Friday, November 9, 2007

Things to do before I die- Why wait?

Well, my list of things to do before I die is about to get shorter by one huge event.
I'm going to see Van Halen, the original van halen (with david lee roth, their original singer).
This is so so very high on my list of things to do before I die. I understand that not everyone thinks of a loud raucous rock concert of screaming guitar and a glib egomaniacal front man as utopia, but I do.

So, if you're not a fan of Van Halen, then whenever you see a Van Halen reference on this blog post, just insert whatever is at the top of your list of stuff you really want to do in this lifetime, whatever brings you true joy and leaves you smiling everytime you think about it, and grinning with anticpication while you're waiting for it to come around-OK?

Back in my school days, my room was covered in posters and clippings of Dave and Eddie and the band. I used to place the needle of my record player at the beginning of their record and set my stereo on a timer and wake up to them every morning (geez, what am i 80 years old? and then we walked to the creek and brought back buckets of water...).

The band split up in 1984 before I ever had a chance to see them live. I saw Van Halen with their replacement singer, Sammy Hagar, but it wasn't the same. I saw David Lee Roth with his replacement band (The David Lee Roth band). it wasn't the same. They've been feuding for 23 years, rumors of reunions, always dashed shortly after they arise. Those of us who are hardcore fans have been on an emptional roller coaster since they split.

When their tour was announced earlier this year, I told my pal Bob Malone "We MUST go to the first concert. Those guys have such a hard time getting along, there probably won't be a second concert. There may not even be a second half of the first concert." Well, wouldn't you know it, within a week, Eddie was in rehab, claiming to only be there to avoid Dave. And the tour was canceled. But somehow, they rescheduled for fall and they have been on tour for something like 6 solid weeks and no canceled shows!

So, barring the apocolypse, I'll be there, Madison Square garden, Tuesday night. I am READY! This may be my only chance.

Other things that I've been pleased to experience before I die:
-see Les Paul in concert (i was more in a hurry to see him before *he* died!). this was a couple years ago at the iridium in NYC, where he plays every monday night to this day. he must be 90 years old!

- see cheap trick in concert (another "real band"). the sad part about this was they were the opening act. For Ratt. But they still rocked.

- being drum major of the marching band

- going to Hawaii- and surfing- and skinnydipping!

-getting married to the lovemuffin (my best friend and soulmate)

- finding a pet who was a soulmate (Slick, a cat); several years after losing slick, now having found another pet soulmate,, our dog "easy."

-performing in england

-going to mexico

-going to australia

-go to GIT in hollywood

-driving across the entire country in less than a week

those are all things i really wanted to do, and dreamed about, and they came true.

stuff i've done/ seen that i would have put on the list had i known how fun it would be:

-seeing stanley jordan live- twice!

-going to merlefest several times

-seeing chet atkins live

-learning to water ski

-learning to snow ski

-take an 8-part comedy improv class in NYC

-teach at guitar camp

-seeing simon and garfunkel

-sleeping on the sidewalk for bon jovi tickets in their big-hair days! (the concert was great too)

-seeing sights on route 66

-visiting the smithsonian

-visitng alaska

-visiting montana

-jumping off a rope swing into the lake

-visiting key west

some other great concerts i've seen:
-motley crue (I was so impressed with the drum cage and how they turned the thing a full 360 during the drum solo- what can i say i was young and easily impressed)

-eric johnson, though the club was so packed and full of gus, all standing , that i saw very little, just heard it

-ratt with poison, ratt with cheap trick (Saw ratt twice in one year. i really liked them. best album: out of the cellar). tickets in those days were like $10.

-david wilcox, 1994 i believe. i saw him several times in the span of 1994,95,96. those were golden years for him!

-tommy emmanuel, who i was expecting not to like because of all the hype around him, and because the youtube videos out there don't do him justice. he's awesome.
-thom bresh, 1995 (but still great now). i had no idea who he was before i saw him. great entertainer, and a magical thumbpicker.

well i'm sure i have foregotten to list some great concerts- i have yet to see jerry reed. and one day i want to write a book. i mean i wrote a music instruction book, but more of a prose book. and maybe i'd like to visit every state of the US and return to australia. and live in a house that is completely off the electric grid, totally self-sufficient.And most of all, I want to be a contestant on wheel of fortune! (and win "big money!") And meet Oprah and Steven Colbert. And be an extra in a movie.

it's not really time to write my memoirs yet, so i can always keep adding to my list of things to do before i die! that's the cool thing. once you've done everything you want to do before you die, you can think of new things. Like i've heard it said "do the next right thing." after that step, you know what comes next.

Meanwhile, TUESDAY NIGHT! VAN HALEN! (I had to buy my tickets through stubhub.com because the box office was sold out long ago). Now I really doubt that Dave is no longer an egomaniac or that Eddie has resolved all his "issues," whatever they may be. So if seeing Van Halen is on your list of things to do before you die, what are you waiting for???

One of my friends died suddenly of a heart attack this summer. I believe he did nearly everything he had ever wanted to do. So, whatever it is on your list to do before you die, what are you waiting for? Live your dreams! Australia might be underwater by the time you finally go! The band might break up by the time you start looking for tickets!



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