I attended my first rock concert when I was thirteen and living in Oklahoma City. I was a big Doobie Brothers fan at the time. I wasn’t as rabid for them as I was for KISS, but I was still a big fan. Michael McDonald, Patrick Simmons - Skunk Baxter had left by then, but whatever. I liked ‘em plenty, and they were riding high on their current hits “Minute by Minute” and “What a Fool Believes.”
One of my new friend’s father owned a stretch limo, and he offered to have his driver chauffeur us to the Doobie Brother concert, just me, his son and another kid. How's that for a first concert? The full celebrity treatment!
A week before the show on a Saturday night, my buds and I did what most 13-year old sub-division dwellers did to entertain ourselves at night – we walked the streets and alleyways looking for trouble, which rarely found us, and easy women, which most definitely never found us. But on this fateful evening, we had a fourth little friend accompany us - a flask of Canadian Club whiskey. One of my bro’s had pilfered the sweet nectar from his old man’s locked liquor cabinet.
Now, up to that point, I don’t recall ever tasting hard liquor before, and Canadian Club, if you’ve never had the pleasure, is a syrupy sweet elixir that goes down the hatch easily – especially for a trio of 13-year old featherweights.
Can you say shitfaced?
Somehow I made it home and past my mother and brothers who were watching “Saturday Night Live” (dad was out of town for some reason, thank Christ!), and I made it to my bed unnoticed. Of course, within seconds my bed was spinning like one of those questionable centrifuge rides at a traveling carnival - only this time, you know when you reach that point on the centrifuge when you begin hoping the gacked-out felon controlling the rickety death-trap will begin to ease her on down? Well, no such luck this time. My bed kept spinning faster and faster, and I don’t actually remember the very moment I started to feel queasy…
I’ll spare you the gory details that I don’t entirely remember myself, but I assure you from the extensive clean-up effort the following morning that my bedroom had the appearance – and odor - of having been ground zero to what can only be described as some form of brutal exorcism. The damage - and D.N.A. - was everywhere. Even my innocent new Les Paul sitting on its stand in the corner took some liquid shrapnel. Don’t ask me how because I have no clue.
I vaguely remember sometime later hearing my little brother say from my bedroom’s entrance, “Mom, I think Sean is sick,” which still irks me to this day because he knew I was wasted, and instead of covering for me, he turned stoolie and ratted me out!
Naturally, I was summarily grounded for a couple of weeks, which meant no Doobie Brothers, no limo, no celebrity treatment, nothing.
Alas, my parents did what they have usually done throughout my life, and they went soft and gave me an evening furlough. Limo, Doobie Brothers, McDonald’s on the way home, the whole she-bang.