T’gra from NC

HEAVY METAL BARTENDER FROM NC

Name: T’gra
Age: I’m 45 but 40 is the new 20 ya know!
Location: North Carolina
Occupation: Bartender

Tell us something about your history as a Judas Priest Fan?

In the 70’s, when I was in High School, My very first boyfriend was a huge Priest fan. He played one of their albums and I was just mesmerized by the guitar playing and duel leads. I became a huge fan of K.K.’s from the minute I heard him and especially when I laid eyes on him.

I started playing guitar shortly after that and became a huge Gibson Guitar lover. The love of my life is my 1980 Gibson Explorer!

T1

That’s a fine looking Gibson you’ve got. Are you currently playing in a band or have you got any band history?

Thanks for the compliment. She sure is pretty. Her name is Blondie. I have been in a few bands back when I lived in Hollywood CA. I started out playing guitar but soon found out that the bass guitar came to be naturally. I like to play a lot of slap. Kind of funk meets heavy metal. I took some time out of music to care for my two boys but now that they are teenagers. (both musicians, one is a drummer and the other plays trombone) I am working on getting a band back together again.

How many times have you seen Priest live, and of those, what was the best experience?

I have seen them 24 times.

My best memory was the US festival in CA in 1983. When we got to the venue we were instructed to park away from the venue in the overflow parking lot and they would provide buses to the concert. There were close to half a million people there… Well a lot of people were already drunk at 8:00 in the morning and they were hanging out of the windows and climbing on top of the buses.
So they cancelled the buses. If you wanted to go to the concert you had to walk and it was approximately a 10 miles walk through the hot, dry CA sun.

Without hesitation I started walking. My friends who were with me said “no way, I’m NOT walking 10 miles”!!! I said, “I am going to that concert to see Judas Priest and K.K. wheather you two come with me or not”. Eventually, they came to their senses and caught up to me after I had already walked a while. It took 5 hours to walk there. Exhausting but worth it. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat! The concert was great!!!!!

T2

The US Festival was one of the big ones in the history of US metal. How do you remember it?

There were so many great bands there that day. Of course I went mainly to see Priest but it was great to see Quiet Riot, Motley Crue, Ozzy, Triumph and the Scorpions. (Van Halen was there too but I did not stay for them as they were 2 hours late coming onstage and I wanted to make sure I could get a bus back to my car. I was too tired to make that long walk).

I ran into a lot of people that I actually knew from the clubs in Hollywood. Everyone was just rocking out and enjoying themselves. It was just a sea of people and pure heavy metal mania!!!! And only $20 for a ticket. Those were the days!

T3

Are there any other special Priest-related moments that you remember?

At the Cincicinnati show in July-09, K.K. was walking off stage and I called him and he turned around and came over and tried to shake my hand. Some people kept shaking his hand and we couldn’t reach each other. I thought he would just give up but he stretched out and I stood on my tippy toes to grab his hand. He looked straight into my eyes and smiled so bright it was such a neat feeling to make a little bit of a “connection” with him.

Also, Scott Travis was nice enough to give me tickets and after show passesto the MD concert Aug-09. It was great to meet him and hang out after the show.

You also told that you have 3 cats named K.K., Rob and Glenn?

A couple of years ago, I was inside my house and my dog kept barking at the floor for several days. Then I started hearing kitten’s crying and then screaming. I looked under the house and moved some insulation away and out fell a starving little blonde kitty. Right behind him was a gray and white one with tipped ears and a loud little red one! It seems that mama cat hat not returned to feed them for some time. They would have died had we not found them, we determined they had been there around 2 weeks. So we took them in and bottle-fed them.

T5

Was it an easy task to deside who will be who?

From the minute I saw them it was obvious what their names would be. K.K. is blonde with sparkling eyes, and very sweet and easy going. Glenn is tall, dark and handsome with tipped ears and a little beauty mark. He has this look on his face that reminds me of when Glenn points his first finger at people on stage. LOL. Rob has red really short hair and he likes to SCREAM REALLY LOUD. He also likes to throw himself on the ground at your feet, so you will pet him. (not sure what that is about).

T4

What does the music of Judas Priest mean to you?

Their music brings me joy and happiness. It reminds me of a life-long journey of where I have been and where I am going. No matter how many times I listen to the same songs over and over again, I never get bored of them and they always bring a smile to my face.

How can you not smile and head bang when you hear Breaking The Law live? Some mornings I wake up and my neck hurts from rocker neck. Then I remember I was listening to Judas Priest the night before. HA!

T6

What is your favorite album and song?

My favorite album is British Steel. I was thrilled that Priest chose to play the album in it’s entirity for this tour. There are so many great Priest songs it’s hard to pick one. Judas Rising, The Rage, Steeler, Victim Of Changes, Breaking The Law live are a few of my favorites.

As a bartender, what would be suitable for ‘Priest-style Heavy Metal drink’?

Here are 2 drinks for you:

“Battering Ram”
Ice
2 oz Vodka
2 oz Tequila
fill with Battery energy drink
dash of lime, stir.
This drink is great if you want to stay awake all night!!!!!!

“Painkiller”
Ice
Rum
Cream of Coconut
Pineapple Juice
Orange Juice
dash of nutmeg
garnish with cherry
(Add alcohol and juice amounts to suit your taste)

T7

Your message to K.K. and the Millworkers?

I really appreciate the way K.K. treats his fans. It is just amazing to me that he takes the time to answer so many questions on his website. Several of my fellow Priest girls have met him and they all say what a humble, sweet person he is.

So many “rock stars” take their fans and their fame for granted. I feel appreciated as a fan and it makes me want to support the band even more. I don’t like to see rock stars sit in an interview and say how miserable they are.

K.K., I would love to meet you some day. If you are ever in North Carolina, please stop by my bar, drinks are on me.

The Steel Mill workers do a GREAT job. Your hard work and kindness is greatly appreciated.

Love and Kisses,

T’gra

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