Tonight the first band I ever fell deeply in love with will be performing at the Wells Fargo Center here in Philadelphia without me there to cheer them on.
Yes, it’s Bon Jovi. Take a deep breath and smell the sweat and hairspray.
When I was teenaged I had this amazing black suede jacket with long fringe across the back and down both sleeves – when I held my arms out to either side I looked vaguely winged. I think I got it in the men’s department at JC Penny’s, or I should say, my indulgent and loving parents got it for me. I wore it everywhere because between that and my tight, fringe-around-the-bottom skirts I looked like an extra from the Bad Medicine video.
Oh and don’t forget the huge hair – the higher the hair, the closer to God.
I’ve seen Bon Jovi three times in concert, and all three times my sister Pam went with me to make sure I didn’t get carried off by vagrants. I think she liked the music too, but mostly she went out of love for me. Back then to get tickets we would get up at three AM and trek down to the local video store with lawn chairs and sleeping bags, curling up in the cold with other fans and waiting for the ticketmaster window to open so we could get decent seats. I thought it was fun, hanging out with the rest of the Bon Jovi fanatics and singing in the dawn of a frigid morning. My sister did all of this with me too.
I truly didn’t appreciate her at the time like I should have. By way of saying thanks I intend to drag her now-teenaged daughter with me to a Tokio Hotel concert first chance I get. Of course, since Emily is a classical musician that plan may not go entirely smoothly.
I did take Pam to see Rush for her birthday one year when we were both a little older. Fifth row too. At the time you could get seats like that and they’d still be around twenty dollars each – it was all luck of the draw and how early you were willing to get up in the morning.
Ticketmaster going online has pretty much killed the tradition of sitting on street corners for the best seats at concerts. Meh to technology.
So tonight it all goes on without me: the screaming, the music, the lights, and Jon’s amazing smile which is completely undiminished by time. I feel like after all these years if I were to run into them I’d almost know them, like old friends. Either that or I’d go into a dead faint.
I’ll be there with you in spirit, guys.