A letter of peace from a love that brought costly thrills
| June 6, 1975
We are at the Ohio State Fair. You remember those, don't you? The candied apples, popcorn, cotton candy, kids screaming, and teenagers holding hands. Strolling the Midway, we watch carnival hawkers entice people into tents to see "the man with three arms", "the boy whose skin is like a fish" and "the fattest lady that ever lived". It is a strange, staged but exotic world. It isn't so different from the wild world of rock and roll stardom.
When your band 'Steel Velvet' played, I was sure each song was written just for me. Your lyrics knew the bloom of young love. Your lead guitar riffs made my knees weak. I was fire and then ice melting at your feet.
All the little groupies thought you were singing to them. I knew better. I was the one sitting on a Marshall stack watching your every sexy pose. After all, a guitar is shaped like a female body and your hands make love to it. They throw their lacy bikinis' and flash you. You laugh, flirt and even kiss a few. After the show, I knew not to cling too close, watching you autograph someone's boobs. It was all about the show of rock and roll. But you always went home with me.
I remember us in love; so crazy into each other. The carnival lights and 'Tunnel of Love' ride made our fantasy life seem bigger and brighter.
"Danny, tell me again what will our life be like?" I would beg.
"I will be a Rock God. People will come from places far away to hear me play."
"So we will have lots of money, a huge house, and kids?"
"Yea, babe, whatever you want." It was a crazy game we all played, young and invincible and anything was possible.The guys were looking to hook up and girls were young and hot or they didn't get back stage passes.
Our life was like a wild fair. The magical medicine chest was always open, "Try this, babe, it will make you mellow." If you felt too sleepy and needed an upper, there was that too. Mother's little helper was a request away.
Then we'd fight, and life became tilted mirrored rooms. I never was quite sure if it was me, you, or our insane combination.
We'd ride into that haunted house, make wild love, then exit laughing on the other side.
Like starting at the bottom of a roller coaster, climbing the hills, groaning against tough times.
Then the check from the gig would come in and we'd go on buying sprees. The rush, exhilarated feelings, all took my breath away.
I walked a balance beam, not too far to the left or right. Always afraid, I knew we would fall and I prayed for a cushion, an easy bounce back.
Then along came the ultimate test and since you didn't seem to grow up; I had to. I know you are a talented musician that is a purist, wrote some beautiful songs with meaning but to please the public, songs had to have a hook. People can be so superficial. That was what made the money, the songs that stuck in their heads. Easy three chords, lines you can remember and emotionally grab your crotch.
You know I worship the music made during those times, it is the soundtrack of our life. I play it all the time but my favorites are the songs that didn't hit even #10. So many great bands, with such talent it still blows me away to listen. Your guitar solo, with your 1958 Strat, in "Lost in Your Eyes" is as powerful as anything Richards has done. The vocals are just luminesce, they give me goosebumps. Your gift of vocal chords that cry is so special.
The best times were always a acoustic guitar, a custom song written about us and your complete attention. The feelings were so real but alas, the show must go on.
These are better days; the highs aren't peaks and the lows I take with grace. I bring sparkling images out of dreams, into the sunlight and claim them for myself.
I have learned to plan a safe future. Some days I juggle to keep the best ahead. One thing I do know, I learn from mistakes. Always know that I will never regret the past. It was adventure, excitement, fun, loving times plus heartache. You gave me the gift of a lifetime.
Peggy is three now. She is a beautiful combination of your soulful eyes and my out of control auburn hair. She has a sweet melodic voice and sings to the radio. She loves that expensive play guitar you sent her. You would adore her moves. I put Janis Joplin on and she goes crazy. She is your child, Danny, loving all the attention she can get. She holds a room captive in her little hands.
Tonight, she and I will ride the ferris wheel, savor cotton candy and hot dogs, and laugh. We miss you and always look forward to seeing you. Our life moves forward with little girl dreams, musical magic and angels on our side.
Rock on! Take care of yourself,
By Kathie Stehr