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What I Learned This Week – 5/31/15

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This week I learned that my car cannot get fixed if there is no Internet.

Can you believe that?

I mean, I understand that stores can’t load gift cards or access your EBT account without Internet, but car repair?

Typical dashboard warning lights

Typical dashboard warning lights

My car started doing very funky things on Memorial Day. Warning lights that I had never seen before and had no name for kept illuminating on my dashboard. (I literally have NIGHTMARES about this exact sort of thing.)

So, on Wednesday, after a rather large storm, mind you, I took my car in to get it looked at. The car dealerships Internet was down. With no Internet capabilities, they could not plug in my car to the diagnostic to see what was wrong. They could not access my warranty information to see if it was covered. So, I left my car there. The dealership was nice enough to give me a ride home. I assumed I would be picked up again by the end of the day. I didn’t get my car on Wednesday. Or Thursday, for that matter, although, to be fair, I did add another repair onto my order for the dealership. The warning lights only indicated that the sensor was bad, and needed to be changed.

My husband was disgruntled that I didn’t get a loaner car. I was grumpy because they had my car there to work on at their leisure. I assume they probably gave priority to the customers who were waiting in the lounge, repairing their cars first.

I ended up getting my car back on Friday. I mentioned my long wait to the cashier, hoping they had planned on giving me a discount or something. No, I just got an earful about how hard the outage had made her job :-/

I learned something else this week as well.

Let me tell you a little story. You know how sometimes you hear music in your head, like a certain song that just won’t stop? Well, in high school, I used to have Garth Brooks and George Michael singing in my head. At the same time. Singing different songs. This went on for weeks, maybe months. Long enough that I still remember it to this day. It made me realize that they both had really nice voices that actually went pretty well together. I also realized this dueling music in my head made it hard to concentrate on listening to the boring teachers.

I actually just found out today that this magic in my head actually became a reality back in 2000. I found the video below of Garth Brooks joining George Michael on the song “Freedom” at an event called Equality Rocks on YouTube. Garth shows up at the 2:30 mark. See below.

Have I mentioned that I was fortunate enough to see Garth Brooks in concert this year? Thanks Patti Keno!

Garth Brooks at Joe Louis Arena, 2015

Garth Brooks at Joe Louis Arena, 2015

My first book, The Wind Could Blow a Bug, is NOW AVAILABLE!

PURCHASE as a Paperback or eBook on Amazon.com TODAY.

[Pssst…Book 2, When You Least Expect It, is COMING SOON!]

Remember This? Wes Nile

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The only known photograph of the band Wes Nile, 2003

The only known surviving photograph of the band Wes Nile, 2003

In January 2003, Wes Nile was the next big up and coming band. Everyone was talking about them. They made all the music industry magazines lists of “Up and Coming Bands to Watch” and “The Big Albums of 2003”.

Simon Cowell called them “Dreadful.”

Critics criticized Wes Nile for playing into the West Nile virus scare, which was at the height of its hysteria. Founder Wes Nile debunked critics by publicly showing his birth certificate, displaying his birth name as Westley P. Nile.  Of course, he had it tattooed onto his butt when he revealed it at the international press conference.

Other members of the band were Eas Nile and Dee Nile. Other members C. Nile and P. Nile rotated in and out of the band, depending on who was feuding with who.

In June, their debut album was supposed to be released, but got postponed until September. They were scheduled to appear on Saturday Night Live that week as the musical guest. Wes Nile assured NBC that they would do the show anyway, but failed to show up on Saturday night. To fill the air time, the SNL cast members sang “1000 Bottles of Beer on the Wall.”

Lorne Michaels was furious and promptly banned Wes Nile from any future appearances.  This helped to fuel their popularity.

Similar absenteeism happened when they were due to appear on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and The Late Show with David Letterman.

In the meantime, their songs “Punk Rock Pollock” & “Hop Shamock-a-Lok” became chart-topping hits, despite being only the sounds of screaming and crows.

Sadly, it is unclear which charts those were, as a freak fire at the Billboard offices destroyed all records for only the year 2003.

Wes Nile was announced as the headliners of First Annual Michigan Mosquito Festival. It was supposed to be the first step to make a mends with their fans who were quickly becoming disillusioned by their reputation as no-shows. It would also serve as the first stop on their universal concert tour, due to culminate with the first concert on the moon, although there is no record of NASA ever condoning such an en devour.

Years later, Richard Branson claimed in his best-selling biography “Story of a Rich British Guy Who Likes the Color Red” that he was in secret talks with them to “make the magic happen.”

