Def Leppard, Poison…and Tesla (St Louis, MO)

And the sign said “Long-haired freaky people need not apply”… The best part of Tesla’s abbreviated opening set for the rock show triple-header was their cover of the song “Signs”, originally done by Five Man Electrical Band. Soon thereafter, they performed their signature hit “Love Song” and it was not great. The years have not been kind to Jeff Keith’s voice (lead singer for Tesla). For much of their performance, the front man’s vocals sounded irritatingly enough like C.C. Deville’s cat-in-heat stylings to make my left eye twitch. But as I mentioned, the set was brief so mostly no harm no foul.

The setting: we were inside the Hollywood Casino Amphitheater, having procured lawn ‘seats’. Once inside, we rented actual lawn chairs so as to not have to sit on the hard grass covered earth. For the record, the lawn seat rental was $5 for each chair. I mention this because it does not detail this information on Live Nation’s website and no one from their customer relations would answer my email on this topic. Moving along, Kristi rented a 25 oz Michelob Ultra beer complete with generic venue can coozy…and I opted to start with a souvenir size Wild Cherry Pepsi. The very flimsy plastic souvenir cup did have the caveat of free refills but I did not tap this renewable resource and later, left the cup for the clean up crew. Once these expenditures were checked off the virtual list, we proceeded to the merchandise booth. After a typical lengthy wait to advance to the front of the line, we surveyed the offerings ranging from bandanas to t-shirts to hoodies. (Sarcasm alert) Of course, I think I need a $65 hoodie when the outside air temperature is right around 90 degrees Fahrenheit. If it was 90 degrees Celsius, I think everyone would have been nothing but charred meat because the Fahrenheit to Celsius ratio is almost two to one. So 90 degrees Celsius would equate to nearly 194 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s even hotter than Arizona most days I think. But it was a ‘moist’ kind of heat, as is the norm here in St Louis during the summer.

Where was I again? Oh yeah, in line at the ‘T-shirt Booth’ checking out the options. Here I will give credit though. Despite the outlandish prices, there were quite a few t-shirt options of each group for the consumer to consider. When all was said and done (paid for), I opted for a bluish background concert shirt, size large, of Poison with cool artwork on the front and tour dates on the back. Kristi opted for the ‘lineup’ concert shirt, which had all three bands on the front and the concert dates on the back. Let the record show, her shirt is black. After our transactions were transacted, we meandered up onto the hill (or the lawn) where it is policy for lawn seat customer to choose anywhere to sit. For those of you who have never been to the venue formerly known as Riverport Amphitheater (as named from 1991 through 2002), imagine a baseball or softball field. If you were looking from the outfield in, the stage would be ‘home plate’, next is the physical seating area or the infield and beyond that is the lawn seating or the outfield. For this event, we choose to put down our rental lawn chairs in deep right centerfield.

After Tesla grounded out weakly to the pitcher, next up to bat was Poison. They played their usual list of fan favorites and allowed the crowd to ‘Talk Dirty’ to them in chorus. Mr. Bret Michaels played my personal favorite song of theirs, “Something To Believe In”, partially acoustic. He dedicated the song to the military personnel and their families in attendance. The song’s back story is entangled with the events surrounding Bret’s personal bodyguard and close personal friend’s suicide. His friend was former military. I always feel a lump in my throat and tears form in the corners of my eyes when I hear this song. It’s just a close to the bone, heart-felt song about loss and daily life. Even from a few hundred feet away, the band sounded great and they had nice energy throughout their whole set. Bret mentioned St Louis about 35 times in their hour long set and it got a huge pop each time he said it. They took care of business and relinquished the stage to be prepped for the headliner: Def Leppard.

Def Leppard took the stage and opened with Let’s Go, from their 2015 self-titled album, which I was not familiar with until I looked it up today. They put on a solid show and I have to say my favorite song they played wasn’t even one of their own. Don’t mistake what I’m saying. Animal – great. Foolin – very cool. Love Bites – well done. Armadeddon It – always fun. Rocket – drunktastic! Bringing on the Heartbreak – nicely done. Hysteria – good good. Pour Some Sugar On Me – lots of pop and crown antics. But my favorite part of their set was their cover of the 1973 classic Rock On. Originally done by David Essex and remade in 1989 by Michael Damian (of Young and the Restless daytime drama fame) this song was killer. Gnarly. Awesome! Whoa! Tubular! Rock On!

