Multiple Sclerosis meets heavy metal
Ahhhh, there’s nothing like a good old summer head banging concert to remind you that you have multiple sclerosis. Or that you are getting old. I can’t tell which.
Too often the things that make me feel old could either be signs of old age or signs of MS. Like the horror that arose when the radio station outside the concert doors asked me a Rolling Stones question and I GOT IT WRONG!!!
There is something completely inappropriate about that. Yes, my MS brain does face cognitive challenges and memory loss issues but not remembering the answer to an awesome Stones trivia question?? I think it’s time to redo my MRI to find out what’s going on there…
(In case you’re curious, the question was which Stones single was the first to hit #1 in the UK? I said Come On and I was wrong. If you are dying of curiosity and just can’t stand reading any further without knowing the correct answer then here you go- the first #1 in the UK was It’s All over Now.)
But I greatly digress-another symptom of both MS and old age. The saying goes that “my MS is not your MS” and thus it would be wrong for me to say that heavy metal music is not conducive to those with multiple sclerosis. Maybe some of my MS friends enjoy the extra amp power, screaming vocals and battling bass that make up this music genre. Maybe you even find that the commotion that roars out of the intense drum kit comforts you. If so, then you, my friend, are weird.
Yet, I found myself at an Alice Cooper/Motley Crue concert last week which is about the last place I pictured myself being on that Sunday evening. I went because my dear friend from forever has loved Motley Crue since we were little kids playing air guitar on tennis rackets we didn’t know how to use.
Serena had never seen them live and since they claim this is their final tour, she bought two tickets. With the craziness that comes from August, she couldn’t find any other metal heads available to go with her.
A concert is a concert and I AM a classic rock chick. I decided to offer to go that way my friend would have company and could treat herself to a drink or two and I could be her designated driver.
Even though we’re close friends, Serena and I are very different.
She is wild and I tend to be calm.
She’s impulsive and I’m cautious.
She’s shameless; I’m shy.
She’s spicy; I’m sweet.
She’s crazy in a fun way; I’m crazy in an “annoying pain in the butt” way.
On paper we are as different as different can be. Yet, we work.
We are a motley duo.
When we arrived at the venue, my first aging/MS frustration took place right in the parking lot.
I had more concert experience than Serena and in her excitement, and my ridiculous fastidiousness, we arrived super early.
Which would’ve been fine if I remembered tailgating.
How could I have completely forgotten that part of the rock concert experience?
I didn’t want to just sit in the car and so I ventured out to be social. I talked to a family in the car next to us-their pre-teen daughter had grown up on 80’s hair bands. The second frustration then occurred.
Without preparing for tailgating, I was standing outside of the car and standing for me is not very comfortable. Plus, in front of our car was a pickup truck with 5 good looking guys hanging around it and they weren’t talking to me!
They weren’t rude and thanked me when I caught their fly away shopping bag, but that was it. No flirtations. No offer to sit on the bed of their truck. No innocent conversation.
When had guys stopped wanting to talk to me? It was depressing.
Some may say that perhaps I should have started talking to them and that by my being shy, they might not have known I was up for being social. Serena could have fixed this issue in a heartbeat but still in the car, she was very busy.
She was worried about security not letting her make the most of her Motley Crue experience and was thus in the process of concealing important items in her bra.
To say that Serena is well endowed is like saying Motley Crue plays soft rock. (Serena’s favorite metal edged ballad Without You non withstanding.) Endowed just doesn’t cut it.
She was working on a tip her daughter had given her,
“The good thing about having big boobs is that you can use them to hide stuff.”
By the time I gave up on visiting and got back in the car, Serena had managed to stuff 2 Vodka Citron nip bottles, a full pack of cigarettes and her camera all into her bra.
And you couldn’t tell! Even me who has known her forever couldn’t see any evidence.
I panicked when the female security officer said she was going to pat her down, but Serena didn’t even blink. And then we were in.
There was a lot of standing, Standing to get in. Standing to get patted down. Standing in the bathroom line which of course, was crucial! Standing to get beverages…Standing to watch the bands.
At this particular arena when everyone stands, you can’t see a thing, not even on the close up screen which is so low to the stage it hardly seems to help. It hurts to stand too long and so I had to periodically keep sitting. I did my best but missed a lot. But I could guess what was going on by the rhythm of the butts seat dancing in front of me.
It wasn’t long before I had to down two Aleve tablets and pull out my bright pink ear plugs. Why bright pink? I was pleased to see other people with ear plugs but only mine were bright enough to light up the stadium on their own.
At one point the band appeared on a smaller stage close to us and it was all I could do to stay upright as Serena jumped over me in her sprint to get to Vince Neil– think teen girls rushing the stage when the Beatles hit America.
How did this particular concert make my friend younger while it made me older? Achy feet, achy legs, and achy ears.
At least I wasn’t whining about the temperature…..”I’m cold, can I borrow your sweater dear?”
But here’s the thing; though Motley Crue is not my kind of music, and not very MS friendly, in balancing things out, I did manage to have some fun. I got to see flames shooting out Nikki Sixx’s guitar and Alice Cooper get his head chopped off in a guillotine, both of which were pretty cool.
And I did manage to seat dance all through Smoking in the Boys Room, even if it wasn’t quite as energetic as I seat danced at the last Stones concert.
And most importantly, my friend loved it.
I can tell by the hundreds of videos of the concert she’s posted on Facebook.
(Hide your camera in your bra friends-it’s the only way.)
Funny how a Motley Crue concert, like life and even life with MS, can play out when you balance, seat dance every once in a while, and rely on friends. Relying on friends is key.
When I texted my Stones friend about the epic fail trivia question she pointed out that Come On was the first Stones single to chart in the UK even though it didn’t make #1.
Which helped me to feel better about being old and missing that important answer. At least I was close.
Yes, MS or no, friends help keep us young
Especially the wild ones….