Festival organizers reported that Wes Nile did in fact show up to perform. Unfortunately, unforseen circumstances prevented them from taking the stage. The festival was cancelled because their fans had used too much bug spray and the fire Marshal ruled that, with the stage pyrotechnics, there was too much of a fire hazard.

No future Michigan Mosquito Festivals were ever held.

Their debut album was yet again postponed by the record label. This time, indefinitely. The name of the album, “Bite Me”, and the group photo of the band above had already been released. With the album in limbo, the universal tour was canceled.

Not much remains of the Wes Nile legacy. All their most hard-core fans had significant brain damage from the bug repellent at the Mosquito Festival, causing severe memory loss.

In 2005, Westley P. Nile ordered all this fans to send in their CD singles of the band’s only two hits. He no longer felt they were the bands best work, and didn’t want them out polluting the world. Fans resisted, so he offered to send each fan a $100 check upon receipt. The next day post offices had lines around the block of people sending back CDs.

Westley never made good on his promise to pay up.

He later hacked all the computers of fans who had digital files of his music. Westley was put on trial, but was found to be criminally insane, due to the fact that he believed himself to be a robot.  He claimed he had plugged a part of his anatomy into his computer to upload and download the files.  This was never proven or dis proven in court.

Eas Nile became a best-selling author, specializing in alien erotica. Unfortunately, her success allowed her to over-indulge in her love of cheese. She tried to build a house made out of cheese, but was almost killed by The Plague when mice over-ran the place.

Dee Nile married P. Nile, but they soon divorced when he could not remain faithful.  Dee became an author, writing about cheese-related tragedies. Her books were not successful, due to the premise being too unbelievable. Instead, she started a successful blog which featured a new pizza recipe daily. She tours college campuses regularly.

C. Nile became a glamorous and edgy pop star in Czechoslovakia under the stage name “Cadonna”. Due to strict embargo rules, her music is not available here and cannot be posted on YouTube.

P. Nile has since fathered ten children by ten different women. In order to pay his child support, he has become one of the leading pimps of Albuquerque.

Rumors swirl occasionally on Myspace of a reunion, but that seems doubtful while Westley is still in the asylum.

Wes Nile touched so many people, for such a brief period of time. Every now and then, I will see a faded, worn “Bite Me” bumper sticker on the back of a car, and a tear comes to my eye, for what might have been…

Feel free to share your own memories of Wes Nile in the comments below.

Foto Phriday: Concert Ready

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When I was in my 20’s, and first had my own job and my own apartment, often I would go out to rock concerts with my friends. I went from going to no concerts ever, to going to probably about one a month for a few years.

These pictures were taken when my green-haired friend and I went to see Good Charlotte in Toledo, Ohio on Halloween 2002. Within a year, we would actually get to MEET them, coincidentally, also in Toledo.

This is one of my favorite pictures of myself. It was taken in my cute little one bedroom apartment I used to have.

Are you convinced I am a bad-ass yet?

Me, all ready for action!

Me, all ready for action!

Ya, me neither.

Here is a picture of my green-haired friend, although in this pic I can’t really tell what color her hair is. But knowing her, and that we were headed to a concert of one of our favorite bands, it was probably freshly dyed. She has a “roar” face because she is wearing kitty ears on her head;)

My green-haired friend

My green-haired friend

In this picture, I was first struck by how beautiful my green-haired friend looks.

Then I realized her necklace looks like a candy necklace (which she sometimes wore), but it is not.

Then I realized I look like Miley Cyrus. But, you know, a good decade before her. Can I get some kind of kick-back for that?

I look drunk.  I assure you that I had not had anything but Coca-Cola.

I look drunk. I assure you that I had not had anything but Coca-Cola.

CONCERT READY-GC sign

What I Learned This Week – 6/8/14

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This week I learned that I wouldn’t do my life differently.

Look at this baby.

Baby pic of A.L.D.

Baby pic of A.L.D.

I remember when this baby was born.

Last weekend, she graduated from high school.

This is the daughter of one of my close friends growing up. She had her when she was just 2 years out of high school herself. Two more children soon followed.

The last time I saw my friend and her husband at the grocery store, they actually looked at my son and laughed. They laughed because they are almost done raising their children, and I am just starting.

But you know what? I wouldn’t trade with them for anything.

I went and visited them shortly after their daughter was born. I was just a kid in college. I had never had a real job. I didn’t have my own car. I didn’t have any bills. I didn’t live on my own, and wouldn’t be ready to for another three years.

Their little bundle of joy scared the shit out of me!

In the years they were raising kids, I was going to concerts and spending money on CDs and hoodies, not on diapers and backpacks. I only had to be responsible for myself and a hamster.

