Friday Jukebox: GUILTY!
It was the late-winter/early-spring of 2006. I was moving through a darker period in my life, still struggling through the post-college transition into adulthood and reeling from a breakup with my first real long-term girlfriend that took us 4+ months to finally make a clean break from. As was my tendency at the time, each breakup sent me looking backwards, connecting with prior exes for… well, I don’t really know what for. Which is how I came to be driving down the Merritt Parkway at 11PM on a Friday night to visit Chrissy. I was listening to WFAN, the local sports talk radio channel, when I heard that the third caller would win free tickets to see Bon Jovi at the Meadowlands.
Now, I never call in for such contests. I’m not the biggest life music fan and I always assume the odds to be astronomical. But this time was different. I still had 30 minutes of drive time left… I figured the overlap of people who go to Bon Jovi contests, people who listen to WFAN, and people who are awake at 11PM on a Friday listening to the radio was relatively small… and who better to break someone out of a funk than the Jovi? So I called.
“Oh well. Just as I figured.”
But then I called one more time.
“Congrats! You’re the winner!”
“You’re the third caller! You win! Give us your name and address and we’ll mail you the tickets.”
Fast forward a few months. It was the day before the concert. My friend Harry and I were gearing up to go, but I had second thoughts. It had been an exhausting week at work and I was never the hugest Bon Jovi fan and traffic would surely be miserable and blah, blah, blah. I remember talking on the phone with Harry and saying something to the effect of, “I’m kind of 50-50. Do you know who is opening? If it is someone stupid and fun, like Nickelback, maybe I can muster up the energy.”
Lo and behold, who was opening? NICKELBACK!
So we went. And they were awesome. Not like “Amazing stage presence” awesome or “Stupendous energy” awesome or even “Good live performance” awesome. They came out, played their 5 radio-friendly songs, exactly as they sound on the radio so everyone could sing along. They didn’t fuss around with an encore or try to play “new stuff” or even talk. They came out, a quick set of “hits”, and were gone. Just like that. Awesome!
What is so awesome about Nickelback, you ask? Nickelback is one of my guilty pleasure bands. I know they suck. I know they’re doing nothing special or unique or inventive or artistic or edgy. But their songs make me bop my head. And that’s enough for me.
What are your guilty pleasure songs or bands? What song will you turn the volume up for when alone in the car but quickly change the channel if others are with you? What CDs/records/MP3s are you ashamed to own but would never part with?