Life is Short. Go See a Show.

One of my favorite comedians, George Carlin, died last June at the age of 71. I can remember thinking to myself, on at least two occasions when he was playing in the town in which I was living, that I would see him another time. I put off going to the shows because money was tight, because I couldn’t find anyone to go with me, because I had to work that night – I’m sure my excuses reasons were justified at the time.

My biggest regret on June 22, 2008 was that I never got to see George perform live. I own every album he put out, but I never got to the live show.

My first concert was Poison, in 1988. Since then, I’ve seen Aerosmith, Skid Row, Tesla, Warrant, Rush (7 times), Queensryche, Counting Crows, The Cure (3 times), Primus, Def Leppard, and a few others. Comedians, I’ve only seen a couple – Jeff Dunham (before he turned into a right wing racist lunatic) and Janeane Garofalo are the two you’ve probably heard of. There are a few artists that I’ve always sort of had on a “well, if they come around and I’m not busy maybe I’ll go” list, but after Carlin passed last year, I’m upgrading most of the artists to “whatever it takes, I must see them perform before I (or more likely, they) die”.

Peter Gabriel tops the list. Morrissey. Robert Plant (though I will steadfastly not go to any sort of Led Zeppelin reunion, just on principle). Kevin Smith. David Cross. Henry Rollins. Patton Oswalt. There are quite a few more, but I’m curious…

Who’s on your list?

Spread it around!

Comments

  1. I was watching a 1980 concert from Frank Sinatra at Carnegie Hall this past weekend and was kicking myself that I never saw him live.

    BTW, with this passage: “Jeff Dunham (before he turned into a right wing racist lunatic) and Janeane Garofalo”

    I never heard of Jeff Dunham, but why no similar disclaimer on the hateful politics of Garofalo?

  2. jangro says:

    “but why no similar disclaimer on the hateful politics of Garofalo?”

    heh, I was thinking the same thing.

  3. That's a fair question, and I had to think about it, because it wasn't a shot that I took intentionally, it just popped out of my head and into the post. I think I put it like that for two reasons. First is that my politics lean left, so things like that creep into my stuff sometimes. I think that comment came about because his show is so clearly oriented to the right these days, and because I don't like the direction he turned – I've been a fan for a long time, and he wasn't always like that. The second reason, the reason that I didn't take a shot at Garofalo, is pretty much the flip side. Of course, since I lean left, I wouldn't take a shot at her politics, which are very, very liberal. I think though, that it also didn't cross my mind because we've known, pretty much her whole career, what her politics are. With Dunham, it wasn't until after 9/11 that he really turned ultra right wing. With Garofalo, we've known since the early 90's that she was ultra left wing.

    Does that make sense? Like I said, I didn't really give it much thought until now.

  4. I should also point out that I don't think that all right-leaning folks are racist lunatics. In re-reading the comment, I can see how some might take it that way. Dunham and his act are the only things I was aiming that comment at, and I was basing it on the content of his act, not simply on the fact that he's on the other side of the fence.

  5. CoolpapaC says:

    I've been very lucky to have experienced many fantastic concerts in my life. Funny, Carlin passing brought on the same regret for me.. sorry I missed him live. He was one of my favorite comedians and I shared many of his points of view.

    This is the second time I've waited too late and mourned the lost opportunity. The other time was failing to catch John Lee Hooker live. My list now… I would pay to see Bill Maher in the comedy spectrum. In the music world my list is short. I think it would include Eddie Vedder /Pearl Jam, Radiohead and maybe J.J. Cale.

    Thanks for the post… I just had this conversation with my father-in-law over Thanksgiving.

  6. Fair enough. Personally, I prefer comedians who keep the politics out of it, because it can poison their act.

    As far as Garafalo, I never really paid much attention to her politics until the past few years, but her recent comment on people who went to tea parties put me off:

    “Let's be very honest about what this is about. This is not about bashing Democrats. It's not about taxes. They have no idea what the Boston Tea Party was about. They don't know their history at all. It's about hating a black man in the White House. That is racism straight up. This is nothing but a bunch of teabagging rednecks.”

