Ever have one of those moments when a song comes on, and all of a sudden it's twenty years ago? Yeah, I had one of those in the car this afternoon, and it was interesting because it was a flashback of an incident I haven't thought about in nearly twenty years. I'm driving down the freeway, and the song "Name" by the Goo Goo Dolls comes on. So here's the story:
Back in 1990, I was working in a bar in Charleston, South Carolina, called Myskyn's. It was a great place to work, especially since I was going to school at the time - I could work Friday and Saturday nights and it didn't interfere with my class schedule much. Anyway, Myskyn's was not only a good place to work, it was a good place to meet people. It was on a side street in the Market area of Charleston, and conveniently located to a couple of colleges.
Not only that, it was on the circuit that a lot of up-and-coming alternative bands played. Remember, this was 1990, which meant that the "Athens sound" introduced by REM was getting big, and there were plenty of college-type acts touring the southeast, playing bars like Myskyns. We had groups like the Chickasaw Mud Puppies, Drivin and Cryin, Inner Circle, Hootie and the Blowfish, and several others roll through on a regular basis. One of the bands that stopped in was the Goo Goo Dolls.
Now, at the time, they weren't big at all -- they had released only one or maybe two albums, so while they got some play on the indie radio stations, they really hadn't gotten famous yet. However, they were all really nice guys when they played the bar - not jerks like some of the other bands that came through.
So one night, the Goo Goo Dolls are hanging out before their set, and sitting at the bar, and I'm chatting with Johnny Rzeznik. Now, if you're unfamiliar with the band, here's what Johnny looked like a few years back. And yes, he was just as pretty in person back in the day, let me tell you. So I'm talking to him between serving up drinks to intoxicated college students, and I'll be perfectly honest here: despite the fact that he came off as fairly shy in person, I was really thinking I was going home with Johnny Rzeznik. In fact, I was kind of planning on it. And things were going well. It was pretty clear that he was interested too (somewhere in the world there exists a photo of me sitting on Johnny Rzeznik's lap, and yesbygawdhesmelledgood).
Then the band played the first of their two sets. And after that set, some other guy who was with the band started hitting on me (I think it may have been their former drummer, I can't remember, all I know is had really bad teeth). Not only was he hitting on me, he totally prevented me from getting anywhere back near Johnny, who was trapped over near the pool tables. The band plays their second set, as they wrap up the crowd filters out, and Bad Teeth Guy tries to chat me up some more while I'm mopping up spilled beer and emptying ashtrays. I'm like, "Uh, you're real nice and all, but I'm not really interested." Because damn it, I wanted me some Johnny Rzeznik.
Then I made my big mistake. I said to Bad Teeth Guy, "Hey, can you send Johnny over here before you leave?" And naturally, he said he would. Of course. He'd be happy to. You bet, honey.
Before I knew it, the entire band left. I never got to hook up with Johnny Rzeznik, and life went on and the Goo Goo Dolls hit it big. And then I heard "Name" this afternoon, and decided if I ever happen to bump into Johnny Rzeznik, I'm going to tell him this story and have a good laugh about the whole thing.