An angel named Devil: The night I met Jonathan Davis.
This is the tale of how one man taught me dreams do come true.
…The story began earlier, before that night. As you know from my previous posts I begged and pleaded and did all I could to try and get the concert’s 18+ restriction changed, to no avail because in the end it was Jonathan’s promoter who made the rules. Alex, the manager of the Junkyard, told me he’d call on Friday if anything came up. To my dismay the phone never rang and I was left torn between feelings of disappointment and then, more determination than ever to show the Universe what I was capable of. My parents didn’t have so much faith; I had to argue with my mom to drive me back and forth to the Junkyard all night. They just thought I had expectations that were too high.
7/6/12- At 6pm we left for the Junkyard. When we got there it was virtually deserted. I scoped out the parking lot for a tour bus or any black cars and found none. We agreed to leave and come back around 8. We were driving home when I saw going the opposite direction a giant Hummer stretch limo. My mom looked at me and said ‘You’re not going to be satisfied unless we see where it’s going, will you?’ I saw that limo and I was nearly sure it was him. We went to the light to make a U-turn but the light took so long we lost it. Just to check we drove by the back parking lot of the Junkyard but didn’t see it there. Looking back, I believe that Jonathan was staying at one of the nice hotels on that highway stretch and that limo was taking him there from wherever, the airport, probably.
We went back at 8 and saw there was still no sign of JD or any concertgoers. We stayed until 9:30 when they started letting people in. Now, you are probably wondering, ‘where are you? Standing outside or what?’ No. My mom and I were being creepy stalkers and sitting in the car the entire time. Not gonna lie. I was honestly afraid of the people I saw outside. They did not look friendly (or later in the night, sober) and I didn’t want to attract attention to myself. Dejected, I went home and sat on my bed and listened to Path of Totality in full, staring up at the ceiling and wondering what the hell I do this stuff for. I mean, the chances I’ll see Jonathan is nearly zip, I’m not welcome there, all I’m doing is constantly battling everyone to try and get something I want. I thought I was having good luck. I prayed. To Jonathan. Every day, I looked at that poster on my door and asked for my one dream to be made reality. Now what? I felt like a fool, going back and forth just to see nothing. Just to be reminded of what I’ll never have. I got a little mad at Jon. I really listened hard to Sanctuary and felt its meaning. I cried for a little bit and almost lost my will to go back one last time. I had willed, willed with all my might, day after day, to bring Jonathan to me. And now…? I got myself together, now in a pretty pissed-off mood, and my mom and I drove to the Junkyard for the final time, at 11:00. I almost began to freak out when I still saw no sign of Jonathan in the parking lot. He was worrying me sick. Do you know how close he cut it? 11:45pm. 15 minutes earlier we saw a black SUV leave the parking lot and it came back and parked right out back of the venue. My mom said, ‘Look. I bet that’s him.’ The doors opened and a dude in khakis stepped out. Then… from the other door I saw one dark lanky figure appear which was unmistakably Jon. I could barely stop myself from crying. I was more than 50 feet away but I could still see him twirl his hair. He shook hands with a few people and went inside. My mom and I were the only people to see him arrive. Later I realized that the dude probably went to go pick him up from the hotel- that’s why he didn’t get there until so late, Jon didn’t even have his tour bus on this trip. So I just sat there and my mom said ‘Well… now what? The only other chance to see him is after the show at 1. Don’t tell me you want to stay for the show.’ I looked at her. DUH. I’m not leaving without hearing his set, even if it’s from outside. So we pulled the car up as close to the front of the Junkyard as possible and parked.
