Crystal Gerard: A Pursuit of Passion

Anything and everything music: live bands, spinning records, dance clubs, photography, creative coifs…  All her life, Crystal Jane Gerard has had a passion for rock and roll and a relentless determination to pursue it. And she’s proved it time and again: from writing an enthusiastic A+ English paper about meeting Adam Ant, to skipping a day of beauty school to catch John Waite leaving his hotel after a show, to walking out on a job for Benjamin Orr.

original cars pin croppedSince her early days in high school, Crystal has loved The Cars, especially Benjamin Orr, and everyone knew it! Her yearbooks were riddled with comments (and even sketches of Ben!) from friends who would mention her obsession when they would sign off for the summer. She had all The Cars’ albums and would pore over her collection, tallying which songs were Ben’s and which were Ric’s. Most of her favorite songs were Ben’s.

Right after graduating high school, Crystal attended beauty school, finished her certification in 1985, and launched into a career as a hairdresser. She had the world at her feet: she was young and pretty, she loved her job, and she spent all of her free time immersed in the music world.

In November of 1987, The Cars were touring behind their sixth album, Door to Door. Unbeknownst to fans at the time, tensions within the band were running hot. Ben was traveling separately from the rest of the members, and while it is true that he did not enjoy flying, I believe it was also a way for him to separate himself from spending more time than necessary in a work situation that had grown intolerable to him.

To that end, Ben had his own tour bus and his own travel itinerary. The Cars played in Cincinnati, Ohio, on November 25, 1987, and then Ben and his bus left for the next destination: Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After about a six-hour trip, he arrived on Thursday, November 26. The band was scheduled to play the MECCA Arena on Friday, November 27.

On that Thursday night, Crystal was hanging out at her favorite new wave dance club, Park Avenue. In Milwaukee in the 80s, Park Avenue was the place to ‘see and be seen.’ The venue sometimes hosted over-the-top theme nights that literally led to lines of hundreds of people waiting to get in.

I found these photos of the club online. Though they were taken around 1992 when Park Avenue reopened as Nitro, I understand that they are similar to how Park Avenue looked in the late 80s.

And it was here that, much to her delight and awe, Crystal saw Benjamin Orr standing at the bar. “I’m shy, but I had to talk to him or I’d forever regret it!” she said. “I went up to him and he was very nice. I don’t recall the conversation, but I did mention that I was a hairdresser. He said he needed his hair done before the show! I was thrilled and a bit nervous at the chance to not only have met, but to do hair for my teenage idol. He said I could come to his tour bus to do it.

“The next day, I told the salon I worked at that this amazing opportunity came up, that I could do a famous musician’s hair, and I had to take the afternoon off. For some reason they didn’t see the value in it and wouldn’t let me go.”

Crystal was not a slacker by any means; her job was important to her and this was a serious decision. But there was no way… NO WAY!… that she was going to pass up this once-in-a-lifetime chance. “Well, I got fired,” she continued. “I followed my heart and chose rock and roll over my job, and I’ve never regretted it, even for a moment.”

After thirty-three years, many of the finer details of Crystal’s experience that day are gone. As best as she can remember, the tour bus was parked near the loading area behind the MECCA Arena. She can’t recall if Ben showed her around the bus or not, but the two got settled in the main living area, where she cut and colored his hair, likely washing and rinsing in the small kitchen sink. “I packed up my gear, out came the foils, scissors, and so on, and I went to work.”

Crystal has generously shared her before, during, and after pictures with us. As you can imagine, she treasures these photos! A friendly reminder: If you share them on social media, please do NOT crop out the watermark!

01 before

02 during

03 after

The process took a couple of hours, and Ben was low-key and friendly. Crystal remembers that one thing they talked about was scuba diving, as it was one of Ben’s hobbies. Though she considered herself a newbie hairdresser at that time, Ben was happy with her work, and he invited her to come to the show that night, giving her tickets and backstage passes.

