(Liner Notes) The Time My Sixth Grade Dreams Came True.
Our writer Kelsey Doenges meets the guys from Guster.
As an intern, I waited backstage at the World Café Live to clean out the green room after Guster played the Free at Noon show.
Adam Gardner, the singer and guitarist of the band, talked to Meg Rosenworcel, the drummer’s wife, about going to the show at the Electric Factory later that evening. She was holding sleepy, little three-year old Jolene Rosenworcel in her arms and sounded reluctant about going. But Adam kept trying to convince her.
“I don’t know,” she said. “I would need to find a sitter.”
“I could watch her, “ I said with modest confidence.
“Really? You could?” she asked. “Are you sure you don’t have any plans tonight?”
I did. But forget the Tigers Jaw show. I could see them anytime. There was only one chance to watch the kid of the drummer of the band that gave me an identity.
I shook my head from side to side, shrugging my shoulders, saying, “Nope. I am completely free.”
It was about eight years ago, back in the sixth grade, when everyone else was listening to god awful pop songs playing repeatedly on MTV’s top twenty countdowns. Here in my world of Catholic school uniforms, forced religion, and annoying classmates, I had this little alternative rock band that sang about masturbation and demons. No one knew about them. No one cared about them. They were my secret.
When I got to high school, more people know their music and claimed to be more knowledgeable about the trio from Massachusetts than I was. I knew it wasn’t so. I knew no one devoted as much time to this band as I did. None of these kids read their road journal. None of these kids had a picture of Ryan Miller hanging up in their room, or the lyrics to Mona Lisa etched into their composition notebooks. Hell, none of these kids probably even heard Mona Lisa.
I knew, despite their growing fame and evolving poppy style, I found them first.
I met Meg at the Sheraton that evening. Jolene was already fast asleep. She was just a tiny ball lost in the sea of a pinstriped comforter, in a queen-sized bed.
These people I had built up for years were finally brought down to Earth and put in my reality. Brian Rosenworcel was real. He was staying in a hotel room that was far from flashy – resembling an office with it’s tacky floor lamps and sterile artwork hanging above the dated television set resting on a scratched mahogany dresser. His bed was unmade, his towel sprawled on the floor and the toilet seat was left up in the bathroom. He was just like me (with the exception of the toilet seat).
And there was Jolene, not much different than any other three-year old I babysat. She sighed, she tossed and she turned in a bed that was far too big for her. She was just the daughter of the drummer from Guster – no big deal to her but a huge deal to me.
I couldn’t help myself. I decided to make her a present before I got to the hotel. I quickly crocheted her a headband and threw together some fabric flowers from materials I had hanging around. I thought it might be a little creepy but I knew there was only one opportunity to make a present for Brian Rosenworcel’s kid.
I was too nervous to actually give it to them so I left it on the nightstand in the far corner of the room with a note that wished them the best. I hoped they would find it in the morning and then if they hated it – or thought it was weird – I wouldn’t have to witness it.
When Brian and Meg came home from the show, they talked with me for about fifteen minutes, even asking if they could pass my name along for other babysitting jobs, which I happily agreed to. We talked a little more but my ride was waiting outside and I had to go.
The next afternoon I received this text from Meg:
“Kelsey, we can’t thank you enough. Bri found your gift, which we opened and all love! JoJo has been prancing around in her headband holding her flowers all morning. Please email Guster anytime and let us know when you’d like to come to a show on us! Best, Meg, Brian, and Jolene.”
Her number is still in my phone. Just in case.