Happy memories of December 10th

Posted by Annie on December 10, 2010

This date has become one of the most memorable and special of my life. When I woke up this morning, absolutely nothing was going to spoil the joy I felt. The alarm came soooo early, it was cold outside, people were in a rush and pretty grumpy, but me? I was smiling no matter what came my way because all I thought about all day long was walking into the 02 Arena 3 years ago, watching my hero step up on the back step of the stage, strap on his guitar, walk towards me, and play. Off he went, and off I went. I think part of my soul is still floating around in the 02 squealing with joy.

Jimmy Page has always brought me a lot of joy, but I never got to see him play until that moment, over 30 years wait from the day I first heard his amazing magical guitar. It was worth the wait, and besides all the joy, watching Jimmy play at last reinforced a saying you hear all the time: Dreams really do come true. The odds against me being in that arena were huge, but I was there. When Jimmy left the stage and I stood there trying to take it all in, one thing was noticeable – I felt very different. I walked out with a new determination to make my life into what I wanted it to be.

When I look back on the last three years, I see a very new me has emerged. I’ve done things that I never thought possible, and I’ve dumped people, places, and situations that make me unhappy and are filled with negative energy. It feels great. There are still many more things to change, and much more I want to do, but I will do them. ‘All this from seeing one concert?’ I hear people asking. Yep. It didn’t really start there, it started in 1972 when I first heard the music that changed my life. It just continues, and as I get older, the changes get bigger and the impact I can have on the world grows.

Thanks (again) Jimmy, and thanks to everyone that has come along on the journey with me. Whenever I feel a little down, all I have to do is remember December 10th 2007. I’ll be smiling about it for the rest of my life. Woo hoo – let’s go make our dreams come true!!!

Annie x

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A visit to The Outside Edge

Posted by Annie on December 9, 2010

EdgepicOn Monday I went to visit Phil Fox, Artistic Director of The Outside Edge Theatre Company. The reason for the visit was the Memories in Music Fanfare Group. With our donations this year, we Jimmy Page fans will be supporting Outside Edge in Jimmy’s honour. As well as the group sessions and the drama productions, they also do one-on-one counselling. They strive to provide all their services free of charge, which, as you can imagine, takes a lot of effort. He was very grateful for our help, and he told me that Memories in Music’s Fanfare is the first group that has ever approached them for regular funding.

I was really looking forward to my chat with Phil, as he started this company from pretty much zero, just his dream. It’s very inspiring to meet someone who has battled with drug addiction, yet come out the other side and is now using his love of dramatic arts to help others. “Drama saved my life,” he told me. He felt that drama could give other addicts exactly what it gave him. You only have to hear of the people he’s helped and the programmes they run to see that is true. His vision has created the only group of this type in the UK.

This all resonates with me. It was music that saved my life, and like Phil, I wanted to find people who felt the same, in my case music fans, and work together with them to help others. It can sometimes feel like the odds are insurmountable when you start something and it’s small and basically unnoticed, misunderstood, and sometimes even scoffed at. Although they have been working for 11 years, Phil says his group is still fairly obscure. “Having Jimmy as a Patron has really helped raise our profile,” he told me. That’s certainly true – it’s why our Fanfare Group is here!

The offices on Munster Road in Fulham were very nice. It’s a beautiful building full of light. They share the space with another programme. Phil showed me the area where they do the group sessions and then the private meeting rooms for the one-on-one counselling. He explained that there is an emphasis on the addicts being clean when they come to the meetings. “When you come to us to participate, you have to be clean that day,” he said.

The area of Fulham where you come to the offices is a very affluent area. It seemed strange walking past all the lovely shops – I suppose because you think of addicts and automatically think of run-down areas. Phil told me that his experience of being located in that area only shows the choice of substance abused is different, the struggles are the same. In the wealthy neighbourhoods the drug of choice is often alcohol, while the poorer neighbourhoods have crack problems. But, they can all come together at the Outside Edge for some very unique and inspirational help.

It was wonderful to be able to surprise Phil with a Christmas gift, £380 from Jimmy’s fans. I wish you could have seen his reaction. It’s just wonderful to be a real blessing to people. Everyone who gives to Fanfare should go smile at themselves in the mirror and say, “I make a difference.” Because I promise you, even if you only give 50p a week, you DO make a difference.

