It's overwhelming enough to meet Pete Townshend....but to have his bodyguard fish you out of the crowd of fans and escort you into his limousine...
Pete Townshend sat in the back seat, on the right side, nuzzled up against the door. He faced away from the window and seemed amused. What could have been going through his mind? If you know Pete at all, and that includes watching him perform, you know what a "Pete Townshend half smile" looks like. It is exactly that expression that was on his face as the door to the limo opened and
he saw us. I slid in next to Pete and she sat in one of the little jump seats directly across from me.
You can sit a many different places. You never give it much thought though...trains, planes. dentist chairs, theaters, family dinners....but as most people know, there is an undeniably special quality to sitting in a limousine. You automatically feel important. You feel special. It's glamourous, it's chic....it's anonymous when the windows are tinted. But to sit in a limousine with Pete Townshend....out of the ballpark...
And as sparkly as it may be to sit in a limousine, when you're sitting in between Pete Townshend and John Entwistle, the feelings of 'special, important and glamourous' escalated to a wholly different level. The week before, we had been instructed by Pete to wait in the lobby of The Navarro Hotel, after spending the evening as part of an intimate gathering in his hotel room. Pete to an intimate As we were leaving that night, Pete had asked if we had tickets to the week of shows The Who would be doing at Madison Square Garden....we realized we did not. So, he simply told us to meet him in the hotel's lobby on the night of the first show.
Now, a week later, we sat with him in his limo as the driver put the car in drive and headed east on Central Park South. Pete....for all his bravado and intensity can be a very soft spoken and gentle man. That was his demeanor when he said the words,
" We've just got to make a stop. We're going to pick up John."
John who???? She told me that's what she thought later....the shock of being there had clearly clouded her head. John Entwistle was staying at a hotel on 5th Avenue. It was literally 3 blocks from Pete's hotel. To get to John's hotel, the driver had to go around in what seemed like circles because of the way the streets run in that part of New York City.
When the car pulled up to the curb at John's hotel, it stopped, and we waited. If only we were able to remember every detail of what might have been said, we'd be happy to share it. But it's like drinking just a bit too much champagne....your head's a little dizzied. I remember this, the door opened and John Entwistle eased into the car and sat next to me. Sitting in between John Entwistle and Pete Townshend. Is this really happening?????
There we are, having no ideas we'd refer to ourselves as The Glow Girls years later....We both used only our eyeballs to communicate. We had no choice! It wasn't as if we would say out loud, " Oh my fucking Christ! Are we really sitting in a limousine with one half of The Who???? We can only hope you'll use your imagination to wrap your heads around this experience....and realize that the only thing that was clear was that this car we were riding in was heading towards The Garden....and we were going to see The Who perform.
It takes about 15-20 minutes to get from Central Park South to The Garden. The traffic in that part of town is insane. And, with The Who in New York, even worse. The car made the turn to the
street where The Garden is located. We'd been there before, but had only gone in to the main entrance, like all the other concert go-ers. We didn't know there was a discreet entrance below ground level where the 'important' vehicles went. So as the car disappeared below ground, the excitement was raging.
Keep in mind, we had other things on our minds....We knew we were going to see Roger Daltrey.
We had not seen him since we had been to his home in England. We were concerned about how he would interpret our arriving with Pete. We knew he was going to think we were doing the 'groupie' thing. It was a huge issue for us. In fact, little did we know at the time, that many of the people in The Who entourage...management, wives, friends...they all assumed that we were sleeping with Pete.
NEVER. We never, ever went down that path. EVER. It just wasn't that kind of party. We take great pride in that fact. Never the less....we knew that's what Roger would assume. But there was no way we were not going to do this just to make sure we looked honorable to Roger. Or anyone for that matter....after all...we loved The Who....the music....the men....out of the question.
The limo pulled into an indoor parking area. Pete...and John....well, they've done this a hundred times before. They seemed unphased. We were quite the opposite. Where do we go? What do we do? Who will tell us what happens and where we'll be sitting....
There is a backstage area where everyone who's part of the 'in' crowd gathers. Tables, with food and drink, couches and so on. It's " backstage." We tried to look as though we were seasoned 'backstage' people...though we admit it's highly unlikely that we were anywhere near as cool as we'd like to believe. Particularly because we knew Roger Daltrey was near....the very idea of seeing him again up close was more than enough to make us feel completely undone. You don't get over the whole 'Roger Daltrey' thing. You just don't...and anyone who has felt those feelings knows exactly what the means.
As we sat in this highly exclusive 'all access' area, we finally had the chance to talk. We tried to be discreet as we ranted in whisper tones about what had just taken place. Was this real? Were we....sitting backstage....guests of Pete Townshend????
And then...just as we were gaining our composure....we heard it.....that throaty laugh....it was Roger....he was heading down the corridor....how were we going to manage this? stay tuned...