Bud Dry and Garth Brooks1

“Further complicating the nomenclature, the beer tastes watery …” – Bud Dry review2

TBS plays Caddyshack a lot. Seems like every other day this movie is being shown. I don’t watch Caddyshack anymore. I have committed the whole movie to memory.3 My brain is so packed with Caddyshack (and Apocalypse Now) that I am probably incapable of learning something new and important in my future.4 This future inability to remember something important is going to piss me off royally.

My brain is so full of worthless shit, a simple statement can cause my mind to immediately start running down tangents that are loosely bound together like a spiderweb. While discussing how industries push consumption, a friend mentioned the beer industry in the late 80s, and used “dry” beer as an example. I immediately thought of Bud Dry and Bon Jovi’s “Runaway.”5

Neither of these thing should be connected in a factual or scientific sense. BJ’s6 “Runaway” was released in 1983 as the band’s first single and Bud Dry was introduced in 1989.7 I can imagine, however, that there was some moment in 1989 or 1990 when I drank a significant number of Bud Dry beers and listened to this awful song. Actually, I distinctly remember regurgitating what seemed like a gallon of Bud Dry while Jon Bon Jovi belted out the lyrics to this song. Music makes weird connections among all the trivia and memories that bounce around inside my grape.

Further along the tangent trail, I think of buried beer cans. I grew up on a farm from 1983 (same year “Runaway” was released) to 1988 (the year BJ released the album New Jersey which included “Bad Medicine8). Being a teen on a farm meant that I always had a place to camp9 with my friends. It also meant, in my teenage mind, that I had acres and acres of Tennessee land to bury the evidence of my drinking. My Dad isn’t blind and to this day he discovers the rusting evidence of my teen drinking. He was probably finding them back then too.

By the time I would have been burying Bud Dry cans on the farm, I was at college and letting them pile up in an apartment I shared with some fraternity brothers. This was 1989 and BJ released “Lay Your Hands on Me.” Even though I can’t remember it, I know for a fact I tasted Bud Dry twice, once going down and once coming up, while listening to this song. BJ was everywhere in the late 80s. If the Violent Femmes had dominated my middle teen years, BJ ruled my late teens with equal vigor. BJ was so prevalent in my late teen years and early 20s that I distinctly remember, along with my fellow 19D Army Cavalry Scout10 recruits, retooling the lyrics to “Wanted Dead or Alive” to fit with what we thought was our amazing bad-assness. Instead of “I’m a cowboy,” we sang “I’m a cav scout.” Trust me, it worked at the time.

In retrospect, Bud Dry and BJ pretty much sucked. I probably should have realized how much BJ sucked when I was disappointed that my senior prom’s theme and song was “I’ll Be There For You,”11 instead of Simply Red’s “Holding Back the Years.”12

Really, there was no purpose for this look at Bud Dry and Bon Jovi other than an exercise in revisiting some of that shit crowding my 41 year-old brain. Basically, as Simply Red sing, “I keep holding on,” but I know I haven’t “… wasted all those …” tears or years. I’m drinking Boddington’s pub ale tonight and skipping down memory lane… which is obviously paved with 80s big hair rock and piss-nasty beer.

1. This note is the only place I am mentioning Garth Brooks, promise. The very words Garth Brooks makes me vomit in my mouth. Bud Dry and Garth Brooks are connected because Annheuser-Bush introduced Bud Dry in April 1989, which is the same month that Garth Brooks released his album Garth Brooks. When I told a friend the title, she calmly replied with “oh God, high school.” Enough said.

2. The review is exactly how I would have written it.

3. “Hey everybody, we’re all gonna get laid.” – Al Czervik

4. Like remembering my pill regimen when I am old. I will rue the day I clogged my brain with Caddyshack shit.

5. “Runaway” was on their 1984 album Bon Jovi, followed by 7800 Fahrenheit, which didn’t do well in America. 7800 Fahrenheit did real well in Japan though, it made it to a top 5 album that year. We should have let them keep BJ.

6. Being the juvenile I am, I love typing the letters “BJ.”

7. Quickly replaced in the early 90s by Bud Ice… which now includes Bud Ice Lime. Yes, I drink Bud Ice Lime but only at Washington DC Nationals’ baseball games. Something about that chemical (and probably toxic) lime taste goes down so smoothly in July’s heat while the Boys of Summer are at their prime. I also drink MGD at baseball games. Shitty beer is what I crave when I watch baseball in-person… I also crave hot dogs covered in chili. Basically, I like causing gastrointestinal issues that follow about two hours after the final out. This is one of the reasons I never hope for extra innings.

8. The “Bad Medicine” video was supposedly ground breaking by providing video cameras to a large number of fans in the audience. The result was a drunken nightmare that includes 80s hair, 80s fashion, and then we have shots of what the audience looked like.

9. Camp as in build a fire, drink some beer, and eventually sleeping with or without a sleeping bag. For the record, do not do the two following things: 1) place a bound hay square bale on the fire… once the heat reaches the air trapped inside, the bale will explode and cover you in burning hay; and 2) place an unopened can of beans on the fire… once the heat reaches the … nevermind, you get my point. Flaming beans fucking hurt.

10. 19D Cavalry Scout is an Army military occupation speciality (MOS). Cav scouts do exactly what you think, they scout out the enemy. At the age of 19, I thought this was really bad-ass. I know a little better these days.

11. Like every other fucking high school in America that held a prom in the Spring of 1988.

12. In serious retrospect that no normal teen could ever possess, Simply Red’s “Holding Back the Years” is far more appropriate for a senior prom theme.


4 thoughts on “Bud Dry and Garth Brooks1”

  1. drinking a lot of bad beer in our youth is a rite of passage but there’s really no excuse for a man to indulge in piss-nasty beer.
    bon jovi is a decent actor. i don’t mean great, i wouldn’t nominate him for any awards, but he is far better than the vast majority of “talent” on, say, daytime television. his music should never be consumed.

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