Saturday, September 7, 2013

Los Lobos -- Shakin' and Shakin' and Shakes

It was around 1990 or 1991,  I was working at my first real job after college.  This job was with a TV news gathering service up in St. Paul, MN.  Most of the people working there were young fresh faced college grads just like me.  Now there’s something you need to know about us media people.  Whether it is TV, Radio or advertising, we all like to think of ourselves as culturally superior to the general population.  I was no different.  In fact, I might go so far as to say that I was worse than most.  I always tried to project the persona of the guy who was on the cutting edge of culture.  I was the guy who listened to all this obscure music (well, at least that part’s true) and that is what made me cooler than other people.

Anyway, one day it was slow at the news gathering control room.  This guy Pete and I were chatting when one of our pretty co-workers walked up.  

“Hey, did you guys know that Cities ’97 was having a private Los Lobos concert?”   People could call in to win tickets apparently.  Historically, I myself have never won anything like that.  Besides, I certainly wouldn’t have debased myself by calling into Cities ’97 to even try.  I didn’t visualize that station as part of my persona even if it was giving away tickets to a band I loved.  But then abruptly it occurred to me.  My buddy Rich had a brother who worked at Cities ’97.  Now this was my opportunity.  This was my chance to prove my coolness, especially to the pretty girl.

I picked up the phone and called Cities '97 and asked for Rich’s brother Paul.  The receptionist transferred me and to my surprise, he answered right away.
“Hey Paul, it’s Veggie Boy.”
“What’s up, brother!  How ya doin’?”
“I’m doing great.  Hey listen.  I heard you guys were putting on a private Los Lobos concert.”
“Yeah.  For sure.  You need a couple tickets?”

Woah, that happened really fast.  I quite honestly wasn’t expecting anything.  I was thinking that Paul wouldn’t even answer the phone let alone remember me and offer me a pair of free tickets.  I was a bit stunned, but I had to keep my cool in front of the pretty girl and this guy Pete.  I said, “Hey man!  Thanks!  See ya at the show.”  I hung up the phone and said to Pete and the pretty girl, “Well, I got my tickets.”  Then I confidently walked away.

Yeah, I thought I was pretty cool.   In all my coolness, it didn’t even occur to me to ask for two more tickets for this girl and Pete.  After all these years, I still feel kind of bad about that.

The first person to pop into my head to see this show was my good buddy Jerry.  I have to say, we saw a pretty damn good show.  Los Lobos opened it up.  They didn’t just play their latest album, they cut loose.  They even did what I thought was a pretty impressive and ambitious cover of “Politician” by Cream.

So there ya have it.  I succeeded in being cool at least once in my life.  Here’s Los Lobos playing something else since I can’t find them playing “Politician” anywhere.

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