(continued from above)

A guitarist threw his guitar into the crowd. Remember, Tesla and Skid Row are not rich bands anymore. They can’t afford to be throwing away instruments. The band didn’t care, but the roadies did. Two guys dove into the audience, exasperation on their faces, and emerged with the guitar. A bassist started diving off the stage into the crowd. Eventually the crowd got tired of it and the bassist dove into an empty row of chairs. He didn’t die, but he was chased out of the arena by a police officer.

It was about that time that I realized that men ten to twelve years older than me were far drunker than I was. My only duty was to stand there and clap. They were trying to play music. Trying…an operative word here. By the time the show was over, it sounded like my friends and I sound when we’ve had too much to drink and try to play music. They just looked more sad doing it. Leather pants, long hair, and a middle aged gut.

The only redeeming thing about the entire show is that Tesla’s guitarist, Frankie Hannon, still plays a technically mean guit-fiddle. He was the only one on stage that didn’t look like he might need to pass out before they screamed, “GOODNIGHT GREENFIELD!!!”

I’m in support of drunk rockers. It’s all rock-and-roll, man. But, frankly, a good drunken gaze looks a lot better on a 22 year old kid with anger in his eyes and music in his heart than it does on a 40 year-old man who is just a drunk. I don’t drink at work…and that is why.

Maybe it is a lesson to all of us who are getting a little older and still drink like we’re 18. Then again, if you think a little eye opener at a bad rock show is going to teach me a lesson, you have spent far too few Friday nights with me.

Regardless, you’ll find me back on some deck listening to the diggy-diggy music of mandolins and banjoes. A blast from the past is fun and all…but when the blast from the past is blasted…well, I’ll stick with my acoustic guitar.

Brad Willis

Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

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