I spent a nice hour and bit chatting to Phil. I am looking forward to learning more about what they do, especially because my own family was ravaged by drug and alcohol abuse. Besides being a help, I am sure I will learn things that will help me too.

We’re going to meet again in January and discuss a fundraising idea I have to benefit them. It would make me very happy to bring more attention and money to their cause. If you want to find out more, check out the website: http://www.outsidedgetheatre.com/index.html

We’d love to have more music fans supporting the Edge. Contact Cathy at fanfare@memoriesinmusic.com and she will fill you in on how you can help.

Annie x

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Fanfare – fans making a difference

Posted by angelsofavalon on November 17, 2010

I’m very pleased and excited to take on the Fanfare project!  This is such a lovely, straightforward idea and a wonderful way to give back to the musicians who enrich our lives.   In return for the joy and comfort music gives us, we can bring joy and comfort to others.

The idea is very simple:  fans coming together to give money to charities in honor of their favorite musicians.  As individuals, the donations don’t have to be much, just what you can afford.  The important thing is to donate regularly – charities find it helpful to be able to rely on steady donations.  A small trickle of donations easily becomes  a flood when fans join up to give steadily.   Already the members of Fanfare for Jimmy Page have donated nearly $1,000!

Memories in Music wants to expand this idea, and is looking for other fans to help.   Who is your favorite musician?   Who do you want to thank for the joy their music has brought you?  Which charities do they support?  Let us know – we’ll set up a Fanfare group.   If you’re part of a fan mailing list, website or fan club, invite your fellow fans to join you!  Together we can all make a difference.

To join or start a Fanfare List for your favorite musician or band, please write to fanfare@memoriesinmusic.com with “Fanfare” in the subject line, and we’ll be off!

This is fandom in a new light, fans coming together to bring light to others. Come join us!

fanfare@memoriesinmusic.com

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Cathy takes Fanfare 2011

Posted by Annie on November 8, 2010

The Fanfare programme, where music fans can join together to give to charity in honour of their favourite musicians, is getting a much needed boost by a new volunteer. Cathy Kelty, a supporter of Memories in Music since day one, has stepped forward to become Fanfare manager.

I’m so grateful for her help. With all the irons I have in the fire running Memories in Music, I don’t have the time needed to help the programme grow. We have such amazingly dedicated fans giving to Jimmy Page’s Fanfare, and they deserve more attention. Thanks to Cathy, they are going to get that attention, and she will be able to spread the word far and wide that Fanfare exists so that more fans will have the chance to join in with us.

Fanfare is close to my heart because music became a huge part of my life when I was searching for direction and struggling with life in general. The influence it had on me was profound and meaningful, and I have always been deeply grateful to those who brought it into my life. Sometimes people roll their eyeballs when you say you are grateful to musicians and care about them, but I find that a sad reaction. Why should you not be grateful and care about people who made your life happier? As long as the expression of that gratitude and caring is appropriate, it’s a very good thing. I’m NEVER going to stop expressing my appreciation for music and the musicians who make it. More gratitude and less attitude can only make the world a better place.

My fanfare goals for 2011 would be to add more fans to beat this year’s £615 total, and I would dearly love to see new Fanfare lists for other musicians, especially for another personal favourite of mine, Janis Joplin. I remember sitting in the car one day waiting for my father to come out of a store, and hearing her on the radio. Her voice was so powerful I was instantly affected by it. Here was a musician that could sing the pain and rawness of emotion that I felt but had no idea how to express. I still turn to Janis to release bottled up emotions. Letting songs like ‘Cry Baby’ and ‘To Love Somebody’ sink into my soul is awesome. Just like listening to Jimmy Page play, the effect is instant and dramatic. If there are any Janis fans out there who like the idea of Fanfare, please get in touch.

