Saturday, June 21st, 2003
Weird Al Gone Wrong
Some dreams are a bit over-rated. I will tell you mine. Almost nine years ago I was a big Weird Al fan, perhaps the biggest. But I was poor so I got my tapes of his music third generation and never got to go to any of his concerts. I am not sure whether fate was smiling on me or setting me up for a big disappointment. But my stepfather won me some tickets off the radio station. I was the happiest guy in the world. I even got the guts up to ask a girl I had the hots for at the time to go with me. I saved some money so I could buy drinks and snacks. The only element I could not scrape together was a ride to the actual concert. All was lost. I did not get to go to the concert and I did not get to go on a date with the girl. Worst of all I did not get to see Weird Al For years afterward I was anguished every year that he returned. Then I heard that he would keep coming back till he did not fall off the stage. I had hopes then that I might actually get to see him in my small little town some day. Then three years ago I was told he did not fall off the stage and he did not come back. I was distraught! Such is my life: dreams washed away by the tears of distress.
Then this year my wife told me she had a belated father's day present for me. Lo and behold, she surprised me with tickets to The Weird Al Poodle Hat Tour. I had several weeks to build up my anticipation of how wonderful it would be. Finally the day came. I had saved 100 dollars so we could do it up right (could have used more). We had a ride (my car was running) and I did not have to work (yeah!). The concert was to start at 6:45, so we went early and had dinner and drinks. We were supposed to get in the gate at 5:00 but they were having technical difficulties and we did not get in umtil 6:15. Once we were in we found our seats, then went and got drinks and souvenirs. I was afraid that we were going to miss the opening act as we did not get back to our seats till 7:00. The opener was a very funny comedian from the Bay Area by the name of John St. Paul. He did a very good job as far as I was concerned. Many in the crowd did not really take to him as well as they might, but I enjoyed him. I think that the problem was that the content of the comedian's routine was beyond the intellect of many in the crowd. He went on for about half an hour at the most.
I fear that in this case he put on a better show than Weird Al as he got out there on the stage and did his job. I say this because Weird Al did not get on the stage till 9:15: which was very frustrating because he was supposed to go on more like 7'ish.
They had a number of problems. One was that the canopy on the stage had blown off some time during the morning. This I felt was a small problem compared to a lot of things that could have gone wrong. As we were sitting there waiting they were still setting up; I thought it was pathetic. They had all day to do these things and they were still setting up! They did even have the screen adjusted yet. While they were trying to adjust the focus the wind picked up and tore it away and destroyed it. I saw yet more incompetence revealed then, as they were still taping things down like wires and set lists. Still they adjusted the position of the lights and added more lights as we were sitting there. And there was this one fellow who was running back and forth putsing around with the guitar about seven times. If it were my show I would have had it all set and ready to go before the gates opened. This I think comes from enjoying so many arts and artists where every thing is on time and together.
I am not sure who was at fault: Weird Al's crew or Konocti Harbour Inn, the venue. Nonetheless, it was a big disappointment as we only got about 45 minutes of music and for the most part it seemed like we got a sampler instead of a full set of songs.
My inclination is to say that the problem was with the Weird Al crew. On previous occasions. when we got to Konocti we got seated, the opener came on, and then the headliner followed right after: smooth and precise. I feel it is a sad day when a performer has to rely on technology rather than his skill as a performer. My feeling is, he should have gotten out there on the stage on time and performed, even without the technology: not hide in his tent and blame it on technical problems. It was, after all, Weird Al that we came to see, not the machinery. I mention this noting that on their recent tour The Rolling Stones stepped out of their high tech matrix, went out to a small stage without any special effects, and proved that they are still the greatest garage band ever.
Weird Al should have simply come out to prove that he is the greatest song satirist ever. He didn't.
I was sitting there and some one said that perhaps he was afraid to come out for fear of his welfare. As our tickets sales were final I was afraid that he would just cancel. When he finally came out there were a few good numbers, but the performance was far from what I had hoped (for nine years!) that it would be.
In conclusion: my father says it sounds like the Poodle Hat Tour lifted its leg on us and pissed all over us. Big Al Gave A Small Performance.
My suggestion to any who go to the outdoors Konocti venue is to take blankets more money, and hope that the performer and crew is on the ball.
--Jonathon Charles DeCles
Thursday, November 18, 1999
Well , I have been asked to write a column for my old partner and good friend and dear father (yes,they are all the same man). So here it is, my two cents for the moment..
Just today I saw a letter in an acquaintance's mail. It was an ad for an Internet service provider, the name of which I should not reveal ;but as they just blew me off so badly that I decided to write this column, I will.
The Internet service provider is called "Earthlink". They had this wonderful offer: "Sign up now for three months and you can get a free digital video camera -- "Absolutely Free!". Humph ! Not quite! If you must sign up for three months then it is not quite free. However it seemed to me like a good idea so I gave them a call and tried to sign up. Once again I ran into a small dilemma: the age of the credit card. It is a big crock of S__t!!!
So what happened was,:I finally got through the miles of automated services to figure out exactly what I needed to get to a sales associate and was turned over to another sales associate because I did not have a credit card.
Baloney,! So I went through the same automated phone line with a few small changes and got to the second associate. He told me that I could not do business with them at all because I had no credit card. More baloney!
So here I am, no ISP, and they have less money. I did not think I would see the day when a business would turn away a customer with cash just because he or she did not have a credit card.
The world is falling apart. I say this due to the fact that we as people are being separated from the value of money more and more each day.
Especially when there are people like these bozos who are turning people away just because they have no credit card.
Some of you will no doubt read this and say: "Why the heck does he not just get a credit card and join the rest of us.?" And yet more of you will say: "He probably doesn't have enough money ,or something like that." I have plenty of money ,I just don't want to go spending fake money that I don't have yet. Which is what credit cards are: CREDIT is fake cash. Some times this can get out of hand and it bites you in the ass. I did that once and I am still paying for it. I will not do it again.
I would hope that if you really need a credit card for some real reason, that is ok. But when we start turning away real money then we have a problem on our hands.
Fake or real: which would you rather have?
Go to the Thiasos Olympikos Page to find the Complete Text of Jonathon and Kimberly's January 22nd, 2000, Wedding!
There are 150 of them, but as of March 3rd they have been sorted into five separate pages for easier, faster downloading.
The beautiful bordered background of this page was downloaded and is used with the permission and generous help of Mr. Randy D. Ralph, If you follow the next link, it will take you to his wonderful IconBazaar site, where you will find many graphic delights.
The elegant curled divider bar under the Bagel name is by Dorothy, and you can find her beautiful work at: