Our love affair with Nancy J started with an e-mail message that she sent to a member of ETS.
Please bear with me reading this letter, as the contents are not the norm. I live in Cleveland, I am 45, and haven't been to a concert for 30 years. I tried ticket master for the NIN concert in PA, but I was always being timed trying to purchase a ticket with my dial-up computer. Never got the tickets.
After googling, I went to stubhub and to the total cost of $115, I was ready to purchase a general admission with a guarantee front row seat. If I go back and buy the ticket, what is general admission?
1. Do I camp out in my car, attend the concert with disheveled hair, blotched make up and wrinkled clothes? At my age, I need 'cute' as much as possible.
2. Does a stampede occur at some point when the gates open and the cattle hustled in? Will I be crushed in the herd?
3. If I am deceived and get a nosebleed seat, am I allowed to bring binoculars? Will I get a freedom frisk by armed guards?
I'd appreciate your thoughts and assist. Toledo was there and Cincy is looming. Since it's my first concert in eons, I felt the home state of PA would be a whopper and the crowd would warmly welcome one of their own. That is an experience I'd like to be part of. It will be special because the fans of Pennsylvania will give themselves wholly to Reznor, as he consistently gives to them. Loyalty means something to him.
On a personal note, the only songs I ever heard from NIN were Head Like a Hole, Closer and Sanctified. In January of this year, I heard Only and knew instantly it was Reznor. His voice has not changed one iota. I purchased the music. The falsetto notes and haunting piano grabbed me. Musical change is in the air.
With the grueling task of touring, one knows Reznor will not be doing this indefinitely. I truly believe will one day he will be an even more magnificent producer combining classical, industrial and rock. We have a just a touch of the future in his latest endeavor. If he works with an orchestra, I'll not be surprised. This is a career to watch and applaud. I look forward to his musical future. As long as "it's him", he'll never fail. "To thine own self be true."
Another point, I've never seen a NIN video; I've never seen Reznor on TV as I haven't watched television going on four years; and I've never heard him speak. Except on Only when he almost nearly talks. It's a great dance song, too. I burst out laughing when he sings, "I just made you up to hurt myself". A classic line.
What I'm telling you is since late January I ate everything NIN and was fascinated. Good grief, there's even a sight dedicated to his height! The poor bastard. When your public property they eat you alive. No thanks.
I was glad Reznor did not justify being smacked in the face performing in Michigan. When you are a libation, it's amazing the piano is the only thing he pushed over. It took great restraint not to completely lose it I would not have been as gentle. It was cruel and I'm sure it cut deeply. Just what he needs, to trust people even less. Not!
Reznor is now a locomotive on a track, hurtling at top speed. He is really alive for the first time in his career (and life!). Judging from the photos on the internet, he's in his healthiest form ever. His wits are about him and he means business. Glancing at the tour dates is proof enough.
Bear with me as I want to share something interesting with you. You will appreciate this.
I have been reading "The Fountainhead" by Ayn Rynd. The book is about an architect who went against the norms of society and what was expected of him. She wrote Atlas Shrugged, too. But in The Fountainhead, change the word architect to musician, and Trent Reznor's name is all over the place. It is what he is, it is what he believes in. Instead of creating buildings, Reznor does not "make" music, he creates it. "The Fountainhead" easily could have been about him. It is, in a sense, as Ayn Rynd devoted this book to people like him. An example. I took one paragraph almost verbatim but changed from it architecture to musician: ...
"There is no personality stamped upon that music -- and in this, my friends, lies the greatness of the personality. It is the greatness of a selfless young spirit that assimilates all things and returns them to the world from which they came, enriched by the gentle brilliance of its own talent. Thus a single man comes to represent, not a lone freak, but the multitude of all men together, to embody the reach of all aspirations in his own. ....
