Tyrades! by Danny Tyree

Believe it or not, my wife and I haven’t attended a concert in nearly 25 years.

(Elton John’s January 1998 appearance at Nashville Arena was our last outing.)

I realize such an admission strikes a discordant note with most “normal” people. “Don’t you want to be able to say that you saw (fill in the blank) in person?”

Get serious. Most of the applause at concerts is lavished upon songs celebrating substance abuse, promiscuity, adultery or anti-establishment violence. If you can approve the other naughtiness, why not tell a few white lies about concerts you didn’t, technically, attend? (“Yeah, Garth called us onstage. But the CIA made the TV crews delete the video; so, alas, there’s no record of it. Yeah, that’s the ticket.”)

The major obstacle to our attending more concerts is that my wife is particularly bothered by loud noises and flashing lights. Granted, this meshes with the “more decibels, please” concert mantra “I… wanna rock and roll all night, and suffer migraines every day.” Music is supposed to change the world, not rewrite your genetic code.

I realize we could bring earplugs and dark glasses, but that’s like dining at a 5-star restaurant after laminating your taste buds.

Things are looking up for us financially, but concert tickets have traditionally been a low-priority budget item. More power to the people who think nothing of enriching ticket scalpers, but I would lose sleep over it. Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast, but it doesn’t cut much ice with debt collectors.

I doubt I am the only person who dreads the hassle of concerts: tickets, hidden fees, traffic, parking, security, etc. If you do enjoy hassles, an economical compromise might involve staying home and putting together a backyard swing set (“some assembly required”) while your spouse bites the head off a bat.

It’s especially hard to get enthusiastic about bands that have undergone one lineup change too many. You know, where the backup cowbell player has somehow obtained ownership of the name and is the only remaining original element. Here’s an idea: I could just ship my baby teeth to the venue and say I attended.

Spare me the legendary artists who attempt staying relevant. (“I know you came to hear a selection of my 56 chart-topping hits, but first here’s a new 45-minute stripped-down dirge about my angst over the banking system in Lithuania.”)

Two down-to-earth guys (my father and my wife’s grandfather) influenced us not to get too starstruck. I enjoy the radio and my MP3 files without pursuing closer celebrity relationships. I mean, I appreciate the work of the time-and-temperature lady on the phone, but I don’t feel obligated to see her in an arena or buy the T-shirt. (“Forecast: tomorrow you’ll feel like a total fool. But with the heat index, you’ll feel like a 110 percent fool.”)

I do get wistful about a handful of missed opportunities (I wouldn’t mind seeing Barry Manilow perform someday), but then I get on with my life.

Regrets? I’ve had a few, but then again, too few to mention. I did what I had to do and saw it through…

Hey, that reminds me. Did I ever tell you about the time Elvis and Sinatra regaled me with stories of getting John Philip Sousa so wasted he threw up in 76 trombones? Pull up a souvenir seat cushion…

-

Copyright 2022 Danny Tyree, distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Danny Tyree welcomes email responses at [email protected] and visits to his Facebook fan page “Tyree’s Tyrades.”