It was 1995 Valentine’s Day, and I arrived at work early, and I was mostly alone in the office. The phone rang, and I answered with my usual greeting, “Good morning” (the company name), “may I help you?”. It was a man with a British accent. He spoke very slowly and clearly when he asked me, “Can I have your fax number?” I was a bit startled. His voice sounded familiar. I gave him our fax number and hung up.
A man with a British accent had never called the office while I was answering the phone. I had to know what was in the fax he was sending. I went over to the fax machine and watched as the paper slowly moved forward. Large letters at the top of the page were coming through, and then I saw it in bold letters, the name PALMER at the top of the page. I felt sick, and I took the paper to my desk and just stared at it. My hands and the paper were shaking. Then I realized where I had heard that man’s voice before. He sounded just like ELP’s manager Stewart Young, who called my house and to who I had talked on the phone.
I put the fax on top of my boss’s mail. It was from a company in Canada with whom we hadn’t been doing business. My boss didn’t seem interested in the fax at all. Before I gave it to him, I made a copy of it and was about to keep it, but it was so freaky I threw it away and tried to forget about it all. It wasn’t my property to keep anyways, and besides, it was from a legitimate company in Canada. It wasn’t something I could use as proof of being stalked. Palmer and his friends did it again. They covered themselves very well but managed to scare, haunt and stalk me on Valentine’s Day.
I had lost my previous job because I was so upset about what Palmer was doing that I couldn’t go to work. It was a struggle to remain calm and acquire that new job, only to be stalked there. How did they find me there? Did they want me to freak out at my new job? Well, I didn’t.
I remember so clearly when I wrote to Gilmour and told him about the incident. I asked, “Why won’t they leave me alone?” It was as though Palmer wasn’t about to be intimated by the message The Division Bell lyrics and artwork was sending him.
Emerson Lake & Palmer released their last album, In the Hot Seat, in September of 1994. I didn’t even know about it at the time. I never cared to listen to it. Who were they putting in the hot seat?
On May 29, 1995, Rod Stewart’s Spanner in the Works was released. It was incredible how beautiful and inspirational the songs were, and still are, to me. I believe Gilmour told Stewart what was going on and how I needed more help as I was still being stalked and harassed. (I wrote about hanging out with Rod Stewart and Faces in Chapter Two). So now it was like more old friends had come back from my past to help me out.
The title “Spanner in the Works“ means to cause disruption deliberately, to interfere with the running of something.
In the ELP album cover art, it shows a train with an ELP logo on it and a chair on the tracks about to be smashed. On Stewart’s album cover, he’s sitting in a big beautiful chair to show that he and his music are the spanner itself to stop the ELP train from continuing to do me harm. It’s to tell Palmer and his friends to leave me alone and stop their hideous hateful stalking. Other songs on the album are so beautiful and gave me hope and the strength to keep trying to tell my story.
After Stewart’s album came out, Palmer never stalked me again. There were more lyrics from the band ASIA, but I didn’t pay much attention. I knew, if anything, they were all lies anyways.
Both album covers are in black and gold. Musicians were speaking to musicians with lyrics and artwork. Like the Pink Floyd lyrics, “Haven’t you heard it’s a battle of words?”
Also, Emerson Lake & Palmer released two albums in 1977, Works Volume 1 and Works Volume 2. So the phrase spanner in the works meant even more.
The one song on Stewart’s album that stood out the most is “Leave Virginia Alone.” I read that Tom Petty wrote it in 1993, and he gave the song to Stewart. It was amazing to find out many years later that my friend Chris Adamson also worked as tour manager/director and production manager for Tom Petty and Emerson Lake & Palmer, and Pink Floyd. For so long, I had only known about his job with Pink Floyd.
Regarding the song “Leave Virginia Alone,” Tom Petty never said what the song was about and that he wanted to leave its meaning up to the listener.
