There is nothing like seeing a band you love performing live on stage. The first concert I went to was New Kids on the Block. By the time I saw them they weren’t really popular anymore and I definitely wasn’t into them like I had been. The concert was amazing. The energy from the gazillion screaming fans was intoxicating. I couldn’t help but get caught up in the excitement.
On the ride home from the concert that night I promised myself that I’d go to every show I could.
And then I did.
The King was in Utah going to college during the same time that I was deep into going to shows. We didn’t know each other. We didn’t have any of the same friends. We didn’t live by each other. We weren’t even in the same town. But every now and then he’ll be talking about something he did in college and I’ll realize that I remember hearing about that exact same thing.
(Anyone remember hearing about The Great Pillow Fight of 1992 at BYU? Yeah, he *cough* may have had something to do with that.)
And then every now and then something like this will come up.
“I think I went to Spanish Fork once. It was to see Rage Against the Machine.”
“I WAS AT THAT SHOW TOO! Did you see me?”
“I didn’t know you.”
Yes, we were both at the same (controversial) Rage Against the Machine show. We could have stood next to each other in line. Or hit up against each other in the mosh pit.
You would think that the first time something like this came up we’d start listing all the shows we were at to see if the other one was there too. But we’ve never done that. It’s just when it comes up in a conversation about something.
“You saw Tool there? I think I was there too.”
Then there are the times we’ve talked about the Utah State Fair and we’re realized there were a few different shows there that we saw at the same time.
The King turned forty in March and I threw him a raging party. He decided (the day before, thankyouverymuch) that he wanted to make a CD to give out at the party as a favor. He asked for my help putting it all together. His idea was to create a sort of playlist to correspond with his life. He sat down at our laptop and starting typing up the list of songs he wanted to use. He kept this part of the plan a secret from me. He e-mailed me the list of the songs he wanted and I started collecting them from our library and coming up with my own list of songs I needed to buy for the playlist. (I was surprised at how few of them we didn’t own.)
As I was working on my part of the project The King e-mailed me the rest of his project. He wanted to include a booklet with the CD and needed my help creating it.
The title of his CD was “40 songs that at the age of 40 I’m no longer embarrassed to admit that I like (and what they mean to me)”. The King had typed up a few sentences for each of the 40 songs and I was giddy with excitement to read what he’d written.
The teenage girl in me loved reading through it and finding out there were other shows we were both at. For some reason the idea of Early-Twenties-Isabel and College-Student-The King having all of these missed connections felt so romantic to me.
I quickly pointed out to him the shows I was also at and told him he should include that in his notes about the songs. He added it at one place. Clearly he didn’t think it was as romantic as I did. But that’s to be expected since he’s a boy.
While I think it’s romantic that we may have seen each other long before we knew each other, the truth is that it’s a very good thing Early-Twenties-Isabel and College-Student-The King didn’t meet at one of these shows. If we would have I’m pretty sure there wouldn’t have been the same love connection that we had a few years later. He wouldn’t have liked my hair or my clothes or (let’s be honest) my attitude. And I wouldn’t have liked his “I’m in art school” pretentiousness.
It’s a good thing we met when we did.
Now we go to shows together. And while we’re not so young anymore, I find it romantic to be standing next to him watching someone we both like performing on stage.
I can’t wait until Babboo and Rerun are old enough to go with us.
Just in case you’re curious to see which songs made the cut for his birthday CD, may I present:
40 songs that at the age of 40 I’m no longer embarrassed to admit that I like
and what they mean to me
(Some names have been changed for the purpose of this post.)
1. Love Me Do, The Beatles – My mom had a ton of Beatles 45s and my little sister and I used to play them on a little cardboard record player when we were kids.
2. Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, AC/DC – In elementary school, the music teacher would let us bring in records to play once in a while. While most kids were bringing in the soundtrack from ‘Annie’ and sing-along junk, Clifford Dillstead’s older sister had every AC/DC record made (at the time) and he would bring those. Still love them.
3. Uncontrollable Urge, Devo – I heard Devo in middle school shop class, and I knew right then that I wanted to be a rock star. Every time I hear my friend Dave’s band cover it, I’m glad I at least know someone that still has a shot at it.
4. It’s Like That, Run DMC – Middle School shop class had a pretty progressive play list.
5. Heartbreaker, Pat Benatar – I loved Pat, and even more when MTV started.
6. Rain, The Cult – My neighbor Pat introduced me to the Cult. I was too young to go see them at the time, but I listened to the tape so many times it broke. Twice.
7. Rio, Duran Duran – When I was 12, we went on a week-long canoe trip in Canada with the young men from church. Someone brought along a Duran Duran tape and we paddled around the lakes, sitting on the front of canoes, just like on MTV. I loved MTV.
8. Photograph, Def Leppard - I spent some time with Mike Dew and Jason Titus in half-built homes, playing air guitar to this album. Pre-arm Def Leppard. The good stuff before they started drumming with their feet.
9. Walk Like an Egyptian, The Bangles – Went to see The Bangles at the Paramount. I think it was the first live show I had seen, and since they were all women, it was an easy sell to the folks.
10. Livin’ on a Prayer, Bon Jovi – (If you say you don’t secretly like this song, you’re a liar.) 2nd concert I ever went to and I went with my dad. I felt like it was the beginning of me being uncool, but it was really the beginning of my dad being super cool
11. Every Little Step, Bobby Brown – This was a dark time in my life musically, where I listened to a lot of garbage while dancing at the Omni in Kent.
12. Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos, Public Enemy – My best friend Shawn and I went to see “Do the Right Thing” in 1989 on Broadway (Broadway Cinema which is now a Rite Aid) and were the only white people in the audience, although we didn’t think we were (white).
13. Paid in Full, Erik B. and Rakim – Did I mention I was gangsta in 10th grade? I blame YoMTV Raps, and so did my parents.
14. Fine Time, New Order – This was the first CD I ever bought. Not even sure why I bought it, but I still love New Order.
15. Down in It, Nine Inch Nails – Eric Durgin and I walked into the Palace in Provo my freshman year at college. We passed through a room full of kids dancing to Bobby Brown (which I was used to) and entered a room where this was the first song I heard. I don’t think I ever heard Bobby again.
16. The last of the Famous International Playboys, Morrissey – MTV still played videos at this point, and on Sunday nights, I’d walk off campus with Eric and we’d watch 120 Minutes at his girlfriend’s house.
17. Welcome to Paradise, Front 242 – I saw these guys in SLC in a barn at the fairgrounds. Probably the closest I’ve come to a ride in an ambulance.
18. So What, Ministry – Freshman year at college, even in Provo, can be a dark time. It got dark.
19. In-N-Out of Grace, Mudhoney – Quintessential rock stars, even to this day. The power went out during a show at the Mural Amphitheater that summer, and Mark Arm went rockstar and since there was no sound, started playing Jimi Hendrix style, with his teeth. Amazing.
20. Hot for Teacher, Van Halen – One of my teachers at the MTC (Missionary Training Center) was caught drumming the opening to this song on his desk during a moment of boredom.
21. Even Flow, Pearl Jam – I don’t really like this song, but it was huge when I was on my mission in Germany for our church. I can remember walking down a snowy street in East Germany one late night, and watching the video on a bunch of TV screens in the window of a store. It wasn’t until a year or so later that I heard the music that went along with it.
22. Home Sweet Home, Mötley Crüe – My life took a turn when for two straight years while on my mission, I listened to nothing but Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The last 7 days before I left Germany, I secretly listened to this every morning.
23. March of the Pigs, Nine Inch Nail – This was how I re-introduced myself into mainstream music after my mission. Went to this show about 5 days after I came home. I had barely stopped wearing a suit every day. It was like pulling off a band-aid I guess.
24. Loser, Beck – Not his best work. Not even close. But he puts on a great show.
25. Shadow of the Season, Screaming Trees – My dad bought the house that these guys were living in in Ellensburg WA, and threw their butts out on the street. Remember how I said he was cool?
26. Sober, Tool – I enrolled in the art program, stayed up late a lot with my friend Ay and made paintings.
27. Sweet Child of Mine, Guns ‘N Roses – I lived with an old companion from my mission for a few months, in an apartment full of Tongan dudes who had a lot of parties and listened to a lot of Bob Marley. Metz (companion) could sing every song from Appetite for Destruction from memory (including the guitar solos) and would occasionally do so on request, to drown out the sound of the island music in the other room.
28. Wave of Mutilation, Pixies – Saw Frank Black live in SLC where he did this song as a solo on stage. I think about (and miss) Salt Lake every time I hear it.
29. Waiting Room, Fugazi – Not long before I left Utah, I returned to the Fairpark Barn (see Front 242) to see Fugazi. This time I sat in the bleachers with this girl I secretly adored, and a group of friends, one of which kept screaming out requests for John Denver hits between songs. I climbed over a moving train on the way to that show, risking life and limb, just to hang out with that girl.
30. Bulls on Parade, Rage Against the Machine – Isabel and I later found out that we had crossed paths at many of the same shows in Utah, years before we were married.
31. Nuthin’ but a G-Thang, Dr. Dre – The summer before I left Provo, I went to a 4th of July picnic where someone played this song on the stereo while we all sat on the porch and watched fireworks.
32. Amado Mio, Pink Martini – Saw them with my friend Shane and his wife in Seattle and EVERYONE in the crowd danced. Shane taught me to wear a suit whenever possible, and some card tricks, against his better judgment as a magician.
34. Book of Poems, Old 97’s – Ok, I like them too.
35. Victor Vito, Laurie Berkner – Babboo was born, and we listened to this song while he peed on the carpet. I love him so much; I didn’t even mind cleaning it up (or listening to his music).
36. Supply and Demand, The Hives – Shane was right, suits rule.
37. Think About It, Flight of the Conchords – Aside from my dad, JJ is one of my hero’s. You can learn a lot from him about attitude, sense of humor, and just generally how to keep it together in the face of adversity. Call him, you’ll see. 555-6905.
38. Quality Control, Jurassic 5 – Somehow, this is one of the top 10 most played songs on my iPod.
39. Nothing but Flowers, Talking Heads – I’ve been listening to the Best of Talking Heads a lot lately. I dream of chocolate chip cookies too
40. I Wanna be Around, Tony Bennett – Isabel and I went to see Tony at the Paramount, and it was one of the most amazing and inspiring shows I’ve ever seen. It proved that an old guy could still be cool.
(Anyone care to guess which shows we were both at?)