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Rochester's Classic Rock
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Church of Crowley


Brian Johnson of AC/DC Getting A Little Help From His Friends

© Andrey Popov | Dreamstime.com - Person Adjusting Hearing Aid
By now, pretty much everyone knows about the hearing loss issues that led to Brian Johnson taking a break from AC/DC. But an inner ear device inventor just produced a video in an effort to reach out to Johnson in hopes of getting him back on stage.

In the video below, Asius Technologies founder Stephen Ambrose, who also invented in-ear monitors that many musicians use on stage today, addresses Johnson and talks about his new device that delivers great sound but also greatly reduces the risk of further hearing damage. Ambrose also mentions that while he's a fan of Axl Rose, he'd much rather see Johnson fronting AC/DC and sides with Roger Daltrey and his recent comments about the AC/DC situation.

BTW - the video also includes people with significant hearing loss using the new technology.

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Rock Life Story - Ethan The 8 Minute Wonder

�© Alexandru Cuznetov | Dreamstime.com - Police lights by night
Dateline April 30th 2016 - Portland Oregon. Meet today's Rock Life Subject, Ethan Kwon. Ethan still lives at home with his parents...at least he did until last week. I can't imagine his parents let him keep living there after what he pulled. Ethan not only stole $200 dollars from his parents, but he lied to them about who stole the money and made up a story about what happened that was a big enough lie to get police involved. And if you've got kids, you know they're going to lie to you. You know they're probably going to steal money from you. But what you may not realize is just how truly stupid they think you are...that's where Ethan misjudged his parents.

Here's what happened; last Tuesday, Ethan was home alone during the day. When his parents got home later that afternoon, they found out they were missing $200 dollars from their nightstand. Where did it go? Ethan said he didn't know. He was the only one there...sure...but he was in his room listening to music with his ear-buds in. He didn't hear anything and he didn't notice anything strange. He doesn't know what happened.

Ethan's parents as it turns out, are dumber than I think even Ethan thought. Because not only did they buy his story...now they were going to get the police involved. How dare someone come into their home, steal their money and possibly endanger their only son! What if they knew he was there...he could have been hurt or worse! I imagine at this point, Ethan is so stupid, he didn't realize he just screwed himself. And not in the happy fun time way. No...that happened earlier in the day...as police came to find out.

You see, the police showed up to Ethan's parents' house...they talked to the parents who told them Ethan's story. Then they talked to Ethan...who gave them the same story. Then...the parent's gave the police the footage from their security camera (the same video posted below). That's when Ethan had to know his lie was about to be unraveled. Because when the police watched the video surveillance, they saw a strange woman walk into the house during the time that Ethan told them he was in his room listening to music, so he didn't notice...and the woman walks back out 8 minutes later. A little more disheveled than when she walked in.

Once the police investigated a little further, they found out that woman was a pro. Yes. She was a hooker than Ethan had hired and paid for with the $200 dollars from his parent's night-stand. Think about this though...8 minutes from the time she entered to the time she left. It takes at least a couple of minutes or so to get into the house, get the business side of things taken care of and then get undressed...there's the deed...then at least another minute or two to get dressed and get out of the house...which leaves...what...4 minutes? I don't know what's more embarrassing for Ethan...that he got caught in the lie or that now the world knows about his lack of stamina. Either way, Ethan has been charged with initiating a false report and patronizing a prostitute. And I'm sure is about to be or was kicked out of the house.

That's your Rock Life Story for today, Thursday May 5th 2016

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Metallica's Lead Singer Was Almost...

© Teodororoianu | Dreamstime.com - Black and white concert
Lars Ulrich? Believe it or not. That almost happened. Well, almost...for about 5 seconds, according to original Metallica manager and founder of Megaforce Records, Johnny Zazula.

In an interview he said
that James Hetfield, who was quite the introvert early on, had some early stage fright when it came to performing vocals. That's when somebody suggested Lars handle vocals. Johnny said, "Lars and I planned a lot of stuff. But James wasn't the most confident of singers. I don't think he felt comfortable. At one point there was even talk of Lars becoming the frontman. For about five seconds."

But, James sucked it up, picked up the mic and....well, here we are. BUT there is video of what Lars on the mic might sound like. This is footage of an impromptu jam in 1992 where the whole band switched it up. Lars up front, James on drums, Jason on guitar and Kirk on bass.

