Exposed to Expose` (click here to read the entire story)
by Phillip (aka Mario to everyone else except Mike)
OK- so I guess I am officially taking over my own blog now? My buddy Mike (aka Miguel) has bitched enough to the point that I’d rather just post a few fun moments in my life, rather than hear him rag on me (complete with neck shaking and hands on hips….two snaps up!) You can read his rant to below on the “Welcome To Phillip Philes” posting.
I don’t even know where to start this thing!! ….still floating in the clouds. I still can’t get over the fact that I FINALLY got to see my all time favorite group-Expose’! (from the front row no less). They came into my life in 1987 A.D.(After Disco) and have been there ever since. The first time I ever saw Expose’ was on a cable show called “Dance Party U.S.A.” that was taped in Philadelphia. (anyone remember Bob Catalano?…ha!) “Come Go With Me” was already all over the radio and that is the song they performed. Then I saw them on “Solid Gold”, then “Showtime at the Apollo”, then the “American Music Awards”…. I mean these girls were hot on the charts and on every show out there.
This was way before the internet- so if you missed it, tough noogies….unless someone you knew taped it on their VCR (or Beta…double ha!) And don’t you know I went out and bought their first album. (the original album I played until the grooves where gone, so shortly after I bought a duplicate, never opened it and KNEW one day I’d get it signed!)
….. it is now autographed
(signed “Take Care-Ann Curless” “God Bless- Jeanette Jurado” & “Love- Gioia”)
SO…anyway, after school one day I hear they are coming to the city I live in! They are scheduled to be the opening act for “Lisa Lisa”…(I’m sure Cult Jam and Full Force or whoever was there too….but who cares, this is an Expose’ story, right?). Anyway….nobody wants to take a 14 year old to a concert (of course) so I miss it. Then the second album comes out. Great songs on this album too- also had to buy a duplicate and kept it sealed in its original plastic.
….also, now autographed!
( Jeanette personalized this one to me!)
Then, a few years later- one of the girls (Gioia Bruno…in blue, in the picture above) developes throat problems and has to stop singing. They cut short the tour and wait…and wait. She didn’t get better any time soon….so she left and was replaced by Kelly Moneymaker (pictured below- sitting on ground). One more album was produced from the new group and then they broke up (actually…I think the record company decided there would no longer be an “Expose'”.) So, here I am thinking I missed the chance to ever get to see them.
(Third and final album)
Fast forward….Picture it, Palmdale- 2007…a young California boy… (Sorry- I saw an episode of the Golden Girls before sitting down to write this) Anyway… So the girls (all three original members….wait- all the queens will dispute the “original” part since there actually was a group of ladies in Expose’ before the current Expose’ line-up that we all know and love…blah blah, get over it.) …are doing several concert dates with a bunch of artists on the “Freestyle Explosion” tour . Stacy Q, Stevie B. and a few others who can’t spell their own last name are part of this package concert. From what I hear, everyone has to sit through 2 hours of “and others” to see Expose’ and then they are leaving after the girls perform…even though there is one more artist yet to sing. (I’d do the same…in fact, I have- last year…don’t get me started.)
So, I’ve passed over seeing that show, which is coming here where I live….to drive 3 hours to see them with a full show with all their hits with a live band. (not the 7 songs with a backing music track, like on the “Freestyle” tour….but then again, it is Expose’- so I may sit through some old man singing “Double Dutch Bus” in order to see them.)
That’s right boys and girls….3 hour drive….got there at 3pm (gates didn’t open until 6pm) and the show started at 8pm. So I waited 5 hours in the HOT Cailfornia sun, in the desert, uphill, with no shoes…wait, take off those last two… I met some really cool people in line, also big fans, I don’t remember names at all…ever. (sorry) But if they read this, I was the crazy that got there early. They were all really nice… I just can never remember names, faces usually… but then I can’t ever remember where I saw their faces! (if you are reading this and we talked, leave me a message so I can but your name up and say hey!) Next time you see me- I’ll be the one wearing all black again, trust me!
(20 years…and a three hour drive…all for these ladies!)
