Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Back to the 80's

Last week, my neighbour (Mr Fix It) had a spare Cheap Trick VIP ticket going free, so I said I was game. Ball and Chain didn't want to come (I don't think he was aware of Cheap Trick even in the 80's) and was happy for me to go, despite the fact that he had just single-handedly parented all three kids during my long Montreal chick weekend. Mr. Fix It had to wring a promise out of me not to do the big-hair thing nor otherwise try to replicate those 80's rock outfits, and then I was allowed to go.

A date. With two guys - neither of which was my husband. Most women would think this weird, but having spent my teens with a sister who attracted men like flies (pardon the analogy), a platonic evening out with guys was par for the course. (Neignbour's wife, my friend, was there when this whole "date" was arranged and had even less desire than my B&C to see Cheap Trick, by the way.)

So we get to the Hard Rock Cafe and there's a line/queue around the block. "Oh, but we're VIP" we arrogantly chuckled. We even had a printed out e-mail telling us who would take care of us. Unfortunately, we failed to impress the bouncers, who laughed that laugh they do when they suspect you're trying to reach the Holy Grail of rock concerts - back stage access. Turned out everyone in the line was VIP for one reason or another. So to the back of it we slunk, even though we weren't being let in for another hour. Mr. Fix It disappeared every five minutes with a wad of twenties in his fist, trying to fix something, but they were now all on to us so back of the line we stayed. Then the heavens opened, at which point we legged it to the pub across the road, and hatched the brilliant plan of waiting till everyone else was in before we tried again. As I said - brilliant. The line just got longer and longer (and wetter and wetter), and even when we joined what we thought was the back of it, we still had to wait another 20 minutes in the cold and wet.

Finally, after a mini tantrum by Mr. F, the woman who was supposed to be taking care of us handed us a VIP laminated card which we wore around our necks - a little less arrogantly now that the VIP label meant so little. The VIPness did allow us up to a private (free) bar, and we chatted up the lighting guys so we could stand in the middle of both huge spotlights on the balcony without being told to move out of the way. Then Cheap Trick came out, looking like the ageing rock stars they are, and even older than me.

They only played for an hour (probably all they could manage or remember) and the acoustics were so bad you had to be a die hard fan to recognise most of the numbers (hey, get me - using roadie language). I'm glad I went though because it was part of my new Caveat Emptor approach to life. No, that can't be right, that's Buyer Beware isn't it? Actually that's rather ironic given the VIP situation, but I was searching for more of a Carpe Diem idea - seize the day. It's not often I can be bothered to get tickets for events, so I was rather pleased to have something handed on a platter and within my five mile going-out radius. Makes me sound like I have an exciting life anyway.

I got home fairly early (for having been to a rock gig that is), about 11pm, -with my ears ringing louder than Big Ben. It was so unsettling, I couldn't even think of going to bed, despite having to get up sometime around 6.30am (middle of the night in my books). It was the aural equivalent of having had too much too drink and the room spinning when you lie down. And to think I used to do this on a regular basis in the 70s and 80s?! Perhaps that's why things go in one ear and out the other these days?


  1. I guess that happens as you pass through life ... things that seemed so normal once suddenly seem so abnormal now. Tonight I was carrying 3 plastic beakers of juice at once, when I had a flashback of my great skill of carrying 3 pint glasses of bitter at once in pubs. "years of practice", I thought to myself.

  2. the 80s produced some great music ...or perhaps this is just misguided nostalgia for dressing up like a pirate and playing that game of eye-spying david bowie on the king's road. (which we did, but only once; confirmed sighting.)

  3. Unfortunately I am still paying the price for all the bands I used to listen to & all the dancing with loud music that caused me to suffer from tinnitis. No joke I can assure you!

  4. You 'rock chick', you!
    Quite glad my recent musical appreciation has been at large concert halls/theatres with seating. Not sure my legs could contend with the pressures of the crowd up front like they used to when I saw bands like Madness and The Smiths all those years ago.

  5. Hi expatmum.. I went to see Iron Maiden in the 80's, awesome and I still love them, I have partial deafness.. but I still turn it up when I hear it..

  6. You go girl!! I still LOVE going to concerts - I'm going to see Scouting For Girls next week and Bruce Springsteen the week after - think it has something to do with being a sad singleton again and trying to recapture my youth x ps is that actually a picture of a nipple in the comment above?

  7. No exciting nipple pictures from me, although I did do something for breast cancer today.
    Anyway, good on you for going to a concert! I don't remember Cheap Trick. In the 80's I was too in love with Nick Heyward to listen to much else.

  8. I'm not much for concerts any longer, but when I was in my 30's I had a friend who was a music reviewer for a local newspaper and she always had free tickets to all the concerts and I accompanied her on a number of occasions. I knew I was 'topping out' when, at the AC/DC concert, I noticed I was the oldest person there, including the security staff.

  9. Ahhh...Cheap Trick. An old boyfriend and I saw them in a small venue in Houston as the opening act for somebody else -- maybe Paul Young? We loved them from the beginning.

    Have you read about my John's trip Monday night to see the Ting Tings in Oxford? Take a look -- I linked his blog into Lord Celery. He had a great time, and I'm envious (as I couldn't go).

    VERY cool of you to go!



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