Two weeks ago my girlfriend Lisa took me to see Adam Ant. I was excited. I’ve loved Adam Ant since the early 80’s when he was still Adam and the Ants. (Ah the memories of me going to my friend Kellie’s every day after school in 12th grade to eat chipped beef or tuna on saltine crackers -trust me, it was delicious- and watch music videos on this brand new thing called MTV while we did our homework.)
I’d never seen Adam Ant in concert before, which seems unbelievable (to me anyway), because I’m a big concert-goer. At least I was. You know, when I was younger. These days I’m lucky if I see one or two shows a year.
Unless dragging my family kicking and screaming in the summertime to the free Sunday concerts-in-the-park to see Queen and Bon Jovi cover bands counts as going to concerts. No? I didn’t think so.
Adam Ant was playing at the Mayan Theatre downtown so we had to battle weeknight commuter traffic to get there. Ugh. I don’t know how people drive in that everyday and retain their sanity. I also don’t understand why there is traffic going into the city when it should be coming out of the city – such is the beauty of LA.
We wanted to find somewhere to eat near the Mayan Theatre before the show. Have you ever tried to find a place to eat dinner in downtown Los Angeles? It’s nearly impossible. Unless you’re near the Staples Center, downtown LA is a scary ghost town at night. Fortunately The Staples Center is only a mile away from the Mayan, so we were able to find a place to eat (after driving around in the wrong direction) without too much difficulty.
We chose El Cholo. (Yes, there is one downtown now. And yes, Yum!) Green chili and cheese tamales + Caesar salad + margaritas = two happy ladies.
After dinner we were walking back to the theater and I felt this HUGE splash on me. A car full of kids drove by and blasted us with an industrial-sized water gun or bucket or something, and as I was on the street side, half of my body was entirely drenched. Drenched! I squeezed into my favorite jeans, put on my cutest mid-life-belly-hiding-top, left the suburbs and battled ninety minute traffic to get a freaking bucket of water poured over half my head?!
And my hair looked really good that night. I even put on eyeliner!
Lisa started laughing because she only got a tiny bit wet and didn’t realize how badly I’d gotten soaked.
“It’s not funny Lisa!” I screamed at her. I might have screamed some other things too. A lot of other things. In retrospect I do not think I handled the situation very well. I think I said the “F” word a few times. (Or maybe a lot of times.)
There was a group of guys behind us and one of them had a camera. “Hey,” Lisa said, “did you get that on film? Let me see your camera.”
“What?” the guy said.
“You’re camera. Let me see it. Was this some sort of caught on film thing?” Lisa took his camera and started to scroll through his photos looking to see if they were in on the prank.
Nope. The guys just happened to be there. They were actually really nice and one of them walked me into the wine bar we were passing and got me some napkins so I could clean up. I thanked him and went into the bathroom to confirm my suspicions – yep, I looked like a drowned rat. At least on one side.
I told my kids the story the next morning at breakfast (minus the profanity) and how upsetting it was because it was very disorienting and at first I didn’t quite know what happened. And also I had looked really nice that night and it ruined my hair and make-up.
“Well, that doesn’t matter Mom,” Marley said. “You were just going to a concert. No one was going to see you. You weren’t trying to impress anyone.”
No one was going to see me? I wasn’t trying to impress anyone?! Adam Ant was going to see me! My 12th grade MTV crush! (At least one of them.) It didn’t matter where I was standing in that club. Surely Adam would find me and lock eyes with me and declare me the hottest and most desirable
middle age mom woman in the crowd. Jeez! Haven’t I taught my daughter anything?
Because Lisa is a good friend (and was driving) she bought me another margarita when we got to the club. “Make it strong,” she told the bartender. “She needs it.”
As we were standing there I had a realization. A flash of an old memory. (And let me tell you, my memory is shit these days.)
“You know what?” I said to Lisa. “I think maybe I have seen Adam Ant before. In 1995 maybe. I used to work with a band called the Murmurs and I think they opened for him at the Wiltern. I think it was him. It might have been Joe Jackson. I’m not sure.”
“Well, one of them has a piano and one of them wears a pirate costume,” she said. “That’s a pretty big difference.”
I laughed. “Yeah, I know. My memory sucks. I’ll ask my friend Mindy. She’ll know.”
(Uh… Mindy – could you leave that in the comments please?)
Adam came on. The sound at the Mayan was terrible. So terrible that if Adam were more of a diva (and I hear he’s quite a diva) he’d have screamed the F word a few times and stomped off stage. You know, like I did when I got water dumped on half my head. (Uh oh, maybe I’m the diva.)
But Adam performed like a pro. He was awesome. And okay, he’s 57 years-old and still wears a pirate costume (which has morphed into something a little Jack Sparrow-ish if you ask me) and is maybe a little let’s say… fluffier than he used to be, but who isn’t these days? (Who isn’t fluffier I mean, not who isn’t wearing a pirate costume. Although, plenty of people were…)
And the audience loved it. Loved him. Despite the bad sound and extra fluff. The house was filled with die-hard fans singing and dancing to all the hits.
And in case you are wondering – yes he did lock eyes with me. My hair had dried by then so it was okay. Even though he’s old now and probably needs glasses. But then, who doesn’t these days?