Sorry guys, it’s been a little while since I last got here. I’m up to my eyes with other writing at the moment, but I haven’t forgotten about the people who call in here for a read. I am going to be writing a lot about fandom in the fairly near future, but for now there is a follow up to my tale of meeting Dr Brian – and this is about a hardcore fan’s very special adventure. This is a long read, so get the wine, or the chocolate, or the cookies.
Shar is one of my fellow admins from the QAL Fans United 2 group on Facebook. We’ve never “met” in real life as I’m a Brit and Shar lives in New South Wales in Australia. However, we have got to know each other over the last few months and our small group of admins have managed to egg each other on to achieve our dreams. We also very enjoyed living through each others’ experiences.
Like me, Shar is a long-time Queenie and was a huge fan of Freddie, and also like me, she was devastated when he died. How could we go on? This is her amazing story, in her words, with a few little comments from me.
“Having loved Queen from a wee age, and absolutely adoring Freddie throughout my life, it seemed when Freddie died, the music didn’t; but I never really “fangirled” anyone since that horrible day in November when we lost Freddie. To me, the whole era with Paul Rodgers just didn’t exist, as to me he did not fit in with the rock royalty that are Queen. So I skipped that phase completely.
I never really got into American Idol thing at the time, so I think it was fate that I just happened to flick through the channels when there was nothing else on TV. I saw this young guy; black hair, quite plain, about to sing for the judges. Adam Lambert was his name. He seemed a little cute, and hoped to God he could sing. Then there was “that” question, “what are you going to sing for us?” To which he replied “Bohemian Rhapsody”. I thought, oh Hell, please don’t make a mockery of it like so many had before!!
He had me at “Mama”….. This guy was good. Poor Freddie could rest easy as he didn’t have to start spinning in his grave.
I watched. Week after week that spunky young guy come onto the stage and give it his all. I didn’t care that he came second; he sang We Are The Champions with Queen and made a great job of it. He was always a winner to me.
Out came his first song, his first album… He did his Glam Nation tour which came to Australia. I painfully slept out overnight to get tickets, only for the third person in front of me to be the last one to get them before they sold out!!! I could have died right there and then!
I followed Adam, his music, what he was doing, who he was doing… (even!). I came across other Glamberts who kept telling me that he was an amazing and awesome guy.
Then it happened; Adam began appearing with Queen, here a little, there a little. I was totally blown away how much he just fitted in with Brian and Roger, and of course, doing the Queen catalogue which had only ever been done before by our Freddie!! I hoped and prayed that this could be the start of something Amazing! AND IT WAS!!! Queen + Adam Lambert began touring together. America, Asia, and OMG…..
On the 5th May 2014, The announcement was made that Queen + Adam were heading Down Under!! My phone and Facebook had never seen so many text messages or notifications as that day, because everyone I knew, who knew me, wanted to tell me it was happening!
I GOT MY TICKET, I was in Heaven; this, was what euphoria felt like – my idols, with my idol, and I was going! I think I cried through half of the concert, seeing Brian and Roger, seeing Adam, and seeing my first love, Freddie, on the big screen. And boy, Adam certainly made that Queen catalogue come alive.
For 3 weeks after the concert, I cried. I was so emotional. I’d actually seen Queen, and Adam.”
My path must have crossed with Shar’s a little while after this, as I turned up on the Facebook group while QAL were touring Europe. We’d obviously been hooked by those live performances in exactly the same way and thought that the combination of Adam with our old Queen heroes Brian and Roger were a match made in Heaven. Extraordinary things started to happen…
“I think a whole new meaning of fangirl happened right there, as I was hooked on Adam so much more having seen him live, sing Freddie’s songs; I was just head over heels for the guy. I was 45 years old and acting worse than I probably ever did in my teens. I still fangirled over Freddie, but my spark had ignited and became a flame for this Adam Lambert!
Fast forward a year, and life really hasn’t been the same. Adam finished the QAL tour, for now and then there was the excitement that something new was coming? This was answered when The Original High was released on 17th April 2015 – a different, more mature Adam (but he still sounded like sex on a stick). Of course, this new album had to be promoted; whispers became promo events, which became appearances and this is when my life changed forever.”
This is where our Admin brotherhood moved up a gear; Adam was coming to Australia and there were opportunities – golden ones – for Shar to meet her new hero. It was time for a bit of encouragement and enabling…
The internet is a wonderful thing; there are Glamberts all around the world and they’re a mine of information about Adam’s activities; every radio interview, every TV appearance. I saw some of my online friends meeting him for real; I wasn’t jealous – maybe just a little bit envious, but I wanted so badly to meet him for myself and was terrified I would never get the chance.