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Is Bruce Springsteen Really Stevie Nicks?

© Alessandro D'esposito | Dreamstime.com - DJ Turntable )
Apparently when you speed up Springsteen's voice, he sounds a lot like Stevie Nicks.

This guy still had his record player set for a 7" 45rpm, & didn't notice. So once it started playing the last song on side A...he just assumed he put the wrong album on. That wasn't the case.
It's Bruce's "Darkness on the Edge of Town" album and the song is "Racing in the Street" at 45 rpm. It's a little Chipmunk-y, but you can definitely hear some Stevie in there. What do you think?
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The Boss does Purple Rain

USA Today Images
Bruce Springsteen does a great tribute to Prince with his rendition of Purple Rain. 

Ironic? When Purple Rain hit #1 on the Chart in '84, the album it knocked off was Springsteen's Born in the USA.

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Misogynistic/Sexist or Just Plain Condescending/Patronizing?

I feel like on social media (twitter, Facebook & the like) there's a lot of "Look at me! Look at me!" going on. But when someone does take notice of what you've put out there, it isn't always what they expected or wanted to hear. To me, that's part of it all. The whole, you have to take the good with the bad.

So it was with some amusement and curiosity that I found myself being called out for being a misogynist late last week. Understand, I don't care what you call me. In any way, shape, or form. I get it. I'm not everyone's cup of tea, so to speak. No problem. Got an issue with me? Take a number and get in line. There's a shizz ton of people in front of you and we're currently serving number go-take-a-flying-leap. BUT - if you're going to call me out for being something, at least make sure you know what you're talking about. If you're going to use a word, know what it means first.

Here's what happened (and note, the tweet from WCMF's account was not me)
Now, here's how http://www.merriam-webster.com defines misogyny:  a hatred of women. Others define it as: noun 1.hatred, dislike, or mistrust of women, or prejudice against women.

Does it look like I hate women or have a prejudice against them? Just because I'm being condescending and patronizing, doesn't mean I hate you or I have a prejudice against you - woman or man. It means I think you're being an idiot who I'm going to call out for being an idiot. And this woman I'm tweeting with? She's being an idiot (in this instance).

BY THE WAY - It is decidedly NOT OK for anyone to go attack this woman over this. We have a difference of opinion...there's no reason for anyone to take it upon themselves to assail or otherwise bash this woman. She's suffered enough from the verbal abuse from this "shock jock." OK...I'm sorry, that's mean...but c'mon! It was right there! Seriously though, let's leave her alone.

She may have some fine qualities about her as a person and she may even have a high IQ (I doubt it...but that's based on my very limited interaction with her)...but if you're going to throw around terms like misogyny or sexism...know what you're talking about. Otherwise, you'll just fall into the category of people that define my "Crowley's Rules to Life"; Rule #1 - Everyone's an idiot. Rule #2 - See Rule #1.
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Prince, Petty & Winwood - While My Guitar Gently Weeps

USA Today Images

He's not exactly a Classic Rock artist, but few artists have created a body of work as rich and varied as Prince. This is an incredible performance of Prince playing guitar on “While My Guitar Gently Weeps" along with Rock legends like Tom Petty, Steve Winwood and Jeff Lynne to honor George Harrison’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame. If you're not into watching the whole thing, Prince's guitar work kicks in at the 3:29 mark:

R.I.P. Prince
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Mike Tyson Impersonator - Rock Life 4/14/16

Dateline Monday, April 11th 2016 - Cohocton NY, just south of us here in the ROC. Meet 22 year old Cohen Miles-Rath. Cohen was arrested and as far as I know is still in jail on $50,000 dollars bail. The why he's in jail part - that's the Rock Life Story.

I will say there aren't a ton of details about this whole thing, but what we do know is that about 1 in the afternoon on Monday, troopers were sent to a house on First Street in Cohocton after they had gotten several reports of some kind of disturbance. When the troopers show up, hey look! It's Cohen leaving the house...and oh...for some reason, he's got blood on him & his clothes. OK...that's a little weird.

