Friday, February 8, 2008

Is that a rodent in your pocket, or are you just Huey Lewis?

This you may find very difficult to believe. You will shake your head while moaning "No, no, no, no..." in shock. You will rethink your choice of religion. You will start to think that maybe Grandma was right about you after all.

Here it is:

I have not always been cool.

There. I said it. I feel better already. Kind of like how I feel after telling someone they have green stuff stuck in their teeth.

In fact, I was once so monumentally uncool that I willingly attended a Huey Lewis and the News concert in Duluth, Minnesota.

1984, maybe early 1985.

I was 13 or 14, and I was a bit of a tomboy. I had started experimenting with my appearance a little, and decided to frost my hair. "Frosting" (for those of you lucky enough to be blissfully ignorant of this heinous beauty application) was a brutal process where you put on this plastic bonnet thingy and pulled out chunks of hair through holes in the bonnet with what appeared to be a crochet hook. You would then have a trusted friend slather on the bleaching solution and 20 minutes later you would have "natural" looking "highlights" that looked like this:

*Turns out, frosting my hair also made me an awesome hula-hooper. Who knew?

Yes. Gross. I know.

My complete and total lack of reasoning skills and taste also held true in my musical choices. Though this was a short period in my life (not much more than a year later I would discover Lou Reed, The Dead Kennedys, Crass, British pop & punk and so on), it does me no good to try and hide it. Other people were there. Other people witnessed this nightmare. There are pictures.

I love love loved Huey Lewis with every fiber of my being. I thought he was cute. I loved the catchy songs. Hey! Did you know it's hip to be square? Cool! I listened to them in bed when I was supposed to be sleeping with one of those under the pillow speakers attached to my tape player.

When we (me, my older sister and my BFF Tallgirl) found out they were coming TO OUR TOWN SORT OF we freaked out a little.
Holy crap.
We decided we had to go, even if we had to spend every last cent earned babysitting that kid that liked to smell his own farts.
Dammit! This was our one big chance to prove how WE were the best fans ol' Huey ever had. We'll show him that yes, we do "Believe in Love!" Yes we do!

I guess my parents were familiar with HLaTN and the relative goody-goodyness of their music, because we were allowed to go. Our parents agreed to drop us off before and pick us up after (a few blocks away lest anyone think we weren't old enough to drive).

We found out that a local radio station was having a "banner" contest. Holy shit- this was our chance to shine! Basically, if you made a banner and hung it from the first tier balcony- it would be judged by the asshat dj's and the winners got to go backstage.
We toiled for hours at my Grandma's house a few days beforehand. What to write, what to write...
We finally decided on "We love Huey, but no News is BAD news." (I died a little inside just typing that). We painted our catchy slogan on a white flat bedsheet in big, colorful letters. We were determined to win.

When the day came, we were so excited that we wanted to get to the arena extra early. Since that meant a few hours less of having to listen to three girls squeal and go "OH MY GOD" over and over, my Mom gratefully dumped us off in the afternoon. We were something like 4 hours early.

Here I am sitting in the entrance to the Duluth Arena that day. You will note that the entry is pretty much empty.
Yup. Just us. So early that the doors were still locked.

You will also note my awesome outfit. A white t-shirt (my sister's) with pastel polka dots, pale pink pleated shorts, pink and white enameled earrings, and (you can't see them) cheap knockoff Keds with pink ankle socks. Oh Lordy, how I loved to match. I'm sure I was probably wearing pink blush, pink eyeshadow and pink shiny lipstick too. Again- gross.

The Hooters were the opening band. For years in my early adulthood I would tell people that, yes- I did go to this particular concert, but really only because I wanted to see the Hooters. Somehow that was marginally less embarrassing to me than admitting the real reason I was there.

We didn't win the banner contest, as you could have well guessed. Our disappointment hung on us much like the aroma of the Sand and Sable perfume that Tallgirl wore. For years I saved a piece of that sheet with a few letters still intact. At some point I realized that it was evidence of something shameful and horrifying, and that it needed to be destroyed. I believe I burned it.

