Musical Journey of Coach Hughes : New York and Connecticut
June 17, 2009
New York to me, is one that stands out through the years. I've had teams that have played there now for 10 years, my teams from Charlotte, Cleveland and of course San Antonio, but I always enjoy playing at the Garden. It's just a great arena and I've really enjoyed the New York fans. I've grown to appreciate the history of the franchise, the building and the fans, but one fan in particular.
In my early years when I'd go to the game I'd walk through the corridors. As you walk back to the locker room on, to my left, I would see Joan Jett of whom I'm a fan of. I've always really enjoyed Joan's music a lot, enjoyed her in Light of Day with Michael J. Fox, but also loved her early music with The Runaways.
After seeing her there a couple of times I finally stopped and talked to her. It became a habit over the following years, every time I came off the court I'd stop by and say hello to her on my way to the locker room and we got to know each other a little bit.
She is a true New York Liberty fan but she also became a fan of my teams. Not to the Liberty level, but certainly a fan.
One year we were with the family on New Year's Eve and Joan was playing in Orland, Fla., at Pleasure Island for the New Year's celebration. I got word to her that we were there and she set us up for tickets and asked us to come meet her. It was raining like crazy that night in Orlando and a lot of Pleasure Island is outdoors, but where she was playing was indoors. We met her before the show and my wife and I hurried over and went back to her dressing room. She met us and we were able to spend some time together, then she went out and played her set at midnight and was just fantastic.
She told us she used to have a little voodoo doll she would bring to the games, it was kind of like a good luck charm. I remember her telling me, "You know what? I bring that for every other team, but I don't bring it to your games."
So it was just great and we were able to hook up a couple of years ago in Connecticut. I was heading to watch USA Basketball play Australia and Joan was playing with Aerosmith. She was kind enough not only to get me tickets to the show but brought me along the stage. I watched her set right next to her organ player on the side of the stage. It was just one of the greatest rock and roll musical moments to be that close to the stage.
You're just so used to looking at the stage as a fan, but to look out and watch her perform and look back at the band was just an incredible memory.