The troopers approach Cohen and after a short conversation, they take him into custody. Now here's where the Rock Life portion of the story comes in; not too long after the cops grab Cohen, they find his 53 year old father...sitting in a car. The father has cuts on his face, there's blood all over...part of his ear is gone. It's been partially ripped off.

Turns out, Cohen and his father had gotten into some sort of fight earlier - no one knows what it was about at this point, but the argument had gotten so heated, Cohen had a knife and was going after his father. According to police, the father was able to get the knife away from Cohen, but that just pissed the kid off more apparently. So much so that he went full Mike Tyson on his father's ass...or ear rather...and bit off part of his father's ear! That's where all the blood came from. 

What has to go through a guys head that you're going to bite someone...let alone bite their ear off? I've been in enough fights in my life, but I've never thought of biting someone. It's never crossed my mind! Cohen, however, bit down and ripped it off. Man...the story doesn't say, but do you think he swallowed it? 

And as it happens, that wasn't the ONLY thing Cohen had done that day - Cohen also admitted to breaking a window at Steve's Place on Route 21 in Wayland earlier in the day. He charged criminal mischief in connection with that case.

He's now, as far as I know, sitting in the Steuben County Jail on $50,000 bail. That is your rock life story for today, Thursday April 14th 2016



Today in Rock History 4-8

In 1947 Steve Howe, guitarist for Yes and later Asia is born. Howe was voted Best Overall Guitarist in Guitar Player magazine five years in a row (1977-1981). 

In 1994, Gary Smith, an electrician who was working at Kurt Cobain's house in Seattle, discovered Cobain's body lying on the floor in the greenhouse.A shotgun was found next to Cobain's body along w/a suicide note that said, "I haven't felt the excitement of listening to as well as creating music, along with really writing . . . for too many years now". A high concentration of heroin and traces of Valium were also found in Cobain's body.

Also in 1994, The RIAA announced that Pink Floyd's 1973 album The Dark Side of The Moon had become the fourth biggest-selling album in US history and had passed the 13 million mark in sales. The album has sold more than 25 million copies worldwide.

And in 2008, Led Zeppelin topped the list of Classic Rock magazine's Best Live Acts Of All Time. The Who were voted in at No.2 and AC/DC at No.3.

That's part of what happened Today in Rock History.


Lifelong G-N-R Fan Sneaks Into Their Surprise Show

If there's a Hollywood screen writer looking for a great Bio Pic, this one's already written. 

Lifelong GNR fan, Anthony Knasas, has a too good to be true story to share about how he snuck into one of the most important concerts in rock and roll history, after “getting a pretty good reaction” from his family and friends.

Anthony’s written account is most definitely worth reading, but I'll warn you - it is a bit long. So here are the basics - a sort of re-cap. Anthony's been a fan of Guns N’ Roses since he first heard “Get In The Ring” at the age of six. That was 1991.

Having been dealt a disease-ridden hand of cards at such a young age (arthritis, alopecia, diabetes), Anthony defines listening to GNR’s music as his lifelong-healing-medicine.

Just like the rest of us on the east coast, Anthony heard the rumors about the reunited band playing at The Whisky A Go Go after Steven Adler’s April 1st show was canceled and was replaced by a Guns N’ Roses cover band. So Anthony got his tickets to the cover band’s show, as any major GNR fan would do. Unfortunately, the rumors ended up just being just that. Rumors.

“I got tickets to the cover band’s show for myself and my girlfriend, Kathleen. We were pumped,” Anthony writes. “Then, a week before April 1st, The Whisky refunds our tickets because the entire city of Los Angeles thought that GNR really were going to play and they decided to cancel the cover band’s show. The Whisky reiterated over and over how GNR would not be playing but people thought they were lying so they just canceled everything and refunded everyone to prove it.”

After that, Anthony started hearing rumors about the Troubadour, which had so much detail, there was even information about where tickets for the show were going to be sold. “The night of Thursday, March 31st brought a last minute rumor into the mix – tickets would be sold for the secret show at the old Tower Records building on Sunset Blvd the morning of April 1st. This seemed like a stretch to me. Why would they sell tickets there if the show was going to be some place else? I was tired and heading to bed when I read this on a GNR forum site and thought, ‘we’ll see…'”

The next morning he found out the rumors were true, the bad news was the line was already formed outside the old Tower Records building when Anthony woke up to the news. Being faced with the obstacles of L.A.. traffic and Sunset Blvd parking, Anthony was too late. So he did what any irrational, desperate fan would do. He took note of the wristband color that future ticket holders ahead of him in line were receiving, and headed to a party store.

