by Trent Rosser
I love the 80’s. I was a teenager in the 80’s. I still love the music, and sometimes I wish the fashion would come back in style. You remember, the holy jeans, shoulder pads on the blouses and of course….. the hair! The big hair! Yes, I admit. I did own a couple of pairs of parachute pants while sporting the mullet. It was the music of that era that really makes me smile.
When I was younger a band called “Twisted Sister” came to town and I really wanted to go. Being only 13 at the time, my mother said no. I was too young. So a few months later it was announced that another band was coming to town. Quiet Riot was a band I really wanted to see in concert. So, being upset with my mother at the time, I stormed my young teenage self into the dining room where she and a couple of her friends were and boldly stated, “You would not let me see Twisted Sister, I AM going to see Quiet Riot!” She calmly looked at me and gently replied; “Not now you’re not.” I think it has to do with “respecting others” something I have talked about before. I did go see Quiet Riot in concert, but it was 15 years later when they came to town with Poison and Warrant. So when my wife informed me of 4 bands from the 80s were coming to town, I was kind of excited.
On December 9th, the concert consisted of Ratt, Jack Russell’s Great White, Lita Ford, and Winger. Every young American teenage boy was in love with Lita Ford, and every young American girl was in love with Kip Winger. So when my wife asked if we could go, I was reminiscing about Lita Ford on the poster hanging on the ceiling of my room at my Fathers old house. “Of course we can go, I would love to see Great White in concert!” I said. My wife was excited to see Kip Winger in concert. I could see why so many girls were so in love with this guy. The long golden flocks of hair hanging over his baby face, with just enough stubble for a beard that was so popular in the 80s. He had a couple of hits, “Seventeen” and “Headed for a heartbreak” was two of his most popular songs. So a few weeks later I bought 1 ticket, I will get the other ticket laterwhen we didn’t have to buy Christmas gifts. Then we received the bad news. We found out that it was standing room only at the concert and my wife has a bad knee. It looks like she will be having surgery on it after the New Year. And to top it off, the Christmas party where she works at was on the same day as the concert. So, we were unable to go to the concert. It was heartbreaking for both of us, but it is the price we have to pay to be responsible adults. I ended up selling the ticket for half the price that I bought it for.
On Thursday the day before the concert we went out to get some dinner. We picked it up to go and stopped at one of the local convenience stores to get our fountain drinks. As we were getting the drinks I watched a few people walk in. One guy had the long 80’s black hair with gray streak in it wearing a leather jacket. The other was a younger man and the third guy was a little older than me with short hair, clean shaven face and a trench coat. I didn’t think much of it at the time. As we were waiting in line, I overheard them talking about where to eat and what the marquee said for the concert tomorrow. I realized that they were a part of the concert. I figured that the guy with the jacket was with one of the bands and the guy with the trench coat acted like he was a manager of some kind. As we were standing there, the trench coat guy accidently bumped into me. He immediately apologized and I told him it was not a problem and told them that the burrito place next door was a good place to eat. I paid for our drinks while telling him this and also told them that we wanted to go to that concert but we would not be able to. My wife should know by now that I can carry on a conversation with just about anyone and I do it all the time. So this should not be something new to her. But, when I looked at her, she was just staring. The guy in the jacket did not say anything so I continued to talk to the trench coat guy. I told him that we could not go to the concert because of the Christmas party and immediately my wife stammered, “I...I…I…I have a bad knee, I can’t stand for long periods of time.” That’s funny; she has never acted like this? He asked if they have chairs that you will be able to sit down and I told him that we were not sure, but we had the Christmas party also, so we would not make it, and we started toward the door. He said, “Have fun at the Christmas party and hope your knee gets better.” As we were almost to the truck it finally hit me. The guy with the leather jacket, He had to be with a band, but which one and who was he. I opened the truck door for my wife and as she sat down, I heard a little sigh and a girlish giggle. I walked around and sat down in the truck and looked at her. She had a sheepish grin on her face and I asked, “Was that Kip Winger?” She giggled again and shyly said “Yes”. I said something about the leather jacket and gray streak and she looked at me with a confusing look and said, “That was not him. The guy you were talking to, the one with the trench coat. That was Kip Winger!!” Oops. So I just stood toe to toe with one of the most popular man of the 80’s music and I was telling him that I would not go to his concert because I have a Christmas party to go to. I felt an idiot. Not much was spoken on the way home. I kept hearing my wife giggle, and sigh. It was uncomfortable. I could hear her whisper to herself, “He said he hope my knee gets better, hehe!” “He talked to me, hehe!” “He smiled at me! hehe”
All in all, my wife is happy she was able to meet one of her heartthrobs of her teenage years. It made her smile and It was something that she will remember for a very long time. Mr. Winger was gracious enough not to make me look like a fool when we were talking about the concert and I would love to make up to him by taking my wife to one of his concerts. I can only imagine if it was Lita Ford in the store that day. I might not have recognized her, or I might have been just as star struck as my wife was. Now, If I can only get her to quit calling me “Kip” and trying to make me wear parachute pants.