With a new volunteer at the helm, some new ideas to try out, as well as a new charity to support in honour of Jimmy Page (details coming in the next few weeks), it’s all looking really exciting for 2011. I’m looking forward to it! Thanks Cathy, and thanks to all the Fanfare members, present and future. Like Cathy said in her Fanfare introduction: ‘Let’s make noise!’ http://memoriesinmusic.com/fanfare.html

Annie x

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Fans who REALLY make a difference

Posted by Annie on October 24, 2010

I am so happy today. In fact, I am thrilled to pieces! When you are part of something that changes lives, it is a great feeling.

Last year, Memories in Music started Fanfare. It was created for music fans who wanted to do something to truly honour a musician they admire by donating an amount of money each week to support charity. It was open to fans of any musician, and there was no set amount to give, just whatever fans could afford – even 50p a week is a big help to charities. As it turned out, only one musician had fans that were willing to be part of this fledgling project, fans of Jimmy Page. The money was collected to give to Task Brasil’s Casa Jimmy in his honour.

Of Jimmy’s fans I tried to reach, ultimately eight decided to join in with me. I got worried emails from some of the eight saying that we couldn’t possibly make a difference with such a small group, feeling bad that they didn’t have larger amounts to give, or that they couldn’t get other fans to join in, but I was quietly confident it would all be OK. Sure, I wished more fans had decided to help out, but I’ve been to this rodeo before. This was a great opportunity to show how much could be done with just a little.

I am proud to say these eight Jimmy fans have given £615 ($965) towards the care of the children in Rio. £615!! Awesome.

These fans have done something amazing as fans, and they did it with no reward and no admiration from anyone really. Over in Rio though, some poverty-stricken children are going to get their needs met because eight Jimmy Page fans appreciated Jimmy enough to do something truly beneficial. It hasn’t embarrassed/upset/annoyed Jimmy or his family, it isn’t illegal, inappropriate or mean-spirited, it hasn’t glorified the egos of those that should hang their heads in shame, or enriched the coffers of anyone but those in need. FABULOUS! It’s wonderful any way you slice it, and all the money goes straight to Casa Jimmy.

Fanfare is a blessing to musicians, to charities, and ultimately to those who give because it changes you for the better when you reach out and give. So I am wildly happy today!

As we begin our new year of giving I hope more Jimmy fans will join us, and fans of other musicians too. We’ll set up a Fanfare Group for any musician and see that the money goes to a charity they support. Maybe our eight will turn into 18, or 80 or 800… imagine what can be done with 800 people giving 50p a week? Wow. That’s fan power! But we’ll keep on keeping on no matter what. One day these fans will be honoured. I will see to it.

Kevin, Dawn, Cynthia, Maja, Lucia, Kathy, Alexandra and Youko – thanks for joining me in this project. What you have done made a real difference in the world. From my heart, thanks.

Annie x

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Memories of the Midlands Exhibit

Posted by Annie on October 19, 2010

Another exhibit has come and gone. They’re all unique and I have enjoyed each of them, challenges and all. This one was the most challenging of the events I’ve organised, but loads of fun!

As an over-view I thought I would give you my exhibit highlights:

* Having tea with Bev Bevan. He’s really great and I kept standing there thinking, ‘Oh, it’s Mr Blue Sky!’ lol
* Meeting local musician John Stain at a road side services and seeing all his lovely memorabilia. To be able to see the actual notebook paper he wrote his single on was special, a real piece of music history.
* Hearing local musician Joe Dignam play the T Rex drum kit at the Gallery during his interview. He said he might be rusty – nothing like! It was great!
* Sitting behind Nick Mason’s stunning drum kit.
* Interviewing Blaze Bayley. He was my favourite interview.
* Sitting outside a lovely pub chatting to Ric Sanders and Dave Pegg.
* Ric playing ‘Rosehip’ for me on the porch of his summerhouse. Gosh that was awesome!
* Coming around the corner of the hotel corridor and running into Carl Palmer – he really was there for me to interview!
* Trevor Burton’s stage clothes! I am such a sucker for 60’s/70’s London stuff.
* When meeting Deb Bonham she pointed at the Jimmy symbol around my neck and picked up her symbol of John that was around her neck – smiles all around!
* Albert Lee playing Country Boy
* Actually navigating Birmingham successfully.
* Meeting my webmaster/artist/advisor Cynthia.
* Looking at the exhibit all set up for the first time
* Meeting some of the great music fans that came to the exhibit. I enjoyed showing them around.
* Doing a couple of radio interviews.
* Walking through a torrential rain storm to a meeting. Soaked to the bone, freezing, shoes squelching – and realising I was so happy working on the exhibit none of it mattered at all.
* Receiving a lovely bottle of champagne and a card on opening night.

