Rock & Rod Festival, 5.30.09

Yeah, 3 months late. Whatevs. I do what I want.

I don’t really know why it took me this long. I certainly haven’t been thinking about Flo and Eddie and Ron Dante this entire time. I don’t have anything particularly profound to say about them. Or maybe I do.

Ron Dante was truly one of those musicians that you could totally see in the desk of a CPA during the day. He was whiter than white, with perfect WASPy hair and a slightly awkward demeanor, but this dude put on a good show. Now, WASPs can’t dance. I know, because I’m one of them. But he tried his hardest, and it helped that (a) he was singing really catchy 50s songs and (b) most of the audience was alive in the 50s and (c) most of the audience was a little drunk but hey! they had a good time. And, admittedly, so did I. The guy knew he was alright, even though he was wearing loose leather (pleather?) pants and a vest that resembled a good portion of my 4th grade teacher’s wardrobe, but that’s beside the point. He thought he was cool, up to a point, and then he probably just though, “Eh, what the fuck. I was the voice of the Archies. I don’t need to apologize to anyone” and got onstage. So mad props to you, Ron Dante for being pretentiously unpretentious.

Flo and Eddie, however, were great performers, but kind of rubbed me the wrong way with their forced nonchalance. They had this act, which was hilarious, but now that I think about it, it was incredibly contrived. They tried so hard to be hip, so desperately to be irrelevant, so passionately not to care, that looking back, it was sad. As men who had taken their fair share of drugs and gone through a few turbulent eras, they seemed to have nothing to say other than “Damn the man!” and all that shit. I guess I always thought that people who once damned the man would see that the man wasn’t so bad after all. The man paid the bills. The man put food on the table. These guys were just downright bitter and, probably offstage, a bit rude. At least one of them (Flo? Eddie?) was high, or pretending to be high a la Mitch Hedberg. Supposedly that’s his act, but I didn’t find it that funny. Rarely works on me. I don’t know. They make good music, to be sure, and they are under-recognized emblems of a bygone era, but I’m not sure they know that yet.

All I can say is that they don’t make ’em like they used to. Performers or songs, that is.

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