Something I Can Never Have…

December 4, 2008 at 1:35 pm (Sweet sticky things, The Easy Chair)

I guess there are some bands I am not meant to see live. I’ve tried to catch all my favorites at least once, but some have eluded me.

I probably won’t see NIN. Some things were not meant to be. I’ve tried numerous times to see Motorhead, but they’ve canceled every show I’ve bought tix to. They played the Paramount on my 21st birthday, but I passed out before the show. It was the beginning of a long tradition. One time they canceled a show at the Starry Night to play on the Tonight Show, right after Jay Leno took over. (I’d bought six tickets to that one.) I’d have loved to see the Rolling Stones 10-20 years ago; now I don’t care. I never saw Zeppelin, but caught the Page/Plant tour. (Incredible, BTW.)

I am a Nine Inch Nails fan. I didn’t see them at Lollapalooza, or on tour with David Bowie. (The first-ever rock show at the Rose Garden Arena.) I was a Johnny-come-lately…

Back in the late ’90s, I’d been going through an excessively wild period, and it had to end. I’d stopped partaking of the white powders and other hard-core psychotropics, and was weaning myself off alcohol. I’d been going through a long dry spell romance-wise, and met a young girl that changed my life. At age 23, she boosted my 36-year-old ego something fierce. Why someone that young and hot would want to spend time with me was mind-boggling, but who was I to complain?

She teased me for getting excited about a new ZZ Top album. She rolled her eyes when I preached Warren Zevon. She liked Metallica, loved Zappa, and saw a Pink Floyd show (with her dad) that I could only dream of seeing. Since she had good taste in music for a young ‘un, I took her to Everyday Music late one night. As we browsed, we came to the “NIN”s. She picked up a copy of Broken and said, “This is an excellent album to fuck to.”

I took that one, Downward Spiral, and Pretty Hate Machine.  Just in case.

I also bought a couple White Zombies and a Pantera. There was a ton of metal in those half-dozen CDs.

Pretty Hate Machine was the album that hooked me. I’d heard a riff of Terrible Lie on the Bill Prescott show, and loved the full song so much more. Head Like a Hole had always been a favorite, but I’d not known who the artist was. (It was like a prize in a box of cereal when I put the disc on and that was the first song.) The rest of the album was great, but one song in particular haunted me.

“I still recall the taste of your tears…”

One night she came to visit, and had a young man with her. I hadn’t seen her in a couple months, but that wasn’t unusual. (It didn’t stop me from pining for her on a daily basis.) We hugged, and she introduced me to her husband. She’d met a boy who had rocked her world, and she married him. While I wasn’t surprised, I was crushed. I could easily have spent the rest of my life with her.

“Just a fading fucking reminder of what I used to be…
You make this all go away…”

She divorced him, and we reconnected some years later. While a full-on romance never developed, I’d made a friend for life.  Whenever I hear that song, I cry a little inside. She gave me a copy of the soundtrack to Natural Born Killers, which I bust out and play when I’ve been drinking.

So I’ve never seen Nine Inch Nails live. Not for lack of trying. A couple years back I won tickets to see them in Washington, but a perfect storm of Murphy’s Law and shitty weather (outdoor show) made it imprudent to attend. Oh, well. There’ll be other times.

In 2000, NIN came through with A Perfect Circle. I wanted to go to that show badly, but Roger Waters was playing later in the month, and my entertainment budget can take just so many hits. I’d seen Pink Floyd, but not with Roger Waters. I had to see that one. So I waited.

Yesterday I received an e-mail offering $20 tickets on sale for two days only. Due to budgetary issues, I’d already decided to skip this one, but $20? Hell yeah! I got up in the middle of my night, went online, and the tix were immediately unavailable. Fooey.

A little while ago, I checked again. More tickets released! Immediately I looked, but the seats were way in the back. I pressed forward, and when all the charges added up, it came to $33. I released the tickets, canceled the order and came up with a better idea.

After the 2000 tour ended, NIN released a live DVD, And All that Could Have Been… I bought it, and it’s wonderful. With my home system, I can make it sound better and more concussive than the Rose Garden. What’d it cost? $20!

When contemplating going to the show, I had a subplot forming in my head. There’s a new girl that’s been coming around my work, and I’ve been working up my nerve with bits of conversation and flirting. When I inquired what kind of music she liked, she expressed a broad interest. So I asked, “What kind of music sets your teeth on edge?”

“Probably really, really heavy metal and very bad country. I like alternative-”

I must have slumped. “Well, that answers that. Probably not much of a Nine Inch Nails fan, huh?” I explained what I’d been planning.

“I love Nine Inch Nails! But I probably wouldn’t like the crowd. I’m not into crowds…”

Problem one solved! She’s not into crowds, I have a DVD of the show, it’s paid for, and now I just need to figure out a way to be smooth enough to invite her over without coming off like ‘that guy that lives in the basement’.

I have it on good authority that it makes an excellent soundtrack for what I have in mind…

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