So P!nk and I are a thing
P!nkstory - My history with P!nk.
I don’t go nuts over many artists. Sure, I’ve got my favorites, but as a writer and musician, there is always that analytical part of my brain going on where I’m always breaking down the music. But I love P!nk – and here’s my story.
In addition to not going nuts – I am not a fan of pop music in general. The lyrics tend to be vapid nonsense. Sure, it has a good beat and you can dance to it… it will just give you brain cancer. And when I thought of P!nk I had put her, mentally, in the category of pop princesses that I just didn’t have much use for.
My wife, on the other hand, loves P!nk. Probably from day one.
I am walking by the living room and my wife says, “You need to check this out”.
“What is it?”
“Hard pass. I don’t do pop princess nonsense.”
“No really. She rocks. You need to listen to this cover of Bohemian Rhapsody. It’s on this concert DVD I jut bought”.
“F$#%@ off” (Queen is one of my favorite bands and I was not a fan of sitting down to some sort of blasphemous take on that classic.
But I did.
And holy shit - she killed it. The balls on this lady. This was no pop princess; this was a gal that could flat out rock.
I end up sitting down and watching the entire concert DVD with my wife (Funhouse tour). I came away with a tremendous appreciation for the music, both the quality of what she was expressing and how she expressed it. The visuals were just gravy.
On her next tour, P!nk came to Nashville which is only a couple hours away. I got tickets for the family and we make a weekend of it, getting a hotel to hang out. I had bought tickets that were center but more towards the back end of the arena. As I’ve gotten older, I haven’t felt a need to be right up close – I like to kick back and enjoy the jams without the crush of humanity.
As we looked about the arena we were wondering what these scaffolding towers were that were placed in different parts of the venue were for. Back then it wasn’t obvious – but everyone knows now. “She F#$%ing flies?!?!” Yes. She flies. By the way, its one thing to see it on the TV screen, it is entirely something else to see it in person.
Add another thing to the list that she kicks ass at.
After that experience I was ready to do something, I had never done before with any other artist – if they came close enough, I was going to catch another show from the same tour.
I Guess We’re Dating Now?
That opportunity came when P!nk returned to the U.S. from overseas and the last stop on the tour was Birmingham, AL. I decided to forget that “chilling in the back” stuff – and crack open the piggy bank. I also wanted to treat my wife and daughter. I sprang for VIP tickets which got us early access to the venue, and we were right down in front of the stage – like, leaning up against the stage.
Now that was close.
And before the show I had made a couple of tweets. Yep – officially a fan boy. (This is me in my nerd persona – my alter ego when I’m not playing guitar).
I can’t know if P!nk saw these tweets – but I have my suspicions. I have since seen her documentary and saw that she sometimes will check Twitter. Did she see mine? Who knows - but this is what happened next:
The lights come up for the show. We’re going nuts of course. P!nk comes out – makes eye contact with me – (What’s going on?) She walked straight over to me and grabbed my hand. My wife and daughter lost their s#%t.
I’m pretty sure we’re dating now. (P!nk – I haven’t heard from you in a while – call me!)
The show goes on. It was amazing. Memories of a lifetime. We took some great pictures, and they now adorn our music room.
It’s Not Just P!nk
It’s also the band.
Finishing my story, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the band. They are amazing. As a musician (and a family of musicians), we’ve got a tremendous appreciation for those that are at the top of their craft. P!nk has assembled a top notch cast of supporting characters. As a guitar player, I am especially a fan of Justin Derricho. And I got to rub shoulders with greatness once more.
When covid started and we were all locked down Justin put out a note on Instagram that if you wanted a guitar lesson, he would provide one. I’ve never had a guitar lesson before so, with my birthday coming up, I checked in the wife to see if it was cool if I spent some money to do a lesson.
I contacted Justin and he set something up straightaway. I got to spend an hour with him talking music, learning how to play “Who Knew” (as he plays it live), how cool P!nk is, and we also talked about open chords. In turn, that conversation led me to writing “You Weren’t Looking Back” (available on the “Near the Middle of Nowhere” album) https://jakegray.bandcamp.com/track/you-werent-looking-back which used a lot of open chords to create that neat sound – I didn’t use just one or two – almost the whole song used open chords.
That’s it. I went from a complete skeptic – to a huge fan. (Thanks wife!)
I should probably also mention, my wife and I have decided that P!nk wins our annual award of people that we would just like to hang out with over a cup of coffee.