Today author Lily Luchesi joins us to share about the band that's made the greatest impact on her life. Check this one out!
In 2004, I was about to turn eleven when I found the band that saved my life.
No joke. During a time when I was feeling fairly hopeless, these guys swooped in like mascara-wearing, black clad knights in shining armor, there to remind me that I wasn’t alone, there were “other people out there just as messed up” as I was (direct quote from the band).
I’m talking about My Chemical Romance, of course. Their music video popped up on TRL on MTV, and from one look, one note, I was hooked. This was a band that had an aesthetic, the sort of which I had been drawn to since I was a toddler.
In 2005, for my twelfth birthday, my mom scrounged up any extra cash we had to buy me tickets to their show at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago (notable location because there vocalist Gerard Way and guitarist Ray Toro wrote the first incantation of their song “Mama,” recorded with the legendary Liza Minelli).
And with some conversations with the right people, she got me backstage to meet the band. Needless to say, twelve-year-old me was ecstatic. So excited and nervous was I, that when Gerard asked me my name, I had absolutely no idea what it was. I was entranced that I was in that man’s presence, so much so my mind was a blank slate.
I burst into overexcited and grateful tears the moment I had met all the members, and their local A&R guy in Chicago forever remembered me as “the girl who cried after meeting the boys”. Not a great legacy, but oh well…
Time went on, and the band released their magnum opus, The Black Parade. Still yet, I went to every local show, attended record signings, and bought every piece of merch I could afford. I attended a special show in downtown Chicago after standing outside in the late autumn sleet and hail for thirteen hours straight. And it was worth it. MCR wasn’t a band, they were my life.
After their final album, Danger Days, was released, I was in a house fire. My mom had bought me tickets to a small, intimate show with them at the House of Blues, but I was so ill from PTSD I was afraid I couldn’t go. Somehow, my mom made sure she got me there, and once more, got me backstage through her connections at the radio station.
I was able to talk to the guys, and Gerard and his brother Mikey grabbed me in tight hugs, making sure I was okay, telling me it was all going to be all right. They were the kindest, most wonderful people from the moment I first met them, and even then, six years later.
After MCR broke up (I cried, I admit it), I kept supporting Gerard in his comic book endeavors. I, myself, am a little superhero obsessed, so this venture was something I could get behind 110%. Despite crippling anxiety and depression I still battled, I attended every Southern California comic book signing I could get to, even riding a bus for four hours to Anaheim from Los Angeles, and four hours back.
Gerard has always meant that much to me. He showed me that being creepy and weird and nerdy all at once wasn’t a bad thing, and despite what people said, I always had a home within his art, be it music or comics. It was more than his lyrics and the message they sent: it was the message HE sent to me and countless other MCRmy members. IT was the feeling if being understood, of always having a place to go to and belong. His art became my home in a strange way that I cannot explain.
I started loving Gerard Way in 2004. I’m now almost twenty-six years old, and I will love him forever, because his words did something wonderful within me when I was just a kid whose mom bought her black lipstick at Walgreens.
Many bands have come after My Chemical Romance, and may frontmen and lyricists, but there will always be a certain sort of dark magic about MCR and Gerard. The kind that settles deep into your soul and makes a home there for eternity.
Follow author Lily Luchesi here:
Author of the Landry's True Colors Series, the Cecily Taylor Series, the Star Series, and Dating the It Guy.
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