I was 16 when I fell in love with My Chemical Romance, sometime in 2005. I searched out the album Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge on a friend’s recommendation and was blown away by the lyrics, the guitars, and most of all, how fucking AWESOME the songs were. I read everything I could find about MCR, mostly in Kerrang and NME, and listened to the album on repeat every day. As I look around my room right now, I still have the promotional posters for Three Cheers that I tore out of magazines and a yellowing poster of MCR at the 2005 Kerrang Awards up on my walls, 8 years later.
And now, in 2013, I still feel as much love for MCR as when I did when I first heard them. I am proud to say that they are my all-time favourite band (with Hole at a very close second). They are a band that fills my heart up with love and pride whenever I see them or hear them. They introduced me to great music (Misfits, Thursday, Black Flag), they made extremely happy, and, of course, they saved my life on more than one occasion. And I have made some of the best friends in the world, throughout the world, though this fucking band.
I met Gerard Way twice, first at an official signing and the second time at a very informal event that I was extremely lucky and privileged to attend. He was wonderfully humble and sweet both times, even shaking my hand and introducing himself as Gerard to me the second time, as if I might not know who he was. I’m so honoured to have met someone I class as one of my main heroes in life, and so pleased that he was just as friendly and down-to-earth as I had always hoped he would be.
The occasions on which I got to see MCR perform are some of the happiest and most memorable experiences of my life. I saw them live 7 times, and fuck, I really wish it had been more… but I’m so lucky to have even seen them at all.
I first saw them at Brixton Academy in November 2006 with Kerri – my first ever show at Brixton, actually. It was insane!
Then it was the Black Parade world tour at Wembley Arena in March 2007 – K and I were almost front row & experienced the full force of the fire & pyrotechnics that night, haha. The Black Parade album played in full before a quick costume change for a set of Three Cheers songs = fucking awesome! I still have an album somewhere with photos from the show and confetti from the cannons during WTTBP.
Then the Club Koko show in April 2007 – this was a Radio 1 exclusive show that was being filmed for BBC2, and you had to win tickets by phoning up and answering questions live on air! After trying several times every day, I finally got through to Colin Murray, won the tickets, and told him live on air that I loved him, and he replied that he loved me too, haha. I was on phone line number 7, and that has been my lucky number ever since! The show itself was intense – so many screaming fans packed into such a small venue… but there was an epic moment in which K tried to throw the purple boa that I’d been wearing up to Gerard – he saw it and said “what is that? Is that a boa? I love boas… it didn’t make it up here though”. They kept that part in the show that was broadcast on BBC2, I have it on video somewhere, lol. Afterwards we hung around outside and met Frank and Ray, and got signatures.
Next was the O2 Arena in November 2007 – my first show with both Kerri and Emma. I remember this one pretty clearly, actually. Especially Desert Song – singing along when it felt like no-one else in the crowd was. So beautiful…
Then, October 2010 was the World Contamination tour at Hammersmith Apollo! I will never forget how fucking incredible it was when they opened with Na Na Na and the whole venue just exploded! And Planetary (GO!) had everyone jumping, and they played Our Lady of Sorrows for the first time in 4 years, and a load of new tracks. And it was awesome cuz it was my first MCR show with Rhia!
February 2011 was when I travelled up to Birmingham Arena cuz I had to miss the show at Wembley Arena the previous day. An awesome setlist overall, but especially exciting as the last track they played was Vampires Will Never Hurt You. Finally hearing it live was just the best feeling, I can’t even explain how much that song means to me…
And, the final time I saw MCR was at the iTunes Festival show at the Roundhouse, in July 2011, with Rhia, and I know a few other people who were there. It was a ticket-winners only event but I was very lucky because someone paid a lot of money for tickets on eBay for me, and edited the initials to mine, for which I will be forever thankful. It was broadcast on iTunes and when we watched it back, I spotted myself looking like a right excitable twat, haha. If only I had known it would be the last time I would see my favourite band… I can’t even believe it was 2 years ago!
So anyway, I won’t go into how this band saved my life but they absolutely did and I know they did the same for so many other people. They gave me something to look up to, to dream about, to aim for. God knows I have SO many of their t-shirts, hoodies, cds, vinyls, magazine covers, ticket stubs, photos, signatures, but the one thing that is most important is that they’re imprinted on my heart and they always will be. I knew the time would come when they’d announce the end, but I just wasn’t anticipating it just yet… Words really can’t explain how I’m feeling, although I’ve tried very hard to articulate my love for this band. Today has been so fucking tough but I’ve cried enough now and I’m trying so hard to remember that they’re still individual people and they’re happy. I have so many memories and people in my life because of them, and I still have the music.
Thank you, Gerard, Frank, Ray, Mikey, and everyone involved with MCR in the past, for everything – from the bottom of my black little heart…