A Humorous Look at the Bright Side of Cancer...
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Hobnobbing With Rock Stars

September 14, 2018

The Journey Project – Phase VI

Photo by Adriana de Haan

On Monday, my to-do list only had one item on it: order a nipple.

Today, my main objective was to mail a copy of my new book to Jonathan Cain, the songwriter for the band Journey. The book is at the post office, ready to leave rainy Washington for sunny California.

I’m still hoping to meet Jonathan in person when we do the Ellen show together.

Wish me luck.

By |September 2018|Hobnobbing With Rock Stars|

December 17, 2015

Dear Fran Drescher #15

Jonathan Cain from the rock band, Journey

Jonathan Cain from the rock band Journey

Dear Fran,

I hope you’re still talking to me. In my last letter to you, I sure did a lot of complaining.

I had another great idea for our Ellen episode. You want to hear it?

A while back, I had a small brush with the band Journey. You can read all about it here.

Wouldn’t it be awesome if Journey came on the show with us and played? I know that Ellen loves music. Surely she likes this classic band as much as I do. The cancer survivors in the audience can hold hands (and candles) and be serenaded by this wonderful group. I’m thinking “Don’t Stop Believin’ ” would be perfect.

Hey, maybe if my arm starts behaving, Jonathan Cain would let me play keyboards with him.

Best friends always,


By |December 2015|Dear Fran Drescher, Hobnobbing With Rock Stars|

July 26, 2013

The Journey Project – Phase V

07_26_cancer_funny_journey_rock_musicNow that my Journey Project has come to an end, I confess I’m a little bit depressed. It’s been going on for six months and was pretty exciting.

My video is now up and running. I hope my three closest relatives enjoy it.

Today, I also mailed signed copies of my book to Jerry Butler (the gracious lawyer who helped me accomplish this project these past six months for free), Jonathan Cain (the cute songwriter/singer/keyboardist for Journey), and Tim (the lawyer for the band as a whole).

Not only did Jonathan Cain and the rest of the band agree to let me use the song for a year like Jerry had originally told me, they let me use it free of charge for five years.

Now that all the excitement is over, should I ask Journey to do a benefit concert for breast cancer?  🙂


By |July 2013|Hobnobbing With Rock Stars|

July 25, 2013

The Journey Project – Phase IV

07_24_2013_cancer_funny_rock_band_journey_4Well, to make a long story short (W-what? Me make a long story short?), I heard back from Jerry Butler and he advised that, “I finally got a chance to talk to Jonathan Cain about this. He has approved your use of the song with respect to his publishing rights.”
He called me to tell me that I would also need permission from the other members of the band that “control the rights to the Journey recording.” He assured me that he didn’t see a problem.
Sure enough, within days, Jerry let me know that everyone had been agreeable to my pesky request.
You don’t need to do anything until I get you the licenses. I have them drafted and sent them out for approval, which has also come back already. I’ll send you PDFs tomorrow by email and then I can explain any questions you have once you’ve given them a look.”

I still couldn’t believe this was happening. Why would all these talented men waste a millisecond of time on little, old me? Weren’t they touring the world making people happy with their music? Then again, they probably just wanted me to shut up and go away.
I emailed Jerry. “Hokey-doodle! They gave you an answer already? Man, I can’t believe how fast that went. You are one good lawyer.”
Showing just what a good lawyer he was, he responded right away. “Just so you know, the only hard part of this was getting Jonathan on the phone in the first place. Everyone I had to pitch this to basically said, ‘It’s such a good cause. How could you say no?’ ”
Me, a good cause? Most of the time, I feel like I’m talking to myself on the World Wide Web.


By |July 2013|Hobnobbing With Rock Stars|

July 24, 2013

The Journey Project – Phase III


The band, Journey

I dialed the phone number I had been given.
“Hi, Jerry? This is Marie de Haan. I emailed you earlier today [January 17, 2013] about using that Journey song for my author video.”
“Hello, Marie. Yes, I got that email. Tell me exactly what you want to use the song for.”
“I have a cancer website and….”
Jerry cut in. “My mom died of breast cancer and I also had two aunts with the same disease.”
“I’m so sorry to hear that.” Man, cancer affects everyone. We discussed our experiences with cancer at length and then got back to the task at hand.
“You want to use the song for a video?” he prompted.
“Yes. I have a slideshow-type video that goes perfectly with the words of “After All These Years.” Listen, Jerry, I’m not going to lie to you. I know full well that only about three people in the world are going to see this video and they will most likely be related to me. I’m not exactly big potatoes.”
“Still, to get the proper licensing, I will have to contact my client, Jonathan Cain and—”
I started hyperventilating on the other end of the phone. Jonathan Cain? Did he just say Jonathan Cain? I knew who that was. He was one of the main songwriters of the band. I knew this because I had two Journey piano books in my repertoire and I used to play them all the time. Heck, I had even taught my Jonathan how to play “Don’t Stop Believin’ ” during his piano lessons.
I interrupted Jerry. “So, you’re the lawyer for Jonathan Cain. I know who that is. He’s the cute one.” Boy, that was a stupid thing to say. Here I am, 46 years old, happily married, and content with my life; not only am I gushing like a pathetic teenager, I just insinuated that the rest of the band is ugly. What is wrong with me?
Jerry laughed, but said nothing.
“Well, I’m sure they’re all cute,” I backpedaled. “You know what I mean.” Shut up, woman. You never know when to quit.
Jerry went on to explain that he would have to get permission from Jonathan Cain because he was the sole writer of the song “After All These Years.” He asked for my website address.
What? Jonathan Cain could be looking at the website of little old me? Gulp. “Thanks, Jerry. I appreciate all your help.”
This was going to cost me a fortune.

By |July 2013|Hobnobbing With Rock Stars|