Middle-Aged Life in the Fast Lane

taxi-blur-Christian-Lewis-web

This I Drive S.F. column published in the S.F. Examiner on September 27, 2018 is about driving a taxi during a Journey concert at AT&T Park:

You never have to wonder if someone works in the entertainment industry. They usually tell you right away. Like the guy I picked up at the Hyatt Regency. He works for Journey as a sound guy. Or a video guy … Some kind of guy.

“I’ve been touring with rock stars for 25 years,” he tells me.

“That’s cool,” I respond. “So uhm … where ya heading?”

Last Thursday and Friday nights, AT&T was flashback central for the soft rock set, with the Eagles and Doobie Brothers playing the first night, and Journey, Foreigner and Def Leppard on the second.

While Mr. Journey tells me about the lineup, the only positive comment I can muster is, “I liked Def Leppard as a kid. That Pyromania album was pretty good.”

“I can get you free tickets to the concert,” he says. “Just say the word. I’ll put you on the list.”

“That’s cool, man, but I gotta work.”

“Take the night off!”

“I have a kid.”

“You have two days to come up with a plan,” he counters.

Uhhh…

The kid thing is usually a clincher. I try to think of another excuse besides, No thanks, I absolutely hate that kind of music.

Sure, I bought the “Pyromania” tape when it came out in 1983. They were still a metal band. But their sound changed and so did my musical preferences. Def Leppard soon became a symbol of a style I’d abandoned by age 15. I’ll never forget being hospitalized in Birmingham, Alabama, and how my mother came to visit me from Los Angeles and promised to buy me a tape. I was all about punk at that point and asked for the Sex Pistols’ “Never Mind the Bollocks.” But she brought me “Hysteria” by Def Leppard instead. I couldn’t even hide my severe disappointment. “I thought you liked that band!” my mother said, exasperated with my lack of gratitude. Yeah, like two years ago …

Read the rest here.

[photo by Christian Lewis]

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