Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Big Bam Boom!: Todd Rundgren, Daryl Hall, & The Eatontown Police Department


Friends old and new, are privy to the borderline psychotic feelings I have about Todd Rundgren and Daryl Hall. (Oates, not so much.) So, a concert featuring both Todd & Daryl is not something I could just ignore, like...say... the "Whitesnake/Tesla/Sebastian Bach/Lita Ford/Firehouse" package that will be unfolding this summer.  That's right...Firehouse.

On paper, it didn't work. Let's face it. Even if you live in Atlantic City, the drive to Atlantic City is three hours. And this is where the "road" version of "Live From Daryl's House," with special guest Todd Rundgren" was taking place. I was in Queens, on the Friday of Memorial Day Weekend. My feeling was, I'd get to Bahrain in less time. (But, will I hear "I Saw The Light" in Bahrain?)

It was all arranged, thanks to a dear friend. And, it was going to work, until the 77 year old guy in an SUV, with a portable oxygen tank, rammed into us on Route 36. He hit us so hard, we rammed into the "just moved to Jersey" pair in front of us, who rammed into the "been here all my life" guy in front of them. This all took place about twenty minutes after arriving in the Garden State.

The double impact left us in mild shock. My friend pleaded, "But we have to see a concert! Can't we just go?"  Me? I didn't know how old I was.

Officer: How old are you?

Me: 44. Uh...no. Uh...46. Uh...no.


He didn't care. I could have said 9.


Why did we get hit? SUV guy's wife, also in her seventies, had just gotten into a much more serious car wreck in Freehold, and he was on his way to get her. I guess that's a good enough reason, along with his age and the oxygen, to not be paying attention to the road and flooring it at a red light.

I know what you're thinking. "Jeez Sal, have a heart." Yeah, I know. But, what if Todd and Daryl opened with "The Last Ride?"

No one was hurt, not even the guy's wife. But it was something to think about, and I know I did, for the rest of the evening. I mean, no seat belts = no Todd show...ever again.

So yeah...the show!

The stage was set-up to look like Daryl's house, less the kitchen. The band was great, the concert was short, and the set list offered no surprises. Take a look.

(Thank you Mike, for the pic.)

But, even for just 75 minutes, which after an almost 9 hour door-to-door trip for me seemed even shorter, Daryl Hall and especially Todd Rundgren were in fine form. I've written many times before about Todd's occasional habit of phoning it in. But that night, thanks to what I'm sure was the professionalism of Daryl and his band, Rundgren played his A-game.

The boys looked happy. The harmonies soared on Todd classics like "It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference" and "The Last Ride," as well as on H&O hits like "Kiss On My List," a song not performed on either of the two webisodes, and the still moving and gorgeous "Wait For Me."

Looking back, I am thrilled I made the journey, car wreck notwithstanding. I thank my friend for making it happen, especially now that the trunk of the car has to be tied shut, and the front license plate is sitting on the dashboard.

19 comments:

Fielding said...

glad you lived to tell the tale... in 1985 the boys and i were in a car that stalled on Eastern Parkway (not the Jewish part) on our way to see Judas Priest at the Garden. Long story short - and after ingesting a kilo of weed before the cops arrived - we hopped on a train and missed one tune.

Marcia said...

As always Sal, your storytelling style made me laugh. I am so envious as of course this would have been a dream show for me as well, but also so glad you got to see it! I do think that after all you went through, it would have been incredible had they pulled out something unheard of, such as "We Gotta Get You a Woman", and you certainly deserved it for your ordeal! Glad you're OK though...and lived to tell the story. 9 hrs though? So honestly...having driven from Newark to AC myself....would it not have been only a third of that driving time if there hadn't been traffic?

Sal Nunziato said...

Well, I did say door-to-door, so yeah, almost 9 hours. I left Queens at 11:45 and with the car crash, and the meet-up of other friends, and then the drive, we got to AC at 7:30. Ok, 8 hours. (I hate math.)

Albert said...

Boy,you can't do anything easily, can you?!..show sounds smashing(pardon the pun)...historical, really...now waiting on John Oates/John Siegler live from Siegler's Aunt Barbara's house...literally...

steve simels said...

