Friday, June 25, 2010

Renegades, We Had it Made (Part III)

Click to read:   Part I         Part II

"What made you guys want to see Styx, anyway?" asked Eric.  "They were pretty cheesy, even for the 80's."  Eric never did like the Top 40 stuff, he was more into the hair-and-spandex bands like Def Leppard, Quiet Riot, and Twisted Sister.

"Cheesy?  Are you kidding?" I said.  "Styx was pretty complex as far as their songwriting went.  And they could rock when they wanted to."

"Oh yeah, right," said Eric.  Brutally mocking the vocal stylings of Dennis DeYoung, he started crooning: 

"I'm sailing awaaaaay, set an open course for the Virgin Sea . . . "

Bobby and Katy passionately joined in.  "Cause I've got to be freeeeeee, free to face the life that's ahead of me." 

"Okay, okay," I said.  "I didn't say ALL their songs rocked.  But that was the kind of band I was listening to back then.  Styx, Journey, Foreigner . . . "

"Like I said, the cheesy bands," said Eric.

Obviously we had a difference of opinion on what constituted the best of the 80's, but we did agree that the New Wave movement sucked.   None of us could stand Duran Duran, or even worse, Culture Club.  Boy George, I really DID want to hurt him.

"So anyway, the concert started, and the show was outstanding.  Lasers, special effects, I mean, they were no KISS but . . . "

Styx put on a great show covering their classics like "Blue Collar Man" and "Crystal Ball" as well as some stuff off of their newest album, including the cheesy ballad "Babe".  Dennis DeYoung came to the front of the stage, the lights went down, and he laid it on thick.  "Babe I'm leavin', I must be on my way.  The time is drawing near . . . " 

Throughout the audience, Bics were flicked.  Women cried, men yawned, the fat guy in the Queen shirt who had commandeered Brian's seat continued snoring.

"I don't know why that song is so damn popular," I said, as the final notes dissipated amidst the pot smoke.  "That's probably my LEAST favorite of all their songs."

"Yeah, mine too," said Brian, "but every album needs a ballad.  Plus, it's a good make-out song."

"Speaking of which, how's it going with Lisa?"  She was the senior that Brian was dating.  Since we were only freshman, this was a very big deal.  "You get to second base yet?"

"Second base?  Are you kidding me?  You do know she drives, right?  After the party at Williamson's house last week we drove over to the park and I hit an inside-the-car home run."


"Whatever you say, Chris."

I pretended not to believe him, but he just had that look.  I knew he was telling the truth, the lucky bastard.

Onstage, Styx blasted the opening riff of "Eddie" which finally woke up Fat Guy.  He looked around, completely befuddled.

"What the fu - where am I?" he said to no one in particular.

"You're in my seat, that's where you are," yelled Brian, trying to be heard over the music.

Fat Guy stood up and wobbled, then sat back down.  He tried it again.  Staggering past us, he said, "Sorry, man, got kinda fucked up and lost."  For a minute it looked like he was going to make it out to the concourse, but then he took a turn for the worse.  He listed slightly to his right, steadied himself by grabbing the back of an unoccupied seat, and then he gloriously ejected the contents of his stomach all over the occupants of section 402, row G, who immediately scattered.

Styx didn't seem to notice, and continued with the music.

"That's gross," said Katy.

"You have no idea," I said.  "It was mostly beer, but he'd obviously had a couple hot dogs before the concert.  There was puke everywhere, on the seats, dripping down the steps, it got in this one dude's hair.  The Madison Square Garden crew came over and tried to clean it up, but there was only so much they could do . . ." 

We did our best to ignore the blended aromas of weed and vomit while we enjoyed the rest of the show.  After three encores it was all over, and we headed back down to the trains.  This time, of course, the station was much more crowded, but we found our train without much trouble.

"Remember," I told Brian, "we've got to make that connection in Newark again."

"Yeah, and we have to find a pay phone when we get there so I can let my sister know when to pick us up."

We arrived in Newark at about 11:00 and checked the train schedule to see when we'd be getting back to Bound Brook, our final destination.  We found the bank of pay phones and Brian dropped in a couple quarters.

"Hi Jen, it's me . . . we're at the station in Newark . . . yeah, the concert was great . . . we gotta get going so we don't miss the train, but we need you to pick us up at 11:50 . . . okay, thanks.  See ya."

"We good?" I asked.

"Yeah, she'll be there.  Where do we gotta go?"

"Track six, down the escalators."

We hustled down and caught the train with just a couple minutes to spare, and we arrived home right on schedule.  Jennifer was waiting.

"Hi guys, how was the concert?" she asked.

"Great," I said.  "Except for the fat guy that barfed on everybody."

"You kiddin'?  I thought that was the best part," said Brian.  He told his sister the whole story.

We'd decided early on that once we got home from the concert I would spend the night at Brian's house.  When we got in Jen's car, she gave us an accusatory look.

"You guys smell like weed," said Jennifer.  "You weren't getting loaded, were you?"

"No, but the smoke was everywhere.  Is it obvious?" asked Brian.

"Yeah, when we get home I'll put yours and Chris's clothes in the laundry so they're clean in the morning."  For a sister, Jen was pretty cool.

