Thursday, April 24, 2014

The good, the bad & and the Springsteen show

You’d think by now I’d know better than to try and make even a modest profit from spare tickets to a marquee event. It only, for me at least, leads to costly misery.
You may remember I’m one of the few men or women on Earth who’s been arrested for trying to scalp/dump pre-season Steeler tickets for $25 less than face value (see below).
What happened again Tuesday prior to the Bruce Springsteen concert was maybe just as bad.
And the wound is too fresh and too deep for me to detail all that happened just yet. Partly because I’m trying to drive the details from my mind and partly because there’s a chance my wife might read this and inflict a less metaphorical sort of fresh, deep wound that might hurt me in places more tangible than my soul.
One of my favorite Martin Luther King Jr. quotes is about how evil cannot be driven out; it must be crowded out. It means we need to ensure the good outnumbers the bad.
King was talking about things like racial injustice, civil strife and historic inequities tearing at the very fabric of our nation.
I’m talking about things like outrageous ticket service fees, unbending guest relations personnel and the inhuman outrage of $12 domestic beers.
But there was so much good that happened that night I’m going to stack it up in a pile so that one day I can be an example to you about overcoming my sort of adversity.
First of all Quinn came to town. I have friends who bitch about me writing about Quinn too much, but seeing Quinn is always eventful and his presence is too tumultuous to ignore.
This was the third time Quinn and I have paired up to see a Springsteen show either here or in his hometown Columbus.
It’s no exaggeration to say I’d rather see Quinn than Springsteen, and not just because it would save me a fortune. See, Quinn’s one of those guys for whom the Springsteen seats can’t be close enough.
I’m convinced if we’d scored floor seats and wormed our way up so our chins were resting on the stage right by the Boss’s boots, he’d say, “Look! There’s some space up there on Roy Bittan’s piano bench. I’ll bet he’d let us sit there next to him!”
Our tickets, the source of so much contention, were in the first row of the balcony behind the stage. For Quinn that was really bad, but using MLK’s logic I’m going to crowd out his bad and bury it with my good.
Good because I thought the view was fine and because if we hadn’t sat there we never would have met the guy from Buffalo who drives all around the country to see Springsteen. That’s not uncommon. What is uncommon is to have brought along and purchased tickets for this two children, ages 7 and 5, so they could see Bruce too. They said their favorite albums are “The Rising” and “Wrecking Ball” respectively. They both snoozed through the last half of the show.
This was really good because with one of the spare tickets I’d considered taking my 13-year-old Josie, but decided against it for many sensible reasons some Buffalo fathers choose to ignore. So now I have more evidence that I’m a really good Dad, which I’ll bring up the next time I do anything really bad.
 The show got off on a sort of bad note when he opened with an odd Clash cover of “Working on the Clampdown.” But that bad was buried with so much more good that was the rest of the show. Bruce just keeps getting better and better. We’re really lucky to have him.
It was bad when Quinn told me he heard Springsteen flies home on a private jet every night after every single show. It jarred with his working guy image. It just seems so imperial. Who does he think he is? Bruce Springsteen?
But the possibility let us enjoy a lot of fun speculation, like does he allow his bandmate/wife Patti Scialfa fly home, too, or does he make her bus it with the band?
And it was really good when during his “Hungry Heart” crowd surf some artistic genius gave him the most remarkable balloon creation I’ve ever seen (that’s a Star-Ledger picture above). It was a Springsteen balloon. I like to think he took it with him on the plane and maybe buckled it into the co-pilot’s seat.
There were many goods to our lodging arrangements. We stayed across the Monongahela River at the Holiday Inn Express on the South Side. It’s probably less than a mile walk through the Armstrong Tunnels to Consol Energy Center. It was very convenient, plus when the show was over we were free to prowl the booze-soaked South Side. We closed Primanti’s and then headed to Jack’s for last call there.
It was good when we met a really pretty stripper who’d just put her clothes back on after dancing the night naked down at a nearby gentleman’s club. She had really long blonde hair that she kept flinging around when she laughed — and she laughed a lot — so it made her face look like it was proceeding through a car wash.
She was really fun and sweet and the whole time I kept thinking, man, I hope no one here proposes anything that while providing momentary entertainment, could lead to many very bad results that Quinn would find more humorous than would, say, my wife.
We said good night.
So it was a great night. Lots of fun. The show was fantastic and today I consider myself blessed to have a soft, supple mind agile enough to let me think about all the good instead of all the bad that happened with the ticket fiasco, which one day years from now I’m sure I’ll share.
But adding up all the dough and reconsidering the sad spare ticket debacle is just something I’m not up today.
That would be really too bad.

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