Those gifted with discrimination will be able to hear the message which Trent Reznor addresses to us in the shape and form of his music, to see that the simple and dynamic chords are the solid bulk of our working classes which support all of society; that the drums and bass are the souls of the common people, of the countless anonymous ones alike in the uniformity of brotherhood, reaching for the light; that the emotion in his voice, rising from his life ... is in the rich soil of the broad masses. .....
In answer to those who consider all critics as fiends devoted solely to the destruction of sensitive talent, we wish to thank Trent Reznor for affording us the rare--oh, so rare!--opportunity to prove our delight in our true mission, which is to discover talent -- when it is there to be discovered. And if Trent Reznor should chance to read these lines, we expect no gratitude from him. The gratitude is ours."
But Ayn Rand also explains in her introduction what CAN BE as I mentioned earlier, i.e., Reznor's future musical career: "This view of man has rarely been expressed in human history. Today, it is virtually non-existent. Yet this is the view with which -- in various degrees of longing, wistfulness, passion and agonized confusion--the best of mankind's youth start out in life. It is not even a view, for most of them, but a foggy, groping, undefined sense made of raw pain and incommunicable happiness It is a sense of enormous expectation, the sense that one's life is important, that great achievements are within one's capacity, and that great things lie ahead."
And finally from The Fountainhead:
"Yet a few hold on and move on, knowing that the fire is not to be betrayed, learning how to give it shape, purpose and reality. But whatever their future, at the dawn of their lives, men seek a noble vision of man's nature and of life's potential." Reznor's statement, "The grammys make me hate music and everyone in the ass licking industry" proves my point that Reznor is indeed "a fountainhead". "The desperate battle waged by this musician whose genius and integrity were as unyielding as granite...". "Of the denunciation unleashed by an enraged society against a great innovator." MTV anyone? Good Lord, it's too beautiful Meathead! But this last line, "It poses one of the most challenging ideas ever presented in the field of music today -- that man's ego is the fountainhead of human progress."
Interesting, yes? What I've gleaned from bits and pieces of you is that you are in agreement. I sense you are devoted and loyal to Reznor and that you understand the words of Ayn Rand regarding men such as Reznor. We do not possess her writing talents. She spoke for us.
I've taken enough of your time and thank you for the courtesy of reading my thoughts, which I've shared with no one. I am on the outside peeking in as I'm low profile and private. The PA concert means a great deal to me Meathead, so please give me your honest feedback. I will be easy to spot; I'll be the blue-haired broad with bifocals, sensible shoes, and a hearing aid. I'm kidding. Sincerely.... and peacefully,
Miss Nancy J. Cleveland, OH
PS: To prove your power, I voted today that Trent Reznor has the "best ass". Honestly, I've never seen his butt.
She cleverly signed her name and location so we could later identify her posts as a guest to ETS in the March 7, 2006 Cleveland Tour Journal.