Palmdale, CA July 14, 2007
Funny thing happened before the show:
So- I get there early…and this is the conversation for the most part-
Mario: “Hey- Where do they start lining up for the concert tonight?”
Security Guard: “Right there where you’re standing…. You know the show doesn’t start until 8pm tonight…right?
M: “Yah…and the gates don’t open until 6pm, right?”
SG: “Right…you DO know it’s only 3pm, don’t you?”
M: “Sure, sure…and I just drove 3 hrs to get here and now I’m first in line, k?”
SG: “So you really like these guys, huh?”
M: “Yup…since ’87”
SG: “3hrs? Are you some kind of Expose’ nut? Am I gonna have to call the cops?”
M: “Yes to the nut part…No to the cops”.
SG: “Well…they’re not here yet, neither is the band…you’re kinda early (laughs)
(an hour later…second security guard walks up)
SG: “What’s your name…first and last?”
M: “Why…you callin’ the cops?”
SG: (laughing) “No…do I need to?
M: No….not YET!
SG: “Seriously…they’re doing a meet and greet before the show, I’ll see what I can do to get you in, I already told them some guy is out front that’s been here since 3pm.”
(comes back ten minutes later)
SG: “Sorry man- the concert promoter is only letting the 6 winners of the radio contest go backstage, but they will be signing at their merchandise table afterwards.”
So…at 6:30pm, they finally opened the gates and I got my spot in front and waited until 8pm for the show to start. They were introduced, the music started and I was in HEAVEN for the next hour and a half!
I loved, LOVED the show…they came out to the first song that started it all for them (and me) which was “Come Go With Me”. I had been watching a few clips from Youtube.com and caught myself doing the dance moves to the song- believe me, I wasn’t the only one shakin’ my bon bon when that song started! And of course, this picture below would have been a great shot…had I figured out how to use my own fucking camera two days before the show instead of two days after!! Aw well…next time I guess.
( Jeanette, Gioia and Ann on stage… I just tell everyone I was too excited to hold the camera still. I didn’t take too many photos- after all these years and driving half way across California I was NOT gonna watch the show through a camera lens!)
Now to the good part… oh yes, there’s more. We wait in line for a few minutes before they change clothes and come out to sign stuff. When it finally got to my turn, I nervously took out my sealed albums. (for all the youngsta’s out there… before compact disc’s- albums were once pressed on these big black vinyl things, ask your Momma.)
I was next in line- then Jeanette smiles and says “Hi… hey, are you gonna take the plastic off that?” I replied “Yes!…I’ve waited 20 years to take the plastic off these things” and start ripping them open like a third grader at his birthday party. She gets the attention of the other two girls while I’m doing this and says “Hey…this guys waited 20 years to open these so we could sign them!” Then adds “are you sure you didn’t just get these out of the bargain bin for $1.00 last week?” (and laughs). So Jeanette signs them and passes them to Gioia who says “20 Years!?”…. Then she says… “Aw…come here honey” and gives me this huge hug! (I almost died, she was always kinda my favorite) As she sat back down I told her how they came through my town when I was 14 and nobody would take me…so I drove three hours by myself to see them. Ann was really cool too…after she signed them she said “Hey- thanks for waiting 20 years to take the plastic off those things!”
Those 3 hours it took to drive home seemed to fly by (except for the horrendous wait I had at the IN-N-OUT burger drive up in Bakersfield…fuckers!) Not because of the burger, but I was screaming randomly on the way home (and I don’t care who knows it). I’m still in a daze…Now I understand what those crazy girls in those old clips from the Ed Sullivan Show went though when the Beatles came on stage, I’ll never laugh at those girls in horned rimmed glasses again. I’ve taken out my albums every night before I’ve gone to bed and looked at them, I still can’t believe it. I FINALLY got to see Expose’!
I thought I was gonna be so cool and had this big ol list of cool things I was gonna say… such a nerd am I. I choked. But hey…better to just gawk and have a big cheezy grin instead of saying something stupid, right? And what class, who comes out and signs photos and takes pictures anymore? THAT- boys and girls, is what makes them true stars. Class.
…..I still feel like I’m living in that moment and screaming inside.
Thank you Gioia, Ann and Jeanette!