There is a startling epidemic in the city of Memphis. No, I'm not talking about crime or gentrification or drugs. No, I'm talking about something completely frivolous: it's a city of people being that guy.
If you didn't grow up on a steady diet of 90s era comedies like me, let me refresh your memory on what "being that guy" means. In the 1994 campus comedy PCU, Jeremy Piven's Droz leads a group of weirdos from "the Pit" in a crusade against a massive wave of political correctness on campus. In one scene, he stops Gutter (Jon Favreau) as Gutter is leaving to catch his ride to a concert. Gutter is wearing the shirt of the band he's going to see. Droz stops Gutter and tells him he needs to change because you can't wear the shirt of the band you're going to see. Don't be that guy.
Other than the fact that PCU was probably the last time anyone truly enjoyed Jeremy Piven, it has the distinction of inspiring my first Old Lady Concert Rule: don't wear the shirt of the band you're going to see. Don't be that guy. Over the years, I've added more rules to this list and the shirt rule is now number two on the actual list I created. I get it; you go to a show, buy a shirt, and then you go to see the band again, and you think, "I'll wear the shirt I bought last time this time and I'll be awesome. Everyone will know I've seen them before and I'll be super cool. It's going to be epic!" Concert shirts used to be the way to identify your people; people who share a love of the same band or musician you love. That is not how the world works anymore. I can buy literally any band/concert shirt I want on the internet. It'll be delivered to my home in a few days or immediately with a drone if I give Jeff Bezos my first born. This takes a little fun out of the community of concert goers. I don't know if I'm talking to someone who actually likes AC/DC or someone who bought a cool shirt at Urban Outfitters. The internet ruins so many things.
We were in Memphis to see the Foo Fighters show. Graceland was an added bonus because we were there and it felt wrong to go all the way to Memphis and not visit the King. Also, I'm a huge Elvis fan so it would actually be a violation of some fan rule somewhere (probably). Anyway, the day of the Foo Fighters show, we decided to see the Peabody ducks, walk around Beale Street, day drink, and tour the Memphis Rock 'N' Soul Museum and Memphis Music Hall of Fame.
Please enjoy this video of the Peabody ducks:
We saw the first guy (and girl) at the Peabody. We were having breakfast before the ducks came down and this couple was at the table next to us. They were both wearing Foo Fighters shirts. Then we saw a few more people at the duck ceremony, one of whom was carrying a Foo Fighters record. I guess he wanted to bring it to the show? Maybe he had tickets for a meet and greet; I don't know. It seemed odd. It didn't stop with the people at the Peabody; we saw Foo Fighters shirts all day, from wandering down Beale Street to day drinking to having dinner. We reached peak "being that guy" experience as we sat outside the FedEx Forum waiting to go in. Everywhere we looked, there were people being that guy. In some cases, there were entire families in matching shirts being that guy together.
My brother and I made jokes about this all day and discussed whether there were sub-rules for the "being that guy rule." Here are some possible sub-rules we came up with:
- When in a group or couple, don't wear the same shirt of the band you're going to see. If you're going to be that guy, at least be unique.
- If the shirt is more than 10 years old, you may wear the shirt to the show if you actually went to the original show 10 years ago or you inherited said shirt from your parents. I'm calling this "the Tim Rule" in honor of my friend Tim who deserves to wear the shirts he has collected over the years. He is an excellent rock and roll citizen.
- Teach your children not to be that guy. If you're going to be the cool parents who take their kids to shows and are lucky enough to have kids who like the same music you do, make sure they end up as good rock and roll citizens. They don't need to be that guy.
It's also very possible I negated the t-shirt rule anyway since I stood for almost the entire Foo Fighters show. Granted, we were in the last row of our section and the box seating was directly behind us so no one was going to miss out if we stood. That's the kind of show you get when you go to a Foo Fighters show; it's the sort of show that makes you want to stand and dance and sing along. It's three hours of rock and roll awesomeness. I can't think of another band that exemplifies rock and roll citizenship like the Foo Fighters. And yes, they did play the "Imagine/Jump" mashup. It was the perfect way to end a day of wandering around music history.
Did I mention the goat? We had time to kill between museums and the concert so we decided to visit a bar called Silky O'Sullivans. It's a bar on Beale Street known for its BBQ, New Orleans-y vibe (the owner was king in five different Mardi Gras krewes in the 80s and 90s), and beer guzzling goats. Apparently, the goats used to dive off the goat tower (one of only four in the world) and would drink beer so they were also drunk goats. According to our waiter, the goats went to rehab and are now sober (PETA complained). You can feed them crackers and watch them wander around their pen and walk to the top of the tower. We didn't feed them, but we did watch them as we listened to a local band and day drank. I highly recommend the Pink Cadillac and friend pickles. It might sound like a weird combination, but it's delicious.
|We had dinner at Dyer's Burgers - the secret is in the 100 year old grease they use to cook the burger. They were damn good.|