ONE OF MY best friends in high school and college was Scott VanEewen. We had one crazy time after the other but we lost touch years ago.
After listening to a Triumph record this morning, I'm really kicking myself.
Triumph's "Never Surrender" is plodding rock and roll with a lot of meandering bass, thudding drum rolls and amazing guitar and vocals by Rik Emmett. In the spring of 1983, Scott and I got tickets to see Triumph at Wings Stadium in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
It. Was. Awesome.
I remember the light show was blinding and we were deaf for days after the show. We stood on the floor and were overwhelmed by the sheer volume and spectacle. How was one guy (Emmett) able to make so much noise on a guitar?
Right before the show started, I bought a T-shirt and Scott wanted one too, but we were 10 cents short. So I went up to a big security guard with no neck and pleaded with him for a dime. He gave it to us. "All you gotta do," I told an amazed Scott, "is ask."
I remember walking around in a daze the next day at school. Actually, I walked the Grand Rapids Christian hallways in a daze for three years. But that's a different story.
Where are you, Scott? The last time I saw you was in 1997 at the Masters in Augusta, Ga., where I was covering the golf tournament for The Herald-Whig. I think you were working for a firm near Atlanta. You still might. I got your wedding invitation a few years later but I couldn't go.
It would be great to hear your voice and see you again. Man, we'd laugh until we turn blue. And it wouldn't take as many beverages to get us giddy.
It's funny how a new record player, old album and an old friend makes me remember the rock and roll road trips like they were yesterday.
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