There were some low moments. One that springs to mind is the incredibly dumb move of forgetting all about the transport from the venue for removal day. That meant the only last minute van to hire was too small and we ended up driving back and forth loading and unloading for about 13 hours. Yikes.

Some other things didn’t go according to plan, but why dwell on those things? Especially when the best is yet to come – handing over the money to the charities. That makes it all worthwhile. Every time I raise even a penny that I can give in honour of my favourite musician, I am wildly happy. I can’t wait to do it all again! There will be announcements coming soon about the next exhibits and the progress on the Music Heritage Project. If you want to be involved – don’t hesitate! You won’t regret one second you spend raising money for those in need in honour of a musician that brought joy to your life. I promise.

Annie x

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Opening night photos

Posted by Annie on September 23, 2010

Here are a few more pics of the party in the Gallery for the opening night of the Birmingham exhibit.

Steve Gibbons poses with his first guitar and its case.

Steve Gibbons poses with his first guitar and its case.

Trevor Burton of The Move.  In the background are original posters from the Marquee Club.

Trevor Burton of The Move. In the background are original posters from the Marquee Club.

Jazz musician Theo Travis viewing the Steve Winwood exhibit.

Jazz musician Theo Travis viewing the Steve Winwood exhibit.

Local musician John Stain from the band Lincoln Black with his exhibit.

Local musician John Stain from the band Lincoln Black with his exhibit.

The exhibit party was such a lot of fun. Having the musicians there was super because people got a chance to talk to them about their exhibits, and it gave me the chance to express my thanks to them for giving us the gift of music.

Although many people outside of the Midlands may not be familiar with John Stain and Lincoln Black, his exhibit fascinated the other musicians. It is a complete archive of his band’s song – the handwritten lyrics from a school notebook, the promotional material put out by the record company and the 45 single. Steve Gibbons commented that this was the type of thing that he as a musician wanted to see. That’s a real compliment!

Trevor Burton’s exhibit is another fascinating piece of music history, as he shared with us his stage clothes bought on the King’s Road and Carnaby Street in the 60’s. It’s such a privilege to be able to see these things. It’s one of my favourite parts of the exhibit.

Another piece that is very moving to see is a piece of poetry handwritten by Marc Bolan of T Rex. Marc is not a Midlands musician, but we include this exhibit as an example of what Memories in Music would like to preserve for the nation. We have a new project that we are launching to do exactly this, The Music Heritage Project. Already it has a lot of support, and you’ll be hearing a lot about it. Check it out and see if you would like to be involved:

http://www.memoriesinmusic.com/musicHeritageProject.html

We need you!

More photos of the party on Flickr:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/memoriesinmusic/sets/72157625019659032/

Annie x

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New Exhibit Opens

Posted by Annie on September 20, 2010

On Friday night (17 September 2010), Memories in Music held a private viewing of the new exhibit at St Pauls Gallery, ‘Memories in Music in the the Midlands.’ I was very excited to have several of the musicians on hand who contributed to the event, as well as the loyal supporters who have worked with me from the beginning of the company, my husband Richard, artist Cynthia Blair, Kathy Kelty, Simon Gynne, Ian Avey, Trev and Jon Wilkins from Scadge Productions, Andy Giles, and Michelle Pullin from Macmillan – these are the people I can count on who make these events possible. You guys are the best! By the end of the evening we were all exhausted, but had made a lot of new friends looking to join in, so the future is very exciting for the new project we are launching.

Carl Palmer arrived to see his exhibit, and spent a while taking everything in.

Carl Palmer with his Memories in Music in the Midlands Exhibit

Carl Palmer with his Memories in Music in the Midlands Exhibit

He’s just back from a US tour which he says although tiring was enjoyable. I really appreciate his support, and that of his partner Katie. It’s great to have! Carl’s exhibit is a highlight, his signed red snare drum taking pride of place among the amazing things he loaned.

