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for March 13, 2002

[Every generation has that one defining moment that demands that any creative mind that can bear witness to it, do so as lucidly and completely as possible. On the other hand, Leif Garrett played the Court Tavern in New Brunswick, NJ last Friday, but several of ALTROK's writers decided to chronicle it just the same. Today, Robin Pastorio-Newman marvels at the shininess of it all.]

by Your Diva, Robin Pastorio-Newman

Your Darling, Your Diva, Your One True Love loathes being the voice of reason, preferring by far to be the voice of Let's Order Godiva By Mail For No Reason Whatever. In an emergency like a Leif Garrett / F8 show at the Court Tavern, Your Delight may sit bolt upright on her chaise lounge and holler, "Inform Professor Hawking: time slows in direct proportion to an increase in the number of tube tops."

Before we mother-may-I another umbrella step: yesterday, the One True Tami outlined events as they occurred and boredom as it did. Sadly, if we hadn't been surrounded by our most captivating friends we would've been hard pressed to find a pulse. The Court Tavern's basement, packed with people we knew intimately and varieties of people we'd only seen in WalMart, heated damply and smokily. Eyes burned. Tension made strangers hollowly congenial. Yes. Yes. Yes to you, too. It is hot enough for me. Shut up.

The crowd's odd composition piqued Your Glee's interest. Specifically, mid- to late-thirties women, too-slick twenty-something groupies and Court regulars, who resemble a tasty assortment of mixed nuts, rubbed (and sometimes chafed) elbows during Frankenstein 3000 and Mars Needs Women; the New Brunswick Despair Uniform (black shirt/blue jeans/black shoes) clashed quietly with Mentos-pastel chenille sweaters. During Leif Garrett's set, I walked through the crowd, waiting for inspiration to strike, or comprehension, or, failing that, ceiling tiles to fall on my head. Why were these people there? And why didn't bitterly complaining regulars leave?

At the merchandise table, the woman selling t-shirts turned out to be the band's publicist, Barbara Papageorge. Who comes to a Leif Garrett show? She says three types: fans for twenty years, fans of VH1's Behind the Music, and the curious. Aha. That explains the tank top half-covering the caesarian scar. It also explains drunks shouting, "WHERE'S THE WHEELCHAIR?"

Papageorge said Leif Garrett's longtime fans are the rabid, devoted kind. Pointing to three women who might look more at home serving cookies to the PTA, she said, "They've seen three shows this week. This lady's got a fan website. Ask her about it." Thank you. No. Your Diva fears the zealous fan who took a week's vacation and put Fluffy in the kennel to follow Leif Garrett up and down the East Coast.

Essentially, days and a dozen conversations later, what's clear is that Leif Garrett is just a nice guy trying to make a living, and people pay to look at him. Why? That's still clear as mud.

©2002 Robin Pastorio-Newman

All material ©2001-2014 Sean Carolan, except as noted.


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