Tl; dr: I thought I was coming down with a cold before we went to the concert, but it turned out I was just hungry, which was odd because I’d had a big lunch
Really: I felt a bit weird and tired and somewhat shaky at the margins before the Giant Swede picked us (being me and the Crazy Uke) to go to the concert, but once we got to the venue and settled down to eat, I felt immeasurely better, and ate absolutely everything put before me. Ravenous can be defined by looking at someone else’s plate and saying “you gonna eat that parsley?”
We were early, as it turned out - thought the Tubes started at 7 and BOC hit the stage an hour or so later, but no. Doors open at 7. I went to get our tickets from the booth where the comped passes would be kept, and encountered an immovable object who insisted that it was just me plus one, not plus two. There was nothing I could do to change her mind, either. Hey, here’s a picture of me and the guy in the band? Some texts? Does that mean anything?
No, she’s seen it all. She’s seen an innumerable parade of people who insist they know the band and have the texts to prove it. But I found someone who was able to help, and went to rejoin the Swede and the Uke. Buck and Sandy stopped by the table on the way to the secret passage that took them to the dressing room, and everyone got acquainted. Time to go hear the Tubes.
I was never a fan, but never a foe. They were one of those weird bands out there that seemed like a musical version of a dream John Waters might have during a light nap. The elements of camp and theatrics and SF peculiarities - seemed more like performance art than RAWK, MAN. Good for them when they had a mainstream hit - that was the 80s, when a good producer and a song with a a decent hook could do well.
These days a band that’s touring 40 years after their inception is probably the singer and guitarist, at best. I think that was the case here. Fee Waybill, pipes still able to do most of the work, and Roger Steen, a confident fine guitarist who got big 80s points from me for wearing a shirt and a tie.
The tie is important. Our rockers wore ties, thank you.
We had a seat in the back, which allowed a view of the folks who milled about looking for a drink at either of the usurious bars. A lot of people frozen in mid-80s, as if they’d been hit with aging rays that transformed their bodies into something grey and paunchy, but kept the clothing. Women who hadn’t changed their look since the era of stone-washed jeans and feathered hair and high-heeled cuffed boots. Perhaps it was cosplay for youth; maybe this was just what they reverted to when out of of workplace mufti.
When did you all get so old, I thought, being of course exempt from such things myself.
Around 10 the band hit the stage. Started fine and got really, really, really good. No one wants to hear a review of a concert unless they were there, so never mind about that. But Buck - okay, I’ll stop, Don - was just superb. There’s a quality to his leads that’s hard to define. It’s slightly outside of the normal range; it has unexpected choices that seem to be playing in a complimentary key he invented or discovered. If you play guitar you think “oh, he found a new key that coexists with the others perfectly; maybe it’s from a parallel dimension.”
Or, put it this way: he will chose a note, a single note, you don’t expect, but it’s more right than the notes you would have been satisfied to hear.
So during “Burning For You” Sandy finds us in the corner and walks over and we make HARD RAWK FACES and mouth the lyrics because this is fun. She sits with us and tells a few tales about the songs as they’re played, including the one about substituting her lyrics for something Patti Smith had written because Smith’s lyrics were disgusting.
She tells me the story behind “Don’t Fear the Reaper,” which I will take to my grave. Sorry.
It all ends as a concert should, with the band members lined up, and ROCKING. It’s just great. The room is alive and joyous and grateful, and then it’s over.
And now the latest in a series of sentences that would have made my teenaged brain explode: after the Blue Oyster Cult show, we went down to the bar and had a fine whiskey with Buck Dharma, and I confirmed my suspicion that his top E string is a 9 gauge.
I would have been so keen to know the particulars. HOW - HOW DID THIS HAPPEN
It just did. And I should say Buck and Sandy, since it’s been delightful getting to know her, too. We closed the place and walked across the parking lot setting out the next thing whereby I write some lyrics for the new album.
You send me the chords and I’ll send you the words.
No you send me the words and I’ll send you the chords.
Okay, we’ll figure it out.
When I got home it was raining. Around 1 AM. Ping! On the phone: Daughter (TM) I had sent her a brief video of the concert, which the web of the world had delivered to her in Brazil, and she wanted to chat. We ended up texting for about 45 minutes about Many Deep Things, and yea, it was good. It was just about the best Friday night I’d had in years, and I felt completely renewed.
There was a kicker the next day. But that’s for tomorrow.
The second season of Tales of Tomorrow is so much better than the first - at least so it seems. I might just be feeling charitable, or perhaps chastened by my earlier amusement at its limitations. These were the early days, after all, and the geeks were no doubt happy for any sci-fi they could get.
It’s going to take place on Saturn!
No, actually, it’s not. Before the show starts, there’s a VO with title cards of some other great exciting shows - and you get the idea that maaaaybe the producers didn’t think this show was aimed at your average adult audience.
So we meet a guy who’s having problems.
He’s boosted some jewelry, is terrified of getting caught; his girlfriend gives him 24 hours to pawn it. He finds a guy who seems likely to help, but as often happens when you’re trying to pawn something, the guy actually has invented a machine that blanks out portions of people’s minds.
Oh and it sends them back seven years ago.
“But that’s not possible!”
“But it is possible!”
There’s your 1952 technobabble, I guess.
I play this so you can say “hey . . . I know that music.”
Anyway, here’s the last thing you want to hear before you undergo a strange procedure:
What happens next?
Well, commercial time, and we see a card for one of the most ill-advised TV programs I can imagine:
Yes, the kids go for Uncle Paul and his swingin’ rhythm.
I’ll give you the whole show in a moment, but first, more music. Both of these are well known, since they were used in hugely successful motion pictures. Ready?
This one’s a bit more difficult, perhaps.
I should mention - yes, that's who you think it is.
This one . . . let’s just say I was amused to hear it. Wonder how many other shows it appeared in before its fame was cemented in - well, that would be telling.
It’s a Twilight Zone ep, more or less. Would you like to watch it? Why, be my guest.
That'll do. My sworn promise: ALL REDIRECTS WILL WORK this week.