Now some of you may have been in the house for this show or seen them in your own city and may be asking about one of their more popular songs: Let’s Get Rocked. Yeah they played it. Yeah it went over real well with the crowd. Yeah I sung along (because I know all 9 words to the song). But if I must be honest, I don’t particularly care for this fluff piece. And that is not a swipe at my friend Jacob Werner aka Fluff. It’s just me saying I think the song is a big nothing…like most of the band Kiss’s catalog. I was hoping against hope for an inclusion from their album ‘X’ in the form of track number five: Long, Long Way To Go or just about anything else from this effort. But no dice and a little disappointment for me. C’mon guys! You were a few measly hours away from my birthday…and couldn’t squeeze another four or so minutes in? Boo!

The 2.5 bands performed admirably but another huge component to the concert experience is the people watching. It is always interesting to check out the age spans in attendance for bands that started 36, 37 and 40 years ago respectively (Tesla, Poison, Def Leppard). Also as the night wears on and the thresholds for sobriety are breached, everything turns into a Jerry Springer episode. To the jackwagon who literally was throwing handfuls of sugar (LeBron James style) during Def Leppard’s performance of Pour Some Sugar on Me…to the two older ladies who were trying to accost me in the beer purchase line…it was entertainment at it’s finest. Footnote: To the dorkbags behind us in line waiting to initially enter the venue, shut up. Stop reading the set list for each group for the show. Maybe some of us do not want to know what’s coming up and just want to be pleasantly surprised when the first few chords of each song plays out. #MamasBasementDwellerDorksForLife

In closing, I think the shows duration and atmosphere were worth the $80 paid for the two tickets. I’m not sure if I can say the same for the amount spent on beers, soda and t-shirts but that’s the risk you run with going to such a show.

One last thing before I mentally walk out of the gates from last night; during the Def Leppard set, Kristi needed to visit the restroom facilities. I, being a gentleman, escorted her as it was now dark outside and amidst the thousands of peoples it’s just a better idea to stick together. On our return trip to the lawn, we encountered a gentleman who closely resembled the Poison front man Bret Michaels! But upon closer inspection and actually asking him if he was…the answer was no. It turns out the guy was a Bret Michaels impersonator and has performed locally at Pop’s Night Club over in Sauget, Illinois. Besides his likeness resembling Bret Michaels, his choice of t-shirt was what actually caught my initial attention. He was wearing a pristine Warrant concert t-shirt, with the band’s name in bright green neon letters. I had a short conversation with him and told him I liked his shirt and the world was still missing Jani Lane. He agreed with my sentiments and shook my hand. He waved and said for us to enjoy the rest of the show. It was fitting to see someone at this type of show wearing a Warrant shirt because for so many years (before Jani’s death) Warrant would tour with Poison for summer rock shows like this and at this venue no less.

Time to take a bow, wave to the crowd and slowly walk off the stage.


Aye Aye Captain

So as usual, out of the blue, I started wondering about a random topic. That topic at present is: why the first show of a series is often called a pilot episode. Yeah totally don’t know how that jumped in there. But as I usually do, I Googled it.

A television pilot (also known as a pilot or a pilot episode and sometimes marketed as a tele-movie) is a standalone episode of a television series that is used to sell the show to a television network.

From there I was curious as to when the first ‘pilot’ episode was created because everything has a genesis correct? From the various articles and websites I visited, the data is confusing and semi-inconclusive. The electronic TV is officially noted as being introduced on September 7, 1927 and the world’s first live drama broadcast is noted as September 11, 1928 but many TV programs or series didn’t come along until TV networks were established years later. For the record, the first advertisement commercial for a product is documented as one for Bulova Clocks and Watches. The 10 second commercial spot was aired before a baseball game in 1941 between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Philadelphia Phillies. For those of you who are wondering, the Phillies won that game 6-4 in ten innings. Ike Pearson was credited with the win to improve his won-loss record to that point in the season to 2-7. Hugh Casey took the hard luck loss. The Dodgers had a chance with two runners on in the bottom of the tenth but Herman Franks was unable to deliver with two outs.

