Why? Well, it started out like any ordinary teacher-student-conference Friday “holiday” morning. I had my almost-three-year old Lennyn all day. My boys would be out at 11:30. No big deal. Daddy day. I just accept the fact that I won’t be getting much writing done. Go to the grocery store. Explore a playground. Maybe have a popsicle. Maybe color in a Mickey Mouse coloring book. Jack White tickets are going on sale at 1:00 for a March 10 show here at Track 29? Got it covered. My buddies Erik Schmidt and Reuben Summerlin are aiming to get 4 each. My brother John and Randy Gibson are going to get all they can. Brian Carisch too. One way or another, I’m golden.
Then, one by one, my best laid plans “gang aft aglee,” as Robert Burns once famously said. Erik and Reuben never get access at all. John and Randy break through once. Enough to get 4 tickets–for them and their life partners. Same deal with Carisch and company. Oh, and I received this litany of bad news as Lennyn wept for 45 minutes over coloring Minnie Mouse’s right shoe outside the lines. There was no fixing the mistake, and there was no assuaging or redirecting her grief.
Where does that leave me? With the blues.
Frankly, I deserve to be one of the 1,000 who get to go to this show, and I shouldn’t have to pay a scalper $183 (the current cheapest rate) to do so. For one, I am the one who wrote a poem about the person who parades around as Jack White, which was not only published at The Huffington Post, but also became the first poem for my chapbook collection, White-Feathered Bodies (and for inquiring minds, can be easily accessed here on Scribd).
I’ve been a part of the glorifying-bandwagon. I’ve watched It Might Get Loud, the movie with the Edge and Jimmy Page and Jack White. I’ve seen him on that DVD playing under the Black Pool lights in the UK, which was the inspiration for my poem. Come on, man! I should get in free! No, Jack White should pay me to go to his show, and he should have me read my poem to open the set.
So why did it feel so good when two of my friends asked what the big deal was? One said only in Chattanooga would a guy who’s best days were in circa 2002 have a run on tickets in 2012. Another wrote,
All you just did was save money. Now you can come over to my house and I will play the same five blues licks over and over really loud while [my daughter] bangs a trash can lid. I will also turn up the heat, blow pot smoke in your face, and sell you my Fat Tires for $5 a pop . . . and then it will be the exact same thing as seeing Jack White at Track 29. I feel like the Black Keys fully occupied the space that was created by the White Stripes. It sounds silly, but it’s true.
It was only a short-lived satisfaction. I don’t really believe either one of them. First, Jack White has re-invented himself and grown into the thin air of rock god stardom over the past ten years. He’s miles away from his origins as The White Stripes guy. He’s also just a hell of a performer, and there is no way this will be anything other than an amazing show.
And I will be at home watching the first season of Lost or something. Why? Because I am that far behind, and because there will be no assuaging or re-directing my grief.