That was the subject line of the email I received in my Yahoo inbox yesterday. I stopped everything I was doing and ran upstairs. My wife was in the bathroom putting on makeup.
“You wanna go see Van Halen?” I asked.
She gave a me a deadpan look, eyeliner pencil poised for the punchline. She was, at best, a quasi-fan of the band.
“In May. Denver. Pepsi Center.”
“How much are the tickets?”
I hadn’t paid attention to that. The aging teenager in me was to blame. ‘IT’S VAN HALEN, DUDE! THE ORIGINAL VAN HALEN!‘ he implored through pimples and a pre-cro-magnon haircut when the thought briefly flitted across our brain.
I ran back downstairs and clicked my way to the ticket site. I pulled up the concert tour, searched the venue map for the best seats and drilled into the PURCHASE NOW link.
Section 231: $200 per seat
Section 426: $320 per seat
Section …blah, blah blah ‘really expensive seats here!’
My teenage self left the room, surely embarrassed by my old man reaction. I walked upstairs and passed by the bathroom, uninterested in engaging my wife in an ‘I told you so’ type conversation.
“How much were the tickets?” she yelled, not one to be denied validation.
“Third of a mortgage payment or two months worth of groceries!” I yelled back, not slowing down. I didn’t have time to be ridiculed. I was on a mission: find my old Van Halen CD’s.
The irony of this?
Back in 1979 (or 1980?), I saw Van Halen live. I paid $20 for an outdoor concert that featured Van Halen, Boston (yes, THE Boston), the Outlaws and Poco.
I was fifteen feet away from the stage when David Lee Roth flew out of the scaffolding in a harness and glided across the stage doing his hammy poses prior to rocking the bark off the nearby trees and causing dozens of screaming girls to spontaneously lose their undergarments.
I was drinking PJ from a red solo cup when Tom Scholz of Boston came running onstage playing the opening chords to ‘More Than A Feeling’ and slipped, landing hard on his ass. You know what? He never missed a note. Not one.
Or maybe the PJ was just that good. Who knows?
Or more important, who cares?
The way I figure it, those memories will stay with me until I grow so old I don’t need to remember them. They were priceless in what they offered for only $20. Not $200. Not $1000. In fact, after seeing those ticket prices, I felt like I’d robbed a liquor store with a Pez dispenser.
Those good memories saved me money. Besides, who wants to pay two months worth of groceries to watch old men try and reclaim their glory days?
Maybe they should revel in their own good memories and stop tempting that teenager inside me. Or maybe I should just go mix a batch of PJ and dance naked to my CD’s. 🙂