Now fast forward 76 years, I am still unsure about the origin and brain-child of the ‘pilot’ episode. Obviously the term must have cropped up somewhere between 1927 and today because it gets mentioned all the time and even noted on IMDB where applicable. The first real concrete reference to a pilot episode I can find is associated with the 1950’s sitcom (situation comedy) Leave It To Beaver which had a couple of different names before settling on Leaver It To Beaver. Maybe there was a Mr. Pilot who named the first episode, “trial episode” if you will, the pilot. Who knows? And yes I said Mr. Pilot and not Mrs. Pilot because let’s be real, for a long time in the early to mid decades of the United States, many things were run by a very male slanted workforce. I’m not saying that is right but if we are going to talk about history, let’s be real and not PC everything for no good reason.

So if Mr. Pilot’s great grandchildren are out there and reading this, please contact me and let me know if this is correct.

Thanks for a part of your hump day!


Mexico because I Mexican!

Can anyone Paypal me 1,000,000 Pesos? Before you start getting all huffy at the amount…it boils down to a measly $54,874.84 in US Dollars. Now I’m sure someone out there can afford that to spare. Bill Gates? Are you reading sir? It would be a phenomenal anonymous gift. My birthday is just around the corner. Or if you would like to be clever and make the amount match up to $45,000 in USD, you can send 820,048 Pesos and remember to send as Family and Friends so I don’t have to pay any fees.

Hey if you don’t put it out into the universe for consideration, you will never get anything in return – good or bad.

No matter what you have going on in the metaphysical world or other, remember to stop and think something positive…even if you don’t feel like it. The world is round and a large invisible mental boomerang could come back around with some thing good attached. It is possible, in theory.

And if you were wondering about the definition of SCION, here are the two most frequently associated meanings:

1) a young shoot or twig or a plant, especially one cut for grafting or rooting
2) a descendant of a notable family

Don’t believe me? Google it!


Peanut butter and jellyfish sandwich?

Good day to you and you and you!For those of you familiar with the concept of a microscope, it takes a ‘thing’ that is uber tiny and magnifies it a factor of times to make the subject appear large enough to examine it’s visible characteristics. This trick of the eye and brain has led to many discoveries and pushed science into all sorts of different directions – some good, some iPhone. It has also cracked open the debate about what is the smallest thing that exists in the universe. Those of you moving your betting chips onto the circle labeled quarks, be patient. This is not a ‘the world is flat’ discussion. I am just tuning up the band before we play some good old fashioned harmonica music like my grandma used to love. For the record, I cannot stand the harmonica. To the late Christian Friedrich Ludwig Buschmann, who is credited with creating the harmonica aka French harp, sir I hope you are perpetually stuck at a harmonica concert with my grandma in the afterlife. If this is really happening, he will be begging for reincarnation!

Back on topic: no, I am not actually proposing making a sandwich with a living (or deceased) jellyfish. That would be gross. Not to mention, if the person already has a peanut allergy, it would be a double whammy of gross and potentially lethal. Did you know that a jellyfish sleeps at night on the ocean floor and is actively trying to feed on prawns and fish during the day? Did you? Which begs the question: during their short life spans (normally 6-12 months) do jellyfish get insomnia? It’s a fascinating concept to pursue. (Pokes jellyfish) Hey you awake? Since they would be on the ocean floor underwater, it would sound more like (glub glub) heyyy…yoouuu…ah-waake (glub glub).

Now I know some of you have been hearing rumors that some species of jellyfish are immortal, you know like the Highlander McCloud with his sword? (if not, IMDB it) Truth be told…there can be only one…species of jellyfish that is purported to be immortal: the Turritopsis dohrnii. Don’t be fooled by other jellyfish who are a robust 4.5 millimeters wide claiming they are immortal. Only the Turritopsis dohrnii can make and back up this claim. What is their secret? Well apparently once they go from being a juvenile jellyfish into adulthood, they can transform back into their juvenile form and thus their life cycle never ends. How many humans wish for this exact scenario every day: if only I could go back and be a (juvenile) kid again. The draw back for the Turritopsis dohrnii is that one, they are in polyp form and two, they are 4.5 millimeters wide. I imagine they get consumed by fish and stuck to boats and other things that would preempt their infinite lifespan. One minor note here: the Turritopsis dohrnii immortality cycle has only been observed in captivity and never in the ‘wild’. Because let’s be serious, how can you really keep track of something that small in its natural environments; which are the Mediterranean Sea and off the coast of Japan. At some point you have to go home for dinner and you take your eye off the tiny little buggers. But this could be a fun little Disney film: Finding Turritopsis Dohrnii.