There was a bouncer outside and some really loud annoying girls who appeared drunk beyond belief but despite that when J Devil came on he was all I could hear. His voice is so strong it carried out the doors and down the road. I felt the fabric of space-time ripple. He started at 12:15. I’m not familiar with his songs apart from ‘Lick Me’ and ‘I’ll Fuck It’ but I could tell he was having a good time because of all the yelling. The bass shook our car. When ‘I’ll Fuck It’ came on my mom just turned to me and said ‘What did he just say?!?’ I just smiled. In my mind I imagined a visual to what I had just heard him tell the crowd- “I’LL FUCK YOU! I’LL FUCK YOU! I’LL FUCK ANYTHING!!!’ That was something I’ll never forget. I really wished I was in there. As the set continued I couldn’t help but cry. I wasn’t sure whether I was just torturing myself or if this really was getting me closer than before, at least hearing the show.
At around 1 my mom suggested that if I want to try and catch him out back we’d need to move quickly- he’ll probably slip right out and leave fast. So we found our original parking spot, overlooking the back lot. Then, on the spur of the moment, I took a chance and said, ‘there’s a space in the back lot- park there. It’s across from his car.’ Cautiously we relocated. We weren’t supposed to be back here. But then suddenly a blue car whizzed by us and pulled in right next to Jon’s car. Two girls got out and were waiting at their car, obviously for Jonathan. I was nervous. I asked, ‘Should we get out?? I mean, if they are there, then I’m not alone and he’ll have to stop, right?’ My mom was hesitant but I convinced her that YOLO and I slowly approached the two girls. In my hand was my Kerrang! poster and in my pocket was a silver Sharpie. I gave the camera to my mom and stressed to her the importance of taking as many photos as humanly possible. We were standing there when one of the two girls came up to me and I saw that she was actually an adult. She said, ‘Not to sound weird, but I’m Beth, from Kornspace?…’ Suddenly I recognized her. I talk to her sometimes on KS and I know she’s a huge fan of JD’s and she’s met him so many times they are friends. Online she told me she saw me at Hampton but I didn’t see her. Turns out she was in one of my photos with Munky. So, I felt a lot better seeing her there. JD will definitely stop for Beth. I told her about what I had gone through trying to get into this show, and asked her how it was. She’s not a dubstep fan but she went for Jon. I asked her friend, Christine, if he played ‘Spike in my Veins.’ He did. Then, four people with J Devil t-shirts came over and waited with us. It appeared that they had helped with the show. After about 15 minutes of waiting outside the back doors, we saw this guy poke his head out at us, counting. He disappeared and a thought went through my head- What if they have Jonathan exit through the small doors over there right next to his car? We’d never catch him then. About five minutes later, out of the corner of my eye, I see those small doors open, and that dark lanky figure comes down the steps. This was it.
(all of the photos will be posted separately in addition to being here- i just wanted you to see them in context, it enriches the story)
I turn to Beth and say ‘He’s over there’ and point. We start towards him and one of the guys with the t-shirts puts his hands up and stops us. After a few seconds Beth pushes through and I follow. I round the corner of the car and-
I gaze upon the form of Jonathan Davis. I stare at him, looking him over, seeing what he’s like in 3D. Although I saw him at Hampton, this was different. No boundaries. He’s here for us this time. I locked onto his face as he said Hi to everybody. He was looking a lot better than when I saw him at Hampton. His face wasn’t so skinny. And to my pleasant surprise, it was indeed Jonathan, not J Devil, that came out to greet us. As for the rest of him, gosh, he was thin. I could see the veins in his arms, and his priest clothes were baggy on him. But he was smiling. He looked happy to be here. During this time he was chatting with Beth about his smoking, as that’s what he was doing when he came outside. In the same hand was a can of Monster. He then looked around at the six or so people there and I knew it was time.
Before I could think, Jonathan came over in my direction. My mom took the initiative before I had a chance to mess it up and asked him if I could have a photo. He said, ‘Oh sure! Come here :) ’ I just absorbed his voice. He is so soft-spoken, but at the same time, there is energy and vitality in it, and I could sense the friendliness too. He was upbeat and really seemed happy to come out and mingle with us. Approaching him I make sure I say ‘My name’s Molly.’ My mom also decided to say for me ‘Yeah, she was really disappointed she couldn’t go to the show because-’ and as I stepped next to him I finished the sentence ‘I’m only 17.’ He said, ‘Oh, that sucks.’ My mom held up the camera and the unthinkable happens.He puts his arm around me. I was buzzing inside. I was ready to throw up. Then, right before my mom took the photo, for whatever insane reason, I nervously added, ‘I’m like your #1 fan.’ I don’t know what reaction he had because I wasn’t looking at him. Everything just slowed down in that moment before the photo was taken. In that moment I took in the feeling. The feeling of being that close to Jonathan. Warmth radiated from him- not heat, but a warmth that just pulled you in. His face was right next to mine, just a few inches apart. Maybe less. I was expecting his hair to look dirtier in real life but instead it was just beautiful. Somehow he didn’t smell like smoke, which I dreaded he would. He must’ve cleaned up inside because he wasn’t sweaty at all. I’d always wondered what he smelled like, and I can say to you that he smells clean. You just want to stick around him and hope it rubs off on you. Due to his hunch he was not much taller than me- he appeared only around 5’11” and so we were only a few inches from eye level. And then there was that hand around my shoulders. Oh god, I’ve always loved his hands but feeling them on me was something extraordinary. He is so delicate with everything he does, it felt like being touched by an angel. His fingers layed softly on my shoulder for what felt like forever. The flash went off and all of the feelings inside of me were captured in an instant on my face.
I didn’t realize at the time just what my face looked like. I also didn’t see Jon’s face until I looked back on the photo afterwards. And I nearly cried when I did. Everything in my dreams was made real in that moment. The look he gave was something you only see from someone who is truly happy and grateful to be there. Someone who cares, someone who sees what they mean to a person like me. And that made me break down. Not there of course. I was just getting started.
After the photo was taken we separated and he smiled and I said thank you. He looked at me and said with honesty “You’re welcome.” My brain clicked on and realized what I was holding. Before he walked away I approached him again and asked him, ‘Jonathan, do you think you could sign this? It’s a 1996 Kerrang poster.’ He said, ‘Oh, sure :) ’ I handed him my silver Sharpie (uncapped- I think ahead!) and after looking it over for a second begins to sign it. Standing next to him, I realize he is giving me his special “P” smiley. I nearly died. “P” stands for “PEACE” which back in the old days he would sign next to his name (well, his HIV) but over the years it was shortened and now he only gives it out on special occasions to either people he knows well or people he meets and likes. Watching him, I see how relaxed he was. He was taking his time and making his smiley big, not the compact structured “HIV” you see on the lithos or autographs he signs in a hurry. He finished and handed the marker and my poster back to me. I was so nervous I just said ‘Thank you!!’ again and again he looked at me and said ‘You’re welcome :) ‘.
I backed off then and the other four people with those J Devil shirts all started asking for photos and autographs. He was like ‘Oh yeah, sure!’ and ‘Yeah, come here man :) ’ I went over to my mom and she was fangirling, which I thought I’d never see. She’s like, ‘Are you done? Is that all you’re going to ask for? Get back over there!’ So I went back, and I see Jonathan turn and look at me. He comes over and says, ‘Hey, I’m just going to borrow your pen for a sec, ok?’ I give him the sharpie and he signs someone’s stuff then turns and gives it back. Stupidly I say thank you again, but not loud enough for him to hear. Jonathan surveys the small crowd, and seeing that now everyone is waiting for autographs he find me again and says ‘Actually, I’m gonna steal your pen again’ and uses it to sign someone’s arm and other items.
This girl told him she was going to get his signature tattooed the next day :D
Finally he came back over and handed me back my Sharpie. Just for good stupid measure, I say thank you one last time. I think this actually caught him off-guard, being thanked honestly by someone for everything, because he stopped for a second, turned back to me, and smiled- ‘You’re welcome :) ’ in a warm tone.
