Saturday, August 04, 2018

The Price

This summer, I happened to be in Colorado just about the same time that the Eagles were bringing their tour to Denver. And for a moment or two, there was some wild talk between my older brother and me about getting tickets to go see this remnant of the seventies. We had, back in the early eighties, sat in a stadium and watched them headline a summer festival of rock that finished up with all those peaceful, easy hits. They were a machine. And now, nearly forty years later, we were just a few miles away from seeing that machine in action one more time. Except our ticket-buying budget had not grown in proportion to the price of tickets to see such a beast. We did not attend that show.
When I came home from my trip to Colorado, just a couple of days after I returned, DEVO was playing outdoors in Oakland. Just a few miles from my house. It was one of those outdoor festival gigs, like in the old days. They were going to close out the show. It would have been like in the old days.
Except for that ticket price.
I stayed home. I watched highlights on YouTube.
That wasn't like the old days.
Back in the day, my roommates and I took shifts sleeping outside the nearest Select-A-Seat outlet. We camped out for two days prior to the tickets going on sale. The university was used to such shenanigans, whenever shows were announced, there would invariably be an encampment stretching out the door and around the corner of the student union. Aside from the sleeping bags, people brought radios, books, magazines. Some put on a show of studying while they waited for the window to rise up. Some were there for the duration. We were fortunate to have a crew. We were able to attend classes and make somewhat regular bathroom stops. We had agreed that anyone who wanted a ticket to the show, up to our limit, would have to sit. And throughout the days and night, people passing by on their way to wherever, would stop and ask, "What's the show?"
We told them, "DEVO."
And some of them laughed. They scoffed at our commitment. So we started making stuff up. Telling them it was a Led Zeppelin reunion tour. Anything that would keep them from ridiculing our slumber party.
And that was the price we paid. The dollars we spent seemed completely reasonable combined with the hours spent sitting out on the sidewalk. We had a party at our apartment the night of the show. We were celebrating our tenth row seats. We were celebrating our chance to see the Spud Boys up close and personal, the future of rock and roll.
We were celebrating our youth.

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