I'm not sure what we thought would happen if we had won. I'm sure I had glorious dreams of Huey sweeping me off of my feet and hauling me to a state that would allow a 13-14 year-old girl to marry an already 30-something pop star with a penis rumored to be the size of a mid-sized ferret. I would tour with the band, make them cookies, suddenly be glamorous...


So there you go. One of the most embarrassing shows I ever attended. Don't worry- I'll tell you about the other ones sometime too.

How about you? Any concerts hiding deep in the back corner of your psyche? Let it out! Think of it as taking a big, steaming, mental crap.

Happy Friday, my little steamed corny turdlets. Happy Friday.


dguzman said...

At some point I realized that it was evidence of something shameful and horrifying, and that it needed to be destroyed.

So THAT'S how Cheney's office building caught on fire.

Oh man, you were such a teeny-girlie-girl! I remember being SO. FREAKING. EXCITED. to see A Flock of Seagulls open up for the Go-Go's. AFOS sucked out loud, and the Go-Go's broke up the next month. Thus began my concert curse. I saw Roy Orbison at Riverfest in Austin; six weeks later, he was dead.

I'm cursed. Too bad I didn't go to this show with you, so we could've been spared such chestnuts as "If this is it" and "Heart of Rock n Roll."

CDP said...

I attended a Styx show, willingly, at 14. I forgot about the Hooters! They're from Philadelphia, and I knew one of the band member's 2 sisters; they both worked in a restaurant next door to the one I worked in. HL and the News is pretty bad, but I'll stack Styx and Flock of Seagulls next to them (I loved the Go-Gos and still do)

Suze said...

Please don't judge too harshly. I went to see Rick Springfield.

McGone said...

I have witnessed Warrant live, back in their glory days. Wait! It gets worse... the opening acts were Trixter and Firehouse.

This wasn't my choice. But I did go along with it.

But this year, I did something far worse, but for noble reasons (I think). Maybe I'll save that one for my blog.

Flenker said...

While you have may not have always been cool, I have always been not cool.

let's see, which concerts should I list. . . I've seen the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Brooks and Dunn, Joan Jett (but that was awesome), that band that does "Freebird" (I honestly cannot think of the name of the band for the life of me), Hootie and the Blowfish (only because They Might Be Giants were opening, I actually left part of the way through Hootie), Kansas.

Sizzle said...

i saw richard marx. twice. maybe three times. i'm blocking it out now out of shame. but damn, back then i was in LOVE with him. him and his crazy mullet. i think i even screamed out in my preteen adoration, "i love you richard!"

hold onto the nights.

hold onto the memories.

Kate said...

My brother in law saw MC Hammer. Twice.

WM, I had totally forgotten about Sand & Sable! Oooh! My sister had some and did I ever wish for some of my own. "From the House of Coty". Which is like saying "I got it at a classy place like the West Duluth K-Mart".

Now I have "Do you believe in love" in my head. But I kinda like it.

Um, McGone? I would totally go see Warrant, Trixter, and Firehouse TODAY. (But only if wine coolers and acid-wahed jeans were involved.)

Idea #527 said...

Okay. . . I'll make you feel TONS better. . .

I went to New Kids on the Block. NKOTB if you will.

I bought these huge plastic New Kids on the Block earrings that were lime green and black.

Man, it IS good to get that off my chest. And no, I will probably not go see them when they go back on tour. . .


Whiskeymarie said...

dguzman- You saw A Flock of Seagulls? Holy hell I'd be proud of that! No shame there. "The Heart of Rock n' Roll" now makes me all vomity inside.

cdp YOU SAW STYX????????Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god. I would sell one of my fingers to see early-80's STYX now.

Suze- I was at the Mall of America about a year ago with a friend & Mr. springfield was doing a "show" there. I was kind of embarrassed for him, but DAMN he's still smoking hot. Seriously. Foxy even.

McGone- I think I may have made fun of you back in '86. Sorry, but you were asking for it.