Somehow a part of my brain was working and I realized it would be a good idea to ask Beth if I could get a photo with me, her, and Jonathan together. She said sure and she asked Jonathan while he was still standing near me. So he stepped back behind the crowd while Beth got on his left side (right side looking at him.) I turn to my mom for one second to see if she has the camera ready and when I turn back there is a dude blocking my way to Jonathan. I stand there looking past him and Jonathan looks at me and beckons, ‘C’mon, get in :D ’ I push myself around the guy and nestle myself snugly on Jonathan’s right side like I was in the first photo. He waited until I was next to him and then he put his arm around me again. … And once again I felt like I was in heaven. I smiled, not so insanely this time, and my mom took the photo.
Looking at this photo, it’s priceless for me. It’s like we’re a group of friends. Granted, he does know Beth well, but to make me feel a part of the little BFFL party was really sweet. After the photo, he looked down and saw a piece of paper on the ground. Like a sweetie he bent down, picked it up, and said, ‘Oh, I think somebody dropped this…’ Beth claimed it and said to him ‘So… see you in Hyannis then Jonathan!’ He said ‘Yeah, see you then!’ and said goodbye. He went past us and addressed everybody, ‘Well, I gotta go to fuckin’ bed now! It was nice meeting you all :) ’ As a last comment, Beth said, ‘Aw Jon, you know you’ll be up til 5 in the morning working on music!’ he smiled and replied with something like ‘Ha, yeah, but I’m tired, I think I’m gonna go to fuckin’ bed. Bye everybody!’ He waved and as a group we all said ‘Bye!’ and waved back. It must’ve felt nice to not be harassed constantly for more and more by fans, just to be able to say bye and not have to argue. Ah, the advantage of playing someplace tiny where no one knows you! He got in the car and we dispersed as the car lights came on to back up. Dazed and amazed I went to the car with my mom and proceeded to retell the entire thing over and over again until 3 am at which time I finally went to bed and sat there, unable to sleep. I ended up having a strange dream where I was at a party with young Jonathan and I snuck in but he didn’t know and I was actually telling him the story several years later at my house. Very weird.
This experience… what can I say about this experience…
Very rarely do your idols live up to the expectations you create for them. You make them out to be someone they’re not. When you finally meet them, it’s almost certainly going to be a letdown. Ah- ‘almost’ is the key word there. Meeting Jonathan, he exceeded my every expectation. He was so kind, friendly, and open with this small group of fans, way more so than I could’ve imagined. I could sense the genuine gratitude he had for us being there and letting him play at this small local venue. I think he was flattered that there were a few real fans who cared enough to wait out back just to meet him. And I’d like to think I made a lasting impression on him. I think he realized just how much I cared about him, that I came here even though I couldn’t get into the show, just because I love him so much. And he doesn’t even realize what I went through just to be there and finally catch him at the right place, right time. But I think just standing there with him, he got a sense of it. My pure happiness radiated from me and I was beaming the entire time. I don’t think he meets a fan with as much love as me every day and I think him seeing how much he meant to me made him feel special, and he really returned the favor. I still feel his hand on my shoulder. All I want is to feel loved, y’know? And to get that feeling of appreciation from my hero is something that I will never forget. My only regret is that I was too caught up in the moment to tell Jonathan ‘Thank you for coming to New Hampshire.’ I just wanted him to know that playing places up here means a lot to someone like me who feels I live in that state where bands avoid. But no matter. I think Jonathan left here with a good impression of the fans here, and hopefully next time he’s booking he’ll remember lonely ol’ me and come back.
Jonathan was kinder to me than I could have ever expected and he truly was an angel that night. I’m surprised I didn’t see any wings on him ;) I’ll tell you, I was looking for a halo above his head the whole time. He’s just got to remember that there’s people like me, and all of us here, who love him and care about him, because life on the road can get pretty lonely and I think he needs a #1 fan now and then to remind him how special he is :)
Thank you all for giving your will to help make this a reality. If not for you, this might not have happened. We together altered the Korniverse and brought Jonathan to my side.
That night I got a gift that most fans with a meet-and-greet don’t ever receive- time with Jonathan, unhurried, uncrowded, and genuine. He restored faith in me. He is kinder than anyone I know in my life.
He taught me dreams do come true, if you believe they can.