Aplscruf's Music Blog

Diary of a Married Groupie

Tom Petty with Mudcrutch at The Troubadour 05.02.2008

In honor of Tom Petty’s 2010 Tour, I decided to post my favorite show…

Friday, May 2, 2008 Tom Petty and his new/old band Mudcrutch The Troubadour, West Hollywood, CA

THIS WAS MY ULTIMATE CONCERT EXPERIENCE OF A LIFETIME, A FANTASTIC, SOUL-LIFTING, POSITIVELY AMAZING, ONE-OF-A-KIND LIFE-CHANGING EVENT!!!! TOM PETTY IS MY JESUS OF ROCK-N-ROLL!!! […and just for the record, I coined that phrase waaay before Kid Rock]

So anyway, after getting that off my chest…I can clearly remember standing there near the stage saying, “I can die now. My life is complete!” Unbelievable.  Musical Salvation.  Ok, here’s the story…

So P calls me during my second week at my new job. Do I want tickets to see Tom Petty at the Troubadour in Hollywood? “Sure, Hon, that would be great.” I’m thinking to myself, what a joke. There’s not a chance in hell we could get tix to see him in some small nightclub.

He later called back and said they sold out. End of story. But wait, there’s more! P called again and said they opened up another night for the next Friday, May 2! Could I go? Well, I have to work, but we could leave right after work. I told him I could figure it out later, wondering how the hell I was going to tell my new boss. He called back and said, WE GOT THE TICKETS!!!!! Holy sh**. I yelped at my desk! I worked out taking the time off, and promised to make up the time, while P booked a room and reserved a flight. That was a little more difficult due to flight times.

Eventually we booked a room at the London Hotel in West Hollywood. Sounded nice, and the price was right. It was an old hotel, and they were still working on the restaurant, so they were offering suites at a low price. The flight was pretty cheap, but later in the day than we would have liked. I ended up working about two hours, then taking off to see if we could talk our way on to an earlier flight.

Luckily, we did take an earlier flight, because after arriving in L.A, renting a car and merging on the freeway, we were hit with nasty early rush-hour traffic . Plus, we weren’t exactly sure where to go, so we ended up missing an exit and winding through some side streets. It eventually worked out, and we found our beautiful little hotel up on a hillside, kitty-corner from Whisky-A-Go-Go!

We asked the front desk about the history of the old hotel. Well, had I watched the show, I would have known immediately: this is the hotel portrayed in Beverly Hills 90210!!! Wha’? Not only that, but the new restaurant will be the next Hell’s Kitchen! The winning chef of the current season will get to run the restaurant. Wow. How cool is that!

Our room was spectacular: a long suite with couch and chairs, separate desk, a nice deck overlooking the hills, beautiful king bed and then a very large walk-in shower, separate bathtub and gorgeous tiled walls. We were very impressed and felt lucky to get such a perfect deal in a great place. We had to really hurry after being stuck in traffic to get ready for the show. I didn’t know what to expect, but I wanted to look a little nicer than my sweaty self! We were very crabby and hungry by this point, after going non-stop since early this am.

We zoomed out the door only to be road-blocked by a very slow taxi service. Apparently they haven’t worked out all the bugs of running a newly renovated hotel; there were about 10 doormen and bell boys standing around and no taxi in sight. They called one out, but the taxis were not lined up due to the very small entryway. Fifteen precious minutes ticked by before one arrived. We should have called from the room!

We got down there with a little time to spare. The line at the Troubadour wasn’t too bad yet, with maybe 50 people in line. We were starving and thirsty from our rushing around. We went next door to an Italian restaurant, which is where the rest of the people were, apparently!

We couldn’t even get in the bar, so we walked down the block to an Indian restaurant on the corner called A Taste of India. Perfect! There was hardly anyone there. The prices were decent, and the Chicken Tikka Masala and naan were amazing. We scarfed it up and mmmmed and ohhhed our way through it, while downing beer and water. The polite waiters were so nice and kept refilling our water. It was pretty hot out and we were cooking from all of our running around getting ready and zooming down the block. I went to the restroom and saw all the pictures on the wall of famous people who have eaten there or ordered takeout. Quite impressive!