Then, a Sydney Radio Station held a competition, Adam Lambert was appearing at the Red Room there. A fellow Glambert, (Granbert??) and I had made a pact. If she won, I went, and vice versa. So for two whole weeks, we rang and rang and rang to no avail. But I didn’t give up. Adam was going to be in Sydney, I was going to stay in Sydney and find him, just to hug him, no matter what.
And more than this, I wanted Adam to sign my arm, so I could run to the nearest tattoo studio and get it tattooed over. That was number one on my bucket list! I sent an email to Nova FM, the guys running the competition, and asked if Adam would be doing any interviews for the Red Room, as I told them my dream to have Adam’s autograph on my arm to have it tattooed.
I never got a response.”
“But then, the unimaginable happened. Nova, the radio station, was giving away more tickets, just for the Adam Lambert show in Sydney. This was it – my opportunity was not dead yet. At 9am sharp the lines were open and the first caller got the Golden ticket.. I felt like Charlie trying to get into Willy Wonkas factory!
I dialled the number as quick as I could, and it rang. The voice on the other end asked who they were speaking to? I couldn’t even get my name out properly, before stuttering, “Have I won?” The DJ told me I was the first caller, and I began hyperventilating; I screamed at my hubby that I had won, and I was going to see Adam – OMG!!
Suddenly, a diary of Adam’s appearances in Sydney came up; he was going to be everywhere in Sydney. With my trusty laptop, I began an endless barrage of emails to everywhere Adam was going to appear. Can I see him, can I get audience tickets? In each and every one of those emails, I explained I wanted this tattoo so bad, but not ONE of those people replied. So, where to go from here? I had the encouragement of people in my
Facebook group, telling me never to give up, go get my dream. I have them to thank for a LOT (True, Kym!)
I began to call the television stations. Can I get tickets to the audience? Then, a lovely girl at one of the stations obliged, and I got tickets to Adam’s appearance on the morning show. Result!
Just three days before I headed to Sydney, I hear that I’m going to see Adam at the Red Room, AND in the studio of channel 10 for the morning show. My God, my head was spinning. I couldn’t think straight, I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t believe this was happening to me. Then, while I was in the car park at the local shops I got a call from a guy claiming to be PR for Nova, the radio station where I had won the tickets. He asked me if it true that I wanted Adam’s autograph on my arm to get it tattooed? I said of course and he asked if I would come into the studio to talk to Fitzy and Wippa (the DJ’s) about how Adam crazy I was, and if they could arrange the autograph, would I get it done live on air in the studio?
I was absolutely up for this but I started asking if this was a prank, or whether he was for real? He said it was all above board and to come in at 9am on the Thursday morning. At that point he told me that the autograph would be on a piece of paper, signed by Adam. Me, being me, said I wanted proof it was his. He asked me to TRUST them, and said it would all be above board.
Hello insomnia – my mind could not turn off the fact I was getting Adam’s name on my arm.
Thursday morning came; Maureen and I made our way to the studio. We were led into their boardroom, where we sat for what seemed to be at least an hour. Ben, the PR guy came and said he had to shut the door as Fitzy and Wippa were on air, and any noise from outside could affect the taping.. To which I turned to Maureen and said that’s shit, don’t they have soundproof glass?
Eventually, Ben came in, asked how I pronounced my name, and handed me a mic. Maureen was led down the corridor a little, and I was directed into the studio with Fitzy and Wippa. As he opened the door, I looked up, and THERE HE WAS! My dream had been handed to me on a plate and I felt like the luckiest person in this whole wide world.
‘Hi Sharlene’ he said – and with those words everything bad in my life was null and void. There was Adam Lambert looking directly at me, with this beaming smile that could melt a zillion hearts… I “think” I said OH MY GODDDDDDDDD…. Before my knees buckled and I fell flat on my arse!! Everyone in the studio oohed and aahed, we all laughed and Fitzy picked me up off the floor. Did I faint; I’ve no idea.”
(video from Fitzy and Wippa’s YouTube uploads)
“Adam got off his chair, came over to me and asked if I was ok? He then put his arms out, as I was still in shock, covering my mouth, trying so hard not to cry. As he hugged me, and wow, did he hug me; I placed my hand around his neck, so I could feel how soft his beard was for Marianne (another one of the QAL2 admins – we were on a mission!), trying to smell him (as that’s what everyone says? What does he smell like?) kissed him on the cheek, and then hugged him so tight.. He smelt fresh, like a summer breeze fresh?
He then pulled the chair out for me, and as I sat down, he touched my shoulder and asked again if I was OK. I was just about able to tell him I was fine.
We were on air now; Fitzy and Wippa welcomed me to the studio, and asked what it was about Adam I loved so much? I said that for every moment in my life, there is an Adam song. When hubby and I argue, its “Waddaya want from me?” and when I walk down the street and I’m feeling great, its “Strut”; he thought that was sweet. I just couldn’t get my head around what was going on in that radio studio – but my smile still stayed on…
Fitzy pointed out that I already had a tattoo which says “anyway the wind blows”. Adam thought this was cool and gave me a high five. I told him I had loved Queen all my life, and when Freddie died, the music wasn’t the same until he had come along to sing with Brian and Roger as QAL. At this, he reached over, touched my arm and thanked me. All the time I was sitting there, he just kept smiling!
