North Korean Torture and Live Concerts

The North Koreans like to torture their prisoners. I want to believe I could handle North Korean torture. I want to believe I could handle the pliers (or whatever tool the NKs call “pliers”), the testicular shock treatment, the beatings, the rubber hose to the toes, the rats in the face cage (shout out to Orwell). I can’t. I won’t. I will sing like a caged bird. I will give all of you away and describe not only my sins but I will make up sins and attribute them to you. I’m not going to have rats caged to my testicles without bringing some of you down with me. I have my breaking point and I am pretty sure it is close to the surface. Seriously…testicle shock!!!! I wanna be Rambo in Rambo III and show those nasty Vietnamese that I can’t be broken (he was tortured in that movie right?) but I can be easily.

One personality attribute that I have that might assist me in this dire situation would be my ability to bullshit. In true Herman Cain (one of the million…it seems…GOP presidential candidates) style, I would be able to answer any question with the following qualifier: “I don’t have the facts to back this up, but…” My only hope would be that the angry, poor, and hungry torturer would ask me questions that I could truly answer with convincing bullshit. A side note:  Herman Cain would say this angry, poor, and hungry torturer is not trying hard enough to make themselves the happy, rich, and fat torturer they could be if they weren’t so damn lazy.

In this North Korean torture scenario, I have devised the answers to the following potential inquiry: What was the bitchinest and most sucking concerts you have attended? Let’s face it, North Korea doesn’t get a lot of Western musical acts and it seems plausible they would desire information on this type of entertainment. Plus, as a former (but unreformed) Boy Scout, I believe one should be prepared for North Korean torture…especially that rat testicle stuff.

Note: I have no facts to back these answers up, but I did attend all of the concerts mentioned and that counts as circumstantial evidence. Also, note that I had consumed copious amounts of alcohol during most of these concerts thus dates and memories may be wrong…but these would be answers under the duress of North Korean torture so I get a little leeway.


Tie – Iron Maiden’s “Powerslave” (1984) and Judas Priest’s “Defenders of the Faith” (also 1984…obviously 1984 was a good year for bitchin’ concerts) tours. These concerts had the trifecta of rock concert awesomeness: spectacular lights, deafening explosions and guitars, and overwhelming theatrics. Both of these concerts could have been considered operas (IM’s Bruce Dickinson could easily be an operatic singer and JP’s Rob Halford probably loves opera). The light shows put Georgia’s Stone Mountain to shame. The music and fireworks were so damn loud that my ears rung for days afterwards (I now attend live musical acts with earplugs…yeah I’m old that way). IM had a giant mummy…Eddie…and JP had a motorcycle (and the band was attired in bondage leather). Both of these concerts took place at Huntsville, Alabama’s Von Braun Civic Center (yes that Nazi, but he was our Nazi), and its concrete walls reflected the roar of these concerts in absoluteness…the VBCC was built for loud rock concerts. How do you top that? Simple answer: you don’t. They weren’t just about the music, they were about the show…they were the complete package. Two notes: my dad attended the JP concert with me (if he had only knew about Rob Halford’s homosexuality!…see the bondage leather comment)…he loved it, and because of my age (14) and my dad’s attendance…I consumed NO alcohol before, during, or after either of these concerts. These two are still the best concert(s) I attended.

Gratuitous Mention

Milli Vanilli/Young MC (1990?), Starwood Ampitheater, Nashville, Tennessee. Yes I know you are laughing now, but…who doesn’t enjoy campy Euros lip synching while wearing tight black pants and doing their trademark chest bump? Laugh all you want…I was entertained and drunk. Oh and a shot out to Melana for manning up as a true friend and taking the place of my girlfriend (who had recently broken up with me and thus did not attend this concert even though it was HER idea) as my “date.”

Sting’s “Soul Cages” (1992?) Starwood Ampitheater, Nashville, Tennessee. This is the barefooted, black-clad Sting…I think he even played the flute during the concert. Definitely moody and artistic. However, alcohol was needed for this too.

Fat Boys/Salt-n-Peppa/White Boys (1987 or 1988), VBCC, Huntsville, Alabama. I don’t remember if the White Boys were white, but the Fat Boys were definitely fat. However, nothing compared how phat Salt-n-Peppa were! To this day I still get weak in the knees when I see bootilicious spandexed women…thank you Salt and Peppa!


Beach Boys (1988), Murphy Center, Middle Tennessee State University. I was totally drunk at this one…how else could I have seen the Beach Boys? You know their songs, you know their lyrics: cars, girls, cars, cars, girls, cars. Yet none of their songs were the least sexual…maybe in the 1950s and 1960s…but I had already seen IM and JP in concert, how could the Beach Boys compare. They sucked, and I sucked for attending. Now, if my memory serves me right, a newly acquired college friend talked me into going after we had split a 12 pack of Busch…which I think we followed with some plastic bottled vodka. Basically, the best I can tell you is that this concert sucked.

Gratuitous Mention

Whitney Houston (1987) Murphy Center, MTSU. I did this one out of love. I had a girlfriend at the time who wanted to go. Additionally, I did not drink at this one. This was the peak of WH’s rippling vocals, and she was as good as imagined…but it was Whitney Houston. I believe this concert would have been better if she had been coked up and beaten down by Bobby Brown, alas that was the future and not the present in 1987.

Don Henley’s “End of the innocence” (1990), Starwood Ampitheater, Nashville, Tennessee. Definitely drunk at this one because I went with Patrick Crawford and I have no memories of being with Patrick when I wasn’t shit faced. I believe DH was trying to be moody like Sting but definitely was not artistic. However, Patrick and I did a fantastic job of making up pornographic lyrics (which we sang out loud) to “All She Wants To Do Is Dance.”

There are numerous concerts that could be added to both gratuitous mention entries, however, they would be mainly described by the amount/type of alcohol I had consumed while attending the concerts. I don’t have facts to back this up, but…I know how to drink at a concert.


2 thoughts on “North Korean Torture and Live Concerts”

  1. My favorite concerts were all androgynous nerdfests. The Cure’s “Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me” back in 1988 was awesome – 2 1/2 hours, three encores, and the Nassau Colliseum. What could be better? But almost better was one I was dragged to by some friends in 1989: “The Monsters of Alternative Rock.” New Order was the headliner and they totally sucked (so boring) but it was actually a triple-bill with the Sugarcubes (before Bjork became huge), and Public Image Limited. They were mind-blowing; PIL’s last album was Happy? which I now realize I have to download immediately.

    Also I thoroughly enjoyed a production of the Benjamin Britten opera Peter Grimes at the Kennedy Center a couple years ago. Or does that not satisfy the North Korean torturer?

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