Other Midlands musicians on hand to celebrate the opening of the exhibit were Steve Gibbons, Trevor Burton, Theo Travis and John Stain. Steve’s guitar looks super in the glass case; John Stain loaned a fascinating piece of musical history with a complete set of promotional pieces of his band’s song including the handwritten music and lyrics; Theo Travis loaned some great photos and backstage passes; and Trevor Burton, well…what can I say? His loan of clothing bought from the Kings Road and Carnaby Street in the 60’s is superb, and these are only a few of the pieces in the exhibit!

It’s always a lot of fun to see the musicians viewing their own exhibits and letting them know how much joy they bring people with their music. Steve Gibbons commented how much he enjoyed seeing the music written on a school exercise book by John Stain for his band Lincoln Black. “Now this is something I as a musician want to see,” he told me. That makes me really happy!

I had a pair of wonderful artists on hand as well, who have created works of art to help with the fundraising for the charities.

Sunila with her drawing of Robert Plant

Sunila with her drawing of Robert Plant

Artist Sunila Sen-Gupta gave a drawing of Robert Plant in honour of a fan of his who passed away. The drawing is donated to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support. It was great to see Sunila again and catch up with all she’s doing.

Cynthia Blair flew in from the States with “her boys,” a series of wonderful drawings and paintings she has worked on for several months for the exhibit.

Artist Cynthia Blair with her painting of Ozzy

Artist Cynthia Blair with her painting of Ozzy

She made works of art for Carl Palmer, Nick Mason, Ozzy Osbourne, Robert Plant, Steve Winwood, John Bonham, and of course, the man that is never left out of any exhibit of mine, the fabulous Mr Page. Her works of art are on sale, prints as well as originals, and they are spectacular. Cynthia has done so much for MIM, and having her here this week is a special treat. We’ve been working together via the internet and telephone for the past year and a bit, and it’s great to meet her in person. I’m looking forward to some UK sight-seeing with her now that there is a slight lull in the work!

The evening was awesome. St Pauls Gallery is a gorgeous setting. Besides donating the space for the entire month of the exhibit, owners Symon and Jon worked hard to help set up as well as making sure the party ran smoothly. I especially appreciated the sound track to the evening – lots of Led Zep!!

If you are in the UK, come along and check it out. This exhibit is worth seeing, a collection that has never been seen together before, and many items are on display for the first time. Your entry fee and any purchase you make will benefit the charities for this event, Task Brasil’s Casa Jimmy and Macmillan Cancer Support. Visit the website and enter our contests too, you can win great prizes and it’s another way to support the charities:
http://memoriesinmusic.com/contest.html

More posts on the event and more photos to follow soon!

Annie x

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MIM and Blaze Bayley

Posted by Annie on July 23, 2010

Meeting musicians is always an enjoyable experience for me because they have seriously contributed to the happiness of my life. Apart from my opinions of them formed by admiring their musical talent, I really have no idea what they will be like as people. There is a tendency to get the wrong impression of anyone in the spotlight, so interviewing in the way that I do, just conversational style, can be very revealing as to the person behind the fame. Like I would with people I meet everyday, some I connect with, some I don’t.

When Blaze walked into the Gallery for his interview I was already concerned. There was a mix-up which meant that no one was at the Gallery when he arrived. There is nothing worse than not being there when your star turns up to be interviewed! I was mortified and apologised, but it looked for all the world like I pissed him off and now I was screwed. Well, nothing could have been further from the truth. The camera went on and right from the first question Blaze was very open, very interesting, and very entertaining. I could hear his appreciation of his Midlands roots as he told his stories about growing up in the area, getting into his first band, and just plain working hard to achieve his goals. He was great and one of my favourite interviews. His passion for music and his fans really was evident. Even if you aren’t necessarily a fan of Blaze, I hope you’ll watch the interview. With the projects I am planning with MIM, Blaze’s attitude was very inspiring.
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He even gave me a real-life example of a ‘Spinal Tap’ moment. When the cameras stopped rolling, we chatted a bit about fame and the odd response people have to it, Blaze saying that image takes over the real person in many cases. He told of a band that had a smoke machine on stage that went into total over-drive and none of the musicians could see what they were doing. He heard the guitarist turn to the crew backstage, and practically crying, said, “I can’t see! I can’t play! What should I do? I can’t see my fingers!” The next thing he heard was a stern voice shouting back, “Stop crying! We’re supposed to be hard!”

