David T. Lindsay
Owner of Worrybird Records, film critic, and author of Rock and Roll Nuremberg
There’s an old Chinese story that tells of two landowners haggling over the price of a strip of land. One claims ancestral rights to northern coastline property means the disputed territory should be his. His rival needs it to irrigate terrain to the east. Back and forth they spar well into the wee hours, until someone gets mad. He who gets angry loses all claims to acquire the property.
Now, if only I’d remembered this lesson, maybe I would have avoided the stupidest blunder I ever made.
I’d bought advance tickets to see XTC at an Atlanta club when Andy Partridge announced the band would tour. I was dating this girl who was a big fan, and we planned the evening around this show. Somewhere between dinner and the club, we had an argument, and I’m not even sure what it was over: jealous outrage or something as juvenile was more than likely the catalyst, but it resulted in me throwing the tickets at her and saying “just go without me”. Yeah, what does it matter, I’ve seen the Stooges, the Beatles, Hendrix, Cream, Soft Machine, heck, by that time I’d already seen the Sex Pistols, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, and most of the Velvet Underground in solo performance. I mean, this was just another British new wave band, right, and I’d catch ’em the next time they toured.
Well, she took me up on going without me, and somewhere around 11 PM, I had second thoughts. Wouldn’t you know it, my car’s battery was dead, so I grabbed a bus, made it to the club thirty minutes later, where naturally she’d already gone in to see this monumental show. I tried my damnedest to talk my way past the door guy that night. It didn’t work. XTC never toured again, and somewhere out there, an ex-girlfriend of mine has the memories of a lifetime.