“Tickets would not be given out ’till noon and the people with the lime green wristbands were just waiting outside Tower Records in a line protected by multiple security guards. It was 11:40, so with twenty minutes to go I sprinted down the block and across the street to a party supply store. I searched aisle after aisle as quickly as I could then finally found what I was looking for downstairs, at the back of the building. I grabbed a package of lime green napkins, a three pack of scotch tape (it was all they had), paid for them, ran into a nearby hotel and into the bathroom by the lobby spa. Once inside, I locked the door to the handicapped stall and laid out my supplies on the floor (it looked clean). I knelt down, took out a napkin, tore and folded it a few times over so it was the same size as the wristband, scotch taped the ends on the underside of my wrist, tucked that part underneath my watch then held it up for inspection. It looked doable but only if I was able to flash it to the security guard in passing. If the security guard got a closer look, I’d be finished,” Anthony writes.

Here's a little bit of a spoiler; his wristband didn’t pass the test. However, he DID end up getting into the show. Find out how by reading his full post - Click Here to read it in his own words. If you don’t have Facebook, here's the full story, from Anthony.

How I Snuck Into Guns N’ Roses At The Troubadour On April 1st, 2016

I’ve been telling this story to family and friends for the past few days and it’s been getting a pretty good reaction so I thought I’d write it all down and just share it here. Hope you enjoy…

Guns N’ Roses is my favorite band of all time. I have two tattoos on my body and one of them is for GNR. That group had such a phenomenal run from the late eighties through the early nineties, that it just drops the jaw. From the opening of “Welcome To The Jungle” to the closing of “Estranged”, the musical tapestry that band wove is nothing short of legendary. They made timeless music. Which is why they’re still so relevant and popular to this day.

In 1991, when I was six, my cousin played me their song, “Get In The Ring”, on cassette. He then showed me a picture of the entire band from the back of the “Appetite For Destruction” album. Wily smiling with amusement, he said, “Look at ‘em, Anthony. They’re all on drugs!” I didn’t get it. Who was this group of strung-out drug addicts screaming at the top of their lungs and swearing words I didn’t understand yet? (what’s a “motherfucker”?) And how was this accepted by society? Not only was it accepted, it was legal. Not only was it legal, it was cool. This was so cool and I was immediately transfixed.

I had a really awesome childhood and could never complain about the great upbringing my parents gave my older brother and I, but as a young kid I had a lot of pent up aggression mainly because I had so many diseases – arthritis, alopecia & diabetes with no prior family history – and, quite simply, felt like I was getting a shitty hand out of life in this regard. Why did I have to lose all my hair? Why did I have to stick needles in myself everyday? It sucked. I was angry. But here comes a band who takes their anger and turns it into something positive. That resonated with me. When I was pissed off, I felt better after listening to “Get In The Ring” or “Out Ta Get Me”. It was a release, a cure for frustration. And so began my life long healing from the medicine of GNR.

I’ve been a fan of all iterations of the band throughout the years, but like most, I’ll always have a soft spot for the original line up – W. Axl Rose, Slash, Duff McKagan, Izzy Stradlin & Steven Adler. That set of characters had the best chemistry. They were batshit off-the-wall rowdy when they performed and you didn’t know what was going to happen. The most amazing thing with that crew was that out of all the chaos that transpired between them, somehow this razor sharp, catchy, melodic, thoughtful, beautiful music was what came out. Since 1993, no other iteration of that band created music that was so iconic. Many different musicians have come and gone over the years but only Axl and Dizzy Reed (keyboardist since ’91) have remained. Nothing against any of the other musicians that played, it was always great music, it just didn’t connect with planet earth the way “Appetite For Destruction” or the “Use Your Illusion” albums did.

