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1985's 'Rock Across America’ winner ended up backstage with Dire Straits.

It was August 29, 1985 when Marianne Lagerwey got the official letter - she had won 96FM’s ‘Rock Across America’ contest.

The comp required entrants to name certain songs from Dire Straits, Bruce Springsteen, Sting and Tina Turner… all the artists the winner would end up seeing live.

“In the old days you sent mail with the information on the back,” Ms Lagerwey told 96FM. “It was an awesome win.”

The prize included two return airfares to the US, accommodation, $1000 in travellers cheques and tickets to not one but FOUR concerts:

  • Dire Straits in Seattle
  • Sting in New York
  • Tina Turner in Portland
  • Bruce Springsteen in LA

Making the prize even sweeter was that part of her flight fell on her birthday.

“The flight was to Bangkok and then to Seattle, so I actually at almost 48 hours for my birthday,” she said.

But the best birthday present?

"I actually got to meet the band backstage in Seattle," she said. "I can also say Mark Knofler gave me flowers for my birthday."

Said flowers...

Here’s some of the great memories she dug up and shared with us...

Marianne backstage with Dire Straits in Seattle.

She then flew to New York to see Sting at the Radio City Music Hall.

Then Tina Turner in Portland.

Marianne was then 'one of 80,000 calling out Bruce' at the LA Memorial Coliseum when seeing The Boss himself.