“I brought my bestie and ‘partner-in-crime’ and we got to go backstage. We briefly met the other Cars and I had them sign my Creem magazine. Paulina Porizkova was doing some sort of needlepoint work. Ben was eating jalapeno peppers out of the jar and offered some to us. He loved them! I took another photo of Ben before he opened the door to go onstage.”

creem magazine signed watermark

04 before going onstage

That November 27 show at the MECCA Arena in Milwaukee rocked. The tickets were only $16.50 — can you believe it? The set list included:

  • “Tonight She Comes”
  • “Touch And Go”
  • “Double Trouble”
  • “My Best Friend’s Girl”
  • “Everything You Say”
  • “Since You’re Gone”
  • “Fine Line”
  • “Let’s Go”
  • “Strap Me In”
  • “Candy-O”
  • “Moving In Stereo”
  • “Dangerous Type”
  • “Drive”
  • “You Are The Girl”
  • “Good Times Roll”
  • “You Might Think”
  • “Hello Again”
  • “Just What I Needed”
  • “Magic”

Crystal and her friend had a blast! Here are a couple of shots from the concert:

concert 01

concert 02

Ben generously invited Crystal and her friend to see The Cars play at another nearby show the following weekend, and they were happy to attend. Crystal had printed one of her photos of Ben and he signed it “love Ben Orr” (see above).

concert 03She later had the pleasure of seeing The Cars play at the Roseland Ballroom in New York in 2011, where Ric also signed one of her photos from that long-ago show. It gave her goosebumps to hear their wonderful music played live again, though she missed Ben very much.

Even though she is to not be able to bring all the particulars of that first weekend fully back to life, the experience of doing Ben’s hair shifted the course of her career. “Benjamin was my first celebrity client, and [working with him] inspired me to later pursue this type of clientele because to me, musicians usually have the most creative looks. Image is everything onstage.”

Crystal would go on to ‘brush the rock and roll hair’ of many other notable rock stars, including Anthony Kiedis from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Butch Walker and the Marvelous 3, Brett Anderson from the Donnas, the Cocktail Slippers, Dale Watson, The Struts and The Posies.

The day after her October 2 birthday in 2000,  Ben passed away. Crystal heard it on the radio and she was crushed. “I felt this personal connection because I did his hair. I felt close to him; I loved him all my life. He was so kind.” She couldn’t help but cry at the loss; Benjamin had changed her life. She will always be grateful to him for the way he influenced her career.

Crystal moved to New York City twenty-six years ago in order to pursue her passions.  “A lot of people do many creative things at once. You can’t do that in a lot of cities,” she noted. She has stayed close to the music biz: She was a New Music Scout for Little Steven’s Underground Garage from 2006 to 2017, while maintaining her salon clientele. She also worked as a DJ at NYC’s Beauty Bar for many years, and spun an eclectic mix of garage rock from the ’60s-’80s for the SXSW festival and other special events. In fact, she DJ’d for The Empty Hearts in New York in 2017… but that is another story for another time. Stay tuned!

adam ant by crystal gerard
Adam Ant by Crystal Gerard

Today, Covid-19 has limited her DJ work, but Crystal is not letting go of her musical pursuits. She is in the process of creating an Instagram page to showcase her incredible rock photography, a skill she’s had a lot fun cultivating over the years. She is also available for hair appointments. If you’d like to connect with her, you can shoot her an email at crystalblu1966@gmail.com!

I’m so grateful that Crystal was willing to share her experience and her passion with us! ❤


I owe a HUGE debt of gratitude to Kat F. for making me aware of Crystal’s story. Thank you, my friend!

All photos are courtesy of Crystal Jane Gerard (unless otherwise noted) and shared with permission.

Sources:

  1. I used this article from onmilwaukee.com for the background information on Park Avenue.
  2. I retrieved the photos of Nitro from mkelgbthist.org.

42 thoughts on “Crystal Gerard: A Pursuit of Passion

  1. Wow. I would’ve done the same thing in order to work on the celebrity client that I admired and respected. It’s awesome that her determination helped her find other celebrity clientele in the music industry. Just think perhaps, if she would’ve stayed home at her job she wouldn’t have the life that she has now! Great pictures & great post. On a sidenote, I see he’s drinking Budweiser! 😜🥰

    Liked by 9 people

  2. As a former hairstylist, Ben’s hair always intrigued me, and I would’ve loved to have had the experience of doing his hair. Crystal lived my dream! I’d have done the same thing! Job? Who needs it when Ben’s hair needs doing? 😉

    Liked by 7 people

  3. While Ben looks good as always, his eyes tell a different story. His beautiful eyes have many things going on in them. What I see is sadness, irritation & frustration all mixed with a bit of cynicism. This is not directed at the girl who did his hair but it is a general look that I’ve noticed in most of the 1987-up to the Big People era. The emotion expressed in his eyes really cut you because you can only imagine how betrayed and hurt he was feeling. One thing about him is he really conveyed a lot with his eyes. Just my observations.

