Monday, May 6, 2013

Becky's Top 3 Memphis in May Moments

I didn't think I was going to make it to the Memphis in May Beale Street Music Festival this year, but on Sunday, with the help of some canceled plans and a free ticket, there I was, ankle-deep in mud, listening to Public Enemy.  (Because when you think Becky Heineke, you think Flaava Flaaaaaaav.)

Public Enemy was the only act I saw this year (a Cinco de Mayo dinner lured me away from the music), and I hate to say it but there was something a little dull about a bunch of fifty-somethings yelling, "Don't believe the hype!" and immediately following it with, "Find us on Twitter!"  (Actual quote:  "That's F-L-A-V-O-R-F-L-A-V!")

No, this year was missing something...let me think...let me think...ME.  This year was missing me.

Here are some highlights from years past, in which I gave a little more to Music Fest, and Music Fest did its duty in meeting me halfway.

Becky's Top 3 Memphis in May Moments

3.  2007 - The Year I Wound Up on the Front Page of The Commercial Appeal

Megan was always skeptical that it was us in the picture, but I know the flyaways on the top of my head, and I also know exactly how far I dragged her into the crowd to see Sum 41.  At the time, I had Sum 41 listed on my MySpace profile as "one of my all-time favorite bands" (huh) and was so eager to see them that I told my best friend Kara, driving in for the weekend from Indiana, just to meet us at Music Fest because I couldn't be expected to risk missing them while waiting for her to roll into town.

During the show - which was one of the worst live performances I have ever seen in my life - we were surrounded by a sea of kids at least a decade younger than we were, and my white shirt wound up an innocent casualty to a nearby mud fight. The whole thing permanently undermined my loyalty to the crappy punk rock genre.

Upside?  Sum 41 made the front page of The Commercial Appeal the next day, and so did the top of my head: 

2.  2011 - The Year I Stalked Jake Gyllenhaal's Sorry Ass All Over This Damn City

Hard to believe that as little as two years ago I was still blogging about the Precious Moments-eyed boy-man that is Jake Gyllenhaal.  While touring with Mumford and Sons (Jake was a fan), he cruised into town with their stop at Music Fest, inspiring such a day of adventure and single-mindedness on my part that a man from Midtown Bike who rented Jake a bicycle still remembers me to this day, and referred to me as "that crazy girl" on Facebook not two months ago:

The full account of my stalking, which is practically novella-length, has been read over 2,500 times, which isn't terribly impressive respective to other things I've written about Jake, but it is one of my more riveting Memphis in May recaps.

Plus, bonus, the weekend gave the world this picture of me:

1.  2006 - The Year I Snubbed Little Richard to His Face

It's doubtful that anything will ever top this classic, which is why it rightfully lands here in the top spot.  While headed downtown, I was sitting at a stoplight when a pimped-out black Escalade, complete with gold rims, pulled up next to me.  The man in the passenger seat rolled down his window and tried to hand me two paperback books, along with an obviously photocopied "signed" photograph of Little Richard.

"Here's a personal gift from Little Richard!" said the man.

I took one look at the photocopied picture, rolled my eyes at him, and sneered, "I don't believe that that's real."  The light turned green, I pulled ahead, and... my rear view mirror was the unmistakable sight of Little Richard, behind the wheel of the Escalade, laughing his ass off at me.

In disbelief, I slowed down, rolled down my window, and, as they drove by, the man in the passenger seat yelled, "I told you so!", Little Richard still cackling beside him.


Later, at Little Richard's concert, the man who had been in the car with him handed out books and pictures to the crowd, so I wound up with a copy of both.  The book was about Jesus and the picture (and signature) were, indeed, photocopied.

At the end of Public Enemy's set yesterday, Flavor Flav led the crowd in a nice feel-good rally about loving our fellow humans and extending peace to the world.  That resonated with me more strongly than the Jesus book...but the Jesus book wins on principle because of the personal hysteria I caused Little Richard over it.

And that's why Music Fest is better the years I actually put some effort into it.   

Because it's all about me.  Always.

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