a long way from high school: meeting vertical horizon

Equarius Hotel at the Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore.

Dearest ______,

The other day, my friend Curtis invited me to join her for afternoon coffees with Matt, Cedric, Jason, and Ron at the Equarius Hotel.  If you’d grown up in the 1990’s like I have, perhaps it would be best to mention that those four guys are, in fact, the guys from 90’s Alt band Vertical Horizon.

In meeting any close group of people (more so one that is as creative and individual as a collection of veteran musicians), I find that the most unique insights on everything can be had.  We were in a huge empty hall with six Louis XV- like arm chairs: just the four guys, Curtis and I sitting in front of them, and an intimate number of management and producers standing by the doors.

In the thick of conversations regarding music today and its evolution from 20 years ago, casual eruptions of laughter, the force that is reality TV musicality these days, enjoying Asian hospitality, near- swooning after meeting Paul McCartney backstage, etc… you try to process how quotable these people are, how other- worldly (for how many times in your own world can you actually talk about touring with Alanis Morisette oh-so casually?), and yet how present and real they still are when it came down to talking about pretty much everything.

Who knew, that 11 years after high school, I’d quite literally meet and talk to some of those people who’ve been distant and yet considerable parts of my formative / de-formative years.  I didn’t realize just how huge a part they were, until I casually sang to them:

Me:  Hey you know your song, (sings) “I gotta be honest, I think you know… you’re a god, and I am not…”

Matt and Cedric:  Yeah, yeah, of course (laughs)!

Me:  I hate that song!

Matt:  (laughs) Really?  It’s okay, we’ll stop playing it then! For you!

Me:  … no, ’cause they used to play that a LOT at our high school dances… and I distinctly remember not getting asked to dance by any of the guys at my school!  Like, not once… never!  And I really liked that song!   So when I hear it now,  I’m like, (sings with sobbing) “I gotta be honest… you’re a god… I am not…”  I hate that song!  

Everybody is laughing at this point, including their road manager…

Matt and Cedric:  Aaaaw… That’s just not right!  Not right!  We have to play this for you!  We’ll think of you when we play this song!  And you have to go up to the stage and dance with us!

Then Matt grabs me in a really tight hug.

So I say,  “Oh my god, this is a long way from my high school!”

“Wait until those boys see you now!”

TRUE STORY.  Ask my friend, Curtis- who was only too kind not to take any photos of me, thankyouverymuch.

For the complete afternoon tete-a-tete  with VH, follow Curtis’ Pinoy Star story.


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Photography and text by Author unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.

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