Ibelieve it was Benjamin Franklin who said, “There are only two things certain in this life: Death and taxes. And rock music. Three things, I meant.”
I am pleased to announce that I recently managed to experience the death and rock music parts simultaneously, when several dozen of my friends and I sojourned to the big Rush concert at the Great Western Forum in Inglewood (town motto: “Welcome to Inglewood! Bang!”).
The first incident of near-death came about while the opening act was performing. Aaron (you remember Aaron) and I had to find one of our friends who was there, only we didn’t know where his seat was, so we began wandering about aimlessly, hoping that we would just run into him. Unfortunately, everyone else was also wandering about, just like we were, only they probably were not all looking for the same guy we were, because he did not, so far as I know, have any drugs on him. So as Aaron and I were in the process of meandering around like retarded sheep, along with fifty billion similarly impaired livestock, we encountered some major gridlock. For some reason — we couldn’t tell why — things got more cramped than they already were, and everyone tried to keep moving but couldn’t.
To further my perturbation (if there is such a word), many of these long-haired weirdos began going, “Moo!,” which of course is what you are supposed to do if you are in a large crowd and lack the imagination to come up with anything funnier. These are the same people, I imagine, who, when they fill out a form, where it says, “SEX,” instead of putting “male” or “female,” they put, “yes, please,” apparently thinking that they are the first person ever to think of that. These are the same people with bumper stickers that say “Same [expletive], different day,” or possibly, “My other car is a Cadillac.” These are the same people who, when they go to someone’s house where there is a piano, they immediately proclaim, “Oh, I play the piano,” and then, uninvited, they sit down and proceed to play “Chopsticks,” which of course is all they know. There is a serious lack of originality in Americans today, particularly those Americans who go to Rush concerts and have a few beers in them already.
The other incident of near-death was after the concert, when we were trying to get out of Inglewood (as are, I suspect, a majority of the residents). Just outside of the Forum parking lot, there were a whole bunch of large males engaging in some major capitalism, insofar as they were selling bootlegged Rush T-shirts. We had seen them on the way to the concert, lined up from the freeway to the Forum like some kind of delinquent Hands Across America, peddling their wares to anyone who was sufficiently intimidated by them. This category included everyone in my car, several of whom were intimidated enough to buy two or three shirts.
Anyway, after the concert, we were in line behind a zillion other cars, trying to get out of the parking lot, when we realized that we were right in the middle of a large T-shirt dispute — literally. On one side of the street was a whole group of delinquents who were debating with a group of delinquents on the other side of the street as to which group of delinquents owned a pile of T-shirts that had fallen in the middle of the street. This would have been fine, except that this debate was being held over my car, which was stopped in traffic. They were LEANING ON MY HOOD, arguing with one another. I guess our lives were never actually in danger, but it was still kind of scary. I wound up having to buy a few more T-shirts just to make them go away.
A fun little column, about a fun little event. I wrote pretty much the same article for the school paper, too. I was always stealing from myself in those days.