“A frivolous society can acquire dramatic significance only through what its frivolity destroys.”
― Edith Wharton
March 1995: The first stop was my friend Ann’s house. As my manager, she would oversee this first leg of my first tour, ‘Chameleon in Motion: The Friendship Tour‘ and we were departing for a weekend in Potsdam, NY. From the bleak winter doldrums of Boston and Brandeis, I was headed into bleaker terrain. Someone hadn’t anticipated that early March was still winter, so with a torn vintage faux fur coat, and a colorful silk scarf tied to the antenna of my parents’ Blazer, we began our trek northward. I hadn’t been that excited and happy in a long time, and my giddiness now was mostly because of Ann, and our destination of seeing another friend, Missy.
The roads were caked with dirty snow, while more pristine expanses of white stuff stretched out in the distance. We stopped at the edge of a little lake at one point, and somewhere there’s a photo of me in a sea of white, arms folded across my chest to keep warm, but smiling a broad and genuine smile for Ann, and for the hope of a tour.
Back then a tour was just my way of emulating Madonna in a mostly-delusional manner. It consisted not so much of performing, though in some way everything I did back then was a performance, but more of traveling around the Northeast visiting my friends at their respective universities. From Cornell to the Crane School of Music, from RIT to U of R, and from Brandeis to SUNY Albany, it was more properly a college tour, but it was becoming something more. On each stop, prompted by me or gleefully taking the reins themselves, my friends had the generosity and good hearts to treat me like a visiting celebrity. Everyone should be so honored at some point in their lives. Because of this, the notion of being on tour was more than just a whimsical fancy (even if not by much.) For that, I owed my friends much. They didn’t know how much they saved me, mostly from myself.
As we wound our way along the curving roads to Potsdam, listening to Aretha Franklin and laughing our asses off over nothing, my very first tour began. It would be one way of coming into my own, even in the adopted emulation of an idol, and it would be the state in which I flourished. In running away from every home I’d known, I found a way of making a home within. That has proven to be just as valuable now as it was back then. In the quiet, snowy start of my first tour, all that lay ahead.
This time around, things are decidedly different, but in many respects I’m still the same person who set off with my friend Ann to parts not-so-unknown. The Tour Book is a bit better (professionally printed, and a whopping 232 pages – a far cry from the hastily-assembled black-and-white photo-copies from the basement of the Brandeis Library) and my style is slightly more refined (never again will I be mistaken for a clown at Ponderosa), but the same wonderful cast of characters awaits my arrival, and the same joy I felt at seeing friends and family in the heightened sate of Touring is about to be revisited.
The Final Tour.
The very last time.
And you’re invited to come along for the journey…
~Tour Title Reveal Coming Next Week~
Back to Blog
“You’re not well enough for the story they’ve planned.” – Isabella Blow