F- Joan Jett is AWESOME. And I'll forgive the whole "Hootie" thing as you were there for TMBG. But the rest of them? Go forth and hang your head in shame, young man.

sizzle- BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I totally forgot about Sir Marx. And his fucked-up mullet. Hold on to the nights, indeed. I love that you saw him in concert.

Miss K- I can still clearly recall EXACTLY what Sand & Sable smells like. Eew. And I make fun, but I would totally go to a Warrant/Trixter/Firehouse show tomorrow.

#527- I went through a belated NKoTB thing when I was in my mid-twenties. If you ever need a NKOTB puzzle, lunchbox or video (I'm keeping the socks), just let me know.

-R- said...

I like Huey! In an it's so dorky that it's cool kind of way. I mean, that's the power of (my) love (for Huey).

I saw Amy Grant in concert in 6th grade. But I didn't have a rabid love for her.

And I've seen the Beach Boys in concert too. They played at a baseball game I went to.

punchlinewalking said...

My first ever concert was Cheap Trick and Heart. I borrowed a pair of my brother's Skidz, sprayed my bangs as high as they would go, put unseemly amounts of gell in my home perm and rocked the f*&k out.

Stacey said...

The Wiggles...but in parenting circles I'd like to think I'm rather cool because I took my not quite 3 year olds to an arena concert.

Can't really think of an embarrassing concert but I throw up a little in my mouth when I think about the first album I bought with my own money. Mr. Mister. Remember them...uh yuck.

Mommy Lisa said...

In the third grade my aunt took my cousin, myself and two of my cousin's friends as a treat for "MY" birthday to see Shawn Cassidy. Ummm, yeah, gross.

But the most embarrASSing of all is that I went williningly to a cornfield in Iowa at the age of TWENTY-SEVEN to see Def Leopard. *still in spandex in the late 90's* No lie. I bought a Budwiser Bikini and walked around drunk all afternoon at "The World's Largest Beach Party". Ummm, yeah, gross.

Anonymous said...

Dammit, someone took NKOTB!! That was my first concert, and I think I was 10 or 11. I *might* have had to hold back tears when they finally came out. I was IN LOVE. A few months ago, Best Buy had a cd that was NKOTB SuperHits for a mere $6.99. You better believe I snapped it up!! Now my neighbor's 3 year old daughter requests Step By Step regularly.


Mommy Lisa said...

Worker Mommy, an arena concert with anyone under the age of 10 deserves a medal. You are way cool.

I am taking a two year old to see Nemo on Ice. Hope we don't get a contact high from anyone sneaking in their own licorice or something. ;)

Whiskeymarie said...

-r- It's o.k. to love the Huey, it's o.k.

punchline- Now THAT is a show. Cheap Trick AND Heart? Wow. Let's try to bring the big-bang thing back. C'mon!

mom- O.k, that Budweiser bikini thing made me laugh and puke a little in my mouth at the same time. Twenty-seven? Sweet.

WM- Mr. Mister, huh? Wow. That's pretty bad. But I think I'd rather see them live than the Wiggles.

Whiskeymarie said...

catherine- I cried at my first big concert too- Duran Duran. Sigh.
The NKoTB offer I presented to #527 also applies to you.

LaLa said...

As long as we're sharing the shame... my first concert was... The Dirty Dancing Concert. I went with my cousin and... my aunt. God that's embarrassing.

Also, because I grew up in the south, I attended at least one "Christian rock" concert (too youthful to be aware of the oxymoron) - I did wear my hear in a side ponytail for that. I remember the hair - not the band.

Dear god this is mortifying.

Gwen said...

Julian Lennon with my mom and Cousin T.

I still cry at Duran Duran concerts. I could forge all of their signatures and so ALL OVER my Trapper Keepers.

NotSoccer Mom said...

styx in 1977 when i was 15.

but let's not forget when my parents dragged me to see helen reddy sometime before that!

feisty said...

* Michael Damien (AKA Danny Romalatti from the YOung and The Restless) 1988?
* a metal-3-way of Warrant, Trixter, and Firehouse 1993
* Def Leopard in 1992 (Front row)
* and 4 too many Bryan Adams concerts

Shannon Erin said...

