Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Go Ahead, Stop Believing

Saturday night I went to a bachelor party.

Given my widely ranging history with the things, and the number of things that can go wrong with them, I think it went quite well. No one was arrested, no one got into any fights, and no one ran off with a stripper. I personally delivered the groom-to-be back to his abode in the wee hours of the morning with both his dignity and virginity still intact.

I was more than a little curious as to how the evening would go. When I was young and stupid, bachelor parties were the wildest of the wild animals; you mess with them only at your own risk.

Then, a couple of years ago, I went to a bachelor party for my friend Robb. The day started with a round of golf. As we laced up our sporty golf shoes in the parking lot, one of the guys started talking about a restaurant he'd been to the previous evening. For the next eighteen holes, these guys talked about food and nothing else. They traded grilling recipes, deep-frying tips, and restaurant reviews; it was unbelievable.

Sausages of the world and where to find good examples of them seemed to be a favorite topic, so after a dozen or so holes of hearing about the knockwurst at the Brathaus, I started randomly shouting slang terms for various parts of the female anatomy, just to keep the "bachelor party" theme alive. I didn't know if maybe I was out of line, I mean these guys are a few years younger than I am as well as from a different part of the country; I didn't know if maybe all Midwestern Bachelor Parties are what I dubbed "sausage fests".

After the golf, the party moved to a restaurant. Even though we did in fact make it to strip clubs later in the evening, the day's event that got the singlemost enthusiastic response from the guys was the fact that the restaurant's special that evening was a combo of ribs AND filet mignon, as there had been considerable discussion and debate all afternoon as to which one each of the guys would get, and I think that having to choose between the two was causing some anxiety. Their relief, when they heard the special, was palpable, like when the kegs or the strippers arrive safely at normal bachelor parties.

Based on the sounds of joy when the waitress told them the special, I figured that the restaurant would be the last stop of the evening for most of them. No mere stripper could offer them more happiness than the waitress just had. I'm not making this up.

So you can imagine my trepidation about another bachelor adventure. I mean, I did have a good time at Robb's memorable celebration of the sausage, but what if I was out of step with the times and the bachelor party tradition had completely left me behind like some crazed tourette's addled dinosaur shouting out obscenities on every green?

People my age don't need bachelor parties because we're old. Most of my friends, like me, have been married so long that we don't even look before we cross the street anymore. Still, I was game, and, as I was with the Robb party, I was just happy to be invited.

Then, the bachelor, who will be cleverly referred to as "Not Al" to keep his identity a secret, told me that the first stop of the evening would be at a Journey concert.

Yes, that Journey.

Remarkably, they still look like this

I looked it up and learned that Journey is touring again, and that they were to play in a venue called the Bank of America Pavillion, which is a giant tent on Boston Harbor. I assumed that playing a tent was one click away from opening up for tractor pulls on the state fair circuit, until I saw that they were charging almost $100 per ticket. Not only did we get no tractor-pull, there wasn't even an opening act. For $100 I thought they could at least throw in a few monster trucks or something, instead we got a complimentary copy of the as-yet unreleased new album from Journey.

(If my arteries weren't still clogged from Robb's bachelor party, I'm sure my heart would have been all a-twitter at the thought of owning an unreleased Journey album).

Now, I don't know if you can sense this, but I was not a Journey fan when they were super-huge back in the '80s. My friend "Not Al" and his friends were huge fans, and I was happy to go along and honored to be invited. The band played for like three hours, and played a whole range of songs, including many old chestnuts from before they were good big. They also played many songs from their newer albums, including their latest as-yet unreleased crap album.

For the record, Steve Perry is no longer with the band, but they do have a singer who sounds just like him and who prances almost as well. Neil Schon, the guitarist who founded the group, is apparently kinda touchy about the fact that Journey was really huge when Steve Perry was their singer and then was kinda awful not big without him, so every night he's treating his audiences to a solid hour and a half of music that doesn't feature Steve Perry, and which, coincidently, is an hour and a half of music that sucks well, frankly sucks. Not that the Steve Perry stuff is my cup of tea, but it's at least tea I've turned down before.

Actually, all jokes aside, I had a great time despite the fact I'm not a Journey fan, especially considering that when I usually go to concerts, the crowd full of youths makes me feel old. Compared to Journey's fanbase, I'm a spring chicken.

On the way to the concert I got to bar #10 on my quest for 100.
#10) TGIFriday's Woburn, Massachusetts. I had a couple of Guinnesses.
Lovely place. Take the family.

After the concert, I got to bar #11
#11) The Squire Lounge, Revere, Massachusetts. I had a Murphy's Irish Stout and a Coors Light (yeah, I know, it was a gift).
Lovely place. Don't, under any circumstances, take the family here.

A good time was had by all, including the cranky non-Journey fan, and I send a shout out to Not Al, for whom we wish the best.


The Dude said...

Yeah, Journey.

They totally suck. I mean rock!

Way Cool Blog,

3rdtimesacharm ( 3T ) said...

Not a Journey fan!!??!! Say it ain't sooo!
PS. I agree with "the dude"
Way cool blog, Dude. :-)

Marti said...

Didn't Journey change one of their songs to "Wheel(chair) in the sky keeps on turnin'?"


(Bad me, I actually LIKE them)

RedWolf said...

Ironically, I'm going to a bridal shower tonight for a girl who's marrying a guy named Robb. I didn't realize that Robb with two b's was such a popular name. I always thought you spelled Rob with one B. Wonder where I've been all these years?

The Village Idiot said...

Because of my work as a celebrity spokesman, I've had to change the names of all the people involved in my stories. Robb's name is not actually Robb, it's Fluffy, which, ironically, is not actually the name of my cat, whose real name is Tedd.

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