Ok, on with the show! We walked back up the block to wait in line. The line was now around the corner and down the block, but still maybe only 100 people long. Not too bad, but it did limit our chances of getting close to the stage. P showed me a pic on the web of the Troubadour a few days before we left, and it looked interestingly small for such a big name playing there. There was a history of musicians that debuted there, such as Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, other big 60’s bands, and, uh, The Knack (ha more on that story later). The Troubadour has been around since 1957. Way cool.

As we waited, we noticed the sign across the street that read, “Beverly Hills”. We then noticed all the cars that went by us: Mercedes, Lamborghini’s, Ferrari’s, Land Rovers, Hummers…unreal. I couldn’t believe the high concentration of money (or debt) in such a small area. I felt very pale and poor, but  the population in line was more in my poverty bracket, I believe. There was an exception: a woman who was very tan and leathery, with fake boobs, fake blond hair and fake lips as well as pulled eyebrows that made her look like a surprised clown. She was the epitome of what that town was all about. Ugh. She looked terrible. There’s something to be said about just letting things be. I remember her when I look in the mirror and wonder if I should get a lift here, a tuck there.

After about 45 minutes, the line started moving! I was getting anxious about not being able to see the stage. The venue was small, but wide. The stage went almost the length of the inside wall on the right. At the back was a bar. Around the top was a balcony, and then little curtained rooms above that, where the band was hanging out with their friends and family. Way cool! You could kind of see through the sheer curtains and make out Tom’s silhouette as well as other band members’.

More waiting. I think we had to stand there for close to an hour before it started. We took turns going to the bathroom and getting a drink. I only had one drink, then only wanted water after that. It was pretty stifling hot with all the bodies standing so close together.

Also, and most important, we managed to get one of the best positions in the house, just right of center, about 3 layers of people back from the stage! Tom’s mike was only about 10 feet away from us! The stage was only about 2 feet off the ground. I looked at P. Sh**! We’re close! I really don’t know how we managed to get that close, but most people either crowded to the middle or went directly to the bar to get a drink first and didn’t care about how close they were. Actually, it was so small in there, anywhere was fantastic! A lot of people sat up in the balcony, too, including Tom’s Heartbreakers bass player, Ron Blair! We kept looking back at him and staring like star-struck fans! Cool.

We could see movement behind the curtains. People were getting restless and called for Tom! Yes! Here he is! Here’s the rest of the band, Mudcrutch! I looked back at P again…F***! He’s right there in front of us!!! I was in heaven. I couldn’t believe we were that close, in Hollywood, seeing my Rock-n-Roll Jesus!!! I thought I might cry, but I didn’t. I was sober, in complete bliss, and enjoyed every minute. I couldn’t stop smiling!!

Mudcrutch ran through their set list of all the songs off their new/old album, as well as two Bob Dylan covers (including Rainy Day Women) and Summertime Blues, and a couple of other oldies that were so fun to bounce around to. Mudcrutch was there to play Mudcrutch and not any Heartbreakers music; which was ok by me, but it would have been nice to hear one or two songs. But that wasn’t why they were there.  Luckily I had purchased the CD before we left so I knew what to expect. That really helped us enjoy the show!

Tom and the band seemed loose, happy and just out to have a good time. No big light show, no grandstanding, just a regular band out to have fun and enjoy themselves and connect with the audience. And connect they did! Tom and the boys would look out and smile, hold guitar necks out above our heads, (I could’ve touched Tom’s bass at one point!) and talk to us. A few times, I thought I made eye contact with Tom as he looked out. And then, one time, and P saw it too, Tom looked right at me and smiled. It was brief, but it was eye contact and a nice grin. It really made my night. My musical Jesus, right there, right in front of me, noticed me. I was born again! P tapped me and said, “He smiled at YOU!” SH**! I had a very bad potty mouth that night because I was in complete ecstasy.