I've seen James Taylor in concert 3 times. I love him, and I don't care who knows it. I've also seen The Doobie Brothers live. When I was 19. With my parents.

One of the coolest guys I know (he's the drummer in a successful Irish punk band) LOVES Huey Lewis and the News. He'll go on and on about how talented Huey Lewis is. It's true. I swear. I hope that makes you feel a little less ashamed.

pistols at dawn said...

Wow. I love that you still remember the slogan you wasted hours coming up with.

I also think that the picture of you with the hula hoop is the most succinct summation of the 1980s that I can imagine.

My first concert was Genesis. And I was so late getting into music that it wasn't even in the 80s, when it would have been somewhat socially acceptable to like Genesis. It was during the "We Can't Dance" tour, which is just inexcusable.

Then, I tried to make up for it by going to see Living Colour and Bad Brains (sans HR) for my next concert, but the die of loserdom had been cast.

It was tough living that down in the punk rock scene, I assure you. But we all make missteps.

Gretta said...

Dude - I think feistymngirl wins this one. Four Brian Adams concerts AND Michael Damien? That is awesome.

Although I am elated to know that you liked Huey Lewis. It just makes me laugh.

Was it Revlon's 'something ice'? The lipstick? I LOVED any lipstick ending in 'ice'.

Fran said...

Willingly attends a concert for the Hooters.

Nothing more needs to be said.

FranIam hangs her head in shame and realizes that misguided trip to Paul Young concert may have been worse. At least Nik Kershaw opened for him, some salvation.

FranIam was salary earning adult at the time. WhiskeyMarie was but a young lass.

gorillabuns said...

aawww.... don't be hatin' on "the hooters."

My first concert was at 14 - Blue Oyster Cult, Aldo Nova and Dokken. I fell asleep during the 20 minute drum solo due to a major contact high.

Domestically Disabled Girl said...

John Michael Montgomery at a local county fair. *shudder*

fairlane said...

My first concert I saw REO Speedwagon.

I was really young, I didn't know dick about music, and hell, it was 1979.

I more than made up for it a few years later by seeing The Ramones, and Blondie, but I must admit, a scar remains.

On a lighter note. That's a super sweet brush you have. Metal Heads used to carry those in their back pockets.

Nocturnal said...

You and that dew you had back then, cracks me up. My first concert was KISS which my Dad (a high school teacher) took me too.

Yes, he bit the bullet and acknowledged all of his students that were stoned out of their minds for which I am eternally grateful. With all the explosions and shit, he actually liked it.


P.S. I did go to a George Straight concert once... well for about 5 minutes that is, but yes I went.

EmBee said...

Does it make you love me even more to know I saw Styx about 10 yrs. ago (just before Dennis DeYoung left the group) at their Return to Paradise tour?

I was such a dork in high school I wasn't allowed to go to concerts until my senior year.

Best concert EVER was QUEEN! Freddy Mercury was AWESOME.

Also, just a note to Suze... I saw Rick Springfield in a hotel restaurant in our town a couple years ago. He and his band were having dinner before their concert. They spent their time amusing themselves by throwing french fries at eachother. The dude is gonna be like 60 and he amuses himself with food fights... Sad... So very sad!

Anonymous said...

Two words: Debbie Gibson.

I'm much cooler now, I swear.

Nature Girl said...

To this date, Huey Lewis and The News remains the only REAL concert I have ever been to. I've been to many places and listened to bands etc, but as for a real "concert" in the truest sense of the word, it was Huey. I would KILL to go see Billy Idol though...
I remember frosting the hair, I was never allowed to do it, but for some odd reason, I was allowed to use Sun In. Remember that stuff? My hair turned yellow. Lordy!

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

I saw Dolly Parton in 1976 and I got to touch her hand and arm when she gave me an autograph, which I promptly lost. She was exceedingly nice as I recall.

viciousrumours said...

