Monday, July 10, 2006

Rock of ages (or the aged)

As I’ve mentioned ad nauseum over the last week, Joey treated me to some tickets to see Def Leppard in concert this weekend. Since the concert was several hours away we decided to turn it into a long weekend, leaving Friday afternoon and coming back Sunday around lunchtime. Okay, maybe that’s not exactly a long weekend to a normal person, but for two workaholics it was a major accomplishment to actually leave work early and hit the road without busting major ass to get out of town.

We drove down at a leisurely pace instead of our usual breakneck speed. We had a mission – to arrive at our destination as late as possible. You see, we had plans to stay with Joey’s business partner M and his wife P at their house – and anyone that knows us knows that M and P are like gasoline and a match. It’s a total crapshoot at any point as to how they are going to behave, especially if there is alcohol involved. They had already purchased some box seats to another concert Friday night and were dying for us to go with them and we knew that there was virtually no way they could behave themselves TWO nights in a row, so we stalled and made a scheduled shop halfway there to visit with one of the guys that works for Joey. We ended up hanging at his house by the pool and drinking a few brewskis until an appropriate amount of time had passed and then we headed off to M’s house – knowing full and well that we would never get there in time to go to the show with them. Yeah, we got skillz at avoiding ugly situations with M and P.

We ended up having a lovely dinner with several cocktails at this great Italian restaurant…it was pretty funny because they had complimentary valet parking and when we dropped off the Pimp Mobile the valet guy was like, “Duuuude, sweet ride!” and all I could think about was Ferris Bueller’s Day Off when they drop the Ferrari off at the parking garage. We got inside and had to wait almost forever for our waiter to take our order since he had several large table including one table that it seemed had nothing but half-deaf senior citizens who were also incapable of reading the menu so he had to shout the entire menu to them. By the time he got to our table to even recite the specials, I was half-drunk and kept telling Joey that I was concerned that the waiter hadn’t entered our food order into the computer – never mind the fact that he hadn’t even taken our order yet. The dinner was excellent and since Guido the parking attendant was obviously taking stellar care of our ride we decided there was no better remedy to feeling bloated than walking about 2 miles. Finally we got back to the Pimp Mobile and headed off to M’s house. They live in a gorgeous waterfront home complete with pool and dock for their big ass boat. We settled in like a bunch of old farts in front of the TV and around 11 PM we turned in for the night.

On Saturday M and P finally got up (they didn’t go to bed until 4 AM) and we all headed out for a late breakfast. P and I ended up taking a 3 mile walk after breakfast while the guys napped and then we came back and got in the pool. And this is where I get stupid – you see, I have very fair skin and burn super easily, yet I balk at putting on sunscreen because I am always convincing myself that I will tan instead of burn. Um, wrong. Luckily I wasn’t out there long so I only got a faint pink tinge on the tops of my legs (how attractive – pink fronts and white backs) before I wised up and headed in to shower.

And this is where the fun started for the night. Our other friends D and Y met the four of us at this Japanese steakhouse for drinks and dinner – we also had one of Joey’s trainees join us for dinner. D and Y are absolutely hysterical. He is a total wild hare and she is usually the straight man. One small highlight of the night was D joking that he and Y had done their own version of the Running of the Bulls the night before involving some battery-operated adult toy. I swear that they make me almost wet my pants every time I’m around them. After dinner we headed back to M and P’s house to kill time since we’d found out that Def Leppard wasn’t taking the stage until 9:30.

The concert was awesome (like, totally). We’re pretty convinced that they had digitally “helped” Joe Elliott’s voice somewhat, but the rest of the band was tight and the guitar playing was absolutely awesome – I am a longtime Vivian Campbell fan and Phil Collen almost channels the music to the point you’re left breathless. Rick Allen can play the shit out of the drums and I swear is just as good as ever. They played almost all of their hits, a few songs off of the new album, and had a great video show up on the screen with graphics interspersed with old photos of the band and live video. Pretty impressive stuff. And it was pretty fun seeing all of the fans and what a wide variety of ages there were – parents bringing kids, teenagers, seniors – and all of them totally rocking out to the show. I don’t think anyone sat down the entire night (except for the people behind us, of course).

After the show we ended up back at M and P’s house for more drinks and we sat around and shot the shit until about 1 AM until D and Y had to leave to go back to his parents’ house where they were picking their daughter up. The rest of us turned in for the night, we rousted out early Sunday morning and grabbed a quick breakfast before heading home to Monkey Man.

Joey: So babe, did you like the show?

Me: Hell yeah! Thanks for getting the tickets and arranging everything.

Joey: So are you happy now?

Me: Yeah. But I’m thinking that maybe I need to move past this whole Def Leppard obsession I’ve had for the past six months. My goal is to get all the Def Leppard out of my CD player by the end of July and replace it with some new CD’s.

Joey: End of July? Why the end of July?

Me: It’s an addiction, you know. And I need to wean myself from it slowly.

Joey: Oh my God. I didn’t realize it was that bad.

Me: It is. But I think if I do this slowly it won’t be so bad instead of trying to go cold turkey.

And so it came to be. Not only a great concert, but the beginning of my road to recovery.

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