Monday, April 16, 2012

Monday Morning Stories With Mookie - Episode 12

The Time Mookie Saw Guns N’ Roses In Concert

With Guns N’ Roses being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this past weekend (April 14th), I thought I would share a story about the time I saw them in concert. The evening of course produced some pretty funny stuff.

When we found out Guns N’ Roses were coming to the area, me and a group of friends were pretty excited about it. It was during the “Use Your Illusion” tour that supported their “Use Your Illusion I” and “Use Your Illusion II” albums. The boys and I were huge fans of these albums (and GN’R in general), so there was no question whether or not we were going. Add to the mix the fact “The Brian May Band” featuring Queen guitarist Brian May was opening, so we were jacked. The attendees for the show were “Russ” (*), “Mike” (*), “Junior” (*), Junior’s lady friend “Erin” (*), and myself.

Junior and the lady were going to drive down by themselves, so that left Russ, Mike and I to find our way to Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City. Mike said he could drive, and would pick us up at Russ’ place at 6:30PM. Booyah - We had a designated driver. This meant Russ and I could have a pre-show beverage (or 4) before Mike picked us up. Through our various sources, we secured some beer and a fine bottle of Jack Daniel’s for the festivities and met up early to get the party started.

We had some pizza, a few beers, and awaited our friend Mike. 6:25…6:30…6:35…6:40…6:45…No Mike. This was in the days before everyone had cell phones, so we had no clue where the f’er was. So we are WAY pissed that he isn’t here and are certainly going to be late for the show. Our only consolation was to keep drinking, which we did.

Finally around 7, Mike comes speeding up the street. We grab the bottle of Jack, and head out the door cursing the hell out of Mike. He is as apologetic as he can be, and says he will drive fast so we aren’t too late. We blow town and Mike makes good on the promise of driving fast. We get out on the highway in his sporty Z24 Chevy Cavalier, and promptly has us booking. How booking? We topped out at 124-126 MPH. I say topped out because the engine had a regulator on it and the motor would start cutting out if you tried to go much faster. This was easily the fastest I have gone in a car. We hit the interstate to Iowa City in record time, and somehow avoiding any law enforcement entanglements along the way.

We enter Coralville (city next to Iowa City), and traffic backs up pretty bad. Stop and go. Stop and go. Stop and go. This becomes a huge problem because guess who has to pee like a son of a bitch? Russ and Mookie. We were ready to get out of the car in traffic and whiz on the Coralville Strip in front of everyone. It was horrible. Finally we made it to the University of Iowa and found proper parking near Kinnick Stadium. Russ and I bail out of the car and empty our bladders right there between the cars. Oh it hurt.

As we start our short walk towards the arena, we can hear that the concert has already started and hoped that some other group was on the bill before Brian May. No such luck. We saw him do his hit song “Driven By You” and that was about it. But hey, we at least we get to say we saw Brian May.

Our seats (which were not tremendously great) were several rows up and way back from the stage. They had video screens, so that would help. Junior and his lady finally arrived so we were all present and accounted for GN’R.

If you are familiar with anything about a GN’R show, you can probably guess what happened next. We sat there and waited. And waited. And Waited. Oh. And WE WAITED some more. God forbid f’n Axl goes on stage when he is supposed to. The crowd did its best to keep itself entertained. Some nice girls up in front of the stage had no problem showing the crowd their juggs on the video screen, so that helped pass the time.

There was of course the announcement to the house that “the band” (namely Axl) will not tolerate things thrown at them on stage. If this happens, the show will be over. I was betting the show would be over within 3 songs.

A good hour or so had passed by now and the crowd was getting pissed.  People were up milling around and talking with people they knew in the arena.  While I am sitting there watching the crowd, Junior goes:

“Hey look at that chick over there. She’s got wings.”

Me being the tard I am, and totally not understanding or seeing what he is talking about, I say:

“Wow. Those must be some tight pants.”

For some reason I thought they were talking about the wings on maxi pads. This was back when I guess they started advertising wings on pads, and obviously it had sunk into my subconscious.  I finally saw what and who they were talking about. Some chick had butterfly wings on her back.

Obviously, not the same thing.
FINALLY after over 2 GD hours, the lights went down and they announced Guns and F**king Roses. They came out and ROCKED. Axl Rose, Slash, Dizzy Reed, Gilby Clarke, Duff McKagan, and Matt Sorum put on a show. Sweet Child O’ Mine, Mr. Brownstone, Live and Let Die (that was awesome), My Michelle, Don’t Cry, November Rain, Patience, Its So Easy, and of course Paradise City were all played to fan delight.

Then all of a sudden…the show was over. Just like that. It was almost like the show shouldn’t have ended the way it did, but it did. No big encore, or taking a bow or anything.
Chalk it up to Axl being a bitch I guess.

So then in our confused state, filed out of the arena, got in our cars and drove home. 

All in all, I guess it was a quality evening…. except for Axl being a “Grade A” bitch.  But we had booze, fast cars, topless women, rock and roll, and quality pals along for the ride.  All must haves for a good show.

Oh, and that girl with the wings should have had on tighter pants.

(*) - Names changed to protect the guilty/innocent.

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