Sunday, December 11, 2011
Q: Are We Not Men?
I regret not taking graduate level classes in 1986 when I had the chance. I regret not saving more money. I regret wearing that double breasted sportscoat with the sleeves that I could roll up (think Miami Vice meets Revenge of the Nerds). I regret a few of the things I might have done that would disqualify me from some day successfully seeking the Presidency of the United States. But this is not a confessional piece.
When it comes to live concerts, I have few regrets. I've been lucky. I first saw U2 in 1985. I was thankfully talked into seeing the Allman Brothers in 1980. I am proud to have seen Springsteen in 1979 and 1986, The Who in 1989, and The Rolling Stones in 1998. These are just the highlights. I missed Floyd, but I've had my fill.
In fact, I've been so fortunate with the shows I've attended, there are few bands left that could get me out of the house and into the arena, particularly given today's costs. I would see U2 again (if you haven't had the pleasure, put that one on your bucket list). I hold out hope against hope that Talking Heads will reunite for one more tour. I had the pleasure of hypnotically pulsating with the crowd at their 1980 concert in Central Park, a show so intense that spending that night sleeping under a window unit air conditioner in Paul Zuber's dining room was well worth it. But there is a gnawing musical void in my resume, an itch that I have yet to scratch.
I regret that I never saw Devo in concert.
Yes, D-E-V-O. The Spud Boys. Those madcap New Wave rockers from Akron, Ohio. The genius behind Whip It and We're Through Being Cool, along with other lesser known gems like Jocko Homo, Smart Patrol/Mr. DNA, and Blockhead. I highly recommend picking up their double disc of hits, one called Devo's Greatest Hits and the other titled (accurately I might add) Devo's Greatest Misses. Time to complete your collections.
I thought that the opportunity to see the boys live had passed by a few years ago when I skipped a trip to Richmond to see them perform. After all, it had been decades since the release of New Traditionalists, their last relevant album (featuring that later to become Target commercial jungle, Beautiful World), and 2 decades is a significant creative and commercial drought. Lesser bands would have hung up their energy domes. But Devo soldiered on.
In this morning's paper, I saw it. Devo to perform at the State Theater in Falls Church, VA this Thursday night. The website promo says it all:
Formed in Ohio in 1973, Devo was one of the defining acts of New Wave with their science fiction themes, surrealist humor and satirical social commentary that played off the concept of "de-evolution". The band's sound, style and philosophy has been an influence on artists from Rage Against the Machine to Lady Gaga. Devo will perform classic material such as Billboard chart-toppers "Whip It" and "Girl You Want", along with songs from their highly regarded 2010 LP "Something for Everybody".
Here was a golden chance to remove a nagging regret from my exhaustive list of regrets, except for one fateful snag.
Thursday, December 15th is my daughter's 7th birthday.
Missing Lucy's 7th birthday, even though she'd probably be in bed by the time the first chords of Uncontrollable Urge were cheered by the middle aged, mentally ill crowd, was not an option. This is family. We have a full evening planned of cake, presents and a trip to that 2 star dining mecca, Red Robin. I was looking forward to my $10 hamburger in a plastic basket, the tower of greasy onion rings and the complimentary balloon (color of your choice, one per child). Dinner for 5 for under $60, assuming Cherie and I have water with a lemon as our adult beverage. You can't beat that compared to one $57 concert ticket, no drink included. Actually, no seat included either. Show is SRO. Of course, you could upgrade the ticket to include one drink and a meeting with the band - a bargain at any price, but especially attractive at $120.
Regrets, I've had a few, but then again, too few to mention. If I were to miss any part of Lucy's 7th birthday extravaganza, it would be a regret I could not overcome in the future. Last I checked, you only turn 7 once. I have a family now, and that must come first.
Are we not men? This December 15th, I will have to be.
Besides, I'll just bookmark their concert tour date page, and cross my fingers. Christmas is two weeks away.
We're through being cool
We're through being cool
Eliminate the ninnies and the twits
Gonnna bang some heads
Gonna beat some butts
Time to show those evil spuds what's what.