The Time: 2pm-6pm
The Place: New York City – The Director’s Guild Theater
The Why: CMJ Film Festival
The What: Meeting My Idol of 9 Years
The Who: Noel Gallagher of Oasis
The event for CMJ was the world premiere of the new Oasis documentary “Lord Don’t Slow Me Down”, with an appearance of Noel Gallagher after the screening. He would be there to talk about the film with the interviewer and then receive questions from the audience.
Before I had even reached said destination, the drama that went on here at school was intense. Minnie, the friend who bought tickets with me, had to cancel last minute (very last minute), and I had to find a replacement – Kerrie. Furthermore, when we even arrived in New York City, the people working at the CMJ Film Festival said they found no tickets under Minnie’s credit card. Kerrie and I panicked, but the extremely kind worker gave Kerrie a ticket anyway, giving us the benefit of the doubt. Kerrie and I even took the subway the wrong way! So, after all this stress had finally been complete (and believe me, this is the short-and version), we jumped into a taxi to head to the Director’s Guild Theater.
We arrived at the theater at about 10:30am and I had panicked thinking the line would be all the way around the block. Surprisingly, by this time in the morning there were only 30 so people in line. I then knew I was GUARENTEED a spot to be the in same theater as Noel. (Tickets to the even do not guarantee seating; first come first serve, etc). I was ecstatic. However, Kerrie and I had a while to wait and we were starving so she ran to pick up bagels and muffins. It made us feel much better after starving on the train into the city and getting up so early.
Now, all we had to do was wait. Wait in the freezing streets of New York with our winter attire on. Yet, it wasn’t all bad. The people waiting in line were really friendly and talkative, and I was able to have conversations with several of them. Finally, it was about 1:30pm and I was about to kill someone with anxiety. At about 1:45 people working for CMJ came outside with note cards and pens and told us we were supposed to write down a question for Noel and only a few would be selected by the panel before he came on. I had no idea what to ask. Do I ask something serious about their album? Do I request he serenade me with “Slide Away”? Do I ask him if he remembers during the Milwaukee concert a girl who was denied going onstage because of the jackass security guard (me)? I wasn’t really sure and wrote down a semi-serious question.
Finally it was 2pm and we were allowed in. They put people in by groups of 10 as to avoid a rush, and Kerrie and I managed 3rd row center aisle seats – perfect! The best part was the attractive boy to my right who was a theater major at NYU who seemed to be flirting with me, which I did not mind at all.
The film then began and I thought it was very well done. It was predominantly in black and white with very few color shots. It had many hilarious backstage moments, interviews, concert clips, and other random thoughts by the band. I was impressed and then it was over.
My stomach fell to the floor.
The interviewer came on stage (Matt Pinfield from MTV, the bald, fat white guy…) and welcomed everyone. He then said, “Everyone please welcome Noel Gallagher!” Every audience member began to scream and look frantically for Noel. Suddenly, I saw him 1 foot away from me; he had walked exactly down the aisle I was sitting in. I did a sort of retarded scream like I did at the concert and Kerrie took a picture of him walking away on my phone. (It’s not my screen saver, haha).
Noel answered some basic questions about “Stop the Clocks”, their new greatest hits album, his opinion of the film, and other common questions. Matt then announced it was time for audience questions.
I really didn’t think I would get picked. The funny thing is that the cute boy from NYU got to ask a question and after his minute or so was over I sort of yelled at him. I was in just such shock that I was so close to Noel that I didn’t realize when Matt said, “Robyn W…?”
I think I died at the very moment.
I sort of raised my hand, stood up and took the microphone. I dropped my phone and camera on the floor. I had completely forgotten what question I wrote down and thought I must had looked stupid in front of the 400 people in the theater. After a second or so I noticed Noel was looking at me and smiling. Noel fucking Gallagher.
Still in shock I said, “Uh, what’s up Noel?” and giggled stupidly. He said hello. HE SAID HELLO TO ME.
I then remembered my question and asked (from what I cam recall), “Well, Matt already answered a bit of my question but it’s about Stop the Clocks. It’s known to the fans that you wrote the song “Stop the Clocks” and claimed it was your best, but I think “The Masterplan” is the best, yet it’s not on the album… why? Is it even a real song and have you performed it live?
For the next minute or so Noel talked to me. He talked to me like I was one of his mates in Manchester. He joked with me and smiled. I don’t remember most of his comment. I just stared into his eyes with a stupid grin, and laughed whenever he made a joke. What I do remember is this:
“Well, I think every song I write is my best. (Laugher and I die) The reason it’s not on the album is that we’ve done so many demos of it but haven’t nailed it yet. It’s not quite perfect. And yes, I have performed it live. We did it in a pub in Dublin and it was in front of a lot of student. The song was several minutes and their head went under, (he said some weird expression and from the look on my face he must have understood that I didn’t have a clue what the hell he was saying so he continued...) you know, because the song was so long. (Laughter. He laughs. I laugh. I smile).”
That was the majority of the answer. I sat down and squeezed Kerrie’s leg and was silently screaming at her. She was freaking out and she’s not even that big of a fan! I looked to the guy on my right and apologized for being jealous, and told him that my life was pretty much complete. He just laughed.
The questions continued and ranged from favorite Beatle album, to why he hates “Be Here Now”, on songwriting (NYU boy), when he felt everything was changing (from some weird extreme fan who asked like a 3 minute question. His response was after he wrote “Live Forever), to their most “Beatley” song, to who was more influential: his mom or the Beatles (his response was simply brilliant, “Uh… God. Well, seeing as my mum isn’t here right now… The Beatles.”). Noel seemed really eager to answer questions and enjoyed it. Matt started to want to wrap things up, but Noel actually said, “No, we ended on a bad question. Let’s end on something good.” The man wanted to keep going! I forgot the last question but I’m sure it was something about the damn Beatles, haha. He finally got up and left and I went off to the free merchandise table. They were handing out free shoes... yeah, weird, I know. I didn’t give a damn about shows.
After a hour of waiting Noel came back out. I tried to get a picture with him or autograph, but the fans were fucking crazy and violent! I was pushed back by a lot of girls and even these old beggar women who came out of fucking nowhere. (Me and Kerrie laugh about the old women now and how weird they were).
Okay, so I didn’t get a picture or autograph. But, I got something much more valuable. I got a hello, a conversation, an intimate moment. He saw me and I saw him. If he only knew how important his music has been to me these past 9 years. How it’s dragged me out of depression and lifting my spirits, to being my running music, to encouraging me to teach myself the guitar. But in those 90 seconds Noel’s eyes were on me and he respected me. I felt sort of stupid after my embarrassing “what’s up?” comment, but that’s how I talk to my friends and I consider Noel that. Kerrie thought he sort of knew I was one of the normal fans and I can only hope so.
Oh, but I did manage to find a picture with Noel and I in it on an Oasis forum! Thank you random person. :)
That about sums up that moment.
I can’t say that I haven’t completed two of my most important goals in life:
1.) See Oasis in concert
2.) Talk to Noel Gallagher
The Feeling: Indescribable
The Price Tag: $50, but really priceless
The Accomplishment: Too important to describe