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Big metallica fan no see the concert
Ok I'm a huge metallica fan ever since i heard sad but true and enter sandman. I've experimented to their older albums and bought their new album and heard a few in between black and death magnetic. My problem is that my uncle didn't want me to go see them because of a rough crowd so to say....me i could careless what the crowd is like i just wanted to go see my favorite band is all....tell me how thats fair? they were either goin to baltimore or they was playing up in york pa.....and i didnt go see em because of an over-protective uncle :(

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The KISS Coffeehouse-THE BEST TWELVE HOURS EVER!!!!
I just went to the grand opening of the [b:3762a6cbcc]KISS Coffeehouse last week to meet [i:3762a6cbcc][b:3762a6cbcc]Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley and I thought I would give music fans here a FULL report of my trip, from start to finish!

Well first off, due to my being just a tad excited
about the trip, I got only six hours of sleep before
going into work an hour and a half early. I had gotten
permission from my supervisor at work to leave early
if we got all our work caught up. I work third shift,
from 11 PM to 7 PM and really wanted to avoid daytime
driving as much as possible to avoid traffic. So, bags
fully packed, sodas in the cooler and ALL of my [b:3762a6cbcc]KISS
albums ripped to my MP3 player, I headed to work at
9:30 PM.

We finished all our work by about 3 AM and I headed
out the door. We had had thunderstorms off an on all
night but, as I headed out the door, it wasn't
raining, which I thought was great. Except, by the
time I walked the six feet to my van, the sky opened
up, rainging harder than it had all night! Sheesh. I
need to stop at Walmart to get some oil and a couple
of other things, so I figured it would stop, or at
least lessen, by the time I got out of there. No such
luck about 20 minutes later when I came out and it was
raining as hard as ever. Even with my umbrella, I got
soaked and had to go into my bag for a dry shirt to
drive in. But, come hell or high water (which I did
hit in several places), I WAS going to the beach RIGHT
NOW! So, off I went, hitting I-385 to head to I-26,
but reducaed to 35 miles an hour because of the
blinding rain. Of course, to make matters worse, one
of my windshield wipers flew off (passenger's side
thank goodness) going down the highway. Being the
compulsive trip planner that I am, I had bought
replacements at Walmart. So, once I got past the rain,
about thirty miles later, I stopped at a rest stop and
replaced. Though it turned out I didn't need them the
rest of the way to MB.

The rest of the trip was uneventful. I stopped in
Florence, about an hour and a half from MB and filled
up my gas tank and continued on to MB. Once I got into
Conway, about 7:30, I hit some severe traffic, taking
me 30 minutes to go the last 10 miles to the beach. I
stopped at Mammy's kitchen, which has been there for,
at least, thirty years, and got some breakfast. If you
ever make it to the beach, you gotta do Mammy's for
breakfast. $5.99 all you can eat breakfast buffest
can't be beat. My Grandfather and Grandmother worked
there back in the early 80's. I actually was sitting
and could look out the window and see the apartment I
had in the early 80's!

At this point, I was severely wiped out and decided to
check what time I could check in at my hotel. Check in
wasn't till 3 PM but they were nice enough to let me
check in early. So, I crashed for about 10 hours about
11 AM. It took me a while to get going once I got up,
so I didn't make it to the coffeehouse that night, as
planned, but hit a couple of bars instead.
Studebakers, which had opened when I lived there, is
celebrating their 25th anniversary this year. THAT
will make you feel old!!! I got back to the hotel and
decided to crash about 6 am and get a couple more
hours of sleep.

I got up about 8:30 AM and got ready to go, making a
stop to buy sunscreen, and got to the Coffeehouse
about 9:20. They ahd said they weren't allowing people
to line up till 10, but there were already about 20
people ahead of me, some there since 6 AM! I should
have just gone there at 5 AM!

At first, everybody seemed a little shy, but finally
we started talking to each other and having some fun.
I met some cool people, like Franklin and April from
Atlanta, Nick from Ohio and Jimmy and his family from
Virginia. We proceeded to settle in enjoy the day,
even though it was already hot. Plus, thunderstorms
were predicted for the afternoon. I was prepared with
sunscreen, a camp chair and, a huge umbrella. It did't
take long for me to start using that umbrella for
shade as there was none to be had nearby.

