I know…this is a bit like comparing college football to tennis (and if you’re not reading FJM, you should be) but Jimmy and Barry rounded off the final leg of the Vandelay Crappy Summer Concert Series this past weekend. The venues were slightly bigger than that faux-casino that Springfield rocked. One, the home of the object of my envy and the other the other the home of the 1997 Houston Rockets.
In light of the fact that people have been telling me for years that I have to experience a Buffet concert at least once…”just for the tailgate”, I’ve sworn never to drop like 2 bills in order to do something that I could probably have just as much fun doing on my back deck, with the bonus of not having to listen to an endless loop of Cheeseburger in Paradise in the process. However, I received a phone call at about 4:30 on Saturday from a friend telling me he has four free Buffet tickets that are gonna go to waste and wondering if I could drub up a few people to go. There are people who would give their left nut for these tickets so I thought it best to see what I’ve been missing. I threw on a do-rag, which is as Parrotheaded out as I get and by the time I could find three souls that wanted to go; it’s like 6:30. This gives me time for a few margaritas and a couple of bat hits prior to the concert which of course makes me the most sober person in the stadium (I would redeem myself).
Anyway, having all my senses intact, what I noticed is that Parrotheads really aren’t all that into Buffet. I haven’t seen Foxboro that void of energy since Scott Secules rocked the hizzy. It’s just Jimmy Buffet singing Jimmy Buffet songs and nobody really paying attention. The only time the place actually made any noise was when they showed video of people tailgating in the parking lot or people partying in Key West. Perhaps the nitric was wearing off but everyone who has ever told me that the best part about Buffet is the tailgate is absolutely right. I think it’s the only reason 90% of them are even there.
Now, for anyone wondering why someone as cool as me is attending a Manilow concert, allow me to explain. In January of last year, I’m watching my Steelers completely dismantle the powerhouse Colts in the divisional championship round when with 5 and a half minutes left in the game, the worst call in the history of professional sports is made and all of a sudden, Peyton Manning remembers he’s Peyton Manning. The wife is a huge Fanilow and had been bugging me to take her to Vegas to see Manilow (it’s the only place he plays). So, I decided to hedge my bets and I promised her that if the Steelers don’t choke this up that we’re going to Vegas. I knocked her up a few weeks later which bought me another year and then lo and behold…Manilow decides to do one show in Boston! I’m in the small group of people who have no desire to go to Vegas so I was all over this. We even rented a limo and got a crew together. Why am I telling you all this? Because this is about the most masculine reason for going to see Manilow that a guy could have. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Ironically, this fell on opening day of the football season so after watching nature run it’s course, we headed over to a friend’s place for cocktails while waiting for our ride. I think I drank about six champagnes during the game and then two big old gin and tonics and maybe another 6 champagnes at the house and in the limo. Needless to say, I don’t really have any intricate details from the Manilow concert. It’s all a bit fuzzy. Just a bunch of Massholes singing CopaCabana (while she tried to be a staaaahhh, Tony always tended baaaahhhh). I do remember the crowd seeming a little indifferent here as well but it wasn’t because they weren’t into Barry…they’re just old and sober.
So to summarize, the Parrothead appears to be infinitely more into being a Parrothead than they are into Jimmy Buffet. It’s not exactly an exclusive group. The idea of the endless summer is certainly appealing and if you can do a lot of drugs and alcohol and dress kind of dopey…you’re in.
Let’s face it…being a Fanilow isn’t exactly a badge of honor. Even Fanilows have to know that having an old, plastic, homosexual yenta as their prophet just ain’t that cool. The only reason you can be a Fanilow is that you’re really into Barry Manilow’s music. Not the case at all with Parrotheads. In and of itself, that’s okay. You just need to drink more.