Dream a Little Dream: My Horror Hound Weekend Brush with Corey Haim
There were plenty of celebrities at the 2009 March Horrorhound Weekend. Many whose work I have loved for so many years: the leathery and grumpy gramps that is John Saxon; the still-boobtacular Adrienne Barbeau; the “must've ate some bad food and is feeling sick, wink wink” Jason Mewes; that one really fat guy who thinks he can pull off a Freddy costume...they were all there. And as much as I'd like to meet them all, to do so at a convention just feels so, well, informal. Professional. Impersonal.
But none of that mattered to Corey Haim.
No, Mr. Haim, in his own blissfully tragic way, made sure that everyone knew he was there and that his presence would be felt by all who dared to stand in his path. From “losing” his wallet to bumming smokes, Corey was the most personable celebrity there, and, in a way, became a legend among those that remembered him, gaining a whole new fan-base among that HHW crowd.
Hell, I had a whole new respect for him. I was, dare I say, a fan again?
As the BGH Crew and I were hanging around the lobby bar at the Horrorhound after-hours party, we noticed that Corey kept zipping around the room, as if he was looking for something. I think that something was attention.
As people talked to him, he gave off the vibe that he was in a “hurry”, but obviously craved the love and adoration he was getting. Sure, he was being cool and aloof in that indomitable Corey Haim way that we all know and love, but he was obviously eating the scene up. And, in a moment of ballsiness, it was during these lobby zig-zaggings that I was able to get a quick word and picture. He put his arm around me and I shivered. Yes, the star of “Prayer of the Rollerboys” was buddying up to me.
I made a little more small-talk, he said something unintelligible and went back to his mission to find whatever it was he was looking for. I was happy enough to get a few moments, sure, but it was not more than ten minutes later when word was passing through that, in the atrium area, G. Tom Mac, the dude who sang “Cry Little Sister” from “The Lost Boys”, that one guy who played the little vampire kid in “The Lost Boys” and Corey Haim were doing an impromptu “unplugged” set.
Let that sink in: impromptu unplugged set. To me, that was like someone saying “Hey Lou—Corey Feldman and Michael Damien are in the lobby reciting scenes from “Equus”!” It was, needless to say, a dream come true.
When we got there, they were doing the aforementioned “Cry Little Sister”... for the third time. (And, as soon as that was over, Mac played the song again, this time with the intro that this is how the song is “really supposed to sound”.)
You'd think that hearing “Cry Little Sister” for the third or fourth time, that it would lose its impact and get boring, but you'd be wrong. You're also eating maggots, Michael. We were all singing the children's chorus of the “Thou nots...” and whatnots, a whole lobby full of horror-geeks joined together in unison. This was followed by Haim's performance of the Doors' “People Are Strange” which, if you ask me, outshone the original. And, as fun as all that was, it was nothing compared to what happened next...
In my life, I have seen the grandiose emotional concerts of U2 three times. I have had Iggy Pop use me as a crutch to get lifted into a crowd, with his shoe kicking me in the face. I have been in a bar, watching Jonathan Richman play for only five other people. I have seen small children play the music of AC/DC. When it comes to music... I. Have. Seen. Some. Shit. Man.
But the greatest feat of music, live or recorded, that I have ever witnessed was Corey Haim busting out the freestyle raps. As Mac played a “funky” riff on his guitar, Corey spit flows about being a “funky white boy” like he was a pre-Death's door ODB, and bitch, you better have his money! I think that he might have even worked in a plea for Middle East Peace in his rhymes, which I obviously respect. That was socially conscious and it had a great rhyme scheme!
As his rap started to peter out, I knew that I had to keep it going. I didn't want this to end. Ever. I cupped my hands to my mouth, megaphone style, and started the chant: “When I say Corey, you say Haim!”
And the crowd responded, en masse and in ecstasy.
“When I say Corey, you say Haim! Corey..”
The look on Corey's face was... well, it was the face of an accomplished man. His face, tired and filled with only the memories of glories past, returned to its youthful state, as a smile beamed across his face. Corey knew that he had rocked us. Corey knew that he had rolled us.
As we were leaving, Corey was happily taking pictures, flashing the peace sign and basking in the afterglow. “I want to take pictures, but I need everyone to step ten feet back!” was the last thing I heard him say. The old superstar Corey was back and we were merely lucky enough to be allowed to bask in his soon-to-be-a-memory luminescence.
I sometimes wonder if Corey knew how much he entertained us that night. I wonder if Corey knew how much more memorable he had made an already memorable weekend. Make all the jokes you want. Corey gave me one of the best nights of my life. Whether you believed it or not, you'll be missed, Dinger.
(Editor's Note: Check out Louis' blog, where this was originally printed, at LouisFowler.com)