    Liked by 9 people

    1. I got the same feeling. Knowing what the unfortunate circumstances were at that time, it’s abundantly clear in his expression. He seems so unhappy, and again, not due to his interaction with Crystal, but just in general. It must’ve been heartbreaking to those who loved him, to see him in this state of mind. Worst part about it is that it’s never an enemy who betrays you, so that must’ve made it that much more hurtful.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. I love your response Jivenjungle, also so well said, and your last sentence is a killer. We all love him and even from this long distance of time, his hurt is palpable.

        Liked by 4 people

    2. So well said AE. Betrayal is a brutal thing, and to someone like Benjamin, to whom the loyalty of friends seemed paramount, this must have been crushing. It is very hard to look at some of his photos from this period, but I love Crystal’s story and her sharing of it and wish her continuing success.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. I can actually understand the whole cutting people out when they betray you or when you feel that they have done something disloyal. I know that he has done that in the past and I can totally relate to that. I really can’t blame him I know that some people might not think that’s the best way to do things but sometimes that’s just what you need to do and everyone does what they think is best for themselves at the time so….

        Liked by 3 people

  4. This story is so great and the pictures are awesome. Thank you Donna and Crystal! Also, big cudos to Crystral for being honest about not remembering all the details after so many years. That makes me appreciate this story so much, especially compared to so many stories out there with the obviously embellished details. I also agree that there is visible sadness Ben’s eyes in these photos, especially compared to his photos from just a few years earlier. That time perhaps was even more difficult for him than has been described. Anyway, thank you again!

    Liked by 8 people

  5. I always admire a great head of hair, being a former hair stylist. She did a fabulous job on his! I enjoyed all the different ways he styled his hair. What an experience to treasure💜

    Liked by 6 people

  6. This article was like Christmas morning for me! I saw them in Oshkosh (its near Milwaukee) on Dec 5th ’87… and have foggy memories (as she does) due to it being 33 years ago. Thank goodness she took pictures, I can only imagine how she cherishes them.
    Park Avenue- omg does that bring back memories! It was THE place to be, I remember going there.
    Oh how I wish i had snuck a camera in to the concert I went to, at least now I know I saw Ben with freshly done hair ❤ She did a fantastic job …the after picture is just gorgeous. Her photos from the concert are great too and bring back my foggy memories… I recall getting somewhat close to the stage
    (being obsessed with musicians, as she was.) I was an Art student and bleached my blond hair in the dormroom sink lol, and oh how we loved our hair spray back then 😄

    I’m one of those 80s kids that just doesn’t feel like a 50 yr old most of the time, and aside from this making me feel young at heart it also made me see a real human side of Ben. I just adore him, theres so many iconic photos of him that one can look at and say “gosh, how was he even real”… well in some pictures here the reality of -the last days of the Cars- can be seen in his eyes. A guy who’s had a fantastic, long and very successful career but is now touring separate from his band mates, probably wondering what the future holds. It must have been refreshing to get his hair done on his tour bus, by a talented and genuine fan, chatting and having a Budweiser.😊
    Seeing his ‘human’ side makes me love him even more.
    Thanks so much for sharing.

    Liked by 8 people

    1. What struck me to is that he had no problem getting a picture taken with the foil on his hair LOL that’s a real man comfortable in his own skin I’ll tell you that!

      Liked by 4 people

  7. Well, I worked with Crystal in the early 90’s in Milwaukee. Not the salon she was fired from but the next, Signature Salon before her move to NYC. She had recounted the story and what I remember the most is that she said Ric and Paulina were sharing a regular chair, I can’t remember if it was some sort of folding chair or what but that they were both so thin they had no problem both fitting at the same time with room to spare. I don’t know why that has always stuck out in my mind but it has. Every time I see a photo of Paulina, I remember Crystal saying that. Great article! Crystal, never a doubt in my mind you would thrive in NYC!!

