With my name, it’s kind of obligatory to be a fan. The parentals bestowed the duty of Dolly devotion upon me by naming me after one of her most famous songs. ‘Jolene’ is ranked number 219 on Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. It is certainly an ice breaker when you meet people and I am often on the receiving end of a stranger’s spontaneous sing-song when I introduce myself.
Dolly’s Glastonbury set drew a bigger audience than Metallica or Arcade Fire who were headlining on previous days and I’m not at all surprised. I was lucky enough to see Dolly on her Better Day World Tour in 2011 and she was absolutely amazing. I can say this with authority as I have some truly magnificent live music experiences to compare her with; Shakin’ Stevens, Brighton Centre, circa 1989 anyone?
The Dolly concert was nearly over before it even began for me. En route to the O2 Arena in London, I realised that the tickets I’d been guarding and keeping in my super safe place so that I didn’t lose them, remained in that super safe place. Unfortunately this place was in my flat, 71 miles away from the O2. I was so focussed on remembering the words to ‘9 to 5’ and doubling up my denim that I had forgotten to pick up the tickets.
This wouldn’t have been too much of a problem had I not changed my name between the time of booking the tickets and the concert date. I feel it’s important to point out to people who don’t know me that I changed my surname by reverting back to my maiden name. It’s nothing suspicious, I am a bona fide Jolene. I was never a Grizelda or an Agnes desperate to change her name. Or, for the more mistrusting reader, I can confirm that neither was I a Barry or a Peter looking for a more feminine way of life.
So, I was in London, I had no tickets and no identification confirming that I was who I said I was. I was just a sad looking girl in a Dolly Parton T-Shirt and a cowboy hat essentially trying to beg her way into a concert.
Usually when you have a credit or debit card reissued following a change of name the bank will issue the new card with a completely different card number. Fortunately, the wonderful credit card making fairies at Capital One do not do this. They just issue a new card with a different name but the same card number. This was my saviour and allowed me to demonstrate that I had a credit card with the same number as was used to pay for the tickets. I also managed to find a very old and tatty library card/casino card/Superdrug card/some other equally useless card floating around in the dark and uncharted depths of my handbag which showed my previous name.
So, Bob’s your uncle; 45 minutes of stress, repetitive apologies to my friend and fellow Dolly concert attendee and perilous handbag navigation later, we had duplicate tickets.
The evening improved significantly from that point onwards. We managed to trick the security guards by bringing bottles of ‘water’ into the venue. Water that tasted a bit like vodka when we poured it into our cokes mind you. Owing to all the water that we drank, we were on a high. We sang along to every song. Laughed at Dolly’s anecdotes. Danced perilously close to the edge of the steep steps. Water makes you lose your inhibitions and fear of falling it would seem.
As the evening wore on, my friend, boosted by the good feeling that water gives you, insisted on telling everyone that I was a real life Jolene. An extremely exciting state of affairs for Dolly fans as you can imagine. It was the closest thing that I will ever get to being famous. People were squealing at the joy of my name, asking to have their photograph taken with me, it was astounding.
Dolly was glammed up to the max with more sequins than an entire season of Strictly Come Dancing, hair as big as a small country and long ruby fingernails that defy her guitar playing abilities. She is gorgeously trashy, bubblier than a bottle of champagne and she makes you smile. That’s why I’m not surprised that 100,000 people watched her in a muddy field in the middle of Somerset.
Dolly, you rock.