Performer: Joe Walsh
Songwriter: Joe Walsh
Original Release: The Confessor
Definitive Version: None
I don’t know whether Vicky regretted making the somewhat dubious—but admittedly courageous—decision to accompany me to the Joe Walsh concert at Horizonfest in 1987. If she did I never heard anything about it, and I was happy that she agreed. I was going either way, but I was glad that the second ticket wouldn’t go to waste.
We met at Northwestern, and I drove. (As I mentioned—a long time ago now, it seems—Vicky had just moved to the area and had no car.) By the time we got to Rosemont, the carnival outside the Horizon was in full swing. Horizonfest had a full accompaniment of cheesy traveling carnival rides, and continuing our questionable judgment, we went on a couple.
The double ferris wheel ended up being much more memorable than one might expect from a parking-lot carnival ride. If you’re fortunate (or unfortunate depending on your point of view) to be in the car that’s going over the top of a smaller wheel just as that wheel is going over the top of the entire ride, you get a nice kick to the gut.
What made it even better on this particular day was that our timing was such that every other time we went over the top, a plane was coming in for a landing at nearby O’Hare. And at the Horizon, the planes are CLOSE, so each time we went over the top, it looked like a jet was coming in to lop our heads off. That’s a good ride.
The show was great. My favorite radio guys, Steve & Garry, were hilarious, and Joe Walsh was Joe Walsh: loose and jammy. It was the best seats I’d had at a show up to that time—10th row on the floor, to the side. He did not play this song, but he did play The Bomber in an all-electric set that concluded with him and Rick the Bass Player trashing the drum kit.
I don’t know whether Vicky had a good time, but it didn’t seem as though she had a bad time. Being a gentleman, I drove her home—she was staying with her aunt way up in Highland Park—rather than make her take the train. Everything was going fine when all of a sudden my car without warning went dead shortly after we turned onto her aunt’s street. The Great Lemon Car strikes again!
Because it was after midnight—needless to say—no repair shops were open, and the train had stopped for the night, so there was only one solution: I had to spend the night at her aunt’s and deal with the car in the morning. Oh, and did I mention that I had just started my new internship? One week in, and I already had to call in to say I wouldn’t be in that morning. Awkward. Vicky and I did go out again, but it’s probably no surprise that the bud didn’t bloom on that rose.
It turns out the alternator crapped out—the second one I’d replaced in two years. I had my car back later the next day, but it cost me about $300 to fix. If you add in the tickets, food and drink, that’s a pretty pricey first date. At least I can always say that I ended up going home with her …