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Oh Donna, this is just a lovely story and thank you so much once again. What a thrill for Crystal, and so pleased Ben propelled her lovely and varied career.
    But, as is often the case, there is so much joy, exhilaration even, but also the inevitable sadness, because we know the ending.
    However, please don’t ever stop, love it all, including the following article with Ben’s sweet ‘basketball friend’s’ reminiscences.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. What a terrific story and so glad Crystal shared it. She also did a great job on Ben’s hair! Don’t blame her for kicking over that job. I feel like, within reason, there’s something wrong with a job(or rather a boss) that doesn’t allow for “once in a lifetime” experiences to take precedence over ONE day of work. I mean if someone is always taking off work for “once in a lifetime experiences” that might be another story but obviously Crystal wouldn’t have been as successful as she’s been if she was the sort of young woman who ditched work for flakey reasons. That ticket price seems unreal nowadays. Even the “cheap seats” cost a ton of money nowadays. I almost forgot tickets used to be that affordable, even my minimum wage part time afterschool job wouldn’t have had trouble paying that price. 🙂

    I love that Ben’s attitude was so down to earth. He needed his hair done, why not this young woman, who was young and enthusiastic about her job and clearly creative? He didn’t get the owner of the biggest salon in town or something like that. It may not seem like a big thing, but there were certainly some rock stars who would be like that. Having their ‘assistant’ or tour manager calling all around for the most prestigious in town.

    It’s amazing how a one time meeting like that can affect the course of someone’s life. I think that’s why Ben, at least going by the stories, seems like he generally(hey everyone has a bad day once in a while I’m sure he did too) tried to be appreciative and respectful of fans who he came into contact with – he seemed to understand(maybe remembering from his own youth and being excited to meet people he admired?) that it would be a big deal for them and could be something they remembered the rest of their lives.

    I especially like that “after” picture she took of him in the t-shirt with the shark on it. 🙂 And to be purely shallow, in every single picture I’ve seen of him where they are visible(I think there was one in the 60s, the next I think is where he’s wearing that jeans vest in the early 70s and then right up to Big People) – Ben always had really great arms. 🙂 That said, the leather picture ain’t bad at all. 😀

    With regards to the bus and flying, if Ben wasn’t keen on flying in general, though obviously he would do it when he had to, then maybe the stress of the whole situation made his “fear of flying” more acute at that time? Stress can cause a lot of things, including creating fears or exacerbating ones that perhaps weren’t such a big deal before. So it’s possible the bus solution, for him, was two fold. Maybe his fear of flying really DID get worse during that time period, due to the stress of being in a situation that was emotionally painful to him and feeling betrayed by someone he trusted, as well as having the practical effect of giving him physical distance from that situation.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Yes. I can understand why flying would be an issue and add more anxiety to the situation. You would be cooped up with the person who is causing the anxiety for you and it’s just not good. Highly toxic. He knew what he had to do and that’s why he did the things he did.

      Liked by 4 people

  10. As I grew up with my sister (Crystal) Jane Gerard I knew she was something special. With her constant love of music and cutting hair and the drive to do the best in anything she put her mind to. And this still drives her today. As it did years ago. Keep up the good work sis!

    Liked by 6 people

  11. I always seem to have my best insights late at night and if you haven’t noticed LOL I’m extremely analytical.

    What I think is purely speculation on my part from what I’ve read about his personality. I mean no disrespect because I love Benjamin. There’s no malice in what I’m about to say but I think it’s almost like an elephant in the room.

    It’s been mentioned that Ben had been drinking more during this 1987-late 1990s time period I believe. To me it makes perfect sense. All this man wanted to do was make music. He wanted to perform for his fans. It’s all he really knew since he was a teenager in Ohio. It was in his blood. His identity was music and it’s what made him Benjamin Orr!

    When The Cars broke up he was feeling left high and dry like I’m sure the rest of them did. You can’t blame him or any of them for feeling that way. No, I’m not bashing Ric (he was an awesome musician/songwriter like the rest of the band) because honestly and I’ve said this before with many things concerning Benjamin and his private life-we don’t know everything that was going on we can only speculate like I’m doing here.

    When you take away the one band that gave him the most success/fame and you are suddenly left with the reality it can be extremely hard for someone to cope with. There’s all of these unresolved issues and feelings brimming on the surface, under the surface and everywhere else. Shock, disbelief, and anger on top of sadness can be a lot to deal with. I get it. I would be pissed.

