Tragic Kindom was the very first CD I ever bought. I thought Gwen was so cool and I listened to the album nonstop. One day, I called into a local radiostation to request Spiderwebs. The DJ said to me, "look up at your ceiling. Are you looking up?" I said yes. "Are there spiderwebs on it?" I can still sing along to every song on that CD. Return of Saturn was No Doubt's fourth album, and it was released 3 months after my diagnosis. During my treatment, I had total body irradiation- 3 times per day for a week. Each session lasted about 15 minutes, while I stood against a plexiglass wall, in a hospital gown, not allowed to move an inch. They told me I could bring in a CD if I wanted to listen to during the sessions. At this time it was early May, and the CD was still fairly new and was the only one I brought. A few times the radiologists would have to remind me to stay completely still...my head was bobbing slightly to the tunes. Surprisingly this album does not hold a negative association for me, and I can listen to it without any bad memories. When No Doubt released their fifth album Rock Steady in December 2001, I was a Freshman in high school. I spent over half of the schoolyear in a wheelchair, and a few weeks after I was able to stop using the wheelchair, No Doubt put on a surprise concert at my high school! All day there was a crew putting together a gigantic stage next to the football field, but no one knew what it was for. I heard rumors floating around from Avril Lavigne, to Linkin Park, to the weirdest one-a Pokemon show?!?! Promptly at 3:19 when the bell rang, the band started playing "Just a Girl" . It was for a show on MTV called Jammed that did not last very long but it was where bands played surprise concerts at different locations. Ours was the very first episode. The concert lasted about 45 minutes, and when we watched the show, we found out there had been hidden cameras all over campus to catch peoples' reactions and record everyone running to the concert.
One of my favorite memories is going to a No Doubt concert with Andrea. My dad gave me 2 tickets to see them in Orange County for my 15th birthday. It was my first concert, and it was incredibly fun. Our seats were really far away because it was a huge venue, but we had a blast. Since Rock Steady, the group has not released any new music, and have not played together much since Gwen's solo career. But they just announced tour dates, and guess who is going? Andrea and I have great seats to see them perform in San Diego May 22nd! It is crazy to think of how much has changed since we saw them 6 years ago. I was 15 and Andrea was 21. Now we are 21 and 27, both in relationships, both have been to college, both living in southern California, she started her career, I have had more surgeries than I care to acknowledge, and we are both happy and healthy. There are a few musical artists I can no longer listen to because they remind me too much of my transplant. But for some reason, No Doubt is an exception. Not only did it get me through some hard times, I have all positive associations with their music. Gwen and crew hold a special place in my heart and always will.