Wayyyy back in 1987, my buddy Dave called me. He had an extra ticket to the Huey Lewis And The News concert at Laguna Seca, and did I wanna go?
Huey? HELL YES I wanted to go! But at 16, one must acquire the permission of one’s parental units before taking on such endeavors. Mom said she was fine with it, as long as Dad was. Well, okay.
Dad said “No.” Didn’t want me exposed to the type of people who go to rock concerts.
AT A FUCKIN’ HUEY LEWIS AND THE NEWS SHOW. Even today, I don’t think there is a more clean-cut band on the PLANET. Bill Gibson STILL wears a suit behind the drum kit, I think.
I haven’t forgiven him for that one. And the day of the show (yeah, it was a daytime show, too, to boot), Dad sees the footage from the show that gets aired on the local TV news and says “Ya know, I was wrong, I probably should have let you go.”
Thanks, Pops. ‘Preciate it.
So the next summer, I get the same call from my friend Derek. Def Leppard is playing the Shoreline Amphitheater. And let me tell you, at the time I was a Leppard FANATIC. I had received “Hysteria” for my birthday that year, and the tape was already well on its way to being worn out.
Well, seeing as Dad owed me one from the summer before, I didn’t ask this time, I told them I was going, and that was that. I received no argument. :) And it was an incredible show. To this day, Def Leppard is still my absolute favorite band, and “Hysteria” is still the best album in my collection.
And the reason I bring all of this up: Last night, fifteen years (FIFTEEN YEARS!) after that first concert of August 22, 1987, I saw Def Leppard for the fourth time.
And it was amazing. It’s been at least nine years since I last saw them live, and eleven since I last saw them live at an indoor venue. And they are MUCH better indoors. I think it has something to do with the reverb of the building or something. They played ’em all, simple as that, and they played arrangements I’d never heard live before, and it was just incredible. It wasn’t the best show of theirs I’d ever seen (it would be almost impossible to beat the show in Oakland in 1992, when they were in the round, at the top of their game, in all of their laserriffic glory, and I was 30 feet with direct line-of-sight to the stage, over everyone on the floor), but it was a close second.
The thing I most enjoyed, though, was the people who came. Face it, we’re all getting old. A lot of us who listened to Leppard when they owned the world in the late 80’s have kids now. And quite a few of them took their kids to this concert. There was a mom over in the arena bowl seats from me (I was on the floor), who was wearing the trademark Leppard Union Jack shirt, ‘cept it was sequined, and you could tell she’d had it for a while. (If you’ve seen the videos for “Photograph” or “Now”, you know the shirt I mean.) She brought two kids with her, the oldest of which could not have been conceived when “Pyromania” was originally released. And all three of them had a great time. I thought it was the greatest thing. Mom, if yer watching: rock on.
Assuming they make it (and there’s no indication that they won’t, if you can kill off a guitarist and rip the drummer’s arm off, and they still keep going, what would stop them?) to 2005, they will celebrate 25 years together as a band. The Beatles lasted, what, 12? Fifteen, tops?
I shoulda known.
Maybe the Internet side of Comcast is getting their shit together, but the cable side is as hopeless as always.
Today I went on a pilgrimage down to my local Comcast office, for a couple reasons: one, three years of frustration with attempting to order the NHL Center Ice hockey package has made it clear that over-the-phone is not the way to go to insure a successful transaction, and two, because of the nature of Tivo, I’m gonna need a second digital cable box if I’m to watch said hockey while the Tivo records whatever it is it’s gonna record while said hockey is on.
The first part became clear as soon as I got to see it from their point of view: All this time, I’ve received nothing but the telephone equivalent of a blank stare each fall when I call to order Center Ice. I know the reason why, now: nowhere in any of their subscriber software does it ACTUALLY CALL THE PACKAGE “CENTER ICE”, OR IN FACT INCLUDE THE WORD “HOCKEY”! I learned that the “Nhl Full Season” is in fact what I wanted, and we got that squared away without further incident. (Dollars to donuts Opening Night is gonna come and it won’t be working. Again.)