Cut to March 2016. For weeks there had been whispers that Guns N’ Roses – now with original members Slash and Duff rumored to be back in the band – were going to play an intimate show at one of their original LA club haunts on April 1st. This sounded way too good to be true. April fools? By all accounts, Axl and Slash hated each other. Axl was even filmed saying, “Not in this lifetime!” when asked if a reunion would ever take place. But in the past year, Slash had gone on record saying they had patched things up so maybe it WAS really happening. As the rumors grew in the coming weeks, I made the decision to myself that no matter what, if it was really happening, I needed to be there. As a life long fan? I had to be there. Seeing Axl, Slash & Duff on stage together again? I had to be there.

In the weeks leading up to Friday, April 1st, I had about ten GNR related pages on my phone and computer open, constantly refreshing so I could be on top of any scoop on where the secret show would be. When The Whisky A Go Go announced that Steven Adler’s band had cancelled his show on April 1st and that a GNR cover band would be playing there instead, it was a no brainer what was happening – the real GNR would HAVE to be playing there as their secret show because it’s April Fools Day. It’s too perfect; the cover band comes out for maybe a song or two, then someone says “April Fools!” and then the REAL GNR would come out to play instead! Right? It HAS to be! So, I got tickets to the cover band’s show for myself and my girlfriend, Kathleen. We were pumped. Then, a week before April 1st, The Whisky refunds our tickets because the entire city of Los Angeles thought that GNR really were going to play and they decided to cancel the cover band’s show. The Whisky reiterated over and over how GNR would not be playing but people thought they were lying so they just canceled everything and refunded everyone to prove it. Ultimately, the cover band still played and if you wanted to reserve tickets, you could, and then pick them up at the door the night of the show. I ended up reserving two tickets, just in case.

Rumors of a secret show continued to swirl throughout the week and now The Troubadour was brought in to the mix as a possible location. I thought that rumor had some meat to it since GNR actually first played there (in their original line up) in 1985. It would make sense. I kind of dreaded that thought because then it would be very high demand for a very small space. I wanted it to be The Whisky because I already had an in there with my reserved tickets. If it was The Troubadour, I’d have to start all over and fight for tickets like everyone else.

Oh, what a fight it would soon be.

The night of Thursday, March 31st brought a last minute rumor into the mix – tickets would be sold for the secret show at the old Tower Records building on Sunset Blvd the morning of April 1st. This seemed like a stretch to me. Why would they sell tickets there if the show was going to be some place else? I was tired and heading to bed when I read this on a GNR forum site and thought, “we’ll see…”

If I could do it all again, I would have left my house that moment and slept on the street in front of the old Tower Records building on Sunset Blvd.

The next morning, I woke up to see news articles and pictures of hundreds of people in line outside the Tower Records building because Guns N’ Roses (with Slash and Duff officially back) were playing The Troubadour that night and only 250 tickets would be given out to the show. It was really happening. I immediately let out a horrified “Oh Shit!”, got dressed and floored it in my car over the hill from my Toluca Lake home to the Sunset Strip as fast as I could. It took about thirty minutes. Upon arrival, traffic was horrific as was street parking. West Hollywood is notorious for it’s parking rules and regulations – it should be criminal – but I was lucky to find a spot on a side street, up in the hills, five blocks from Tower Records. I parked and sprinted through the early morning smog. By the time I got to the line, it had grown to a size that made my stomach sink. There were more than 250 people there. I counted as I walked past all the glorious GNR psychos (relax, I’m one of them too) and by the time I got to the back of the line, I realized I was somewhere between 250 and 280 people deep. I hung on to hope. That 250 number was just a rumor, not fact. For two hours, I waited and chit-chatted with fellow gunners. One lady, in particular, reminisced about her teenage days on the strip in the eighties and even shared pictures with me from her aqua net glory days. She was awesome to talk to as we awaited a fate we so desperately desired.

