rock goddess recap: “enjoy the slices…the depeche mode pizza party”

April 9, 2013

A peak into the totally rad life of AFROPUNK Rock Goddess, Militia in her ROCK GODDESS RECAP. In this installment Militia is just, YA KNOW, having a slice of pizza with Depeche Mode, NBD.

by MilitiA, AFROPUNK Rock Goddess

OK.  Enough people have asked me about this story so I finally decided to put it in print.  Folks, I give you the lurid and alluring tale of “The Depeche Mode Pizza Party.”

On Tuesday July 3, 2001, me, my then boyfriend and a friend of ours went to see one of my lifelong favorite bands of all time- Depeche Mode.  Now, I had seen my guys in concert once before but this time I wasn’t lawn surfing.  We had great seats right in the front, like, 9th row center.  Yes.  I was going to take in every bead of sweat, every nuance, every click ‘n’ clang, EV-ER-Y-THING.

As I was buying a bevy (back when you could buy a beer at Jones Beach!), I ran into a friend at the concession stand that was like “Oh ma gawd, girl, I have extra backstage passes for tonight – do you want?”  Umm…YES.

So, the whole concert, I’m getting hyped- ‘Hell yeah! I’m going to meet them!  Holy crap, what do I say that to them that they haven’t heard before?  That I play their music on the piano constantly?  That their songs were the soundtrack for years worth of masturbation for me…They’ve probably heard it all before.  Argh!’  My brain exploded with a splay of ideas as I sang along to every word of their show.

It was The Exciter Tour, DM’s tour to promote their 10th album by the same name, Exciter.  I had this ritual of always getting programs at shows, I used to collect them.  So, I purchased a DM tour book in hopes of getting it tagged up by the guys of DM. Martin’s being the one I sought after the most- he, being the main songwriter, co-founder and mastermind of the band.  I loved his British tenor vibrato, that bleached curly hair, his half-naked sallow frame and trusty black leather harness…  A combination that was oddly tantalizing. 

At 12 years old, I was introduced to Depeche Mode by my friend Jaime.  She would come over and we would watch their videos and concert footage, such as Depeche Mode 101. She would tell me stories like “I heard that Depeche Mode bring girls backstage after their shows and they FUCK them” and I would say, “WOOOOW” in astonishment.  I had never heard of such an exchange in my life.  The whole thing was very erotic to my innocent little ears.  Now, this was it.  I was finally going backstage… with a boyfriend.  LOL.  Just kidding.  Not wanting to get fucked, just wanting autographs. Really.

So, we go backstage… and we’re ushered into a gated area with a gazebo in it (yes, that’s right you read it: a gazebo) directly behind the stage.  There was a group of about 30 people- an odd mix of goths, groupies and new soccer moms. We stood and we waited… and waited… opening act Poe came by and sat on a road case outside the fenced in area with a posse of 6 or 7 fans that semi-circled her while she held her lil’ court.  Not interested, I was just waiting for Mr. Gore and the guys.  As we waited, I started chit-chatting with the only other black person there.  He was a well-dressed gentlemen in a jacket, button down and dress pants that was the spitting image of Martin L. Gore but with brown skin- who later revealed that he was Martin’s cousin.  No wonder I was so intrigued by MLG… turned out, he’s bi-racial. (His father is black.)  I guess we can smell our own.

Moments later, 4 crew dudes came busting through the gated area, wielding 2 blue coolers and several large stacked pizzas boxes.  They planted them under the gazebo and whipped the box tops open to reveal cheese and pepperoni delights— Umm what? Come again??  Definitely not how I pictured the kings of dark synth’s backstage post show action or any aftershow, really. 

Then, he appeared.  There was Martin L. Gore.  I’d seen his name in print a thousand times on my Depeche Mode sheet music.  I popped a string on a baby grand piano (the low G string, of course, which is really hard to do) while playing “Never Let Me Down Again” a song that he crafted.  I even had his solo stuff that didn’t even exist on most people’s radar.  I had mix tapes of his music with the same songs back to back like they were on repeat so I didn’t have to rewind the tape because I knew I had to listen to “To Have and To Hold” again and again until it was ingrained in me like the air I breathe.  And there he fucking was at my 9 o’clock. I slowly b-lined…

He’s signing away, small talking.  I’m next.  I finally go up to him and say “Hi Martin, I’m MilitiA. Your music means the world to me… I would be honored, if you would sign my program.” He looks at me, then looks up at the sky and says loudly “Alright, BUT THIS IS THE LAAAHST ONE.”  My female boner drooped.  My jaw tightened.  Did he just?? No wait, yeah, he did.  Martin L. Gore just pulled an asshole move.  I became conscious of my breathing as I had a silent debate with myself—>  ‘Take the fuckin thing when he’s done and walk away.’ ‘Wait, I’ve been dying to meet this guy and I tell him how much I love his music and he’s being a dick?  Fuck him!’ ‘You should back-hand him!’  ‘You should just walk away and not even take the program back.’  ‘You should scream, Oh what are you too tired to give back to your fans?  The people that fund your career?? Eat a dick!!’  Instead, I muttered, “Thanks,” while taking back the program and then walked away.

People were stunned, gazing wide eyed like, ‘Now what do we do with him? He’s clearly in a shitty mood and he’s not signing anymore, so…wtf??’ So…they started ravaging the pizza. (Emotional eaters, I guess.)  Then it was official.  We were at a full on Depeche Mode Pizza Party.

Next member of DM to appear was Andrew.  He sauntered up to the fenced in pizza party like a farmer checking on his livestock.  We spoke at length.  I couldn’t resist pointing out how strange it was having a conversation with a metal fence between us.  He said, “I don’t reaaahlly like crowds.”  Ahhh. K.  I suddenly heard screaming, the crew of soccer moms bum rushed one side of the corral- and there was DM frontman, David Gahan.  He scanned the pizza party and focused on no one, with a Diet Coke in his hand.  The soccer moms waived and yelled, “David! David!” and then he rushed off.  Great.  Their *Friends* haircuts and mom jeans must have scared him away.

We ended our convo with Andy, who was a pleasant guy, easy going…he made the experience not a complete disaster.  On our way out we checked the coolers for something to drink for our ride home.  Empty.  

I left feeling annoyed and stayed that way for a solid week after.  Wishing it was different.  Wishing I’d never met them.  My vision of them was tainted.  Years later, I have grown to get a kick out of this story.  Friends have been sharing it recently and coming up with pizza party inspired catch phrases referencing Depeche Mode song titles, such as: “Enjoy the Slices” and “Your own…Personal…Pizza.”  I can’t make this shit up, ya’ll.
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