  7. TrishaLyn says:

    Whoa, what about Jeff Dunham being a right wing racist lunatic? I like his stuff and he's coming to Oakland in February, which I'm going to attempt to go to. I've never noticed a right-wing slant in his show (bear in mind… I don't watch his new Comedy Central show, just the specials) but perhaps this is because it's not overt… if a comedian isn't directly talking about political things, I may not notice a leftist slant since I'm pretty leftist myself, but I'd imagine I'd have noticed a right wing.

    Also, speaking of comedians and shows, Eddie Izzard is also coming to Oakland in January and I'm going to try to see his show. I saw Christopher Titus last year on my birthday and that was pretty sweet. Gabriel Iglesias is also coming to San Francisco in January but that's a kind of expensive ticket that I'm not sure I'll get… and I've seen him perform live before and even have a photo with him, so that won't be a regret.

  8. I was watching a 1980 concert from Frank Sinatra at Carnegie Hall this past weekend and was kicking myself that I never saw him live.

    BTW, with this passage: “Jeff Dunham (before he turned into a right wing racist lunatic) and Janeane Garofalo”

    I never heard of Jeff Dunham, but why no similar disclaimer on the hateful politics of Garofalo?

  9. jangro says:

    “but why no similar disclaimer on the hateful politics of Garofalo?”

    heh, I was thinking the same thing.

  10. That's a fair question, and I had to think about it, because it wasn't a shot that I took intentionally, it just popped out of my head and into the post. I think I put it like that for two reasons. First is that my politics lean left, so things like that creep into my stuff sometimes. I think that comment came about because his show is so clearly oriented to the right these days, and because I don't like the direction he turned – I've been a fan for a long time, and he wasn't always like that. The second reason, the reason that I didn't take a shot at Garofalo, is pretty much the flip side. Of course, since I lean left, I wouldn't take a shot at her politics, which are very, very liberal. I think though, that it also didn't cross my mind because we've known, pretty much her whole career, what her politics are. With Dunham, it wasn't until after 9/11 that he really turned ultra right wing. With Garofalo, we've known since the early 90's that she was ultra left wing.

    Does that make sense? Like I said, I didn't really give it much thought until now.

  11. I should also point out that I don't think that all right-leaning folks are racist lunatics. In re-reading the comment, I can see how some might take it that way. Dunham and his act are the only things I was aiming that comment at, and I was basing it on the content of his act, not simply on the fact that he's on the other side of the fence.

  12. CoolpapaC says:

    I've been very lucky to have experienced many fantastic concerts in my life. Funny, Carlin passing brought on the same regret for me.. sorry I missed him live. He was one of my favorite comedians and I shared many of his points of view.

    This is the second time I've waited too late and mourned the lost opportunity. The other time was failing to catch John Lee Hooker live. My list now… I would pay to see Bill Maher in the comedy spectrum. In the music world my list is short. I think it would include Eddie Vedder /Pearl Jam, Radiohead and maybe J.J. Cale.

    Thanks for the post… I just had this conversation with my father-in-law over Thanksgiving.

  13. Fair enough. Personally, I prefer comedians who keep the politics out of it, because it can poison their act.

    As far as Garafalo, I never really paid much attention to her politics until the past few years, but her recent comment on people who went to tea parties put me off:

    “Let's be very honest about what this is about. This is not about bashing Democrats. It's not about taxes. They have no idea what the Boston Tea Party was about. They don't know their history at all. It's about hating a black man in the White House. That is racism straight up. This is nothing but a bunch of teabagging rednecks.”

  14. TrishaLyn says:

    Whoa, what about Jeff Dunham being a right wing racist lunatic? I like his stuff and he's coming to Oakland in February, which I'm going to attempt to go to. I've never noticed a right-wing slant in his show (bear in mind… I don't watch his new Comedy Central show, just the specials) but perhaps this is because it's not overt… if a comedian isn't directly talking about political things, I may not notice a leftist slant since I'm pretty leftist myself, but I'd imagine I'd have noticed a right wing.

    Also, speaking of comedians and shows, Eddie Izzard is also coming to Oakland in January and I'm going to try to see his show. I saw Christopher Titus last year on my birthday and that was pretty sweet. Gabriel Iglesias is also coming to San Francisco in January but that's a kind of expensive ticket that I'm not sure I'll get… and I've seen him perform live before and even have a photo with him, so that won't be a regret.

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