The song means the world to me. When a legendary musician speaks to another legendary musician, it’s easy to understand the meaning of “she’s not like you and me.” She’s not a rock star like you and me, so leave her alone.
“Well they chased her down the alley and over the hill to steal her will.”
They tried to steal my will to live. You only have to read my story to see what happened. And you can decide for yourself. All I know for sure is that the song worked, and I wasn’t bothered anymore, and they left me alone.
“When the ‘A’ crowd came” represents Palmer’s band ASIA who came onto the scene with their love songs to adore my brain. That means to make me believe that Palmer loved me all along, so I would never tell about him and what he did that horrid night in ‘73.
I’m not sure where Tom Petty got the name Virginia from, but I am a Virgo. I believe the name comes from the old song “Sweet Virginia” by The Rolling Stones. It encourages and begs a friend to come on down from being too high or, in my case, to come on down from that expressway over-pass and not to jump.
Leave Virginia Alone” was initially meant to be on Tom Petty’s studio album Wildflowers, but the track did not make the album. In a Billboard interview with Rod Stewart, Stewart revealed that Petty’s manager gave him the song and that he did not like the song and had to be convinced to record the track.
That’s funny that Stewart had to be convinced, perhaps by a third party. Was Gilmour the third party? They all had to cover their tracks on this song because, to me, it speaks directly to Palmer and his creepy friends and tells them to leave me alone.
“Leave Virginia Alone” was sung by the writer Tom Petty and would later appear on the tracklist for the posthumous album released by his estate, Wildflowers & All The Rest. The song was released as a single from the album on October 1, 2020. It’s just so beautiful.
My interpretation of Rod Stewart Leave Virginia Alone (Official Video).
A woman looks out the window and is waiting for a man, it seems. She decides to pack a suitcase and take a bus to the beautiful place she believed he’d be and where she thought she’d be welcome. When she arrived, no one was there to greet her. The furniture was covered up, and boxes were filled as if the person she came to see had moved.
She seemed to be trying to give a press conference because she had something important to say, and she was annoyed with all the cameras in her face. She ran and hid from the guys with big paper mache heads who wouldn’t leave her alone. Then she ends up leaving and going right back to where she started. The trip to a beautiful place wasn’t what she believed it would be.
In Wikipedia for this particular video, there is an article, which I won’t even repeat. It’s just a very sick interpretation about the woman in this beautiful Tom Petty song.
The song helped save a woman who did nothing wrong and ran away from people who tried to force her into a sexual situation and photograph her to ruin her reputation. And that’s part of my story.
Rod Stewart wrote the song “Shock to the System,” and it is the B side to “Leave Virginia Alone” with the lyrics “She came from the Motor City, played piano in a rockin’ blues band.” I came from the Motor City, but I played drums in a rockin’ blues band. Not exact, but closer to describing me than anyone has ever done before. I was shocked when I heard it.
I had “the old folks out on Sunday” going to church, mostly old folks there. “With an eye for Polynesian art.” Made me think of the style artwork on the Asia album covers.
“Well, she earned a whole lot of money And went back home to Michigan” I never left Michigan and never made much money.
“As I was walking home one night In the streets that never sleep In that subterranean part of town Where love is never found.”
After Stewart asked my friends and me for a ride to his hotel, we walked through a rough part of Detroit’s east side to get to my car.
Now, this next part is hilarious and NOT true at all, and so NOT like me!! “On a billboard on the topless place, I noticed her pretty face. It said appearing here twice nightly.” Once again, that’s not me at all. It’s really funny, though.
Thanks so much, Sir Rod!
And Thank You so much to my old friend Chris Adamson. I finally found out where you were!
I never got the chance to say thank you to Tom Petty, but somehow I know that he knows. So many of his songs still inspire me to keep going and tell my story.
I have many more people to thank before I’m done writing.
This chapter will be continued with: Genesis/Publius enigma.. the key to the Enigma is at the beginning of “Time. The sharpe eye. More musicians join in to help me get justice