The DJs also asked about my Adam mementos; I have pillows, photos and posters; my hubby refuses to have these above the bed because his name is Andrew, and he’s threatened to kick me out of bed if I say the wrong name during an intimate moment. He laughed really hard at this.
Then Fitzy asked if I wanted Adam to sign something, and I pointed to my arm. They handed him a pen and he gently and slowly signed his name on my arm. Wippa (the other DJ) and Adam had a chat about him being asked to sign other strange requests to sign other parts of fans bodies…
There were two other guys in the studio; I assumed that they were maybe members of Adam’s band, but they were introduced to me as people from Bondi Ink, a famous tattoo shop in Sydney. I was asked if I was ready to be inked and he gave me another high five.
Adam led me over to the corner and I sat down with him beside me on a stool as the tattoo artist go to work. I sat there staring in complete disbelief. Then he got his phone out and took a photo of me getting the tattoo – so somewhere, I’m on Adam’s phone – me! While the tattoo was being done, he asked several time if I was OK and whether it was hurting. It honestly wasn’t; I think he’s the best anaesthetic I’ve ever had in my life.
We also chatted about the QAL Fans United 2 Facebook page (great plug Shar!), the people on there who inspired me to never give up on meeting Adam. The group is also where I had met Maureen; she was brought into the studio and just kept hugging him! So I dubbed her the Granny grab, and everyone, including Adam had a good laugh at this.
When the tattoo was over, he said it was nice work and asked if I liked it? I told him I had dreamt about this for so long; he touched my arm again and said I was too sweet!
Maureen and I were asked if we could wait outside while they did a bit more of the interview, and Adam said he would come out for some photos as soon as he was done. I hugged everyone in the studio, and thanked them from the bottom of my heart for giving me this unbelievable
once in a lifetime dream.
“Waiting outside the studio, I was shaking my head in disbelief. How on earth had I been lucky enough to have this experience? I think Maureen was in shock too as she was stressing about her hair. The people at Nova kept asking to see the tattoo, saying that I must really LOVE Adam!
The interviews finished; Maureen asked Adam to sign her CD, and I asked someone if they could take a pic of me with him. I was sure I was about to go into cardiac arrest standing next to him. We chatted about the Red Room and The Original High; I told him I had one unopened copy and the one from iTunes. He laughed at this and said I was dedicated.
I joked that I was really glad I hadn’t had to resort to buying chloroform so that I could kidnap him to meet him; he had a cheeky grin at this and said he was very grateful.
It was time for Adam to move on; he thanked me for being a fan and said he would see me later at the gig and again in January with the TOH tour. I said I would make it to as many of the gigs as I could. I got another huge hug and started to cry . When we got to the foyer, Adam was in the lift, and before the doors shut, he said “Bye Bye Sharlene” and waved to me…..
I don’t know how the hell I made it outside, or into the taxi to go back to the motel. I rang my hubby, and he was so happy for me, saying I deserved this moment, and to take it all in.
That night, at the Red Room, during Adam singing, Waddaya Want From Me” he came and stood in front of me and sang, “thanks for loving me, coz you’re doing it perfectly”….. Right then and there, I cried my eyes out! Here he was, Adam Lambert, singing to me.
It didn’t end there though…
The next day at Studio 10, sitting in the audience, the interviewer said to Adam, we saw this morning that an Aussie fan had your autograph tattooed on her arm? Adam explained what had happened and some of my fellow Glamberts who had been at the Red Room pointed out to him that I was there. He came straight over and spoke to me, then I was asked if I would continue liking Adam, or whether it was just as phase (as if!). I said that I would always love him.”
(Recording edited by @mmadamimadamm)
“Since then, I heard an interview Adam had done after my day in the studio with him, and he was asked was it true that a fan was tattooed in front of him. He called me an ‘amazing fan’ which were just about the best words I have ever heard.
As I am typing this, the tears are rolling down my face Kym, as this experience is just the most amazing thing that has ever happened to me, apart from being married and having my kids.
This was such a happy, yet emotional roller coaster, I don’t think I ever want to come down xxxx”
Like I said at the start, this is an amazing story – a five-star, solid gold fandom experience. I suspect they don’t come much better than this. I’d like to thank Shar for sharing her story for my blog as it’s great to hear other experiences of being a fan. It’s a unique and unforgettable experience meeting your hero and of course she will have that tattoo for ever.
Good on ya Shar – I’m glad we managed to enable you a little bit, but I’m sure you would have made it anyway.