Brian's bedroom had a separate entrance, so we snuck into the house without being noticed by his parents who were asleep anyway.  I borrowed a pair of sweats and a t-shirt from Brian so Jen could throw our clothes in the wash.

"You guys are gonna have to stay up so you can put your stuff in the dryer," she said.

"No problem," said Brian.  "We're gonna be wired for a while yet anyway."

He turned on the TV and hooked up his Atari.  "Wanna play Kaboom?" he asked.


The next morning we got up early.  I changed back into my clothes from the night before, no longer smelling like I'd just left a party at Bob Marley's.  Jen gave me a ride home.  When I walked in my front door, my mom was sitting in the living room watching TV and hooking a rug.  Her latest hobby.

"You're home early," she said.

"Yeah, Brian was going somewhere with his family so his sister dropped me off."

"So, what did you guys do last night?"

"Ahhh . . . nothin'.  Just played video games."

"I can't believe you had the nerve to even try that," said Mom as she cleared away the rest of the dessert dishes.

"Neither could we, actually.  We talked about it for the next couple weeks, we were sure that either you guys or his parents were going to find out somehow."

"I'm surprised his sister didn't rat you out," said Bobby.

"Nah, she was cool.  Besides, I think Brian had so much dirt on her that she pretty much had to keep her mouth shut.  The hardest part was not telling anyone else . . . "

For the next few weeks, Brian and I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop.  We knew Jen wasn't going to spill the beans, though.  Over the previous Christmas break, while their parents were out of town, she and her friends had a party at their house.  Brian wasn't supposed to be there either, he was staying with another friend but he'd forgotten something and stopped by to get it, only to find Jen and about twenty of her friends tapping four kegs and a bunch of local frat boys.  He assured her that he'd never snitch to their folks, but it was a pretty valuable bit of information to have handy.

The toughest part was not telling any of our friends about the concert.  There's no way we could've kept the story from spreading and sooner or later our parents would've heard.  As far as I know, our secret stayed between the two of us (three, if you count Jen) until I was an adult, when I shared it with my family over several slices of Grandma's lemon cheese pie.


Grandma Ruth's Lemon Cheese Pie Recipe

1 small package lemon Jello
1 cup boiling water
3 T. lemon juice
Dissolve Jello in water, add lemon juice and let cool.

One 8 oz. package Philadelphia Cream Cheese-softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 large can evaporated milk--chilled
2 Graham cracker crusts (You can use the prepared ones, but Grandma Ruth made her own with 1/2 lb. Graham crackers crushed and mixed in 1/4 cup melted butter or margarine and press into pie pan).

In mixer, cream together cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until fluffy. 
Add in COOLED Jello and mix well by hand.

In separate bowl, whip evaporated milk until it makes peaks.  Then fold into cheese/Jello mixture.  Pour into crusts and chill. 


Stumble Upon Toolbar submit to reddit


Grumpy, M.D. said...

You went to a STYX concert without permission? You're grounded, retroactive 30 years!

Eva Gallant said...

Greatstory and thanks for the recipe!

Suldog said...

Great story, well-told, and then a recipe for pie! I certainly couldn't ask for anything more!

Linda said...

I'm impressed- you guys kept that a secret for 30 years? That story must have trumped anything else that Thanksgiving.

Anonymous said...

Brings back lots of memories, except change the following:
Band - Rush
Location - Salt Lake City
Sickman - drunk indian puking pizza
Boy, those were the good ole days!

Heff said...

Reminds me of MY teenage years, but STYX ?? I probably wouldn't have had any parental problems going to that show, but KISS we had to sneak out to see.

"He turned on the TV and hooked up his Atari", LOL !!!

ReformingGeek said...

Great story.

Now I'm off to make pie.


Quirkyloon said...

Well I hope Brian's parents don't read this blog, cuz YOU just outed his sister for having a kegger.

Nothing is sacred with you, is it?

(And I loved Babe by Styx and have NEVER made out to it.)


Frank Lee MeiDere said...

Finally! Great story, well told. I'd be ashamed to admit to having like Styx too (and I didn't have the excuse of being a young teenager), but since I've admitted to having previously been a Monkees fan, nothing about my musical taste really embarrasses me any more.

00dozo said...

I can see why you needed three parts to this. I think we all have similar tales. Oh, to be young again!

The 80's brought about very diverse music genres. Foreigner was always a favourite with me.

Great story and very well written!

J.J. said...

I need to stop eating while reading blogs. That drunk guy segment was too graphic for my comfort. lol!

Babe was lame but Suite Madam Blue rocked!

Jen reminds me of the one instance in which I appreciated my brothers. Whenever we went to a part (in my teens) they'd keep me supplied with liquor. 151 and Coke, no less.

J.J. said...

That's 'party'. I need to wake up!

nonamedufus said...

Yay, the end! Great tale. And my lighter had just enough fuel. Loved the line: Boy George - I really DID want to hurt him. Thanks for this, Chris. *hums "Babe"*

Michelle H. said...

Great story! I'd fix the pie recipe, but the barf thing is too fresh in my mind right now.

Jeanne said...

Yeah, I'm voting for Boy George over Styx. Whenever I hear their stuff, I wind up feeling like I need an insulin shot....

Related Posts with Thumbnails