A Happygrrls Pre-Show:
The Much Music Video Awards, June 2003
So Michelle asks me if I want to hit the MMVA show this year. After some uncomfortable silence, I realize that she is not kidding and agree. She wants to see Sean Paul. I want to pull Avril Lavigne's hair.
Only In Essence would dare sport t-shirts of their likeness.
The day starts out muggy and hot. I roll out of bed, not sure of where I am or what day it is (i.e. a typical day). I call Michelle, thinking the awards start at 6:00 p.m. She notifies me that it's actually 9:00 p.m. Gotdamn! It's a school night! We make plans to meet. I really dislike crowds, so through some wishful thinking I hope Queen Street is not crowded.
But it is. The street is closed from Spadina to John, and when we arrive, the place is packed. I notice the red carpet, which is about two feet long and looks a little dirty. I suppose they didn't have time to dry clean it before the awards. There are security guards and cops milling about, telling people to stand back behind the streetcar tracks, although no one has shown up yet. This goes on for a while, so Michelle and I decide to nip over to Second Cup to get a drink.
The first limo pulls up, and if memory serves correct, it is some band I have never heard of. But hey, they're in a limo, let's scream! Slowly, other cars make their way down the street. They have a handy cardboard name card on the dashboard for easy access, so we don't have to bother with people we do not know or like. This is the Much drill: the cars drive down Queen Street, pull over to the side, the passengers jump out, and walk the red carpet for photo ops.
We spot a band that may or may not be Simple Plan. Then, my heart does a little flop as Sum 41 makes their way down the street, eating hot dogs. I admire their lack of pretentiousness, and also, Deryck Whibley is hot. I can't believe I cut him from my To-Do List. But I had to do it, as he's like 17 years old and I don't want to go (back) to jail. I ask Michelle to take a picture so that I can Photoshop myself in later.
Mmm, yummy. But now you know what I mean about the goatee.
Swollen Members pull up. We catch a glimpse of someone's arm. Some of these people do not want to breathe the same air as the common folk, I assume that's why they will not roll down their windows or acknowledge their horde of screaming fans (well, in some cases, "horde" means two or three). Someone in the band keeps playing with the window. I would totally do that too. Bif Naked looks amazing. Brassmunk shows up somewhere between all this, but I don't like their song so I pretend not to notice. A member jumps out of their limo and starts videotaping the going-ons.
By this time, the traffic is backed up. Way down the street, Michelle spots In Essence. Two of its members are dancing outside their limo. Sadly, no one notices or cares. A murmur goes through the crowd as someone next to us mentions Sean Paul's name. Michelle knocks the drink out of my hand to get my attention. "Did she just say Sean Paul?" she asks. "I don't know," I reply, looking dejectedly at my drink on the ground. "Did you say Sean Paul was here?" Michelle asks the misinformant, rather threateningly. The girl shrugs. She is such a liar!
Michelle spots Glenn Lewis walking down the street
with his posse. We accost him, and Michelle gets a photo op. He is gracious and nice and sweet, but his friends, as Michelle pointed out, look a little slutty. Glenn Lewis is a very small man.
Someone actually wanted Snow's autograph?
Sam Roberts drives a Chevy down the street, and stops to take pictures with fans. One woman throws the camera at her friend and basically jumps the man. I hope he does not think we know them. Someone screams, "I had that car when I was seventeen!" and Sam screams back, "Every Canadian should have this car!" Ah, someone down-to-earth. He has very pretty blue eyes too. Mya comes, but we miss her.
I spot a row of limos that have been pulled to the side while waiting. I run down the street and take a peek at the names on the dashboard. Disturbed…have no idea who they are. Anson Carter…have no idea who he is. Ryan Reynolds…have no idea who he is, then remember, then forget. Chris Jericho…why is he here? Trish Stratus…someone guy goes crazy when she is mentioned. A group of guys is also running around, a camera and microphone in their hands. Are they from our local cable station?
I spot a car and walk up to it. It's Disturbed, again. Why do I keep seeing them? They must think I'm a stalker. I pretend to be checking my hair in their windshield.
My heart does another flip-flop as Shane West's limo pulls up. Hey, he's still on my list! Hi, Shane! The guy at the front has his window rolled down, but I do not know who he is. Dude,
roll your window back up! I want to see Shane, not you! A young girl gives us a photo op when she knocks on the window to ask for an autograph. Shane is gracious, and also, she is wearing a t-shirt with his name emblazoned in the front. I make a note to bring a small child with me next year because people are nicer to them. He looks great, except for a small triangular goatee on his chin. I have a conversation with the girl next to me, who is thirteen and also loves Shane. It's all very teeny-bopper. I miss Danny Masterson's limo. At first I don't know who he is, and don't realize it until two hours later. He's also on my To-Do List. I curse myself for not being a fame-whore and throwing myself at every limo or otherwise expensive car that I see.
Sean Desman proved that he sucks. A lot.
Sean Paul's name is thrown around again, and Michelle is out for blood. Unfortunately, someone is mistaken again and it is, in fact, Shawn Desman in an SUV. He briefly rolls down his window, but when someone tries to take his picture, he rolls it back up and ignores his fans' pleas for a glimpse of him. As if that wasn't bad enough, moments later one of his handlers has a conversation with a Much Music employee. As I am super-nosy, I find out that Shawn is getting impatient and he wants to know what the hold-up is. What a jerk.
The cops and security guards kindly advise us not to tap on the windows of the cars. I feel bad for the celebrities, as they must feel like fish in a tank or cats in a kennel. The security is old, but very nice. No one has gotten stunned with a phaser yet.
Snow also comes in a limo, but his name card on the dashboard is not printed like every else's, but rather, written in black marker. Ha! Poor Snow. He probably just wants to stay in and order some Chinese. Maybe he scored some last minute tickets or someone lent him their limo for the night.
Avril Lavigne pulls up in an opened convertible with her band hanging out the back. She stops the car to sign autographs and take pictures. Suddenly, I don't want to pull her hair anymore. The traffic is stopped because she is trying to get in as many autographs as she can. One of her band members starts flirting with the girl standing next to us. It makes me want to put my cigarette in my eye to end the agony. She flirts back. He compliments her hair. Hey, it's called Clairol and it's #104 - Gothic Black. Have newfound respect for Avril (although her music is still questionable). Her band, not so much.
Ah, finally Sean Paul makes an appearance. But not soon enough for our liking.
Still no Sean Paul. But we do see Ashanti's car. In fact, she has several. Michelle waves to her and she waves back. I narrow my eyes at Michelle. One of the cars may or may not contain Irv Gotti. We proceed to make numerous jokes at Irv's expense.
The show starts and Michelle and I take off, disappointed that we didn't see Sean Paul. We wander back a while later just in time to catch Ashanti's performance. Mekhi Phifer introduces her, and suddenly she's on stage in a little white number. Her singing has greatly improved. It no longer makes me want to worship the dark forces.
Later that night, I come home and turn on my television to find the awards are still on. This thing has been going on for hours. But hey, we Canadians like to party. I turn the television off. I've had my fix of stargazing for the night. ¤ C.Ho.