You know the good thing about a hamster? If you decide to crash at your green-haired friend’s house for the night, YOU CAN! The hamster has enough food and water for 24 hours. It is a rodent, for God sake. They not only survived the plague, they spread it to everyone else.

My husband and I spent many Sunday nights going out to Walmart too late and spending money we couldn’t spare on DVDs and toys. And I wouldn’t trade those lazy nights for anything.

The way I see it, we got to enjoy our youth when we were young. My friends are looking forward to having all their kids out of their house soon. But they will still be in their 40’s by then. And as I approach that milestone myself, I am sure I won’t have as much energy then as I did in my 20s. I used to live my whole life on 6 hours of sleep per night up until I had my son. I used to go out to concerts surrounded by kids 10 years younger than me and jump up and down with them at a Good Charlotte concert. I used to be squeezed in a mosh pit. I stood up for 5 hours in the summer sun with no food or water in 2008 to listen to future President of the United States Barack Obama speak.

I was strong! I was hardy!

I can still do a concert better than many people my own age. But not with the enthusiasm and longevity and fearlessness I once had.

I waited until I was 34 to have my son. And even then, I could barely figure out when to give him formula and when to change a diaper. (I wasted lot of diapers and formula this way.) Now, at my increased age, I barely have enough patience for him some days. I can’t imagine if I had been younger and felt like he was making me miss out on stuff.

So as far as having a child, I definitely do not regret having mine later.

I am tempted to say that I do regret not working on getting a novel published sooner. But, well, I guess I had to wait for the right idea to come along and kick me in the ass.

Yes, Kid Rock, I Have Stalked You, Part 1

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I have previously written posts about both Macklemore and Vanilla Ice.

Macklemore, Ricky Nix. Kid Rock. Vanilla Ice.

What do all these guys have in common? They are all white rappers.

And I love them all. And no, Eminem is NOT included on my list. He only has ever recorded two singles that didn’t sound like the beat was from a Casio keyboard and he was trying to do a cartoon voice. Those two decent song are “Lose Yourself” and “Stan”.

It was 1999.

I had my first “real” job post-college in an office, sitting in front of a computer for eight hours a day doing monotonous work.

I was miserable.

Luckily, they let me listen to music while I did my boring data entry work.

At this same time, there was a song on the radio that I really liked. I didn’t know the name of it or who sang it, but I was pretty sure it went as follows:

Break it up let’s tie one on
I gotta get set to go and cut the lawn
So I grab my Walkman but before I cut
I go behind the garage and fire it up
Cause I’m the pool guy
You understand

I thought they were weird lyrics, but I definitely liked the Rap Rock mix. At a chance encounter hanging out at a bonfire, I got to hear more of the album. I liked it a lot. I found out the song above is actually called “Bullgod”, and I had misheard the lyrics.

I went out and purchased the CD (Yes, people did that back then): Kid Rock’s “Devil Without A Cause”

I listened to it every day for the next year. While I was a good little obedient worker typing away, I was listening to wonderful lyrics about drugs and violence and sex set to a pounding beat on my headphones.

My Kid Rock standee, with Hogwart the hedgehog

My Kid Rock standee, with Hogwart the hedgehog

I fell in love with Kid Rock’s music. I bought all his previous CDs that I could get from online auctions. I never managed to get Fire It up, an EP that was released in 1993. I liked listening to his early stuff to hear how he evolved, but I still loved Devil Without A Cause the best.

Kid Rock has a great saying that perfectly describes how his music affected me:

If it looks good, you’ll see it;
If it sounds good, you’ll hear it,
if it’s marketed right, you’ll buy it;
But…if it’s real, you’ll feel it.

At this same time, I started attending rock concerts regularly, which I had never really done before. But I suddenly had opportunities (on rare occasions, we got free tickets at work) and people to attend with me. I learned that some people require alcohol to have a good time on a night out, and some do not. I mostly went to concerts with my green-haired friend, her brother, and my crazy friend. They did not required alcohol to have a good time. We could end up laughing until we couldn’t breath with no help from outside substances whatsoever.

The first time I saw Kid Rock in person was at a Top Dog showcase at the State Theatre (Now known as the Fillmore Detroit) in Detroit, Michigan on July 27, 2000. Top Dog is Kid Rock’s own record label. Kid Rock wasn’t scheduled to perform, but I hoped that he would. I also hoped that he would be there, and maybe there would be a chance to meet him. My green-haired friend, her brother, and I stood in a line that ran down the side of the building, waiting for them to open the doors. We were apparently standing right near a stage door, because guys kept going in and out with guitars and speakers and stuff. I told my friends that I thought the guy with the bright orange dyed hair was in Kid Rock’s band, Twisted Brown Trucker. They did not believe me. Until later, when he was on stage with Uncle Kracker. The orange haired guy was Jason Krause. Although we didn’t get an autograph that day, we would ten months later.

