Friday, March 21, 2014

Great Moments In Springsteen Fandom: The MSG Beer Incident


So this is a new idea I had for a series of posts.  Basically these are just going to be true personal stories from my life that revolve around the benefits of being a Bruce Springsteen fan.  And yes, there are many benefits!  For example:

On April 6th, 2012 Rory and I went to see Bruce at Madison Square Garden.  I was really excited for this show for a number of reasons.  First and foremost, I was seeing Bruce Springsteen, the greatest concert performer there is to see.  Secondly, it was a Friday night after a very long work week, plus the concert was in New York City (where I live), so I wouldn't have to worry about traffic or parking.  Third, I was going with one of my best buddies and we had really good seats.  This was going to be a great night!

I met up with Rory at Mustang Sally's on 7th Ave, just a few blocks away from MSG.  We sat down, had a few beers but all we kept talking about was...Bruce.  He was as pumped as I was, so we headed to the show.  We got there about 45 minutes before Bruce went on.  We were on the floor, but had assigned seats in the back, not in the GA area.  We took our seats and continued talking about whatever, when the two gentlemen who had the seats next to us took their seats.  We politely introduced ourselves and exchanged pleasantries before Rory and I went back to our individual conversations.

That's where this story picks up...

One of the gentlemen politely tapped us on the shoulder and said he was going up to get some beer, would we want any?  We gladly said yes, reached into our back pockets to get money, when he said "Nah, this one is on me guys."  What a nice fellow.  We thanked him and assured him we would get the next round.  This was great, I always prefer the "buying rounds" system so that way I'm not constantly getting up to buy my own beers, and someone doesn't cheapskate me and constantly ask for a beer while I'm up.  He came back and we thanked him and toasted to Bruce.  Cheers!  We finished our beers, with still about five minutes to go before Bruce came on, Rory and I both gave each other a look and knew we would go to grab one more before Bruce took the stage.  We asked the two guys if they needed another one, and they said "No, but here you go let us buy you beer."

He handed us a $20.

Stop it.

Really?

Yes, this guy was for real, and insisted on buying us beers the entire night.  And Rory and I are pretty big drinkers, so he went through quite a bit of money.  At least 7 rounds.  We tried everything, but he wouldn't hear of it.  He even ran out of cash at one point, so he gave us his credit card.  To which his friend correctly pointed out this was crazy, and you shouldn't just give your credit card out.  And then his friend gave us a $20.  And by the way, later that night, he actually did give us his credit card.  It took all of my will and moral fiber to not go to the merchandise stand and buy one of everything.  Even if I did, I don't think this guy would have minded.  But luckily for him, we stuck to beer.

This was a relatively young guy, in his early 40's I would say.  He put his arm around us, and said "When you get to be my age, make sure you do this for a couple of kids too."  Rory and I were 27.  We had good jobs, and could buy our own beer.  Did we look like were 16, and needed someone to buy us beer?  No...well maybe Rory, but not me!  Most of the times we went up, we bought them beers too.  It was the least we could do with their money.  Unfortunately, during the first song of the encore, "Rocky Ground" I believe, these two gentlemen drunkenly stumbled out of The World's Most Famous Arena, and we never saw or heard from them again.  I will stay true to my word though, and when I'm 45, and Bruce is still touring, I will absolutely buy some random strangers beer all night.  Stay tuned for that post in 16 years.