    Since Benjamin was born in 1947 he would’ve been about 16 in 1963. In 1987 he was 40. So that already is 24 years in the business. Most of his adult life was spent with Ric his partner in crime. Ric was like a brother to him as well as the other guys in The Cars. Ben felt like that I’m sure with many of the guys that he was very close to especially later on when he was in Big People. He took his personal relationships very seriously.

    So here’s Ben who was all of the following: rockstar & normal/down to earth guy. Honestly, he was human just like everybody else. Ben had his ups & downs like all of us. We as fans have seen it. Perfectionism is something I’m sure he dealt with. Being a Virgo! I’d say of course definitely LOL!

    Yes, he struggled with drinking-this has been alluded to by some who knew him. Read between the lines. Does that make him a bad person? No. Absolutely not. Let’s be real here, how many other people in the world have had the same issues? A lot of people. Bens no different-no more special (well, to us he is the most special 🤩) but in reality as a human being he was the same as others who struggled. It’s part of the journey. All of this.

    Liked by 4 people

  12. Here’s what I really feel about the duality (we all have 2 sides) of Bens personality-the good guy (kind, modest & approachable) vs. the sensitive, creative & quirky guy so to speak-because he was quirky and I recognize that and personally love it in people.

    Abruptly blowing off people, ignoring them and giving the silent treatment AKA: stonewalling, is usually narcissistic behavior. For those individuals it’s all about power, control, manipulation, gaslighting and deflection. Which are ALL forms of abuse. This isn’t always the case though. There are exceptions to the rule and Benjamin was one of these exceptions. He wasn’t from what I gather narcissistic. He didnt fit the criteria. Believe me, I know people who are/were narcissistic and/or have/had drinking issues. I can spot them a mile away.

    However, back to what I just said above. There are exceptions to this rule. Some individuals don’t want to share their real feelings because they’re unsure of how they actually feel, (disconnected) may have a hard time expressing those feelings, or aren’t willing to talk about them. Why does this happen? Go back up and read what I just wrote and you’ll see your answer. Other behaviors can be seen like for instance-denial & passive aggressive behaviors. Avoiding the stressors/triggers are present as well.

    By simply acting on the above behaviors and/or ignoring/quelling the feelings they are experiencing can also come into play. Some people fear that sharing their true feelings could cause more problems. Which would mean they would need to deal with them: anger, (the biggest/strongest of the bunch) being hurt or sadness just to name a few.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Drinking issues along with other issues are feelings not expressed. It’s associated with sadness/anxiety/depression which are things that need to be worked through. Usually the root of the problem isn’t what it looks like on the surface. It goes far deeper than that. Many times the issue that looks like the problem is usually a mask for something else that hasn’t been resolved in a persons life-a trauma, so that current issue becomes another added pressure or feeling tacked on to whatever was already there. This is where it gets really complicated.

    There are so many other feelings associated with drinking issues. Not everybody will admit that those issues are what they experience. See, that’s denial. People with these types of issues have many different reasons why they are where they are in that situation. But one thing they can always agree on if they’re honest is that the feelings are the same which is what led them to do what they do/did with drinking. This causes extreme internal pain to the person who is going through the situation. These are all unhealthy coping mechanisms. Not always the best way but this is what humans do.

    As a rule, people who are very empathic and sensitive don’t enjoy hurting other person‘s feelings. They will avoid confrontation at all costs if they can help it. Benjamin was by all accounts empathic and sensitive towards others. Especially those he cared about. He strikes me as the type of person who would go out of their way to make sure that the people in his life were well taken care of, protected and happy. That’s pretty apparent from the stories we’ve heard. Those are all great qualities combined with the fact that Ben was down to earth, kind to people, & a regular guy.

    I think Ben and Rick are hanging out in heaven or whatever you think the afterlife is. I think when they had their moment on the final interview that they resolved their issues and are solid for eternity. All has been forgiven.

    Just my looooong 2 cents. Not trying to be a downer but I’ve been wanting to write this for a while and thought this was a good time because of the post to do so.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Sorry that I just got around to reading your comments, but life’s been nuts. However, I have one (not so) tiny observation to make. Regarding your comment, “I think Ben and Rick are hanging out in heaven or whatever you think the afterlife is. I think when they had their moment on the final interview that they resolved their issues and are solid for eternity. All has been forgiven.”