Kid Rock didn’t perform at that show, but he did emcee, announcing the three acts before each one performed. Paradigm, Howling Diablos, and Uncle Kracker performed. I believe Joe C. was there too. We would all go on to become big Uncle Kracker fans, and attend many of his concerts.

The first time I actually saw Kid Rock perform was at Pine Knob (Now known as the DTE Energy Music Theater) in Clarkston, Michigan on August 25, 2000. My green-haired friend and I had stood in line when tickets went on sale early one Saturday morning. It was an outdoor venue, and we had been lucky enough to get pavilion seats, although they were 48 rows back from the stage. The local radio station was having a contest to win tickets. I thought they might have closer seats, so I called and won. Alas, what I won were lawn tickets. So, I invited my boyfriend (now husband) and his best friend along with us.

To my delight, and many other young people’s confusion, David Allan Coe was the opening act. I grew up on 70’s and 80’s country. “You Never Even Call Me By Name” is one of his biggest hits, and one of my favorite country songs. Sadly, that is about all I remember from that concert.

It would be the last time we would see Joe C. in person alive, as he died on November 16, 2000. Eerily enough, my husband and I were driving through Taylor that very evening, coming home from another show. Because I worked with people who worked with record company people, I actually knew the time and location of Joe C.’s funeral, but I didn’t go. I do have SOME stalker morals.

I started to watch Kid Rock on every TV show that he performed on. I started a scrapbook of magazine articles about him. I dressed as Kid Rock for Halloween, and wore it to work. I made a collage on my bedroom door. I hung up posters of him in my cubicle at work. One of my co-workers started to call me Kid Jen. I had a giant cardboard standee of him in my living room. I was obsessed. Which is unfortunate, because there was a lull in Kid Rock activity in the time until his Cocky album was came out in late 2001.

Me, Halloween 2000, as Kid Rock

Me, Halloween 2000, as Kid Rock

On May 27, 2001, my green-haired friend, her brother, my now-husband, and I went to the 89X 10th Birthday Bash at a venue called Phoenix Plaza. I always get lost in Pontiac. And Phoenix Plaza is a big park on top of a parking garage. All sorts of bands that really have no relation to this story were performing that day. Sum 41 (who we MISSED!), Rehab (who got booed), Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Cold, Staind, Puddle of Mudd, and Dope. Right when we got there, two members of Treble Charger (who we had seen in concert a few weeks prior, also the concert where I obtained most of my current hearing damage) walked right by us. By the time I convinced my green-haired friend that that is who the guys indeed were, they got on an elevator and left. With later Internet research, we found out one of those guys from Treble Charger sometimes produces Sum 41 albums.

Jason Krause's Autograph

Jason Krause’s Autograph

But that would not be the first of our celebrity encounters that day. There was a whole area where the bands would come and sign stuff. Jason Krause, orange-haired guitar player from Twisted Brown Trucker, and Stefanie Eulinberg, Kid Rock’s drummer, were also there. They weren’t performing, just watching the bands. Jason happily signed an autograph for us. We ran into Stephanie in the crowd. She was super nice, then proceeded to work her way forward toward the stage. She was shorter than me, and having trouble seeing the performances.

Stefanie Eulinberg Autograph

Stefanie Eulinberg Autograph

According to my ticket stubs, next we went to see Uncle Kracker at Freedom Hill Amphitheater on August 24, 2001. It was a beautiful outdoor venue, but VERY far away from my house. Uncle Kracker’s debut CD contained a song with Kid Rock on it. I hoped Kid Rock would appear to perform it with him. He did not. Although, Ron Jeremy introduced Uncle Kracker that day. How many people can say they have seen Ron Jeremy in person?

The concert had an official After Party at the Emerald Ballroom in Mount Clemens. I fell in love with the Emerald Theatre (Now called the Macomb Music Theatre) and its cozy leather chairs. But alas, it was even FURTHER away from my house, and not optimal to frequent for concerts.

Yes, we went to the afterparty, hoping to see Kid Rock. We did not. We did get to see Uncle Kracker’s very attractive guitar player from just a few feet away though. The ride back to Belleville was very, very long. Everyone fell asleep except, luckily, the driver.

Someone at work informed me that Kid Rock was doing a video shoot at the Palace of Auburn Hills. We tried to stalk it.

Come back on Thursday for Part 2 to find out if we ever did find the music video shoot, and if I ever got to meet Kid Rock…

Part 2 can be found here:  https://imnotstalkingyou.com/2014/05/22/yes-kid-rock-i-have-stalked-you-part-2

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