Saturday, November 17, 2007

Aging and Rock Demographics


Due to a bewildering number of things to do, combined with a collective Dark Night of the Soul shared by almost all of us in Grad Office 210 that lasted a week, I'd completely forgotten that I'd spoken to my friend Tina about going to a gathering at the Murat in downtown Indy. At the time I'd originally spoken to her I didn't hear her properly and thought that it had something to do with the Colts. Hmm, a concert for the Colts. Inconcisely, I'm very much not at all even slightly connected to football, but I thought, hey, free tickets, it'll be good for people watching, expanding horizons, writing material, a gin and tonic, and so forth.
But by the time I'd finished my class yesterday, piled all of my crap in the back of the car, and hightailed it home, any memory of my conversation with Tina had completely evaporated. I Lugged my box of books, papers, notebooks, CD-Rs, dumped the mess on the sofa and did what I now often do after getting home on an early Friday afternoon--I went directly to bed. Sure, I go there with the excuse that I'll stay warm under the covers and read until the house heats up, but I know that I'll be out like a light within ten minutes. After a dream in which I was at the Symphony with my Aunt Paula, I hear my phone. Tina. Wanting to know about the concert.
"The Colts? Really? A concert for them?" I was inclined not to go. After various repronunciations at varying volume, I finally was able to understand that they were free tickets for The Cult, whom many of my older readers might remember as an 80s rock group. Tina had five free tickets, her husband couldn't go. I squinted at the clock and determined that I could get to Tina's house and then downtown in time to find a decent spot. I told Tina I'd be over after a quick clean-up.
The poor Cult folks--as soon as I got in to the Egyptian Room with Tina and company, I was failry certain that this would be a bust of a concert. At the same time the "Kids Bop" even t was being held in the Main Hall--pre-teens could be heard screaming to imitation Britney. Tickets hadn't sold well so the promoters, looking at the general age group of folks who listened to The Cult, comped a bunch of tickets to banks, downtown office buildings, and my former employer, the Big Mutual Fund Company, which is how Tina got ours. The room looked like a slightly goth-tinged Annuities Convention. The whole event was officially titled The Jaegermeister Music Tour--five bands culminating with The Cult. The Jaeger bus, bright orange, was parked outside. The busty Jaeger girls were there, smiling in carefully-prepared poses, took orders and pulled back their shoulders for pictures. Jaeger ads were projected onto the ceiling--the buck with the radiant cross between its antlers twitched to different spots on the ceiling at timed intervals.
I wasn't really in the mood for a rock concert. Evidently, neither were the 50-somethings that were there. The opening bands exhorted the attendees (I won't call it a crowd) to buy independent, to support new bands, and to "ditch all this Corporate bullshit that's killed music." I blinked. Looked up. The Jaeger logo spun slowly--a deer in a dryer. "Coors Light" sailed slowly over the ceiling tiles.
The sedentarily-boozing Managerial faction at the tables weren't impressed. "Fuck you." Their jowls quivered. Most sat in accustomed Barcalounger poses. I ordered a drink. Sipped the Jaeger. It tasted like Vicks Formula 44D. I decided to have it changed to a Jaeger Bomb, which added Red Bull. I sipped. The addition magically transformed the flavor to that of Robitussin.
The Cult came on. One of Tina's kids was face-forward on the table, sleeping in spite of the volume. The lead singer, after three songs, mentioned Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse. "Fuck you" said the Barcaloungers. "You do read books, don't you?" said the lead singer. Contempt from the Barcaloungers, who went to get more crap domestic beer. After a few more songs, the lead singer spits. "Kids Bop is next door, people." "Fuck you" said the Barcaloungers. The Jaeger gorls were gone. The tenders broke down the bar, shut off the Jaeger machines. Carts of the awful stuff went by. From my vantage point, I could count no fewer than four Barcaloungers, heads thrown back, mouths open, sleeping. It was less a rock concert than a lounge in a retirement village, shortly after dinnertime.
"Good night, right-wing Christian fuckers," said the singer. Which missed the point, I think.

4 comments:

Mme Darjeeling said...

Talk about old! I don't even know what Jeager is and only have a vague memory of The Cult. But there is nothing sadder than a bunch of overweight, surly, balding middle-aged people at a rock concert put on by musicians well past their prime. (Almost as pathetic as middle-aged people who read blogs and then make comments). Rock is kind of all about "sticking it to the man". You can't really do that when you ARE "the man".

davo said...

These people were certainly "The Man."

Kristen said...

So apparently Ian Astbury hasn't aged well... I had a major lust fixation on him back in the day. They must be, um, scraping the bottom of the barrel to do a Jaegermeister tour... {sigh} I can't believe you even tried the stuff. Gross! Perhaps even more frightening is the fact that I still have their albums. On vinyl.

James Tadd Adcox said...

This post is one of the most wonderful things I have ever read. I'm kind of jealous I didn't write it first, as fiction.