Hopefully you learned a little something today, whether you wanted to or not is your call, and the next door neighbor to Friday is treating you politely.

Have a thrillsy Thursday! Game on!


Arm wrestling is not for me

Happy Hump Day to one and all, near and far, those present and those omnipresent!

So it recently occurred to me that my overall arm wrestling record is a losing one. To my knowledge, I think I have 4 wins and like 35 losses. Some will say those 4 wins were against pre-K children and should not count, but I disagree. I didn’t make the schedule I just played the arm wrestling game. To steal a page from today’s society, I am going to blame my coach, the surface my elbow was resting upon, the dim lights, the bright lights, the questionable air density, whatever Donald Trump tweeting 5 minutes ago and of course, Roger Goodell.

With all of these things stacked against me (overlooking my small green bean like arms), it is no wonder I had such little success. Maybe with some outside interference like the WWE has, I could’ve had a tainted run at glory but alas real life is not always like a scripted sports entertainment show.

Here’s to hoping your Hump Day is as wacky as it is filled with minutes. May an invisible yeti hug and smother your enemies while you are squarely in the presence of a reliable alibi. All of my faithful readers, you are ‘the wind beneath my wings’ – the original mind you, not the redone version by Idina Menzel. Let’s be perfectly clear on that.

With a heavy heart, I must wrap up this post and return to normal pattern of events for this particular time of day but I will be thinking of each and every one of you. I will be crafting a mental picture of each of you wearing a sombrero pulled down over your face. You are wearing an over-sized solid aqua shirt with two upper chest pockets flowing down to a pair of crazy patterned pants with pleats, piled on top of pleats. Of course you will be wearing dark brown mittens and have the entirety of you mostly concealed in a zig-zag patterned serape. Thus no matter who you are you will all look identical and save me the countless hours of having to customize that visualization for all my readers.

Cheers and good day!


** For the record, it is hard to find an image of a yeti wearing a serape. #JustSaying

Happy Birthday to…

Tim “The Toolman” Taylor aka comedian Tim Allen.
The newer Dr Loomis aka silver-haired Malcolm McDowell.
Clocking in at 55 years of age, the girl who got stuck doing detention because…she didn’t have anything better to do, the real life Ally Sheedy.

And co-celebrating their 31st birthdays respectively, and both looking quite a bit older than myself despite being more than a decade younger, I give you Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen. Useless factoid, Ashley is the taller of the two sisters by one inch probably because she was technically the first born of the two. I told you it was useless but you read on anyway.

Here’s to beer and Smirnoff Ice and a loaded baked potato later! Bring on the sour cream!


Love Actually…Is Still All Around

It is mid-June and the temperatures outside are 90+ degrees so of course I am listening to Hugh Grant narrate the opening sequence of Love Actually (from 2003) in anticipation of the Christmas themed two hour movie. I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes…

Sorry cheesy movie quote drop in was a must. Bill Nighy (Billy Mack on screen), I hope you are doing well. From here I can branch out into more than a handful of other Hugh Grant films but at the risk of having whatever shred of masculinity I still possess confiscated, we shall move along.

Today is yet another Monday. Each year seems to have about 52 or 53 of them but here lately the Mondays seem to flow like the waters of Yosemite Falls (which is one of the tallest waterfalls in the world and resides in California). My work group tried to ensnare the Powerball lottery winnings but unless someone stepped through a wormhole portal into California this past week, I do not think my group will be ‘retiring’ just yet. As I talked about in my personal Podbean podcast (The Freak Show), I played some softball over the weekend and congratulated the Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins on successfully defending their title. They are currently the John Cena of hockey.

I have tried Googling how many lobsters were at the birth of Jesus but the results are inconclusive.

I apologize there is not more goofiness and things to make you chuckle today, but perhaps tomorrow? Because “Tomorrow is another day!”

Have a great start to the week and check me out on my many, many forms of social media.

Also for those who understand and acknowledge my Love Actually references, I thank you. As a bonus I found out that they made a little mini-Love Actually sequel here recently called Red Nose Day Actually. The 15 minute or so long piece shows a bit of a snapshot into the present day lives of the characters from that original film. Note: not everyone was included in the sequelette. Obviously Alan Rickman passed away and another main character was doing a show on Broadway at the time of filming but several other characters are back. So as I often tell young Master Ayden, be grateful for what you get even if it isn’t everything you want. A little is still nice to have in lieu of nothing.

Happy Monday Universe!