The English Beat (Petaluma CA)

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It is something of a sensation when you realize how much time just marches on……even if you deny how “you have not changed” but time always tells the truth. You do.

Last night I was in attendance down amnesia lane…….1980’s new-wave / ska / two-tone-pop-eighties band “The English Beat” performed in nearby Petaluma last night. I was there.

Dressing “rude boy” for the show really wasn’t an issue because I’m pretty Mod-button-down anyway. I’m the last guy who still wears doc-martens three to five times a week. I was having a great time again without drink or drugs. Most of the crowd was under 30, mostly women, all them held phones up and recorded the show. They missed it. The whole time holding cameras videoing the whole thing. All with the narcissistic attiude of “See…..see! I was there!!!” but they really were not. The stood still on a dance floor and got annoyed by anyone who bumped into them.

Reality from the 1980’s was gone. It wasn’t about music. It was bragging rights about “how awesome I am” and “how retro and cool I am”

Most of the women were dressed in their hipster attire, drinks in hand, camers in the other, and large purse over their shoulder. They yelled in unison for the song “Tenderness” after every song (if you don’t know “Tenderness” was their biggest mainstream cross-over hit that made mainstream / top-forty radio in about 1985.)

There were a few guys my age (late forties / early fifties) who were there to skank and ska it down. During their classic rollar “mirrror in the bathroom” it started to get a bit rough. One young women…mid-twenties….fun-size, cute, big breasts locked on to my arm (this is a standard thing for rude-girls at shows like this, they are smaller……they usually lock on to a bro near them so they don’t fall or get hurt…..it wasn’t an IOI….been to a billion ska shows since the 1980’s. It’s a safety thing).

Well……..the tattling came. Several women (and a few soy-boy types) with cameras out left the dance floor, and within two minutes three bouncers came and rough-housed me, and few other bros……at first I thought they were out to take the song to the ‘next level’ and I didn’t know they were bouncers, so myself and the other bros skanked back on defense and shoved hard, rolled around…one aggresively grabbed me and yelled “You’re disturbing these women. Pointing to the ones who left to tattle. They say you guys are groping them. You keep it up, you’re outta here!!!”

One of the bouncers was about twenty-five. I was a good seven inches taller…..and no, I am not a muscled guy..but I’m solid for my age I said “I saw these guys in concert back in 1989 when you were not even a twinkle in yo’ dads pants jerk. This is a ska show. You’re on the dance floor, she’s gonna get bumped. Rule is, you move back!

He again said “You knock it off” and he’s speaking to the other bros as well “Or you’re all outta here!”

Suddenly. Shocklingly!!!!!!

The young woman who was locked on to me, and she was about the bouncers age yelled “These rude boys are not doing anything wrong. They’re having a great time. This is a ska show, these guys are actually keeping it tame and safe out here!”

He of course ignored her. Meanwhile the song is still going on, and you could see the band getting annoyed at the “discussion” front stage…people not dancing-skanking….and a few bouncers out in front ruining the mood.

The women and the soy-boys who tattled are again standing in the middle of a dance floor at a ska show with their cameras out filming the show. Not dancing. Standing there.

I gave the one bouncer a light shove as he started to walk away……..then spins around and he grabs me by my skinny-tie (he could have choked me) starts to push the knot up. The other ska boys saw this…..and it was on. Five guys in their late forties jump on him. I crouch to the ground trying to break his grip so he doesn’t choke me. His grip loosens, I stand up, and fall on to him as well.

Now there is a full-on skirmish on the floor. The tatling girls are still mad that they are still getting bumped, ruining their filming experince, the girl who was latched on to me, surprisngly joins in with trying to house-the-bouncers with the rest of us…….we were overwhelmed….at least two more bouncers show up with LED lights, shining it in our eyes..blinding us all….we were all hauled out, even the young woman who latched on to me. Tossed outside the club. We were told we had been “banned” from the rest of the show.

We were all stunned……removed from my history by a few catty women and soy boys who were not even there for the show. After smoking a few cigarettes with the rest of the crew that was tossed out, we all exchanged numbers….shook hands, polite introdcutions and went our separate ways………..the young girl before she left me to stand by myself and wait for my Uber……..gave my butt a squeeze as she walked away. Looked back. Smiled, and said “call me.” (that was an IOI)

I smirked to myself as I waited for my Uber and realized finally that my youth was over…..and the 1980’s???? They belong to narcassitic hipsters who have no class or tatse. Women today ruin everything.

4 thoughts on “The English Beat (Petaluma CA)”

  1. As an (officially) “old guy” ™ that recalls the 80’s with great vivid memory .. that’s a great story ..

    And .. yes .. the dance floor is for dancing .. I’d would have broken some feet of those tattling idiots .. accidentally of course .. accidents do happen on the dance floor .. don’t-cha-know.

    And .. like you .. I enjoy going to concerts of 80’s bands these days. It’s always a great time .. to bad yours was ruined by a bunch of never borns during that era.

    Talk about a need for safe spaces .. HEH!

    More importantly .. did’ja call her .. 👍

    Thanks for the memories my friend.

  2. A great essay from a good man.

    Dressing “rude boy” for the show really wasn’t an issue because I’m pretty Mod-button-down anyway. I’m the last guy who still wears doc-martens three to five times a week. I was having a great time again without drink or drugs. Most of the crowd was under 30, mostly women, all them held phones up and recorded the show. They missed it. The whole time holding cameras videoing the whole thing. All with the narcissistic attiude of “See…..see! I was there!!!” but they really were not. The stood still on a dance floor and got annoyed by anyone who bumped into them.

    This paragraph reminds me of Heidegger’s contention about the vorhandenheit/zuhandenheit distinction. If you go through life taking pictures, you’re spending most of your time in your head, rather than in the world.

    Perhaps that’s the problem with most wimminz (and most homosexual men, too.) They’re not really being-in. They’re constantly in a state of non-being.

    Boxer

  3. Perhaps that’s the problem with most wimminz (and most homosexual men, too.) They’re not really being-in. They’re constantly in a state of non-being.

    I recall many a BOY SCOUT trip that it was emphasized ..

    “Take MEMORIES and leave (only) footprints.”

    To that end I always make an entry in a pilot logbook (e.g. a flight I’ve made) or journal afterwards to jog my memory (i.e. recall of the event) at a later date. If I don’t .. it’s lost .. if I do .. it is as vivid as the day it happened.

    We didn’t have recording devices back then that we have today. We obviously are (or is that were?) a counter culture to today’s wall-flowers.

    I had no idea it’s a profound distinction of opposites.

    But I’m a simple guy anyways .. HEH!

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