Monday, November 28, 2011

Front row seats aren't that important

In the late 80's, the music scene was ruled by the hair bands: Mötley Crüe, Def Leppard, Poison, Cinderella, RATT and of course, Bon Jovi. In 1986 Bon Jovi released Slippery When Wet, their best-selling album (12 million sold in the US), which included such hits as You Give Love a Bad Name, Wanted Dead or Alive and Livin' on a Prayer. In 1988 they released New Jersey, which spawned five Top 10 singles, a record for a hard rock album.

To promote that album, Bon Jovi embarked on the Bad Medicine Tour, visiting more than 22 countries and performing more than 232 shows, including exotic Lubbock, Texas where my incredibly handsome twin brother Ron and I were attending college. We invited our friends Greg and "Two Beer" Brad, and the four of us headed to the show at Lubbock Coliseum.

Lubbock Coliseum was an interesting venue, used for Texas Tech basketball games (at that time), livestock shows and concerts. Concerts there were general admission, which meant seats on the floor were first-come, first-serve, and you could push yourself as close to the stage as you wanted. It also meant you had to keep your feet or run the risk of getting trampled by the crowd.

And the Bon Jovi concert was packed. The four of us were several dozen rows back, but the band had scaffolding that went out above the crowd, and Jon (he and I are on a first-name basis) would walk out and sing to those of us in the back. However, our friend Greg wanted to see how close to the front he could get and off he disappeared into the crowd.

About an hour later, we see him making his way back to our group, and his shirt is covered in sweat. We asked, "How close to the front did you get?"

He replied, "Oh, I got all the way against the rail. It took me 15 minutes to get there, and I stayed there for 30 minutes, but then I had leave. With everyone pushing me against the rail I thought I was going to pass out, so I made my way back here."

Looking at his sweat-soaked shirt we thought he might have gotten over-heated so we asked, "Was it too hot being in that crowd? Your shirt is covered in sweat."

Greg looked down at the sweat on his shirt and replied, "Oh, it's not mine."

You know, we were fine staying where we were.