In hindsight, I think it may have been the most beautiful, perfect pan of brownies I ever baked.
And even though I didn’t bake them for a Foo Fighter, I was still determined to share a little chocolate happiness with a famous musician. He just looked like he could use them.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Here’s what happened:
One of my newer musical discoveries, British alternative singer/songwriter Frank Turner, was coming to Dallas. I stumbled into the opportunity to see him via the kind offer of one of my Facebook friends who was going to see him and had an extra ticket. Lynn and I had never met in person, but we had bonded over all things Democratic, and later discovered we were both huge Foo Fighters fans. Lynn was one of the first people I discussed my dream job with. She didn’t think I was crazy. She was encouraging and positive, and reminded me that sometimes, you just have to put your dreams out there in order to have them come true.
If you don’t know Frank Turner’s music, you should. He’s funny and feisty and his sense of humor comes through in his music. His songs are peppered with expletives, so of course that won me over. His latest album, Tape Deck Heart, is pretty terrific stuff, IMHO.
I may have mentioned in a previous blog that I saw Frank perform on ‘Letterman’, and I’ve watched several of his music videos. The first thing I noticed about him was that he had spectacular dimples! And the second thing I noticed was that he was rail-thin. Almost too thin. Jeez! Doesn’t this guy ever eat? Someone should feed him.
And who better to do that but me? I’m a Jewish Mother. It’s what I do.
So, the night before the show, I baked the aforementioned pan of brownies. Just as an aside, you should know that I am famous for making brownies for any and all occasions, and for no occasion at all. I use a recipe that my mom shared with me years ago. I don’t claim them as my original creation, but I’ve baked more of these brownies than any other single item over the past 20 years. Literally, hundreds of pans of brownies have come from my kitchen. They have gone everywhere with me. And they are always a hit.
Lynn and I had agreed on a central meeting place where we were going to leave her car and then head to the Granada Theater on Dallas’ famous Greenville Avenue. We arrived a little early, and Lynn said I could find a parking place along a neighboring street, or if I wanted to park behind the theater, we could pay for it.
Paid parking in a well-lighted and attended parking lot right behind the theater sounded just perfect to me. As we pulled in, we parked right next to Frank Turner’s tour bus. Up close and personal!
What to do with the brownies. Hmmm…
At will call, I said to the attendant. “Hey, I brought Frank Turner a pan of homemade brownies. How do you suggest I get them to him?” He looked confused. Apparently, bringing baked goods to a live show is not common, although I don’t know why not. Seems like a perfectly lovely way to welcome a visitor to your city. He said maybe if I took them to the back door of the theater, I might find a roadie who would accept them and not call for security. We decided to ponder this idea over dinner.
We hatched a plan. I would write a note of explanation and slip it under the pan lid, and then we would go to the stage door, as directed. Neither of us had any paper in our purses, so I ripped a page out of my Rand-McNally road atlas (the page with the map of North Texas on it, just so Frank would remember where he’d had the best brownies of his life) and wrote this note:
Here are some homemade brownies to help with your ‘Recovery’! (if you don’t know, that’s the name of his big song from the Tape Deck Heart album.) I saw you on Letterman, and you looked like you could use some home-baked love. Just remember, everybody needs a Jewish mother!
I signed it with my Twitter handle (@FooishMother), and included my blog address.
We went to the stage door and peeked inside. Not a soul around. But sitting outside were multiple travel cases full of Frank’s gear. We figured that once the opening band was done, Frank and crew would roll their equipment in, so I left the pan of brownies under a tarp on the cases, and we headed inside to listen to the Smith Street Band and wait for Frank and his dimples to grace the stage.
And around 9:55 PM, they did.
Frank Turner is adorable. And he exudes so much energy and enthusiasm in his performance that you can’t even imagine him feeling anything but total joy while he’s out there. A review I read of Tape Deck Heart called it a break-up album, as it was apparently written and recorded after a failed relationship, but having seen him perform live, I didn’t get any sense of him being forlorn and miserable. Maybe by now he’s moved on. The Frank Turner I saw last week was high-spirited and playful. He put on a hell of a show, as did his Sleeping Souls, who seemed very much awake. They played for nearly two hours. It was a wonderful night!
The show ended, and we headed back to the car. Out in the parking lot, a small crowd had gathered outside the stage door, awaiting autographs. I looked over and noticed a lone folding table sitting where the equipment cases had been. Off to the side of the table, looking like an abandoned puppy, was my pan of brownies.
Lynn and I walked over, and I picked up the pan to investigate. My Rand-McNally note was right where I’d left it, under the lid. The brownies, untouched. I held them up, looked at the very substantial security guard standing by the door and said “Hey, will you do me a favor and give these to Frank?”
He looked at me suspiciously. “They’ve seen them.” I said “Well, they’re brownies. I made them. They’re the best brownies ever, and I want you to make sure Frank Turner gets them.” He nodded curtly, I set the brownies back on the table, and we walked away.
I have no way to know if Frank and the brownies ever crossed paths. I’ll probably never know for sure. It’s just as likely that Mr. Security dropped the pan in the nearest trash can, suspecting I laced them with anthrax or arsenic or a small explosive device. I suppose it’s also possible that the stage crew found them and had a grand old time eating them, which would be okay too. At any rate, I tried.
If Frank has put on some weight next time I see him, I’ll gladly take the credit.