First concert in 30 years. Will be 46 in May. Became NIN fan in Jan. 2006. Only knew 3 other songs, never seen NIN videos. Glean web for all news and photos. Went to PA from Cleveland for 3/7/06 concert. In evening sat at Avalon Hotel bar for a few with die hard fans til 7:30. No rush to arrive for preconcert. Only wished to see Reznor. Lots of "old" folks like me! Spiral folks already lining up at 1:00 outside. Was only person present in back of Erie Civic Center in afternoon. Five red semis for equipment, three Prevost coaches present. Two coaches closest to sidewalk held technical group. Met the cook from New Zealand and Adam, NIN's runner for everything and met driver for the band. Was told Reznor and band would arrive around 4:30 and was right on time, with Reznor coming in 15 minutes later. Watched one coach pull up and saw quite closely three band members exit coach and enter building. Stood quietly ALONE, quite near. Baboon security guard bullied me into leaving area. Said I might be a threat. He was a total asshole. Went across street and watched Reznor's coach pull up with Reznor standing in front in white Tshirt. First thing exiting coach was small guy with greyhound. Dog spackled in color, quite beautiful. Watched Trent's driver rubbing her head as she waited to leave bus. Dog takes long whiz on teeny piece of grass. Reznor exits coach with bulky, black down coat, faded blue jeans and bag. Was across street but close enough. Reznor keeping hair short, looked recently buzzed again. Reznor's coach closest to building. Was told by cook Reznor is fussy with food, wants home cooking. Comment no surprise; Grandmother probably quite a cook back home. Very, very nice people, this crew. Down to earth and quite friendly to me. (Except baboon security guard who I noticed never had a badge which must be showing at all times). After Reznor goes in civic center, band already tuning up; could hear from outside. Various people secure area for-- I was told--lockdown. Only about 3,000 fans. Arena could hold about 6,000. EXCELLENT OUTSTANDING concert. Tickets read 7:30 but NIN appeared at 8:30. Reznor packed with high energy. Absolute pleasure to watch. Can hear every word he sings. Threw a total of 7 water bottles to audience. First three songs we were frozen in place watching him. Shock of seeing in the flesh. He threw tamborine in, too. Knocked microphone stand over a few times as well. Visuals were unbelievable and moving. Most audience stood during concert. Most fans well into adulthood, not lots of young kids. Extremely courteous. During end of Head Like A Hole, raced to back of building. Around 20 freezing butts off. Two limos parked waiting for Reznor, kin and friends to head to Mercer for family/down time. Grandfather not present. Was told Dad not present because he wasn't feeling well. We thought it may have been Trent's nephew and bud sticking heads out of limo sunroof as it pulled away. Baboon security guard didn't order us all off the sidewalk -- only me earlier when I was ONLY ONE THERE. I thought that was really, really shitty. Had no camera, no desired autograph if chance came. Was not screaming, shrieking fan. Just a quiet observer. Like I said, it's been 30 years. Just wanted to see the man in the flesh, that's all. Watched all semis pull away. We figured Trent went in limo though lighting was bad -- would have been easy to miss him. I doubted he'd make appearance to fans being bitterly cold and coming off illness. Just hoped for another glimpse. Technical coach pulling away watching "Meet the Frockers" and we laughed. Too bad about Erie, a fading city. During concert Trent said something like: "All of the depression I've suffered, the angst, anger and melancholy I went through...well, it was from living in Pennsylvania for 18 years." It was funny because he was serious til punchline. Applause to the crew because they're like clockwork. Reznor is a locomotive barrelling down the track...it's all business and he's serious. The overdose, addictions, death of his Grandmother, hurricane, and getting double-crossed by Malm...time to wake up and smell the shit. He means musical business and I believe the best is yet to come. Looked like about 60 people from Spiral for meet-n-great. Erie police at this point but wonder if they all got in. Thanks for listening.
It was easy for those who'd read the original e-mail message to connect this post to Nancy J. We were especially enthralled by her attention to detail, her apparent racism, and the stalker-like quality of the post in general. Later on she posted again as Nancy J to complain about the "baboon" security guard at the Cleveland venue:
Sorry, it's me again, but an interesting point. When I saw Trent getting off the coach, the "security" guard, another guy and Trent turned around and looked at me, as I was standing across the street. I thought that was weird and wondered what baboon said to them. That I was a madwoman? That I had to be escorted from the property? When I was by myself at the back of Erie Civic Center and the jerk approached me I was pleasant. I explained it was my first concert in eons, I was obviously well-behaved, obviously alone, and I even offered him to search my purse and jacket, just to show I was a normal gal. What galled me was Idiot really enjoyed a wee bit of power, or what he thought was power. He said, "I don't know you and you could be a threat to me." I should have asked him on the spot to see his identification, as I never saw his NIN badge at any time, or anything remotely smelling of security. No badge, no nothing. And he looked dirty, too. It was my only chance to see Trent Reznor up close and that was all I wanted. I wondered if he spooked Trent in thinking I was a crazy fan. That moment really killed me.