Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Musical memory lane: The Fixx, Rick Springfield and "what is that smell?"

Once again, I've been led down memory lane by a song. And once again, I'm taking you with me. Suckers!

This is the last song I heard on the way to work this morning - "One Thing Leads to Another" by The Fixx.

I bet you think I'm going to reminisce about the 80s and how great they were. I wouldn't blame you for thinking that; it's no secret that I loved everything about the 80s, especially the music. But today, I'm not going that far back.

***   ***   ***

Flashback to Odessa in September of 2004. My friend Sonya and I (along with another gal whose name I can't remember) were planning a baby shower for our friend Carol who was about 14 months pregnant at the time. On the way to one of our shower planning meetings, I heard on the radio that my boyfriend Rick Springfield was going to play a show at the Lone Star Amphitheater in Lubbock. Since it had been 19 years since my last Rick Springfield concert, it seemed like I was overdue for a live dose of "Jessie's Girl," so I talked the girls into having a girls' night with me to go to the show.

On the day of the concert, we got dolled up, loaded our lawn chairs in the trunk and headed for Lubbock. We had dinner at Applebee's (because that's where middle-aged white women go to get their party on) and then made our way to the amphitheater. It took us forever to get there because we were depending on my directions and I only vaguely knew where we were going. (I've lived in Lubbock nine years now and still don't know exactly where the thing is. But I've heard it closed down, so now I don't really need to know where it is, do I?) But I digress...

Anyway, we get to the amphitheater and the guy at the door tells us, "you can't take the lawn chairs in, ladies." We're thinking, "great, they've got chairs there." But no. They have these mat-things that you can spread out ON THE GROUND to sit on, which wouldn't be a big deal except you might recall that Carol was about 14 months pregnant. She was such a good sport. We got our mats and sat on the ground and she never complained once. I would have bitched the whole time. Actually, I think I DID bitch about the ground the whole time.

I realize that some of you reading this may need a little more background info before I continue with the story.*

*For those of you not familiar with amphitheaters, they are outdoor venues. This means that we were outside, sitting on the ground...in September...in Texas.  

*For those of you not familiar with Texas, it's freaking hot here from April until at least October. That night it was just a smidge under 100 degrees before the sun went down. Again, you might recall that Carol was about 14 months pregnant. Again, she never complained once.

*For those of you not familiar with the amphitheater in Lubbock, it's east of town. 

*For those of you not familiar with Lubbock, the stockyards are also east of town. 

Finally, the sun went down and the concert started. This is where The Fixx comes in. They were the opening act. We had to listen to a few of their songs before my boyfriend Rick Springfield came on. 

They did the usual "Helllllooooooo, Lubbock, Texas!" and sang their first song. And then it happened. As any West Texan knows, the winds shift a little in the evening, and they definitely shifted on the night of the concert. 


At first, no one knew what he was talking about, because we West Texans have become almost immune to the smell of stockyards and oil fields. We grew up knowing that the answer to "what is that smell" is always "that's the smell of money." Sadly, a city boy from somewhere in Britain was not familiar with, and was most definitely not immune to, the smell of money...aka...cow manure.

After someone on the front row explained the smell to him, the band played another song, which was followed by the singer swearing, "DEAR GOD, HOW DO YOU PEOPLE LIVE LIKE THIS?!? I THINK I'M GOING TO VOMIT." All the people down in front took a step back in unison, as if it had been choreographed.

Thankfully, Mr. Fixx (I have no idea what his name was), only had one more song to sing and managed to not lose his lunch for that last three and a half minutes.The band cleared the stage so fast after that last song, you would have thought their instruments were on fire.

Finally, my boyfriend Rick Springfield came on stage. He sang and smiled and strutted. And, like Carol, he never complained once.


Have to give equal time to my boyfriend Rick Springfield.


  1. I am dying laughing!! Texas girl here, so I'm well versed on the heat, the smell, and the outdoor venues. Hahaha!! Don't forget the mosquitos that can carry away a large cat if they wanted to....

    How was Rick? I never got over our breakup... ;-)

    1. Rick was sublime, as he always has been. I heard he does one of those concert cruises every summer, where you can go on a cruise and meet him and hear him sing a few nights. I really wanted to do that until I found out his girlfriend, Linda Blair (yes, THE Linda Blair from The Excorcist) comes along, too.

  2. This reminds me of seeing the Eagles at the White Water Amphitheater south of Seattle where the farmers spray manure on the fields. I remember being so embarrassed that Don Henley and Glenn Frye came to Washington to smell cow poop.

    1. Don Henley is a Texas boy. I bet he felt right at home.

  3. I met Rick Springfield once when I was working in radio. This was back in the 80's -- when Rick was younger and liked to party. I couldn't believe that he would be able to perform in less than an hour, because he was totally wasted that night. However, he put on one of the best shows I had seen -- it was incredible!

    It seems that Rick has become much more centered and wiser now that he's a few years older. I can't believe he's in his 60's -- he still looks great!

    1. He does still look great. And it doesn't matter that he's nearly my parents' age; I still want him to be my boyfriend.

  4. HAHA...

    This is awesome. Once, my husband tried to talk me into seeing the Cramps at a small club. I was 5 days past my due date. I was not a good sport like Carol and I said NOOOOOOOO

    1. Seeing a band called "The Cramps" when you're five days past your due date just seems like a bad idea. Unless he thought it might induce labor somehow.