      As much as I identify with Ben’s personality (I, too, am a Virgo, empathetic as well, and take others’ behavior very personally if their actions are hurtful, either directly or indirectly to me, among other things) But I will say this: I have had fallings-out with people with whom I loved very dearly. Family members, close friends, people who were in my heart. I forgave their hurtful behavior, yet I found myself reserved and maybe a little stand-offish moving forward. That served me well because invariably, those narcissistic people who’d hurt me before would hurt me again. At that point, I found no further forgiveness. They were and are dead to me, especially if their actions were intentional, knowingly going to hurt me, whether it was behavior directed at me or if I was just the collateral damage of their behavior. As with Ric.

      Now, don’t get me wrong, Ric was a good friend to Ben, but at the end of the day, it WAS all about him (Ric). He made decisions that were beneficial to himself first, and if the others in the band benefited as well, then great. When he moved to dissolve the band, it was with his own interests at heart, but again, we (I?) have no idea what led to the toxic energy during the D2D era other than the whole songwriting/contribution debacle (and I can’t say I blame Ric, as DGP was not a member of the Cars, and Ric didn’t want ‘help.’ That being said…). Ric did what he had to do, knowing full well it was going to destroy Ben, and made no effort to forewarn him or even try to sort out his issues with Ben–or at least that was my take on this. As I understand it, Ben–as the rest of the members–were completely blindsided when the band was dissolved, and that crushed Ben particularly because the Cars was his identity. He loved the Cars and the whole vibe that he got from them. When the Cars ceased to exist, so did a part of Ben, and he seemed to be in a tailspin about how to move forward. Who can blame him. Dogpiling that it was his best friend of 20 years who did this. Had to suck.

      So, where am I going with this. I suspect–and I couldn’t possibly know, because not only did I never meet Ben, I never had the joy of knowing him as a person, and I’m sure–as a Virgo–he had his moments of being a moody shit (*raises hand!*) and may have had moments during which he was intolerable. He needed to work out his own feelings, on his own, without interference, and in whichever way he could. Maybe alcohol helped ease the pain of betrayal, loss, emptiness, etc. He was grieving the Cars, his friendship, the touring, recording, etc, etc. But I’m not entirely sure that–if there is an afterlife–that he’d fully found forgiveness for Ric. It could be that they had some time to themselves, and Ric may have appealed to Ben and asked for his forgiveness, but we may never know the truth. Those who may know are holding Ben’s desire for privacy very close and dear. As they should. It’s none of our business.

      And so now I’m through speculating. It might be of note to add that I do not believe in an afterlife, and that if I allow myself the moment of fantasy, I would love to believe that Ben and Ric are jamming up a blue streak up there in Heaven, or wherever they’re at now. If that’s what makes them happy, then that’s what it’s all about.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I would have to say I agree with this. It’s not even the whole “jamming in heaven” so much, if there is such a place it’s doubtful Earth squabbles end up meaning much up there, no matter how bad they were in human life but I think sometimes people take that Ric and Ben had a good meeting their last time in the wrong way, I don’t think either of them had any thought that everything was settled but just that it didn’t matter anymore at that point so put it aside because it was essentially a moot point. So they put it aside to remember all the good things. And I think Ben loved the band.

        I’m a little less generous when it comes the songwriting thing because as I see it, its not like DGP was joining the band, she’d help Ben on the lyrics. But that would all be done before it ever reached the band stage so I don’t think it would have changed the basic way of how the band worked. Ben and Diane write the song, Ben would bring in the demo and the band would work on the song and make it a “Cars” song. For the rest of the guys it would be no different than when Ric wrote a song and brought it to them to work on as a group.

        The only real issue I can see is monetary, Ben and Diane would get the songwriting money for any song of their’s that was used that Ric usually got. I can’t see how it would be that big a deal esp when on Door to Door they had to dig up two previously rejected oldies to record to fill out the album, it’s not like it was really Ric’s priority at that point anyway. He had the songwriting from all the other albums, I can’t see it breaking his bank to share a little more. By Ric’s own admission, Ben used to write some songs for their earlier bands including the lyrics but Ric hated Ben’s lyrics and so wouldn’t do his songs in their bands anymore. He put it in a less obviously harsh yet more condescending way but that’s what it came down to(“Dear Ben, I never could get into his lyrics”). Needless to say, I have my own thoughts on some of this though.

