Amelie Ayres has impeccable taste in music. Bowie. Bush. Bob. So when she finds herself backstage at The Keep's only UK gig she expects to hate it; after all they are the world's most tragic band. In fact she feels a grudging respect - not (obviously) for their music, but for the work that goes in to making them megastars. And when lead singer, 'Maxx', is not dressed up as a cross between Elvis and a My Little Pony, he is actually rather normal, talented and has creative struggles not too dissimilar to her own. But the next morning she wakes up and rolls over to discover a million new @'s on social media. Overnight, a photo of her at the gig has made her a subject of global speculation. Suddenly the world needs to know #Who'sThatGirl? - but for all the wrong reasons. All Amelie wants is to play her music. She's got the guitar, the songs, the soul and, in the safety of her bedroom, she's got the voice. But when it comes to getting up on stage, she struggles with self-doubt. Immaculate's a concept. Flawless is fake. But just sometimes music - and hearts - can rock a perfect beat.
One of the things that kicked off the writing of This Beats Perfect was my fascination with modern fangirlling. The access you can get to your favourite stars is amazing, not to mention the community. That sense of belonging is so special.
I’m going to bring it back to when I was 12 years old. Back then, there was no Twitter, no Facebook – in fact not much of an internet at all (at least not publicly available). No, back then, in order to fangirl to any real degree you had to get creative.
PHOTO CAPTION: My first ship. Drew and Corey.
Corey Haim, star of Licence to Drive and The Lost Boys was the love of my life.
But aside from catching up with goss in Dolly (an Australian teen magazine), and wearing down the VHS’s I hired on an almost weekly basis from my local video store, I had no means to get any closer to my beloved.
But he was my Harry Styles. The object of my obsession (at least for that year) and I was completely and utterly in love.
Guys, I actually freeze framed the part of the movie where he gives Heather Graham his phone number and wrote it down. It was a 555 number, which in the olden days was the fake prefix Hollywood used when they had to show a phone number on screen, but didn’t want a million people trying to call it and accidently reaching an actual human citizen. Did I dial those digits? You bet I did.
One afternoon, my fellow stalker and bestie Liz and I worked out (from forensically reading an interview) that Corey frequented the Hollywood Hills Country Club, so we decided to try him there.
We dialed the number and got through to a man at reception.
‘Hi, I wondered if I could speak with Mr Corey Haim?’
‘Umm, hello mam.’ Silence on line. ‘Just checking the guest list and he’s not here right now.’
‘Can we leave him a message?’
‘Um, okay?’ The man sounded confused. ‘I’m not sure when we’ll next see him. But I can try to get a message to him.’
‘WE LOVE HIM SO MUCH!’
Cue massive fits of giggles followed, probably, by squealing and maybe a few more gushing outpourings of l-u-r-v-e. Mercifully, I can’t remember.
It was amazing! It was such a rush! It felt pretty much as if we’d touched him. An Eighties version of a like, or maybe a block – we’ll never know. :)
Rebecca lives in Hackney with a one year old, a trumpet, 2 guitars, a keyboard, several percussion instruments and a guy called Bernie.
She spent her career traveling the world making Music TV for MTV, working on kids TV shows, and wrangling audiences for shows such as BBC’s Being Human and ITV’s Switch.
She has now turned that dab hand to writing racy tales of rock n roll for Young Adults.