gracious of you to spend some time with us. "
He never expected that. And, he didn't seem pleased. He wanted us to stay...He looked surprised and then he looked up at us and said,
" You're leaving already? You haven't even asked for an autograph!"
He was not expecting that it would be us, the two young, teens that closed the evening. It was fantastic. Naturally, we said that of course, we'd love to have his autograph. We had the clear impression he didn't want us to go. But we had to....We had to get out of there. The adrenaline we'd be running on was finished.
Naturally, we said, " of course. thank you"....and he signed. And then, the terrified one, the one who wanted to leave before I knocked on that door, opened her mouth and said.....
" You know...we may be in England this summer taking ballet classes at the Royal Ballet School." What did I just hear? We had no intention of taking class at the Royal....but she was setting it up. We were not done with Roger Daltrey...not by a long shot.
And once again, there it was...
"Well, if you're ever in England, look me up."
Oh yes. That's all we needed. We walked out of his room. At first we walked slowly, but that gave way to a run and we both collapsed on the floor of the hallway. We were done. Shot. Exhausted. All that energy...all that adrenaline...first seeing The Who...standing in the front row...running up to the hotel, waiting and missing him...and then....even to this day we cannot believe what happened that night.
We've been friends for a long time....41 years to be exact. There have been ups and downs....years went by when we didn't even speak. But there was something about that night. It was so magical, and so personal to just us two, that on some level it bonded us for life. It was something we experienced together...We turned that fantasy into OUR reality.
Yeah, we got home eventually and did what two 18 year olds would do...woke the parents, screamed, carried on...the whole bit..And then....we got down to business. We would be graduating high school in a few months...what better graduation present than a trip to England?
So if you think this song is over....think again.
We're just getting warmed up....stay tuned! We are The Glow Girls...and we're taking you with us....pure and easy