Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Night I Almost Met Chaka Kahn

So I have this good friend who’s the consummate name dropper. I mean everyone from Stevie Wonder to Steven Segal to the drummer from Marcie Playground. He knows them – he knows them all. He’s hung out with them. His daughter calls Billy Squire “Uncle Billy” for cryin’ out loud!

But of all the name drops, the one that stood out the most was Chaka Kahn. Why Chaka? Well, I’m glad you asked. This lady represents the 80s – a time in my life where everything was right with the world. When I was a child all I had to worry about was my homework being done; whether or not I got a hit in little league because that meant pizza after the game; and more importantly, if the coyote caught the roadrunner.

Plus, Chaka had a jam on the Breakin’ soundtrack. Ahh, I can see Turbo and Ozone poppin’ and lockin’ now.

Fast forward to July 24, 2007 and guess who’s playing on B.B. King’s Blues Tour at the Ft. Lauderdale Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. If you guessed Al Green, you’re right. If you also guessed Chaka Kahn, ding! You’re right, too.

So at about 5pm Daddy Name Drops mentions to me in passing, “Yeah, I’ve gotta go over to the Hard Rock. Chaka’s playing tonight and she hooked up tickets.” (The quote is more of a paraphrase because I was hungry and light-headed and only heard Chaka – tonight – Hard Rock.)

What the? Am I hearing this correctly? You have tickets to see Chaka tonight? Are you taking me?

Of course not. He was taking a woman instead – an ex girlfriend. I can understand that. At the end of the day, no matter what anyone says, hoes before bros. No way around it. It’s a rule. In fact, I think it was part of the original 15 Commandments. But as anyone would know from watching History of the World, the last 5 Commandments didn’t make it down.

HA! As fate would have it, the winds of change stormed through and scrounged up an extra ticket for me. Yes! Can you believe it? Daddy Name Drops would get us up close and personal with Chaka.

“Ain’t nobody. Loves me better. Makes me happy. Makes me feel this way…”

So it’s 8pm and we’re rollin’ out to the Hard Rock. Just Daddy Name Drops, his ex-girlfriend and a gitty little kid in the backseat re-enacting scenes from Breakin’.

After finding parking and grabbing our tickets at will call, I was ready to pop and lock – I even tried to find some cardboard to lay on the floor - to no avail.

We walk in and have floor tickets… in the center… about 10 rows back. I can see everything. The sweat. The hair product. The wrinkles… on AL GREEN’S FREGGIN’ FACE. What the? Where the? Chaka, where you at?

It turns out that Chaka was the opening act. She had already performed. We missed it. We were late. Partly because I had to go to my spinning class. I’m totally addicted to spinning, by the way. I cry like a girl from time to time, but the pain is so worth it. I get such a sense of accomplishment when I finish that class. But I digress…

So there we were at the Hard Rock without Chaka. All I’ve got is 147-year old Al Green sliding around the stage like he was throwin’ down in Memphis back in ’72.

“It’s OK,” I said. “We won’t watch Chaka perform, but at least I’ll get to meet her and take pictures that I can post all over MySpace. This is going to be great.”

(Cue the loser’s song from The Price is Right)

Bomb drop… 3….2….

Chaka has left the building.

Chaka was gone. She left after her performance. This was coming from her sister – Tammy McCrary (step-mother of Darius McCrary – Eddie Winslow from Family Matters).

Apparently, she wasn’t going to stick around and cut it up with B.B. while she waited for Daddy Name Drops.

We were late. We missed her. No performance. No pictures. No MySpace. No pop. Certainly no lock. All I had was a broken heart.

So after all that dreaming. All that driving. All that singing. All that stretching for a possible break dance. Nothing.

We didn’t even stay for B.B. King. I actually wanted to watch him wale on stage. But I was later told that he doesn’t really wale. He just sweats and plays the same three chords over and over again.


Back in the car on a Tuesday night. Guess we’re heading home. Damn it, spinning class makes me cry like a girl once again.

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