Tuesday, April 23, 2013

BREAKING BUD, PART 1



ENJOYING A SWEET WEEKEND RIGHT TO THE BITTER END

Temecula, CA – Well Sports Fans, it’s that magical time of the year. Between Fat Tuesday and Derby
Day, two special, magical days for liquor gnomes, comes the time when those more in league with the Cheshire Cat and Tommy Chong gather internationally around the globe. April 20, or 4/20, ‘420’ is here once again. The fact that April 20th is also Hitler’s birthday shows you that it isn’t only God who possesses a wicked sense of humor.

4/20, a day all stoners, medical and recreational, celebrate together, is a magical day since only a special segment of the population is taking part in a communal cerebration the majority of society has no clue of. Not unlike the folks of a secret sect that drew a fish in the sand itself puts the fête on the other side of the looking glass. When you factor in Bon Jovi and the man-rancher who once ‘gave love a bad name’, according to some in the music scene here, well, you get the gist.


Bon Jovi, who has been in the news lately because his 19 year old daughter almost OD’d, is someone I saw back in the day, or before chapter 18’s ‘Season of the Witch’ in Memoirs. Besides the hit ‘Wanted Dead or Alive’, the even bigger hit, ‘You Give Love A Bad Name’ was a tagline thrown at DJ Catter’s co-host, Kixi, when Bipsy was still in the scene physically. In fact, only Bipsy’s funeral paved over the skid marks Kixi had laid down.

Back in the day after a conversation about old (to me) rockers in the 80s, Kixi gushed over Bon Jovi like women my age gush over Elvis, so naturally, after seeing the excited look in her eye, I said, “Well if Bon Jovi tours again, I’ll take you to see him.” Well, on April 19, 2013, ‘those chickens came home to roost’ as Granny would say. Kixi and I caught Bon Jovi on tour at the Staples Center in LA. When we arrived on the sports campus, tall sign graphics told us that the show, and the Center, were sold out.

Though Kixi is ‘a stand-up broad’ the big city of LA is frightening to many out-of-towners as far as walking around LA. However after Occupy LA, I am no longer a tourist in the big city. Since ‘tourist’ parking was $30, yeah that ain’t a typo, that’s ‘big city’, I said “Keep driving,” to our driver/Kixi’s friend, Jimbo Jones. A few blocks later we parked in a nice quiet lot for half-price. Kixi, acute to all the smells of the city, walked close like we were treading through a wilderness. That didn’t break my heart.

Our seats were in the third row, from the roof, but in a direct line with the singer who was on an open stage platform which took up one end of the floor. Every seat was filled including those behind the stage as there was no stage structure apparatus, only the framing for the spots, some of which rose or lowered depending on the song lighting used. Though I had forgotten my binops, a huge flat screen hung for the viewing pleasure of those in the ‘cheap’ seats. I love LA.
The one drawback was the small seats in our section. If you think you might ever be a candidate for The Biggest Loser, don’t even think of the upper Staples seating. You will not be able to wedge your ass in or out. No hill for a couple of tight ass ‘steppers’ like ourselves though. We settled in shoulder to shoulder listening to the east coast rocker. Kixi had the look of a kid getting her Christmas wish, so to speak, and why not.


The appeal of Bon Jovi is like other working class songsters who spin tales of heartbreak (‘Bad Medicine’, ‘Shot Through The Heart’), young girl issues (‘Runaway’), independence (‘It’s My Life’, ‘Wanted Dead Or Alive’), and romance (‘I’d Die For You’, ‘I’ll Be There For You’, ‘Bed of Roses’, and the sentimental anthem rocker, ‘Born To Be My Baby’). However, the adolescent angst spelled out in Bon Jovi tunage is closer to J. Gels than Bruce Springsteen. Song title lyrics like “You were ‘born to be my baby’ and I was made to be your man, or the enveloping ‘when you breathe, I want to be the air for you’ speak to the ‘Tarzan-Jane’ ethic of a man old enough to hold a job and a girl ready to leave home. Though out of favor now thanks to the crazy bend of the country, the imprint of a not too distant time lingers strong still, witnessed through the female majority audience, just as when I saw Jon Bon in the 80s. Like I said in a past story, my grandmother was 16 when she married my grandfather, 27.

As we sat there high above a room that looked like a quilt of people, a grandfather-aged man with a granddaughter-aged woman, sometimes rocking out bumping butts, I realized why Max, in Memoirs, had chosen to go see the Rolling Stones (1981) with me over her rich boyfriend at the time. Now I understood, as I enjoyed being at a sold-out show with another music lover and buddy, not a date.

After Jon and his band of musicians missing only Ricky Sambora [The elephant in the room during Bon Jovi’s "Because We Can" tour is the departure of founding member and guitarist Richie Sambora early in April. In an April 8 story in the Austin American-Statesman, Jon said, "I think Richie’s doing all right, (but) I haven’t spoken to him ... We were surprised. It was 3:30 on show day on Tuesday and we got a phone call that he wouldn’t be there. It’s a personal matter. Don’t believe what you read on TMZ because it’s the furthest thing from the truth,"] performed what ‘seemed like 5 encores’ to quote Kixi, we walked back through the throng with me telling her of a jumping Peacock Spider to help with her anxiety about huge open areas.
Once we got to our spot with Jimbo, we celebrated 4/20 which had happened around show end. Then they dropped me at my spot in LA. Watching their taillights disappear I had no idea I would only get 5 hours of sleep that night and no sleep the next, but then I had never spent a 4/20 being a ‘420’ author before.

To be continued…

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