The Knack: Tom told a very amusing tall tale about being “Tom” in the late 70’s and going to the Troubadour for the first time. He decided to get some drinks there, and heard there was a new band playing called The Knack (ma-ma-ma my-y-y Sharona!). The band recognized Tom. He said he usually does not drink, but that night he drank, which was a big mistake.  The band asked him to join them onstage. He decided to do so, being Tom and all. They hooked him up to the biggest amps he’d ever seen. The Marshall 10,000! They said they would give him his cue when they wanted him to join in. He turned the thing up to 10 and waited for his cue. “Hit it, Tom!” He hit a power chord and promptly flew across the tables (they had tables in the front of the stage back then) knocking over drinks, ruining wardrobes, and destroying furniture! The next day he received a bill from the bar and a call from his agent. $481.00 for one night at the Troubadour, not a bad deal! Then Bruce Springsteen met up with him for dinner that night, and asked if he wanted to go out for drinks at the Troubadour, because he heard this new band The Knack was playing. Everybody in the audience laughed heartily through his story! Tom warned Bruce, “Whatever you do, do NOT fly across the tables.”

After an encore, we sauntered out of there, first purchasing a Mudcrutch tee for me. We loitered around with the paparazzi who were waiting for the band. I was pretty wiped out and hungry again, so we didn’t stick around too long. Although we did see the tour bus pull up to the front of the building…we really should have waited for the band, but oh well.  I kicked myself later.

We hailed a taxi and went back to the hotel. We freshened up, then decided to venture out to Sunset Blvd to see what was happening. Wow, the city doesn’t sleep. We ended up going to a little restaurant called La Mirabella or something. We sat in a corner and scanned the horizon for stars. The only one P recognized was some guy that played a pimp in Deuce Bigelow American Gigilo. Gimme a break!

We decided to head back to the hotel after a delicious dinner and dessert.  I think we finally got back around 1:30, then promptly crashed on the couch in a heap.  At one point we made it back to bed and tried to sleep in as long as possible.

Later that morning we drove over to the coast via Santa Monica Blvd. Wow. How much money is in this town?? The beach was big and gorgeous. In the distance was the great Santa Monica Pier, with carnival rides in the mist.  It was an early Sunday, and not many people were out. I wish we had time to take a walk, but instead we just drove along through the parking lot and on the road parallel to the beach. We had to continue our journey back to LAX and back home.

What a trip–and a show–of a lifetime.

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January 27, 2010 - Posted by | Concert Season 2008, Music, Tom Petty | , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. What an incredible experience!!! Tom, his original band, the Troubadour, eye contact and a smile, intimate, close up to Jesus of rock-n-roll!!! I could imagine myself there and sorry I missed this show!!! I have seen TPH up close, even had the eye contact and smile, usually from the 2nd row, center stage at the Gorge Amphitheater in George, WA. They were all incredible shows and I too could die after these experiences. Now I yearn for this type of experience where you don’t have to fight for dance space and fight off the drunks, a close intimate setting. I’m not complaining tho, I’ll be heading to NOLA JAzz Fest 2012 for Tom and Bruce, going Grand Marshall VIP so will be close up and I’ll be one of the drunks!!!

    Thanks for the great review, I could totally imagine being there. Someday…
    A TPH fanatic and muuzikfan,
    CF

    Comment by CF | February 3, 2012 | Reply

  2. […] breathtaking to be that close to the whole band.  We had the crazy luck of seeing Tom in 2008 at The Troubadour, but that only included Tom, Mike, Benmont and his old band mates from Mudcrutch who produced a […]

    Pingback by Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers at Fonda Theatre, Hollywood, CA June 3, 2013 « Aplscruf's Music Blog | June 12, 2013 | Reply


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