Now, at this point, I STILL had not been inside the
KISS Coffeehouse, just had seen the exterior.
Everybody around me quickly decided to make a pact
that we could go get food and drinks, bathroom breaks,
etc. while the people around would keep our place in
line. Not being a coffee drinker, I decided I was
gonna go inside and get a frozen hot choclate and
check the place out. Unsurprisingly, the place was
packed with a ten minute or so wait. I quickly scanned
the decor and memorabilia while in line and decided to
go back the next morning for pictures.

Very cool interior and super friendly young kids
working there who were all caught up in the
excitement. I noticed that, especially for KISS there
was a limited amount of merchandise, with just a few
T-shirts, coffee mugs and bags of coffee. I was really
hoping for a bumpersticker, too. LOL In addition to my
frozen hot chocolate, I picked up a brownie. Let me
tell you folks, both were incredibly good! I want to
figure out how to make the frozen hot choclate at
home!

Some folks got a little tense because the staff kept
telling people they didn't know if Gene and Paul were
gonna do the meet and greet but just do the ribbon
cutting. Plus, they had said we wouldn't be able to do
pictures or get autographs. I already knew they
weren't going to autographs, so didn't bring anything
with me for them to sign. But, several people decided
to hit some of the local shops at Broadway at the
Beach and find something, just in case. Eventually, I
did the same, finding this cool shop called
Retroactive, which had TONS of KISS stuff. Way more
than the Coffhouse even! I found a poster JUST IN CASE
and then made my way back to my spot in line.

As the day wore on, the line slowly extended. A few
people lining up in the afternoon, but not to the
extent you might have expected. By about 3 PM there
were only about 50 to 75 people in line. That was
about the time the sky opened up. The rain was hard
and furious for about 30 minutes, with the umbrellas
only effectiove a little bit because of the wind.

But, NO ONE left. A few people sought shelter under
nearby awnings or doorways, but everyone stayed close
by. The KISS Army proved it's mettle this day! For a
brief period, everyone was wet and it was a little
cooler, but that changed quickly as the heat became
compounded by the humidity from the rain. Still, as
the heat and humidity became oppressive, we h--- in
there. By this point, many of us had been there six
hours or more and there was NO WAY we were quitting
then. This is about the time the line started getting
longer. Seems like a lot people, wimps I say, waited
until after the rain to come out. By about 5:30 PM,
the end of the line was well out of sight around the
corner and just kept growing.

Now, there was one thing that was kind of weird. We
are lined up outside of the KISS Coffeehouse, almost
100 percent of us in some kind of KISS shirt, sporting
KISS tattoos, and people kept walking up and asking us
why we were there! Some of the guys near my started
telling them we were there for Elvis Presley, as a
kind of "aren't you the morn for asking that question"
joke. Later on, that changed from Elvis to Elton John.
Of course, this crazy woman that I knew from
KISSOnline when I was a moderator (she eventually got
banned)was just ahead of me in line and she decided
she had to ruin the joke, pissing off a lot of people.
But, I knew she would do something like that and had
warned the people, so no one was surprised. No one was
surprised when she started telling people Gene had
been in the night before and h--- out with her and her
friends, even going back to the hotel and hanging out
with them! Uh huh.....

I gotta say, it is amazing, even knowing how KISS
merchandises, how many different KISS shirts were in
that crowd. And also how many people have KISS tats.
The press started showing up after the rain and they
loved the tats, especially. For some unknown reason,
with all these other people to interview, I became the
media darling, with three newspaper reporters and two
video crews interviewing me. I wasn't doing anything
special to draw notice to myself. I guess they liked
my doorag as I seemed to be the only one wearing one.
LOL I ended up being quoted in both the Myrte Beach
papers and appearing live on one of the local TV
channels. I guess I am a star. LOL

They closed down the coffeehouse about 4 PM to get
ready for the grand opening. This is when the waiting
got really difficult as we knew we were on the
downside of the long day. Our anticipation levels
started rising.

About 6 PM, we started seeing the kids working in the
KISS Coffeehouse showing back up in KISS make-up.
Plus, a local cop started hanging out near the back
door. This really amped us up and everyone started
making sure they had their cameras ready. At some
point, someone pointed out to me that this woman who
had some tats I had taken pictures of was Lee, the
Goddess of Thunder herself from the VH1 fan club
special! I was shocked because neither of us had
recognized each other and we have talked on quite a
few occassions at Dragon Con and KISS Expos in
Atlanta! Of course, she was wearing sunglasses and,
the last time we had seen each other, she was in Gene
drag and I was in Dead Elvis make-up. LOL A few
minutes after that, I got the live video interview and
then pointed Mad Max and his cameraman in her
direction. :-)

Finally, about 7 PM or so, Gene and Paul showed up in
their white stretch Hummer. Instead of trying to go in
the back way, as most of us expected, they came in
past the crowd, waving and saying hello to everyone.
This made those of us who had been waiting near the
back entrance scramble, which caused me to get two
fairly bad pics of them coming in. One was fuzzy and I
got just Gene's face in one and Pauls Pauls shoulder
and hair as he turned away when I took the pic.
Luckily, some of the other folks near me got some good
shots, some of which have been emailed to me. I did
get one good shot of them inside during the meet and
greet later.