...back in the bathroom

I was 18, four months pregnant and at the North Dakota State fair with my boyfriend. The bands? A Double Header of The Escape Club and Boys Don't Cry. The concert was sponsored by Coke and if you presented a can of said product, admission was FREE...can you believe it? Both of these great classic bands for FREE? But wait, it gets even better...remember I was four months pregnant and it was summer, so in the middle of this cheesy eighties-fest I PASSED OUT! Oh hell yeah! Good times!

Okay, I'm off to relive the eighties via cheesy videos on You Tube!

*I saw my first Duran Duran concert two years ago, after missing them all through my teen years. I bawled like a baby. It was fantastic! And I had what I still refer to as "The John Taylor Moment". D2 ROCKS!*

Anonymous said...

Okay, I'm about to show my age. I wasn't going to comment but what the hell. My very first concert was The Monkees. What can I say....I was very young!

My first big concert was the Doors. The one where Jim Morrison was accused of exposing himself. That sparked the "decency ralley" in Miami. Can you imagine that today!!

Ive seen Rod Stewart, Ike & Tina Turner, the Stones, ZZ Top, Crosby Stills and Nash and others but my all time favorite has to be Chuck Berry! That man did not stop!

When I moved to Gainesville in the early 70's we used to go listen to Tom Petty and Mudcrutch on the UF campus. You would get stoned just walking through the crowd.

HAve a fun weekend......Patti

Freida Bee, MD said...

I am still so jealous of Duran Duran. I got carted as a child to a couple, but my first one my own in high school at the site of the Arkansas/Oklahoma State Fair was Starship (without Grace Slick, obviously) and Robert Palmer.

The first band I saw on my own in college later was UB40. That one rocked.

Beret said...

This post is hilarious. I was completely nuts for Huey Lewis and the News. I used to walk home from school with my walkman listening to I Want a New Drug. Then when they came out with the smash single "Power of Love" from Back to the Future..forget it I was a crazyfan.

I graduated from Love's Baby Soft right to Sand and Sable..I used to freaking LOVE that stuff. And some godawful perfume called Navy.

Did you used listen to the top 9 and 9 on KZIO? Michaels in the Morning? Me either.

Beret said...

Oh, and The Wiggles actually put on a decent show.

Boxer rebel said...

I was taken to a Jefferson Starship concert when I was younger, but probably the first one I went to sans parents were either James Taylor or Steve Miller, both of them in the summer of 1997.

And WM, You have been tagged by me.

deb said...

i don't remember my first concert, but i do remember having the most intense crush on nick nolte. that's way worse than huey, dontcha think?

Whiskeymarie said...

gdansing- I totally forgot how much I love that song.


And Deb? Yes, I think Mr. Nolte trumps Mr. Lewis. Does it help to know that I have a mini crush on Mickey Rourke?

Stefanie said...

I was not allowed to go to concerts in high school or earlier, but I'm ashamed to admit I once paid money to see John Mayer. There, I said it.

Iheartfashion said...

I can't compete with Huey Lewis, but I did follow the Grateful Dead wearing full tie dye regalia for more years than I'd care to admit.

Anonymous said...

I think I may have tied with Debbie Gibson for the worst first concert: Donnie and Marie and ditto Love's Baby Soft

T said...

Barry Manilow. Yang and I. The tickets were buy-one-get-one-free AND she had to buy me dinner to get me to go.

Fun times, though. Copacabana!

lizgwiz said...

Not only did I once attend a Rick Springfield concert (with opener Corey "I Wear My Sunglasses at Night" Hart), but I attended a Huey Lewis concert AS AN ADULT.

Neither was my idea, I'm just too easy, I guess. "Sure, I'll go with you."

I was punished for attending the Rick Springfield concert, though. My roommate fell asleep at the wheel on the way home and we had a terrible, terrible car accident. Damn you, Rick.

Jon said...

I saw Cinderella... in 2007.

(Game, set, match.)

honkeie2 said...

The closest I can come to that is I won tickets to see Lymp Biscut(sp) you that band with whiney Fred Durst.....the guy that was rumored to have fouled Britneys cooter...back in the day when they all said she wasnt a filthy wh....well you get the idea.
But yours is still the worst.