crap in a Bundt pan...
Due to the
recent well-publicized shortage of
amateur websites produced by assholes who consider themselves to be
have been called into action. My name is Jeff Kay, and Iím an
Ugly American living
on the cusp of a mid-life crisis, near Scranton, PA. And Iím here to
State of My Fat Ass A journal of
sorts, updated every once in a while.
On Sunday we met Steve and Myra for dinner at a little Italian place
near here, ingested large amounts of manicotti and a couple of pitchers
of Blue Moon Belgian White, then Steve, Myra and I went to the big
Steely Dan concert at Montage Mountain. Toney stayed home with the
Secrets, and she had no problem with that whatsoever. Standing outside
until midnight listening to amplified music with a crowd of drunken
strangers is not high on her list of favorite things to do. I don't
understand it either, but it seems to be a fact.
I'm a longtime Dan fan. In fact, Steve probably got me hooked on them in
grade school or some such thing (he has older sisters). The Surf Report
sound library features every song they ever recorded, including such
rarities as "FM" and "Here At The Western World", and
every solo album -- even the really bad ones (*cough* Walter Becker).
I like them because they not only write songs that sound great blasting
out of a stereo, car or home, but because there's more going on than
meets the eye. Or ear, or whatever. Like another of my favorite bands,
the Beautiful South, their music is accessible and fun, and it's easy to
enjoy on that level. But then you start listening to the lyrics and it
doesn't take long before you're muttering to yourself, "Are they
singing about what I think they're singing about.....?"
Steely Dan (and the Beautiful South) are masters of rolling great big
Trojan Horses of fucked-upness into the homes of unsuspecting people the
world 'round. And you've simply gotta admire them for it. They're
subversive mad musical geniuses.... Oh, this ain't Supertramp, goddammit.
So I rode with Steve and Myra up to the Montage ski resort, where the
big fancy-pants ampitheater is located, free of DUI worries and ready
for an evening of music and beer beneath the stars. We had to park
roughly three miles from the stage, and began hoofing it in the
direction the signs pointed us.
And immediately I noticed that our fellow patrons were a tad long in
the tooth. I might've been fooling myself, but I think the three of
us, at ages 42 and 43, were about the youngest people there. As we
walked I looked around and started panicking. It was all gray hair,
pressed slacks, and tucked-in polo shirts. There were no rebel yells,
nobody taking slugs off pints of Early Times, and not a single person
puking into foliage. And many of the women looked like Skippy
Hicks. It was a sad state of affairs.
"I bet you're not having to card
too many people tonight, are ya?" I said to the woman at the Beers
of the World stand, still a little shaken. This triggered much laughter
inside the tent of commerce, and she handed me a twelve-ounce Blue Moon
in a plastic cup and said, "Seven fifty." Holy fucknuggets!! I
made a mental note to return to the tried and true golden elixir,
We found our seats, and they weren't too bad. Except, of course, for the
big-ass pole. It was a pillar that supported the tent-like roof over the
expensive seats, and it was located at roughly two o'clock as I looked
straight ahead. But our seats were off to the right of the stage, so
maybe it wouldn't be such a big deal? Right? Grrrrr....
I finished my New York City-priced beer, and Steve and I decided to go
in search of the Yuengling tent. We found it, procured a couple of the
big 'uns, then stood off to the side and watched the crowd. I called
Bill in WV on my cell phone, because he's always there in spirit at
every such concert I attend. And while Steve was talking to him I
spotted, off in the distance -- Poppa Half-Shirt!
I couldn't believe it. He had his entire family with him, wife and both
teenage sons. Fueled by the adult beverages, I headed off in their
direction, and caught up to the youngest boy first. I think he's twelve
or thirteen and I asked if he was a big Steely Dan fan, kinda joking. He
said, real stiff, "I'm here with my parents." Good answer.
Then I shook Half-Shirt's hand and started chit-chatting with him. (I
swear I didn't feel drunk.) He was laughing nervously, like a
speed freak, and told me they were there to see Michael McDonald. He and
his wife, he said, are big fans. I breathed a sigh of relief. I don't
think I could live in a world where the Half-Shirts and I are on the
same page, musically.
I looked over at Momma Half-Shirt, who was keeping her distance, and she
gave me a weak little wave and had an expression on her face like she's
just caught a whiff of fresh-cut turds. Heh. That woman hates me with
every fiber of her body, and I hoisted my mega-beer in her direction and
smiled real big like it was simply wonderful to see her again. That's
the way I deal with her, because it seems to drive her crazy.
We returned to our seats just as Michael McDonald took the stage. I'm
not a fan. The man single-handedly sapped the fun out of the Doobie
Bros. with his crooning and "soul music." Then it was pure
Vegas schmaltz after that. So I was looking at this portion of the show
as something to endure.
And that's exactly what it was. His voice was just a droning sound, like
somebody was having a stump removed on the next block. If it weren't for
the gyrating "colored girls" back-up singers, I don't think
anyone would've even been able to tell what song he was singing. Plus,
near the end, there was a horrible, drawn-out keyboard solo, with
flashing lights and the whole nine yards, and I thought I was going to
lose my mind. I hollered, "Just play a song, goddammit!" and
Steve thought that was a riot.
Before he finished his set I decided to hit a porta-john before Steely
Dan took the stage. And, you know, buy another giant lager.
Unfortunately, I wasn't the only person who had that brilliant idea.
There was a sea of humanity out there, and the lines at the bathrooms
were huge. Dammit!
I knew it would be foolish to forego a toilet visit, what with all the
fluids I was taking on, and I sighed real big and got in line. It took
forever. The Wood Chipper finished his set, there was a standard-sized
intermission, then Steely Dan came out. And I was still queued-up at the
Some brazen women were jumping in line with the men, because, they said,
we're so much faster. And this bogged the whole thing down. They
were being all flirty and over-friendly with my fellow urination
engineers, and the idiots were all too happy to sell us out. The
suckers. Had they never been to college?!
One such woman stood near me as she waited on her friend to finish up,
and began waxing philosophical. "Men only pee at concerts" she
said real loud. "It's nice, because women usually poop too. In your
bathrooms there are no floaters or horrible smells or any of that stuff.
I much prefer peeing with the men."
I didn't really know how to respond to that, and muttered,
"Thanks." Wotta douche.
The main event was fun, a real crowd-pleaser. They played most of their
biggest hits, with a few obscure surprises thrown in. Becker did a lot
of the talking, and Fagen remained largely silent behind his keyboard
with his Ray-Bans on, whipping his head around like a blind man. They
played for a long time, sounded great, then did "FM' and "My
Old School" as an encore. The audience was into it, despite their
shockingly advanced age, and everyone seemed to go away happy.
Including me. I've seen Steely Dan three times now, and I'm looking
forward to the fourth. The pole didn't even cause me any problems. I
give it an A-minus.