So, with that in mind, I’m changing the subject!
I went to see another concert this weekend – Johnny Vatos and Friends – at the Brixton in Redondo Beach. To begin with, the Brixton was once called Fashions back in the 80’s and 90s, and it was a great little dance club. Friday and Saturday nights were KROQ nights with Richard Blade spinning tunes, and I loved the place. I practically lived there during my college years, and it was also the place I met my husband. Going back to the club on Saturday night was definitely deja-vu for us, but going to see Vatos in such a small club was exciting as well. For those who are unaware or don’t know – Johnny Vatos was the drummer for Oingo Boingo, and he put together a tribute band of sorts, except that this “tribute” band is made up of members from the old group, as well as some new friends he’s made along the way. The only person really missing is Danny Elfman, and he’s someone I’ve never had the luck or good timing to ever see in person or see live at a show. That said, we take what we can get and have a great time.
The show did not disappoint, and as luck would have it – front row was wide open when we arrived, so my husband and I decided to take advantage and get spots right in front of the stage. I have never had front row anywhere before – ever – so this was doubly exciting for me. (yes, the only thing that could have been better had been if it were for Duran Duran. I think we all know that here!) The band started, and it was fantastic. I was dancing and singing along when, about 4 songs into their set, an older man came and stood directly in front of me. That’s right, the two extra feet I had between myself and the stage were suddenly taken, and since this man was probably a good foot taller than me, I couldn’t see at all. I was peaking around him, trying to see, all the while getting more and more annoyed. I mentioned to my husband that girls had done similar things to me at Duran shows before – but I’ve never had a man, not to mention an older man, butt right in front of me like that! I tried to be good natured and still enjoy the show though. I started noticing this guy holding up his glass of whatever he was drinking in some sort of a toast to the various band members, and they seemed to acknowledge him – but I figured he was some sort of a fan from way way back – and probably a little on the looney side as well. Even so, I was really annoyed because I truly couldn’t see the stage! I looked at my husband and made a kind of made a motion of “I’m gonna shove you the heck over if you don’t give me some space” towards the guy (he wasn’t looking at me at the time), and to my surprise (and embarrassment), the trumpet player saw me. He looked at me, widened his eyes and shook his head no very slowly. Well, I was shocked someone saw me (apparently there ARE advantages to being back a few rows – the band can’t see everything you do!!!), but of course I didn’t actually say anything to the new “wall” in front of me. A couple songs later, a roadie dude came up to him and motioned for him to come to the other side of the room near the bar, and it wasn’t long after that when the song ended and Johnny spoke. He starts off by announcing that they are going to do something new and have a break mid-set. I thought that was odd, but you know – these guys aren’t exactly young anymore. (no offense to Duran Duran, but I suspect that Oingo Boingo members might be a few years their senior in some cases) Then Johnny mentions that this has never happened before, but that an Elfman is at the show. I looked at Walt – because truly this is his favorite band in the history of the world – and I could see how excited he was. Of course it’s the dream of every fan to have Danny Elfman at a show again. He hasn’t performed with Boingo in at least 10 years now, and to my knowledge – he never will again because he has some hereditary hearing loss – and if you know anything about Elfman at all, he’s an extremely talented composer and needs those ears. It was only then that I started putting two and two together, and to my complete and utter mortification – they shined a light out in the crowd and who should it fall on but the old guy who stood directly in front of me. This was not Danny Elfman (as I’d originally feared), but his brother Richard, who was also a member of The Mystic Knights of Oingo Boingo from WAY back in the day. At that point, I felt every ounce of blood drain from my face, and as I turned back towards the stage, once again the trumpet player, along with the trombone player, caught my eye and immediately fell into gales of laughter. Awesome. (Yes, I said awesome. It fits the bill perfectly.)
In my defense, and yes – I really have one here – I never knew Danny Elfman had a brother, much less someone who looks remarkably similar to him. I wish my darling husband had taken the moment BEFORE my little faux pas to tell me that the guy in front of me looked a lot like Danny to him, and that he’d actually been thinking that he must be an Elfman – and probably his brother – but I digress. I also still think the guy was incredibly rude to just come up and stand in front of me without any kind of a “hey I’m sorry but do you mind if I just stand here a second – I used to be in the band and just want to say hi”, but you know, I’m just a little person. A fan.
I wish I’d have recognized him, but you know – he looked like any other person to me that night. All I could think about was that 1. I was glad it wasn’t Danny Elfman and that I didn’t open my big mouth. 2. That I wasn’t at a Duran show and that it wasn’t a member of Duran. 3. That it wasn’t Danny Elfman. Wait. I said that already. You see for me, Elfman is a god of sorts. He’s one of the very few people on an extremely short list that I would never want to actually meet because I don’t think I’d be able to speak. I’d have absolutely nothing of any substance to say beyond “I really appreciate your work”, and I’ll bet he’s maybe heard that a time or two.
Moral of the story? Be careful who you want to shove out of your way at a show. Never know when it’s going to be YOUR Elfman, or Taylor…or LeBon or Rhodes. 😉 Oh, and GA still sucks. -R