The word in line was that tickets would be given out at noon. A little after 11AM, our dreams appeared to be crushed as security announced that “all tickets were allocated” “Allocated? Like sold out?? Please God no.” “Yes”, said God. It was over. I said goodbye to my former hair metal groupie gal and we parted ways. As I sulked down the hill towards the Tower Records parking lot (which had now been turned into a mini GNR carnival complete with a merch booth and row of porter potties), I noticed that the people who had gotten accepted in to see the show were given paper lime green wristbands. It was then I had an idea. Tickets would not be given out ’till noon and the people with the lime green wristbands were just waiting outside Tower Records in a line protected by multiple security guards. It was 11:40, so with twenty minutes to go I sprinted down the block and across the street to a party supply store. I searched aisle after aisle as quickly as I could then finally found what I was looking for downstairs, at the back of the building. I grabbed a package of lime green napkins, a three pack of scotch tape (it was all they had), paid for them, ran into a nearby hotel and into the bathroom by the lobby spa. Once inside, I locked the door to the handicapped stall and laid out my supplies on the floor (it looked clean). I knelt down, took out a napkin, tore and folded it a few times over so it was the same size as the wristband, scotch taped the ends on the underside of my wrist, tucked that part underneath my watch then held it up for inspection. It looked doable but only if I was able to flash it to the security guard in passing. If the security guard got a closer look, I’d be finished.

With five minutes to spare before noon, I left the lime green napkins and scotch tape on the bathroom floor and booked it back to Tower Records. It was hot now and the parking lot had become crowded with fans, news vans and cops. I approached the entrance to the line for the lime green lucky ones and eased my way towards the big, blonde, muscled security guard. I confidently asked, “This is where I can hop back in line, right?” “Yes, you got a wristband?” he responded. I then flashed my lime green napkin to him, in passing, and said, “yep.” He nodded. Not a millisecond later, he said, “Hold up.” It was over. In a non aggressive way, the security guard turned my wrist over and discovered the scotch tape binding. “This isn’t a wristband” he said. I came back with the pathetic verbal nugget, “It’s what they gave me.” It was all I had left. He then ripped the lime green napkin off my wrist and with a wry smile (and maybe a hint of admiration) said, “nice try.” Like Scotty Smalls, all I could think was, “My life is over.” As I left the parking lot, I got a look at the NEW wristbands the lucky winners now got. These would get you into the show. They were woven with a very distinct pattern and a very distinct GNR logo. There was no way I could fake that.

For the rest of the afternoon, I wandered the strip like a vagrant. I was defeated. Hard. It hurt. I deserved a better shot at this. I was prepared for weeks. I made one small mistake by not jumping on a rumor – a rumor! – and had paid gravely for it. How could this have happened to such a loyal fan? I was supposed to see this show! Before I left Sunset, diabetes came calling and I needed to eat. I grabbed a chair at an empty Mel’s Diner and had what was probably the most depressing hamburger in history. I left Mel’s and dragged myself through the L.A. heat back to my car, devastated. Later on, after I told Kathleen what had happened, she said it sounded like I was Ron Burgundy “milk was a bad choice” devastated. She was right.

After pouting around my house for the rest of the evening and into the early night, I decided to give it one last shot. I told Kathleen, who was leaving for a night of babysitting, and she reinforced the decision, telling me to go for it. Humbled, I felt like Rocky before the big match against Apollo. I knew I couldn’t win, but I had to give it my all. I had to give it everything I had. I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t at least do that. Even if I just stayed outside the club on the sidewalk for the entire show, at least I could say I was there. Before I left the house, I prayed that if I was able to see the show that night, I would be a better person. I’d be a pay-it-forward kind of guy. I’ll admit I probably pray too much for things I can just do myself, but this time I meant it more. I really, really meant it. No other way to describe it. This one came from the heart. After my brief pleading with the Almighty, I took off from my front door straight over to The Troubadour with zero traffic. Laurel Canyon was empty, but upon arrival on to Santa Monica Blvd, the chaos began.

It was bumper to bumper traffic along with cop cars and paparazzi everywhere. I knew street parking would be non-existent so I parked at the Pavilion’s supermarket three blocks down from The Troubadour. It was ninety minute parking. I thought if by some miracle I got into the show, I’d be gone way longer than ninety minutes. Screw it. I’d gladly get towed for this show. On the advertisement for the concert, it said the band would go on any time after 11. It was 10:45 but I knew this was a W. Axl Rose event. I figured they’d start at midnight at the earliest. I left the parking lot and walked down the darkened sidewalk feeling I had a good chunk of time to figure out a game plan. As I approached the venue noise, I could spot the GNR fans passing me because of their distinct wardrobe and hair styles that screamed “still stuck in ’91”. I could see flashing light bulbs and a crowd at the front of the club. It looked like a zoo, so I decided to roll around the back, stay under the cover of darkness and not get spotted by any front door security. I’m a fairly memorable looking individual with my alopecian scalp, so I didn’t want to risk giving myself away by wandering around in front of security guards without a ticket or wristband.

As I turned down the back street behind The Troubadour, hope lessoned. Barrier gates – a little over waist high – were set up everywhere with security guards. They had this place covered. No one was getting in. Not only did they have The Troubadour lot covered, but also the lot for Dan Tana’s Restaurant next door as well. I quickly continued past Dan Tana’s set of security and approached The Troubadour where, as luck would have it, some famous celebrity was arriving. People screamed, paparazzi flashed. As this happened, I noticed a security guard move a small section of the Dan Tana’s gate next to a parked truck and approach the arriving, famous vips. As he walked ahead of me, I immediately turned around back towards the parked truck because I noticed that the security guard hadn’t placed the gate back all the way so there was just enough space for someone to squeeze through. Without thinking twice, I very casually eased down behind the truck (didn’t wanna make any quick movements to attract the other guards on the other side of the lot) got down on my hands and knees and squeezed behind the gate and into Dan Tana’s lot.

As I casually stood up and walked towards the restaurant building, I waited for security to yell at me. I was sure I’d hear it any second. They had to have seen me. I kept walking, waiting, but the yell never came. Oh Boy. Realizing that I had made it to level 1 (level 2 would be The Troubadour lot, level 3 inside The Troubadour), I was relieved to see two empty red chairs next to a wall of valet keys on the back of Dan Tana’s building. I immediately sat down and took out my phone, lowered the brightness as not to draw attention to myself and pretended to look at something important. The goal for now was to look like I belonged there, that I wasn’t trying to sneak into the historic concert happening next door.

That goal was soon accomplished because, one by one, the valet guys (very nice, professional men) would walk to the keys on the wall next to me, doing their job, without ever asking who I was or what I was doing there. I was sitting in their red seat but because they were busy and I was lost in my phone with a look of stern importance on my face, they didn’t bother me. Maybe they thought I was “somebody”. It was past 11 now. I texted with Kathleen and told her I was still trying and that I’d keep her updated (it should be mentioned that throughout this whole ordeal, she was nothing but the absolute definition of supportive. One of the many reasons I’m so in love with her). After a few minutes, the mood darkened. I was behind a set of cars, but I could see through the windows that the barrier gates into The Troubadour lot were now being guarded not just by event security, but by cops. Real cops. Not soon after this discovery, a security guard turned the corner from the alley separating Dan Tana’s and The Troubadour and took a seat next to me in the other red chair. My heart raced. I waited for him to say something. I kept looking at my phone, waiting. After a moment, another glow of a phone emerged next to me; The security guard was checking his Facebook. A few minutes later, out came his Marlboro’s. As I took in cloud after cloud of cigarette smoke, my body sat frozen in a bundle of nerves. I was so close but so not.

Around the 11:20 mark, the security guard stood up and left, having never said a word to me. I was beginning to feel like my chances had run out. I couldn’t hop the barrier fence next to me because the cops (and now sheriffs) were standing guard with security. I didn’t know what the next move could be. I was stumped. A few more minutes passed and I began to realize that I was probably gonna lose this one. I just couldn’t figure out a way to do it. I started to text Kathleen that it wasn’t going to work, but then…

A light. The back door to Dan Tana’s opened and out walked a tuxedo-clad man. He immediately passed me then turned back to a group of people and yelled, “alright stay with me! Stay with me!”. My eyebrow raised when I heard this because I knew what he was doing; he was bringing these people into the show next door. My other eyebrow raised a second later when I saw the man at the front of the group was the one, and definitely only, Nicolas Cage. Woah. I’m a big fan of this man’s work, his Stanley Goodspeed in “The Rock” is a notable favorite, so this was huge. I knew it was the moment to act. To blend in. I immediately stood and put my phone away and waited for a few people to pass. Right as I was about to jump in the crowd, everyone stopped. A girl was called out. Apparently she wasn’t part of the group and she was trying to do PRECISELY what I was trying to do and they booted her from the party. A few seconds later, everyone kept moving. I waited another second then decided to go for it anyway. They hadn’t called me out yet.