        I’ve little doubt the rest of the band were blindsided. As I recall, Ric decided to end the band right in the middle of a tour. They had finished the North American leg, were taking a brief break and then were going to do another leg of the tour, I can’t remember where they were going to next, I think it might have been Australia or Japan. It’s fine that he didn’t want do it anymore, fine the band thing ran it’s course for him, but he should have finished out the tour if for no other reason than it was a professional commitment and also to give the rest of the band time to figure out what they wanted to do next without it just being “Ok you’re out of a job now”. It seems like a situation of “I’d rather break the band than share, or risk them possibly going on without me and still being successful”

        Liked by 3 people

  14. Also forgive my grammatical errors I am extremely tired and it’s late. Lol! And yes, I did proofread about four times but of course I missed a few things…😂 I tend to write the way I talk at times.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Hi Donna
    A great article, lovely to see Ben giving a normal everyday person a chance with his hair. That was the type of guy he was and she did s great job. Imagine running your hands through Ben’s hair😁. I hope she took home any cuttings, I would😉! Lovely story and photos! He did look very pleased with the end result, he even changed his t shirt😁. Love the photo with the foils in his hair, not many rock stars would allow that. But Ben was different he had that something extra special about him, being down to earth😊⭐️

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Yes I agree. He was just a human like everybody else going through the same struggles. That was my whole point in the posts above. I mean sometimes I think that we kind of put him up on a pedestal and forget that he was just like everyone else. It’s sad when we see that he struggled with this issue because we admire and respect him so much. But really it’s just the same feelings that we have for other people that we know personally in our lives. Just seems a little different because he’s a famous person.

      So when people come down on his lady love of eight years, we don’t really know the whole story. Being with or loving someone with an issue (minus abuse or narcissistic behaviors) like that is really hard to deal with-truthfully all of those things combined together are extremely hard to deal with but we’re not talking about that in his situation. If that person isn’t ready to take care of the issue then the other person (partner) may have to assess what they need to do for themselves to be able to cope. Sometimes the best thing that you can do for yourself is to walk your own path alone. I really don’t think that it was an easy decision for his lady love or even any other ones that he was involved with. And who’s to say that the other long-term relationships that broke up were based on that issue. There are other things that contribute to break ups but it seems that this is one of the causes of his lady love of eight years breaking up with him.

      Even though we never knew him personally and based on the fact that he was extremely private we can conclude that from what other people have said about him consistently, he took his relationships seriously like I said in the other post.

      All of these women that he was involved with throughout the years really loved him and he loved them back. End of story. They can each take their memories and keep that tucked away just for them. No one ever really knows what goes on between two people behind closed doors. These women were extremely lucky to have known him and to be with him that is a fact. I think most of his down to earth/good guy side was out weighing more of the other issue. Just my personal opinion.

      I myself had a father who was an alcoholic. My father was functional and went to work every day and took care of us. Didn’t lack for anything because of his issue. Having been in that situation I attracted many others who were alcoholics who shared those personality traits. As an adult I’ve finally learned how to put up boundaries and deal with it. Took me many years to recognize the signs and the real issues fueling alcoholism. Now I understand the psychology behind it. Don’t get me wrong, I have great sympathy for people that suffer from any addiction. I don’t have any sympathy for our people that are abusive. I can understand why people become abusive or narcissistic even. It’s really up to the person to get better and they have to want to get better. You can’t force them to do anything they’re are not ready to do for themselves. Really hard to watch people self destruct.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I believe that only people who experience this sort of behavior and the causes behind it can truly understand it. I have similar experience (not me or my parents, but others) and believe me, I fully get it. Sometimes the pain of heartache and grief needs to be dulled, and substance is the easiest way, yet the most destructive. Wishing peace to all who experience this pain, and subsequent need to dull it, as well as the loved ones forced to look on helplessly or walk away having tried to ‘fix’ the problem. Sometimes it’s the only way, through self-preservation.

        Liked by 2 people

  16. Crystal is a longtime friend of mine! I just love and admire how she has always stayed true to herself and her love for rock and roll!! Great read! Thank you crystal for sharing this!

    Liked by 4 people

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