Ruminations of a Red Dirt Hussy

January 4, 2012


Filed under: General — Vadasmaker @ 8:28 pm

I’m in Oklahoma City for the spring residency requirement in my MFA program. My head is so full I wouldn’t be surprised if it exploded, which is why I haven’t posted anything lately. This afternoon I was in a travel writing class with James Bernard Frost—if you get a chance to read something by him, try A Very Minor Prophet, due out April 1—and I figured out I kind of suck at it.

But while I was in that class, someone talked about the disparity between the venue and the band at a recent Flaming Lips concert. Sorry I can’t tell you what that’s about, except that the event took place at the Coca Cola Center here in OKC. Apparently it’s the last place one would look for any lips, let alone Flaming Lips.

Her comment reminded me of some concerts I attended a few years ago. One of my dearest friends, knowing I’d never seen my musical hero, Eric Clapton, in concert, took me to Columbus, Ohio, to see him. Oh. My. God. It was awesome. Becky also got tickets for a KISS concert, which we attended the next night. The crowd was nothing like I expected. Oh, there were the usual people dressed as the KISS band members, and a few who apparently thought they were at The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Seriously.

The attendees ranged from toddlers to grandparents and included dozens of guys and a few girls from Rickenbacker Air Force Base. All kinds of people. Anyone could have wandered into the tent situated in the middle of a large grassy area and not felt the least out of place.

So a couple of months later we went to see KISS again. This is not an obsession, because I reserve that kind of intensity for Jon Stewart and Eric Clapton. This is just a hobby, and if you’ve ever seen KISS in concert, you’ll understand. This time in Little Rock. I expected to see much the same kind of people I had seen in Columbus. Boy, was I surprised—and not merely because the opening act was a band called Saliva.

First, there weren’t many grandparents and no toddlers at all. A few people were dressed like band members, but what I most noticed were the tattoos, the mullets, and the bare skin that really, really needed to be covered. I’m not saying people like this are only in Arkansas. We have a good many in Oklahoma, and I’ll bet they’re common in every state in the union, including Ohio.

This is just an observation, one of those things that makes you go, “Do what?”

I’m not dissing Arkansas. I love the place, and I lived in Fayetteville off and on when I was a child. I’m just saying. Or rather, wondering. Why such a disparity in the two crowds? Same band. Same summer. Same night of the week.

Like I said, this is just an observation. You might have some thoughts on it, and I’d like to hear them as long as they don’t have anything to do with hillbillies or the lack of civilized society in Arkansas. Seriously. Don’t go there.



  1. Great Kiss story….the travel writing class sounds interesting….by the way Happy New Year to you and Jim!!!!


    Comment by Lily — January 5, 2012 @ 7:27 am | Reply

  2. Just one observation and then I will shut up. The reason for the toothbrush? It was invented in Arkansas. That’s right! Any other place, it would have been calledd the “teethbrush”! Just saying…


    Comment by lottie — January 5, 2012 @ 8:55 am | Reply

  3. You may think you suck at contemporary travel writing, but this blog is just another form of travel writing. Really. The mission statement on travel writing is to get someone to persuade someone to go someplace. This made me want to go to Ohio and Arkansas and just walk around noticing the differences.



    Comment by Left-Brained Business for Write-Brained People — January 5, 2012 @ 9:49 am | Reply

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