Mercury Falling

Los Angeles, CA, US
Greek Theater
Lucky fan tastes sweet Sting of rock'n'roll stardom...

Mike Ledesma lived out his rock 'n' roll dream on Saturday.

The Camarillo resident was the lucky fan picked out of the crowd at the Greek Theatre by rocker Sting to accompany his idol on a rendition of 'I'm So Happy I Can't Stop Crying'.

''I was more in shock than anything else. My heart was pumping so fast. I couldn't even explain the feeling. It was like a dream,'' said Ledesma, 27, a customer representative for GTE paging in Westlake.

Ledesma and his girlfriend, Melissa Blackwell, had planned to go to the Saturday night concert, but got last-minute tickets for Friday as well. Sitting far from the stage the first night, Ledesma saw Sting pull a fan out of the audience for the number.

Saturday night, Ledesma sat about 20 feet from the stage. When Sting got to the part where he would look for an audience member, Ledesma was a step ahead of the rocker.

''I already had my hand up,'' Ledesma said. He saw me and said, ''You don't even know what I'm going to say.''

Ledesma waited for Sting to ask for volunteers and then shot his hand up again. This time, Sting beckoned him on stage.

The rest was kind of a blur for Ledesma. Sting asked him about the pager he carries, and Ledesma got a laugh when he explained he worked for a paging company.

Sting explained the song was about divorce.

''Have you ever been divorced?'' he asked Ledesma, who told him no.

''Have you ever been married?'' No, again, he answered.

Then he asked Ledesma if he had a girlfriend. Ledesma pointed to Melissa. Sting said a breathy, sexy hello to her.

Sting instructed Ledesma to sing only on the chorus of the song from his new album, 'Mercury Falling', (A&M). But Ledesma, who says he's tone deaf, joined Sting on the rest of the song. The rocker decided to leave him on his own, and Ledesma took about four lines by himself.

'''Well go ahead', he told me,'' said Ledesma. ''Then he kind of pushed me out of the way. I thought it was hysterical. That was end of the dream.''

Or so he thought. After the show, Ledesma got an usher to let him backstage, explaining that he was the guy from the audience. He and his girlfriend were greeted warmly backstage and congratulated by the crew and star-studded visitors. He even got to meet Sting again.

''I was walking backstage and everyone was so nice - they all knew me,'' he said. ''Someone said, 'Great job,' and I turned around and it was Julianna Margulies of 'ER.' She said it was nice to meet me. I was amazed. She was so nice. It was all incredible.''

Later, Ledesma got to chat with the new James Bond, Pierce Brosnan ('GoldenEye') and was called 'maestro' by Sting himself, who sent Ledesma off with well-wishes and a hug.

''He said, 'Until next time','' said Ledesma. ''The whole thing was unbelievable. I'm still not sure it really happened.''

(c) The Daily News of Los Angeles by Elizabeth M. Cosin