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Featured Fan: Laurie Rae’ Graham Bennett

Submitted by on August 29, 2011 – 12:00 am2 Comments

Full name: Laurie Rae’ Graham Bennett
Airplane Girl
Lakewood, CA
Professional Organizer
Favorite Rick song: 
Love is Alright Tonight and World Start Turning
Number of Rick concerts: 
probably about 100 by now (but the real answer is Never Enough!)
First Rick encounter: December 12th, 1992. I waited outside after a concert and got about 10 seconds face time to say hello. My first concert was 1982.
The longest distance you have traveled to see Rick: 
Mid-Town Manhattan, NY, from Los Angeles, CA.

Your Rick Story: I first heard “Jessie’s Girl” on the radio the month I turned 13. That same month, my parents told me I’d need a third, life-saving, open-heart surgery. It is because of God, my parents, the doctors, and Rick’s music that I survived. His Working Class Dog album gave me the inspiration and courage I needed in order to cope with the 18-month recovery.  Saying “thank you” to Rick in 2005 and being able to give back to him in a big way has completely changed my outlook on my life and my health for the positive.

How do you feel about being cast as a feature fan? I feel so blessed to be part of this film. I am flattered beyond belief that Melanie & Sylvia thought enough of me and my story to choose me; I couldn’t believe it when they told me. I’ve been wanting to share the story of my special connection with Rick with more people, and doing so in this film is more than I dreamt possible.

Where did the camera crew film you? I was filmed in my home, with my husband and my mom; at the home of a young girl who also has congenital heart defects; and by the beach in Santa Monica, CA.

Why do you think you were selected to share your story? I think my story shows the beauty of Karma – kindness between people and giving back to someone who has helped you; it shows the fan experience at its absolute best and purest form; and it shows how deep the power of music can truly be.


What was the most memorable experience during the filming process? In Milwaukee last year, the first time I was filmed. I was telling my story, and I was surprised by Rick, who joined me in the interview. Together, we told the story of how we first met and why that was so special for both of us.

Did you have any revelations you’d like to share as a result of being a part of this film? Being a part of this film has solidified for me all of the revelations I’ve had since meeting Rick – that I am a special person that can touch people’s hearts.

How are you feeling as we are counting the days until the first official screening? I am getting so excited, and can’t wait for it to be here. I hope it goes slow so I remember every moment of it. I’m most anxious to see Rick’s reaction to what I say in the film. I know I’m going to cry so I already have my box of tissues ready to bring with me.

Anything you’d like to add: For me, the past six years have been filled with love and gratitude. I’m amazed how much my story has grown over that time, which started simply because I said “Thank You.” And now, I am blessed not just to witness the fruition of Melanie’s passion for Rick and for this project, but I get to be a part of it. Her passion, talent and creativity inspire me.


  • deem1962 says:

    You’re an inspiration to us all Laurie. Thank you for sharing your story and yourself with us.


  • sabrina says:

    It was because of Laurie the Airplane girl that I had my first chance to go to a M&G with Rick. I’ll be forever grateful to her for that :)

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