Great God in heaven above! I went out last night! With a friend! By ourselves! Sans balls, chains, or children! Hey! Are these exclamation marks! Getting tedious! But! It! Was! The! First! Time! I'd gone! To A Grownup Music Function! At Night! In Something Like Four Years!
My date, GW (who is actually the boss of my job, and is quickly becoming my number one male girlfriend), and I took a pleasant walk down to the almost-renovated Santa Barbara Bowl to see David Bowie. The geezer factor was pretty high, and if I ever wondered what happens to Indieboys when they turn 50, now I know. If the Indieboy has a sense of humor about himself, he's fat and his hair is bleached white and sticking out in all directions and he's drunk and doesn't give a fuck what you think: he's having a great time. If the Indieboy is merely intent on looking adult and urban (despite that really intense Hunky Dory phase in eighth grade), he's wearing a black leather Kenneth Cole-type jacket. And believe me, it was a sea of black leather Kenneth Cole-type jackets last night. Naturally I had to blurt out this observation to the first acquaintance-couple we ran into: She was wrapped in a bright orange down coat (it's an outdoor venue, so when the fog rolls in you really want to be wearing your electric earmuffs), and He was wearing (say it with me!) a black leather Kenneth Cole-type jacket. And didn't seem to appreciate the fact that I was out-loud noticing his conformity issues. I was also particularly struck with Her complexion: as with many women with too much money, her skin seems to have absorbed an entire cake of paraffin, and was so waxily smooth and moisturized that I almost asked her if she'd been using The Soap.
In true Santa Barbara fashion GW managed to buy both sushi and Chardonnay at a food truck, and after we'd hiked up to our seats I found my favorite screenwriting bartender escorting his sister on our right, and my hunky Chinese-herb-and-acupuncture guy on our left.
Bowie hops around pretty good for a 56-year-old man, and his voice is terrific. He sang some great anthemic ballads that the radio hasn't played to death, like The Man Who Sold the World and Five Years and Quicksand. Plus, he covered a Pixies tune, and if you want to see one hundred and ten rows of middle-aged Indieboys come in their Lucky Brand jeans, make David Bowie sing "Bloody your hands on a cactus tree / Wipe it on your dress and send it to me." But then don't let him follow that up with my most-hated Bowie song ever: China Girl. Cover your head with your orange down coat. Is it over yet? No? *sigh* Okay, now? Jesus.
On stage, the percussionista was wearing some highly covetable green leather pants, and GW quickly became obsessed with the bald black female bass player/high note harmony wizardess. I mean, he kept tugging on my sleeve and shouting, GOD, SHE'S AMAZING, DO YOU THINK SHE HAS ANY SOLO CD'S? This from a man who worships Sarah Brightman, so I think we're making some real progress on that front.
I live about eight blocks from the Bowl, and it's a big enough venue that people are always parking miles away and walking down, so before and after shows the place is always aswarm with strapping young men in helmets (I should stop that sentence right there, shouldn't I?) pedaling pedicabs. I guess that's another peculiar Santa Barbara phenomenon, getting a ride home in a sweaty frat boy's rickshaw. We declined many attractive offers and hoofed it back to my house, and just in case we had for a brief moment at any time during the evening felt not-middle-aged, we talked about life insurance all the way home.