Friday, October 17, 2008

TVD | Friday @ Random

Back in the summer of '88 I was working along with my roommate Stew at the Record World in Georgetown Park Mall -- ground floor to the left of the Mrs. Field's. (The Record World's gone now, but oddly that Mrs. Fields is still there pimping the doughy sweets.) Stew's girlfriend Fang (no joke) was working at the dress store around the corner along with my then girlfriend. We made a nice little foursome during lunch at the Food Court, we did.

One late morning, midweek and midsummer I was working the register...scratch that--reading Billboard at the register, when some guy breezed in with a notepad and like a man on a mission headed to the back of the store. Glancing up I thought to myself, "Man, that guy must get all the ladies with the Bryan Adams look he's got going on..." and returned to my Billboard. Glancing up again, there was the Bryan Adams look-alike jotting some notes to himself on the notepad at the register counter. I guess my stare was awkwardly long to the point where the dude sticks out his hand and with that gravelly voice says, "How's it goin, I'm Bryan..."

"Holy shit" I say, "Bryan-freakin-Adams right here in the store...hey look - we have your record on sale right there." He's all like, "How's it selling?" and I'm all like, "pretty good!" He says, "Hey - I'm looking for laser disks to play on the tour bus, do you guys carry any or do you know where I can find some?" (Laser disks...remember those? I have to think these were pretty darn near obsolete at the time we were discussing this, frankly.) So, we're shooting the shit, I'm giving him some options to pursue, then he says, "Hey - are you going to my concert tonight?" Thinking fast on my feet I say, "Couldn't get tickets, man - SOLD OUT. Go figure..." (Jon: NOT a Bryan Adams fan.) He says, "No problem - gimme your name and I'm putting you on the guest list. Got a girlfriend? She's on the list too!" He takes our names down, we shoot the breeze for a little while longer, then he's off. "See ya later" he's shouting as he heads out into the mall. Weird, right?. But I was struck by one thought - nicest guy EVER.

So, I get home and I'm all, "Youwon'tblieveitImetBryanAdams. Nicestguyeverwe'reontheGUESTLIST!" which was met with a sarcastic and disinterested twirl of the finger in the air, "greaaat...wheee..." But, we did indeed GO to the Cap Center out in Landover and I roll up to the will call window and say, "Uhh...Bryan Adams has left me tickets..." and the look of the lady behind the glass was easily one of, "Right kid - I've heard that one a million times..." But, she asks my name, flips through some envelopes, and there it was...killer seats and backstage passes. I actually recall hearing surprised gasps from the converted, know, the REAL Bryan Adams fans in the line behind me. Odd.

We're brought backstage before the show to an area zoned off for radio contest winners who've won the coveted privilege to meet Bryan before the show - and in walks Bryan. "Jon" he says, "so glad you could make it - this must be your lovely girlfriend..." And we're talking and joking like old chums for about 20 minutes, then the lights go down and the crowd begins to cheer and my good pal Bryan says, "SO sorry I have to cut this short..." I'm like, "Suuure - I totally understand..." He gives us both a hug and heads out and I'm thinking, NICEST GUY EVER. Sheez.

But we left about a third of the way into the show. (Kinda' not into the music, y' know?) As we're heading out from the admittedly great, last minute seats, he launches into "Summer Of 69" and I thought...he IS talking about the YEAR, right? ...Cuz I've has some summers where...oh, ...never mind.

Not so secretly Canadian:
Jellyfish - ...on Much Music, Canada (Mp3)
Rush - Fly By Night (Live, Pre-release) (Mp3)
Triumph - Fight The Good Fight (Mp3)
Steppenwolf - Magic Carpet (Mp3)
Loverboy - Turn Me Loose (Mp3)
Nick Gilder - We'll Work It Out (Mp3)
Pride Tiger - Fill Me In (Mp3)
The Kings - Switchin' To Glide (Mp3)
Bryan Adams - Summer 0f '69 (Mp3)
Doug & The Slugs - Too Bad (Mp3)
William Shatner - I Am Canadian (Mp3)
The Pursuit Of Happiness - I'm An Adult Now (Mp3)
Payolas - At The Angels Feet (Mp3)
Saga - Wind Him Up (Mp3)
Rush - Spirit Of Radio (Mp3)


Urban Gypsy said...

Haha this story made me smile! I can't believe you guys still left early, after all that. His music isn't THAT bad is it? Excellent mix too- somehow I totally forgot that Loverboy is Canadian! I adore that song :)

JON said...

It's not BAD, ...just sorta 'eh'.

Davy H said...

'SpIrit Of Radio' ! Way HAY!

JON said... that good?

dickvandyke said...

lOVELY SPIRIT LIFTING TALE ... oops, sorry I'm shouting. Lovely tale about Mr Adams. By all accounts, he's a similar fellow now and rides pretty much trouble-free on the tube in London where he's lived for ages.

Never really understood his mass appeal. Nevertheless, I suspect in a pub with an audience of 200, you'd have the most stellar of rock n roll evenings.

But fancy leaving before the end of a free night courtesy of the heatfelt generosity of the guest star! Tut tut. Everything he did, he did it for you. Hang your poodle perm in shame.

Davy H said...

I agree with Dickie - you could perhaps have had cheese and bickies back at Bri's and everything!

Yes, way HAY is a good thing! This is the only 'heavy rock' record I have ever bought - along with 'Since You Been Gone' by Rainbow. You'll tell me they're not really 'heavy' but I don't care. They are to me (Tamla, Jam, New Wave, Jazz, Soul, ACK! atak, skinny trouser guy).

Mrs H is still listening to Journey btw - every time I drive that damn car I have to 'eject' that bloody CD


I have liked the Came From The North series, not least because of Urban Gypsy's nice writing x

JON said...

'Since You Been Gone' is indeed GREAT. has been this series brought to you by none other than UG!

ThirdMate said...

As a Longtime Lurker, First Time Poster, I thank you for this site and the great great et cetera...

Incidentally, I have the EXACT SAME story, except it's about Doug & The Slugs.

JON said...

Thanks for the kind words - but I'm thinking you need to tell that story now, right?

ThirdMate said...

You caught me, Jon. It's not the exact same story. I was working at the college radio station and the Slugs' road manager (named, ironically enough, Joe Jackson) came in and handed me passes to the Channel in Boston, where we were whisked into the backroom with the cheddar and crackers ("cheese and bickies," Davy H?)

Doug Bennett (rest his soul) was a brilliant storyteller on and offstage, and the whole band were such great hosts and mates, I'm not sure that I remember if they actually even played. Doug hugged my girlfriend, though.

So, not really "same exact." I do watch a lot of hockey, though. (How's that for Canadian content, eh?)

JON said...

Great story, Doug's no longer here with us?

BTW - please lurk no more and participate...happy to have ya'!

Ed said...

Bryan Adams' Summer of '69 is a guilty pleasure and a half. Not sure that I would want to listen to the whole of Reckless, but it's a great tune.

Urban Gypsy said...

Davy H, Thanks so much for your encouragement! I really appreciate it :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for Switchin to Glide! I haven't heard that one in so long.

JON said...

Nuthin' matters but the weekend/from a Tuesday point of view...