1. Maxi's Truth (etc...)
My very first Maxwell Concert was the one that Jeannine Amber wrote about in her Essence article on Maxwell, November, 97. I have to tell the story of what happened to me that beautiful day, July 20, 1997; that day when my life opened up!
When I first learned of the tour of 97, I knew I had to be there. Maxwell had been in my hometown of Columbus, Ohio the previous year, right after UHS was released. I missed that show. (sigh) But I was determined that I would never again miss Maxwell anywhere in the world if I could help it. I began by calling the local radio station that had announced the tour in a news flash. I was informed that Maxwell would not be coming to Columbus in 97 and he would next be in Tennessee. I called the theater in Tennessee where Maxwell would appear in the next couple days. I was finally guided to call the Tennessee radio station affiliated with the show and found out Maxwell would next be in Atlanta. That show would be at a time where I could schedule to be off work and spend a few days in Atlanta as well as see Maxwell - live!
I was so excited about the tour, that I began to send letters to Maxwell at the venues that I knew about. Mind you, at this time, I didn't have a clue about the different web sites dedicated to Maxwell. I was relying on long distance phone calls all over the country to find out where Maxwell would be next. (Talk about a phone bill!) Anyway, I could only hope that my letters would reach Maxwell or someone who would tell him of them. When I made the plans for Atlanta, I again wrote to Maxwell, this time at the fabulous Fox Theater. I put in a request that Maxwell please say hi to me and all the ladies like me that would be at the show. Hell, I didn't really expect it, but a girl can wish!
Once the day of the show arrived, I couldn't sit still, couldn't eat (and that damn sure ain't like me!); nothing! I was way too hyped! I couldn't believe I was going to see the artist of my dreams and possibly up close and personal if my tickets were as good as the ticket agent assured me they would be. To my surprise, (yeah, right) they weren't. I was so far in the balcony, I got dizzy. (Remember Maxwell talking about the nosebleed section in his most recent tour? Well, believe me, that is where I was.) I was devastated!! But my wheels started turning. It was all right to sit there and groove to Zhane' from that distance, but not when it came to Maxwell - oh no! I borrowed some binoculars and looked out onto the main floor and saw a lot of empty seats. I proceeded to the ticket booth to purchase another ticket and was assured they were all sold out. Damn! But you know that didn't stop me. During the intermission, I positioned myself at the back of the theater on the main floor. Not a bad view. I would have been content to stand right there and watch the show. But when the muszic started to play and the smoke started to dissipate and there stood Maxwell, my body just automatically gravitated to the front of the theater. I found a seat about four rows back. I was mesmerized right where I sat. I was so excited and daaammmnnn!!!! that man looked glorious!! I almost couldn't believe I was really seeing him. While I was in the balcony, I prayed for a miracle. When Maxwell started to sing SuiteLady, I found myself in the front row. Three young ladies followed me and asked, 'Whose seats are these?' My response was a curt, 'They're ours now!' And it was that way for the rest of the show. I thought for sure that my God had answered my call for a miracle by placing me in the front row. But when Maxwell took a brief pause from the show to talk to his audience, I fell to my knees in disbelief when he said, 'I'd like to send a special shout out to Monica and all the other Monica's in the house!' The knees were the right place for me - I was praying my thanks and gratitude to my God for the pleasure and graciousness of Maxwell. I literally floated through the rest of the show. I was floating from the beginning, but now I was way up in the clouds!!
I wasn't supposed to react the way that I did. I was supposed to remain calm, cool and collected. But now that I think about that, there was no way I or anyone else could have maintained any sort of cool in that instance! I had promised myself, though, but had to give up that promise. I finally did go to the foot of the stage, after getting permission from a massive man that I believe was Maxwell's personal security. I waited there until there was a brief pause in the lyrics and then I waved for Maxwell to come over to me. And he did and I was beaming!! I held my hand up to him and he held his hand down for me to hold and though I doubt if he heard me, I thanked him repeatedly for what he had done for me. I am hoping that he can read lips!! I can remember how it felt to have my hand in his. I had vowed to never wash that hand again. (Don't worry - I eventually did wash it!) But Maxwell just stood there and let me babble on as we held hands. I finally let go and was so elated that I hugged that massive man for letting me to the foot of the stage!! I never made it back to my seat after that, for there was a rush of women being held back by house security and I couldn't get through. I was still on high-beams and was asked by a couple of ladies how I was able to get to the stage and touch Maxwell. I told them that I was the Monica that Maxwell spoke to and they got real excited and on of them even hugged me, saying that I was as close as they would get to hugging Maxwell!! I was happy with that but I thought to myself, 'Not if you just believe!!'
Isn't that Maxwell just the most special of people? I know some of you have stories such as the one above. Email SLM
and tell me all about it.
I wouldn't believe that it happened to this day if I hadn't had a friend with me to witness it. When she told me she heard it too, I knew I wasn't dreaming. I'm sorry to say, I had long left her behind when she went out to smoke at intermission!