Sunset from near the House of Blues®, Houston. Though a pretty picture, this is not a good thing, as we will soon see.
This story starts out on (about) March 1, 2009. I told The Mrs., in passing, that tickets for a concert by Messieurs Guest, McKean, and Shearer. You may not recognize the names, but these gentlemen are better known to most of the world as the fake (and funny) rock band, “Spinal Tap.” In this tour, however, they were performing songs as themselves, not acting, just three friends having a good time on stage.
The Mrs. managed to get tickets for us. Not just any tickets. FRONT ROW. CENTER.
Honestly, I hadn’t been front row center for a concert since I had elbowed my way forward for a Van Halen, Dio, and (inexplicably) Loverboy concert in the way back time of the 1980’s. Oh, sure, that crazy hit “Lady of the Eighties” was such a catchy tune, but Mike Reno and the rest of Loverboy were a bit out of place between “Last in Line” and “Running with the Devil.” Perhaps Loverboy needed more Satan music to be at home in that group. I hope that Mike Reno was wearing a cup, because that tennis ball really looked like it would have hurt. And, really, who has aim that good?
Front row center. At a concert of some of my comedic idols. How could I be happier?
I set up babysitting immediately after we got the tickets.
Finally, it was concert night. The Mrs. and I happily dropped off our little toads, the round mound of sound, Pugsley and The (serious) Boy. We drove down to Jones Hall, where the tickets said the concert was. We’d been there before going to a concert of an artist The Mrs. loves, (Tori “Screech” Amos – okay, she was good in concert, but, dangit, sometimes that woman just screeches like a cat). It was a nice venue, very artsy, meaning that lines of men peeing in the sink during intermission weren’t likely.
We got to Jones Hall. We were beginning to turn in to park when The Mrs. said, “Oh, look at the sign – it says Spinal Tap® has been moved to the House of Blues©.”
It had an address underneath, which might as well have been hieroglyphics – neither The Mrs. or I know downtown Houston. We got on the cell phone and called Alia S. Wilder, and she gleefully found directions for us on the Interweb, all the while noting that she would have driven down to Houston for the concert. Well, who would give us directions then, hmm?
We made it to the House of Blues, and were directed to the concert site -third floor- and went in. After sticking my head in the door, I asked the bouncer, “Umm, what exactly are those people doing in my seat?” All the floor seats were full – packed. Not a single open seat.
“Floor is general admission, if you’ve got the wrist band.”
“I want my seats. Front row. 10 and 11.”
“Do you want me to go ask those people to move?”
“That’s not fair, they got here first.”
“No, that is fair. I got in line BACK IN MARCH.” I didn’t raise my voice – rarely helps with bouncers, and often leads to physical altercations. He was only twenty years old or so, barely 210 pounds of solid muscle, so I didn’t want to hurt him and his thirty friends. I continued, “I want to talk to your supervisor.”
Supervisors, sometimes, can help.
This supervisor helpfully pointed out that the balcony, located somewhere just short of low Earth orbit, had seats that would have just a super view once the massive projection screen was pulled back. She also indicated that all the people who had gotten here first had dibs on the front seats. Oh, and that I could get my money back if I didn’t like it.
I (theoretically) will
get my money back, in 7-10 days. Comedy isn’t funny when you want to rip the pancreas out of, well, anyone at this point, really. It also didn’t help my mood when I later figured out that at least some of the people sitting in my seats had paid HALF what I did for my ticket.
The Mrs. and I were irate on the way home, wherein The Mrs. indicated all of the things (one thing) that she would like to do to Dan Ackroyd’s (who we think owns House of Blues™) most tender anatomical unit, namely, pull her fist back and punch it. Hard. The Mrs. also mentioned something about “Ghostbusters 2©” when she was hitting her left open palm with her closed right fist. Horrible sound.
Me? I was mad at everybody, from Messieurs Guest, McKean, and Shearer to Dan Ackroyd to the idiot in the car in front of me.
“Don’t drive mad, honey.”
“I’m NOT driving mad. I’m just driving like a jerk. There’s a difference.” I figured I could spread my joy with the rest of the world.
We finally got home, and I had a good head of steam up. I picked up my laptop and began writing a letter to everybody involved. What did I want? An apology.
I sent out an “electronic mail” copy to Harry Shearer, one of the performers (Mr. Shearer has done more voices on “The Simpsons” than there are photographs of Paris Hilton on the Interwebs). I didn’t really expect a response.
I got this in response from him: “I'm really truly sorry that fans like you, and you actually, had such a crappy experience.”
There was a lot more, and we actually exchanged another e-mail. My opinion of him? Classy guy.
I was impressed that he took the time to write. The Mrs. was certain that it was one of his myriad personal assistants and dog washers, but I felt (and feel) like it was the genuine thing.
Does that make it better? Sure it does.
I just hope that The Mrs. doesn’t do a Mike Reno on Dan Ackroyd. I thought Ghostbusters 2™ was okay.