Saturday, January 22, 2011

My .0015 Seconds of Fame

Okay, maybe it doesn't look like much. Allow me to explain. On a recent morning, Ants Marching, by Dave Matthews Band came on the radio. I mentioned to my husband how I was there when they shot the video. To my surprise, he had never heard that story. I proceeded to tell him how, during my freshman year of college, I, along with many many others, was discovering DMB and obsessed. Friends and I went to various shows of theirs in Philly and New York, and when Z100 had an exclusive concert you could only attend by winning tickets, I called ceaselessly for weeks on end. Sadly, to no avail.

Undaunted, some friends and I went to the site of the concert, hoping to somehow score tickets. Miraculously, by talking to someone who knew someone who knew a roadie, three of us were admitted. The golden ticket. It was acoustic, intimate--magical. The day got even better--I know, seems impossible--when someone handed us information about the video they were shooting for Ants Marching the next day, and invited us to be extras.

This was obviously more important than attending classes, so on a cold February day in 1995, we trudged to some warehouse in Manhattan and spent all day in the presence of--gasp--Dave Matthews. Filming itself was a bit tedious after awhile. A lot of breaks and hearing the same song over and over for eight hours straight. Sometimes they'd have us march--get it, like ants? around the band, skipping and frolicking. Sometimes we'd watch them perform and dance. I was too shy to try to talk to Dave. What would one say? I love your music? We're soul mates? You speak to my heart? Too corny. Better to say nothing, play it cool.

We waited anxiously for the video to appear on MTV, but when it did, none of us were in it. Or so I thought until this morning, when with the magic of Youtube and pause, I glimpsed myself, walking in front of the camera. Then I caught several shots of my friend Andrew, dancing right behind Dave!

Why is this so thrilling? I don't know. Maybe just because it brought me back to that day, all those years ago, so full of admiration for this artist, so overcome with the opportunity to be near him. Maybe it's nice to have proof. After awhile, I start to wonder if some of my stories are true. Maybe that's a professional danger of being a novelist. So it's nice to have photographic proof, that I was indeed there for that.

If you want a better view of me, check out the link. When you get to second 53, look closely and you'll see me walk by, pushing my hair back. If you blink, you'll miss it.

Dave Matthews Band, Ants Marching video

Below are two shots of Andrew. He's the guy in the long sleeve shirt and glasses, standing right behind--Dave Matthews. (Insert dreamy sigh.)

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