Friday, April 17, 2015

And I Bet They Thought Soundcheck Would Be Their Biggest Pre-Performance Problem

It's my dad's birthday month. My brother got him a luxury SUV. I got him two (general admission) tickets to see his longtime favorite musician perform live, with one of those tickets explicitly earmarked for me. The show was last night.

Six weeks ago, I tracked down this musician's manager and asked if I could take my dad backstage after the show so he could meet the Main Man, as a lovely surprise. The manager emailed back something like: "Yeah, sure. Email me a reminder a couple of days beforehand." That's what I did and he failed to respond. I just got back from Northern Italy, where I averaged about 3 hours of sleep a night. In the handful of days since I've returned to this time zone, I've averaged about 5 hours of sleep a night. This is not the week to break promises to me or leave me high and dry.

Once I got my dad settled in his seat, I pretended to head to the bathroom, so I could go hunting around the venue for the manager.

"Where is he?"

The fabulous aging hipster working the front door left his post to help me storm the green room, where I introduced myself to everyone. Seventy-five percent of the famous people I've met or had close run-ins with are nothing like what I expected them to be. But most at least keep their coldness polite, and that'll do.

"Why don't I bring my dad in here now instead of after the show?" I suggested, since nobody looked busy and I wanted to get this goddamn surprise over with.

I sprinted back upstairs, told my dad there was an emergency in the bathroom that only he could help with, and he was really pissed and confused as I ran him across the club and through the swinging doors marked "PRIVATE - BAND MEMBERS ONLY," but I liked the way he and his musical idol smiled at each other when they first locked eyes and everything that happened afterwards, other than the borderline ungrateful lecture I got, to "never do that again" (it turns out the two of them already have met, 30 years ago). But he calmed down when I distracted him with images from my latest escapades in Italia, as we waited for the opening act to begin.