I’ve asked Blaze to help out on some of my projects, and I hope he says yes. In the meantime, you can see the leather jacket that he wore for the making of his first album and tour, and a t shirt, on display at the exhibit this September. He handed them to me before he left and said, “I don’t want to see them on Ebay!”

Great stuff. View a couple more photos and excerpts from the interview on our Flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/memoriesinmusic/sets/72157624567459756/

Annie x

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“What kind of fan are you?!”

Posted by Annie on July 5, 2010

I recently received an interesting email from someone requesting information about a situation with a musician. It’s not unusual because people look at my website and see that I have contact with certain musicians and/or their management, and ask if I can help with their enquiry. I don’t mean to be unfriendly or unhelpful, but I want to say to anyone who happens on my blog or my website with enquiries about musicians: I don’t give out any information about the musicians I deal with for MIM projects. If you are looking for contacts, in my experience, you will make them if you have business they want to discuss. I know some fans are happy to give out contact information, addresses, or tell about what they know or have discovered after talking to whoever about whatever, I’m not. Aside from the fact that I have been asked specifically by some contacts not to do this, I wouldn’t anyway. This response from me prompted the rather surprised and slightly annoyed question, “What kind of fan are you?!”

Well, that’s a legitimate question. What kind of fan am I? It’s maybe easier to say what kind of fan I am not. First of all, I am not a ‘reporter-type’ fan. I am not going to be digging for information on musicians and then publishing it on this site. The only things I want to write about here are things associated with MIM activities, and very occasionally, about something the musicians themselves are currently talking about or doing and are happy for it to be in the public domain. I’m not looking to be the breaking news site, again unless it is MIM-related. I had one person say to that, “That’s because you don’t know anything.” Well, you reckon? OK then, no need to come ask me any more then. Easy.

I am not a ‘hint, hint, hint-type’ fan. I’m not going to be the one who gives heavy hints about what I know but in the end just can’t reveal, or can only say stuff like, “My sources/contacts/people say big news is coming,” or “I’ve heard the most amazing news about so and so, but I just can’t tell you.” In truth I don’t understand this anyway. If it cannot or should not be revealed, why say anything at all? Why even hint about it? I have my theories as to why some engage in this behaviour, but you don’t need my theories. You decide why.

I am not a ‘tell-all/gossip-type’ fan. I am not going to write every last detail of every conversation or email, or endlessly speculate. I don’t think everything is necessarily bad from the ‘tell-all/gossip’ camp, it’s just that I don’t want to be the person that had a conversation with a musician and then they go on my site to read about the MIM charity updates and see what they were wearing, drinking, eating, how they moved, every word of what they said, who they were with, or have to endure gossip about their private lives or situations…you know, a huge load of too much. It amazes me that some fans speak with such authority about people they have met casually 25 years ago, or never met at all – in truth people they don’t know a thing about. But if you do happen to know or work with anyone famous, you surely understand discretion is much appreciated by those whose every move is hounded and written about. If you want to do them a good turn, realise some things are inappropriate to reveal or discuss. Not always wrong, but often not expedient. Inappropriateness is defined differently by everyone; but for me it mostly means: Shut up about stuff Annie. How will this make me look to the people I am talking about? How will it make them feel?

So, what kind of fan am I… a fan that wants musicians and people associated with them to feel extremely comfortable working on charity activities I organise. To me, that means I cannot be any of the above. Erring on the side of caution works for me, and I have seen that it works for them as well. At the end of the day though, it comes to this – I have to look at myself in the mirror and be happy. Being so cautious seems to irk some fans, and I am sorry for that. But I have to sleep at night.

If you are a reporter-type fan, a hinting around-type fan, a tell-all/gossip-type fan, and that works for you, OK. I’m not telling you what to do by any means. I thought about what kind of fan I am, and what kind I wanted to be, and you know, I’m just sayin’… maybe you should think about it too.

Annie x

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