Photo courtesy of WarrenZevon.com.
I went home over the weekend and, in the course of the huge brain-dump conversation I always have with my parents shortly after landing in their driveway on Friday nights, I mention that I saw Ryan Adams at The Fox last Sunday. “It was good,” I say, but then of course I have to tell them how the crowd got really angry when he didn’t play an encore and how I’ve never ever heard that much booing at a concert, which leads to me reenacting the scene for them like I’m one of the many of drunkenly belligerent fans who yelled and screamed at him (or his proxies, the roadies) until dragged out of the theater by their dates and/or security. “They were so pissed off!” I tell my parents. “They were all, ‘Fuck you, Ryan Adams! I’m drunk! I hatechoo!’”
It makes my dad uncomfortable when I drop the f-bomb like that, so he quickly diverts the conversation. “Man, I’ve never gotten over getting stiffed by Warren Zevon that time,” he says. The very words—that time—drip with thirty year-old bitterness; a pall of remorse and angst clouds his face. My mom rolls her eyes and nods knowingly, like, Yeah, he’s never gotten over it.
Story goes, back in the late 70s my dad and some of his guy friends had drive up to Nashville to see Zevon at Exit-In. They all had to go to work the next day, so there was a lot riding on this concert—namely, the several hours of sleep they were sacrificing. (Wow, the 70s! What a crazy time!)
Zevon came out and played six or seven songs—roughly half the length of Adams’ set at the Fox—and then left the stage for the night.
“We were all yelling and throwing stuff,” my dad recalls, the fury of that moment coursing through his veins, replaying itself on the inside of his eyelids, like he’s a victim of a violent crime suffering a nasty flashback. His face gets red. This would be a totally appropriate time for him to drop the f-bomb, but instead he exclaims, “We were madder than a mashed cat!”
For the record, that’s really mad. Probably even madder than those Ryan Adams fans have felt in their whole sloppy-drunk lives. But eh, who’s keeping score?