Story by Gail Martin
Photo credits by Gail Martin
My trip back to Miami, March 2006 and Hollywood Fl., was to meet with Samantha Gibb, and hear her band MEG. I have been writing Sam for a while and she has always written back. Wanting to meet her was something I’ve wanted to attempt. So, I wrote and asked how and where I might be able to do so. Sam wrote back and told me about “The Battle of the Bands” MEG would be in, and that would be a good time to meet her. My friends Sheri, Kim, and Denise went along with me.
Gail with Samantha
“The Battle of the Bands” was being held at The Hard Rock Casino and Hotel in Hollywood, Florida, March 26th, 2006. It is about 18 miles north of Miami. It is a huge hotel, and there are “many” different shops, restaurants, and lounges located outside the hotel, in the back, as a round perimeter. You have to go thru the Casino to get to the restaurants, ect. Murphy’s Law was having bands compete all day. Murphy’s was giving a combined total of $10,000 to the different winners. MEG was scheduled to perform at 10:45 p.m. The place was “”very” full that night. You pay $15.00 to get in, and before you go in, they ask you “who are you here to see”! Of course we told them MEG, and they write down one mark for each person who pays and who they are there to see. They give you a rubber bracelet, so you can come and go if you want. MEG performed 4 songs. Their music was so nice and down to earth. No yelling or screaming, like some of the other bands that played. Yvonne, and Adam were there and sitting on a second level, that had an “over view” of the stage.
When I arrived, I told Curtis, the promotion manager, Samantha was expecting me. He said they would be arriving shortly. They were due to go on about 10:45. I waited about 45 minutes but didn’t see her. My friend Kim, went around the corner where the bands wait to have their turn, and she said Sam was there. As I turned the corner, I saw a lovely young lady sitting in a chair. I immediately knew it was Samantha. I approached her with my hand extended. As I shook her hand, I introduced myself, “Hi Samantha, I’m Gail from Virginia”. (Sam knows me that way by my letters to her). Sam responded, “Hi Gail, it`s nice you could make it down”. We chatted for a few minutes, and I ask if she sees her mother often. She replied, “Oh moms here, I’ll go get her for you”. (I have also been writing Yvonne, and she has always answered.) I couldn’t believe it! I have “always” wanted to meet Yvonne. What a wonderful surprise! I walked halfway toward her, then stopped to wait and see if she would be willing to see me.
Handbill "The Battle Of The Bands" click to enlarge
She and Samantha started walking toward me, and I met them halfway. I extended my hand to shake Yvonne’s, and I introduced myself. She knows me as “Gail from Virginia” too. She is a lovely lady. I told her, I was the lady who sent the porcelain crosses. She replied, “Oh yes, they are so lovely”. I replied, “And I’m the one who sent the angel accent lamp”. She replied, “Gail, it’s beautiful, I have it on my nightstand”. It filled my heart to know she was using it. You know she must have many beautiful and expensive things in her home. The only thing I brought up about Maurice, was, I told her “Maurice is my favorite, and I’m very fond of him”. Yvonne replied with a simple “smile”, as if it said, “Thank You”. Yvonne said, “Adam is here, would you like to meet him?” I said, “How great, yes, what “another” wonderful surprise for me”. She went to get Adam. He is very handsome and very friendly. They came back and Yvonne said, “Adam, this is Gail, she sent the crosses, remember?” He said, “Oh yea, nice to meet you Gail”. We talked just for a few moments because I didn’t want to interrupt their evening there to see Sam. They were of course there to support Samantha. I thanked them for being so gracious and taking time with me. It didn’t enter my mind that Yvonne and Adam would be there. But, “Why wouldn’t they be supporting Sam”. I was very lucky that night!
Gail with Samantha
HA! I believe the way they judge the winner is, by the number of people who are there to support whoever their favorite band is. There may be more to it, but I’m not aware of what. It was very hard to get shots of all the band. Even taking pictures from the upper-level, people were in the way. The trip was “very well worth” it. What a refreshing sound MEG has. Sheri, Kim, and Denise had never heard them before. But, they were so impressed with their music, Sheri emailed Samantha and asked if the band would autograph the CD’s she was buying. The band emailed Sheri back and thanked her and everyone for coming down to support them. They’re a real cool band! MEG tied for second place, and will compete again in June, since they were in the top 5 winners.
Gail meets Yvonne
Yvonne and Adam with Gail
The next day, Sheri, Kim, Denise, and I went to see Yvonne’s house. It is in a gated community, and it sits on beautiful Biscayne Bay. We stopped by Robin and Barry’s house. We were told they were both in London. I managed to get a picture of Kim and Sheri in front of Robins home. (I had already met Barry, September, 2005). We then moved along to the park Maurice often visited. It is small, but very peaceful. It has a beautiful view of the Bay. The tribute for Maurice is a large, circle of different color mosaic tiles in the ground. It has a plaque in the center with a “lovely” saying from Yvonne, Samantha and Adam. There is a tree planted in his memory. It stands just a few feet from the tribute circle. A wooden shaped angel had been played on the tribute by a fan. It was a lovely, peaceful moment to be there. I could “feel” Maurice had been there.
My trip was much more than I had expected. I had met “all Maurice’s family”, only thinking I would meet Sam. MEG will be going to the next round of competing in June.
We wish them “luck”.