My 91 year old mom is just coming to terms -- i.e. I have told her definitively -- with the fact that she will no longer be getting behind the wheel of her car.

soundsource said...

you took one for the ol' rock n' rolla, you da man

Mark Pollock said...

Having had a door taken off (missing me by inches) by someone driving with her portable oxygen tank, I suggest we start a national movement to ban people from driving while using an oxygen mask. How about it, Sal? Glad you made it to the show.

pattirules said...

glad you are ok sal

Anonymous said...

It's true what they say about Jersey drivers! Every time I drive down the turnpike or the Garden State Parkway it feels like we pass an accident scene every ten miles or so. Even the last governor, Corzine, got in a traffic accident.

Glad no one was seriously hurt.

Bruce H.

steves said...

Holy crap! I said that aloud as I was reading your post. Once again, a testimony to your fine writing skills.

Glad you made it to the show, though, and that it was a good one (and that it wasn't your car).

Les said...

Glad the accident didn't spoil it for you and it was worth it. 8 hours....yeesh.

WHT said...

Sal, Glad you made it to the show. This past winter I was out cross-country skiing and suddenly it struck me that I had tix to the Hall&Oates show that was in town. I missed half the concert, but all I got to do is laugh.

A walk in the woods said...

Great story Sal, I chuckled too... and dammit, I'd probably have done the same thing. Last year I drove a total of 6 hours for a 90-minute Bob Dylan show -- drove to Birmingham Alabama right after work, got home at 2am, woke up for work 4.5 hours later -- and dammit, it was worth it.

It is a bit worrisome when a double bill that cool only plays 75 minutes though. I mean c'mon! But, when a few songs are played, it can make it worth it.....


I didn't see "Wouldn't Have Made Any Diff" on the printed setlist though...

John Baker said...

Hey Sal, I been reading your blog a while and just about fell over when I read this one. I got a note from Daryl's House (distlist) about the show, but it promised a show at the end of JUNE which I arranged for but when we called them....oooops. So at least you made the show! I'll keep trying. I live about ten miles from Daryl's place in Maine and keep hoping he'll do some more shows locally. Incidentally, you check out the Hawaii show on his site? Cheers, J04NNY8

Anonymous said...

So glad when we arrived to pick up SAL & FRIEND neither one had a SCRATCH!!!!! The car trunk would not close therefore a dead battery with the trunk light left on lied ahead.We needed help before we could leave the car before switching cars to finally procede onto the trip to A.C.!! Where to find help???? My husband sad maybe an employee of his may do it, and somehow making the guy a MEATLOAF would be an enticement. SAL blurted out "I WILL MAKE THE MEATLOAF IF I CAN GET TO A.C. FOR THE CONCERT" At that point, it was so BIZARRELY FUNNY this might have broken the ice. I am hyterically laughing just writing it. "A SOLID SAL CLASSIC". The Show was more than i expected, and SAL told you all about that. Hope you can appreciate SAL'S peronality never fails in any situation!!!!

Sal Nunziato said...

@Walk In The Woods,

It's penciled in right below "Everytime You Go Away."

And Anonynmous,

I'll get right to the meatloaf.

James A. Gardner said...

Sal, I'm relieved everyone walked away and you still made the show.
The irony of someone crashing on his way to another auto accident reminds me of my Morrisette-esque crash of a few years ago, where I was T-boned by a driver trying to get to the courthouse by 5.
To pay traffic tickets. Seriously.

A. Dear Friend said...

Sal, nobody but you could have told this story in such a hilarious way! You made me laugh once again. The show was great, the company was great. Although I don't think either of us were too amused when it first happened. "It's all over, you know. We're not getting to the show. This is it. It's not happening."

Anonymous--your husband and those damn promises of meatloaf! I do owe him a major debt of gratitude, however, as well as his 75-year-old father for strapping my trunk shut! As they say, the show must go on, and we must be there. I enjoyed every minute of it. The boys certainly were having a good time on stage.

elizabeth said...

yikes! glad you made it through. could driving with an oxygen tank be considered distracted driving? as others mentioned, great writing from you as always.