After G&P got inside, we settled in for the last part
of our wait. REALLY impatient now. And the crowd
outside the coffeehouse got huge, with people trying
to get a glimpse of G&P. By this point, one of the
Myrtle Beach cops estimated 5000 people in line to
meet them. That wasn't counting all of the people
crowded aroud the coffeehosue just trying to see them.
The crowd got so bad, I never did see, or hear, Paul
come out to greet the crowd and officially announce
the grand opening. I also never got a good look at
KISS Army, the tribute band that played the Hard Rock
stage later. I did see most of the Christine Sixteen
girls, but never got a picture of them.

At this point, I was getting really exhausted and we
were all practically squirming waiting while Gene and
Paul had their press conference and did their meet and
greet with the press. The minutes seemed to drag at
this point, but, finally, they opened the doors for us
around 8:30 PM. As we went in, we were told that G&P
WOULD sign one autograph for each person and we could
take pictures as they signed. That is when I got my
one good picture. I told Paul that I used to be a
moderator on KOL and he said he recognized my user
name. I don't know if he did or not, but it was still
cool. They really rushed us through the coffeehouse to
try and get everyone through. Unfortunately, I know
everyone in the line did NOT get to meet them.

Gene and Paul were only supposed to sign for about 90
minutes but ended up staying about 2 1/2 hours from
what I was told, but still, not everyone got to meet
them. I guess those folks will have learned to get
hardcore for the next opportunity and get in line much
earlier!

By this time, my camera battery was dead and the crowd
was crushing my newly autographed poster, so I decided
to head back to the hotel and missed out on the KISS
Army concert. I heard they were awesome though,
Christine Sixteen also performed, and Gene and Paul
addressed the crowd later, too, so I missed out on a
lot. Oh well. Of course, I also had eaten nothing but
that brownie all day, nor had I been to the bathroom!
So the hotel became a must, as did the nearby
McDonalds! Once I got back to the hotel, I found I had
not used enough sunscreen. When I took off my doorag,
I found a red face and white, shaved head. I looked
like a match! LOL I crashed about 11 PM after watching
the local news and seeing stories about the opening on
the a couple of channels.

The next morning, I got up about 9, packed, checked
out and headed back to the coffeehouse for pics and
souvenirs. They ahd given us a nice grand opening
postcard and guitar pick, but I definitely wanted to
pick up a little merchandise. I only picked up a
t-shirt and mug for myself, plus a mug for someone at
work who couldn't go down. I decided most of it I
could buy online anytime so didn't go for the other
mug, t-shirts, or any of the coffee.

Unsurprisingly, I wasn't the only person from the day
before who came back the next morning for pics.
Franklin, April, Collette, and several others were
there. It was great getting to reconnect again and I
hope we all get a chance in the future to meet up
somewhere.

I got lots of pics of the interior (the bathroom is
awesome) and exterior. The floor is cool, with
confetti, backstage passes and concert tickets
laminated into it. Plus, there are costume pieces,
guitars, boots, even a master tape from the Dynasty
album inside. Of course, they have video screens with
KISS concerts, KISS music playing and tons of
photographs. I can also highly recommend the lemonade.
;-)

Finally, I headed back to Retroactive and picked up
some more KISS stickers for my van and then headed
back toward home. The trip homes was uneventful, for
the most part, except a CV axle started going on me
about forty miles from home.

All in all, it was an incredible experience with cool
people,getting to finally meet Gene and Paul after
over 30 years as a fan, a cool place and, just a
highly fun time. I stood in line for almost 12 hours
to meet G& P for about 30 seconds, but it was worth
every moment! Even being broke, sunburned and
exhausted as I was afterwards, I wouldn't trade the
experience for anything. I definitely recommend
everyone take a trek to Myrtle Beach and check out the
[b:3762a6cbcc]KISS Coffeehouse.

If anyone is interested in the pictures, just contact me. :P

Patrick
a.k.a. [b:3762a6cbcc]The Fringe Element
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