I turned the corner with the crowd and just tried to look like I belonged there. It was a little tough to do when I realized that I was walking next to the very talented and very cool, Michelle Rodriguez. We both turned onto Santa Monica Blvd at the same time, walked through the chaotic crowd, right up to GNR’s front gate – The Troubadour. At that moment, one of the paparazzos backed right into me and nearly knocked us over from behind. On instinct, I put my arm behind Michelle Rodriguez and yelled at the overzealous photographer to “get back!” It was at this moment that Michelle Rodriguez and I started quipping to each other about how insane this all was. Security saw all of this happen.

At this point, my nerves were gonzo. Through the roof. I had no idea what was happening. All I knew was that I had to make it look like I was a part of this crew. I was on the list and I was supposed to be inside. I tried to stay as confident and cool as much as I could, but after a few moments, all seemed lost as one of the security guards at the door told us the fire marshall deemed the building was at capacity. A few seconds later, Michelle Rodriguez was taken away by someone else in the crew and I was left at the front door alone. A few seconds after that, I really, truly, thought it was over when one security guard told me to show my wristband. But then it happened. The other security guard looked right at me and said… drumroll… the clouds part… the golden rays begin to shine through…

“He’s fine. He has a wristband. Just get him in!”

Remember the scene in “Christmas Vacation” when Clark W. Griswold finally gets the Christmas lights on his house to work? It kind of felt like that.

That security guard must have thought that because Michelle Rodriguez was talking to me, less than a minute before, that we were either friends or at least on the same VIP list together. After that wonderful security angel spoke and the trumpets of victory blasted loud and proud inside my head, after I skipped level 2 and was going right into level 3, myself and some of the others from the Cage crew were forced to turn in our phones. No cameras? No problem. Here’s my phone. Smash it. I don’t care. They put everyone’s phone inside these soft, green clothed magnetized pouches that we got to keep on ourselves for the show then, at the end of it, they’d unlock them for us. I was then quickly ushered inside The Troubadour. Was this really happening? All I could keep thinking to myself was to keep my wrists hidden underneath my jacket sleeves. If anyone saw that I didn’t have a wristband, I’d be screwed. This could still all go tits up. Keep the wrists down. Another reason I couldn’t breathe a sigh of relief just yet was because the second I got into the crowd on the venue floor, I was spotted. Not from security, but from some fellow gunners who were at Tower Records earlier that day and had seen my failed attempt to get in with my lime green napkin. They stared at me wide eyed but with smiles. They knew. I knew they knew. Then they spoke, “Dude. Just tell us. How did you do it? We saw you try everything. We’re not gonna rat you out. Just tell us.” I couldn’t risk it. I still didn’t believe it was happening. I immediately gave them a kind smile, took off into the audience then yelled back to them, “I’m just grateful to be here!”

And I was. I truly was. I found a spot that was center left to the stage. As I stood there in a soon to be sweaty pack of true blue, dedicated, hardcore GNR fans, I stared at the glowing neon blue TROUBADOUR sign hanging above the iconic Guns N’ Roses bullet logo banner. That neon blue light was talking to me. It said, “You did it”. But even then I couldn’t fully believe it. I continued to keep my wrists down for fear that I was standing next to someone who had waited for hours at Tower Records. It soon didn’t matter because I quickly became buddies with two dudes who were in equal amazement of the show that was about to happen. We were all so excited but, beside us, there was a tall, quiet, semi “too cool for school” type guy who didn’t appear to share the same enthusiasm as we did. “Whatever” I thought, “not everyone has to be as excited as us.”

Then the lights went down.

Every inch of The Troubadour screamed joyously. For minutes, we kept cheering louder and louder.

Then Slash took the stage.


Then Duff.

Even Louder.

Then Axl.

Officially deaf.

As I screamed and jumped louder and higher and more victoriously than I ever had in my entire life, I glanced to the tall, quiet guy next to me. My smile grew as much as my face could contain as I saw that he now had both hands pressed against his cheeks, screaming at the top of his lungs, “OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD!” For the rest of the show, we were all thinking (and screaming) the same thing:

“I can’t believe it. It’s really happening and I’m here.”
(Cue opening bass to “It’s So Easy”)

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