Got my new cable box, too. Got it home, hooked it up, appeared to be fine. Dandy. Figure I’ll put it in my bedroom for now, allow me the luxury of Game Show Network from my bed, and prolly move it out to the living room once the hockey season gets rolling.
Well, tonight, I get in bed, and realize that I hadn’t thought to dial up a digital channel yet. Damn. So I do. And I get the “One Moment Please” screen that three years worth of Comcast fuckin’ up has taught me that they need to fix my box.
So I call. She sends the magic signal to blow out the box. No change. Analog channels, no digital ones. So she tells me to unplug it, let it sit for five minutes, and plug it back in. Should do the trick.
I give it six, ‘cuz I’m a nice guy. Now I get NOTHING. Static even on the analog channels. Toddle out to the living room, check the other box, it’s fine in every respect, digital, analog, it’s all good. Unplug, give it ANOTHER six. Bupkus.
Call BACK Comcast. At this point I’m just trying to get a confirmation that the box is deceased and needs to be swapped out. Silly lady asks me a bunch of questions designed to imply that I don’t know how to hook up a cable box. I’m patient. Prolly ‘cuz it’s late. And ‘cuz I should have seen this coming. She can’t blow out the box ‘cuz the system goes down at this hour. Well, okay.
So I get to call back, ‘cuz they won’t declare the box dead yet. The BEST scenario at this point, I think, is that I get to go out of my way on Monday after work to exchange this box for a new one, which may or may not work. That’s OPTIMUM.
…and in fact, that’s what’s going to happen. Resulting in an errand to either run after work on Monday, or tell ’em I’m gonna be late and go in beforehand. I’m leaning in that direction, actually. Fuckin’ Comcast. I have LITERALLY never made a transaction with this company, either now or when it was AT&T, that has gone right the first time. Monopolies are amazing things.
The 2003-2004 San Jose Sharks season tickets are out, or so I’m told. The marketing slogan for this season is:
“Sharks Hockey: It’ll Swallow You Whole”
Hmph. At any rate, this is a vast improvement on the slogan used when the season ticket renewal packets went out, which read “Somebody’s Gonna Pay For Last Year”.
After last season, what many people don’t know is that the two rejected slogans were:
“Sharks Hockey: It’ll Eat You Up Inside”
“Sharks Hockey: It’ll Suck
You Down In One Bite”
(Of course, some have suggested that if the Sharks are going to suck, then it’s good to know in advance that they swallow, too. :))
I haven’t added to this in a while, but the other night I was reminded of a Brush With Fame I had a while back, and it sounded like it would make a neat little piece. So:
Couple years ago a bunch of us were in my car, driving into Seattle (I lived in Bellevue at the time) to catch a Seattle Thunderbirds hockey game. It being Seattle at wintertime, it was a cold rainy night, and this one was particularly stormy.
As I’m getting off of the 520 bridge and preparing for the nasty quick switch across traffic (the arena exit is the very next one, so you get to slide across like six lanes of busy I-5 traffic over a tenth of a mile or so, tops. Fun.), someone sees a guy in a suit standing in the pouring rain next to his clearly diasbled vehicle, and comments “Hey, that looks like Bill Nye, The Science Guy!” We don’t think any more about it, and since faceoff was rapidly approaching, we speed along to the game.
As the game goes on, we’re thinking about it. WAS that Bill Nye, The Science Guy? Naw, couldn’t be. The person who saw him insisted that it looked exactly like him, down to the bow tie. And he _is_ a Seattle local, so it’s not like it’s outside of the realm of possibility.
The next day, we check various and sundry sources, and confirm that the stranded wet motorist was in fact Bill Nye, The Science Guy.
So, long story short, I dissed Bill Nye, The Science Guy, during a moment of automotive distress, in a driving rainstorm, just so I wouldn’t be late to a hockey game. I’m sure there is a special level of Hell waiting for me for that one.