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He said, she said

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This is how Jean explains the fact that we were in Orillia this weekend:

I got back from my canoeing trip and Cathy says, “You need to book November 6 off work. Because we’re going to an adultery concert.” So I said, “Ah, is there something you’re trying to tell me, honey?”

But see, she meant Roger Daltrey—you know, from The Who?

So, that’s why I can’t do woodworking / go canoeing with you / stay any later at this party. Because we have to drive to Orillia this weekend, to get the pre-sale tickets at the box office, so we can get the good seats.

Which is a good little anecdote. Amusing. Not quite how I remember it, but some of the facts are there.

I did indeed find out, while Jean was away, that Roger Daltrey was touring (for the first time in 25 years), and that his only Ontario date was at the casino in Orillia. Of course I wanted to go—not like there are tons of opportunities to see him perform in relatively small venues—but Orillia struck me as a slightly annoying location, as it wasn’t so far away as to be impossible or terribly expensive to get there, but not so close as to be able to just buy tickets and worry about the details later.

The Who’s official website talked about this 2-day pre-sale (available only to Who fan club members — $50 US for that), including meet and greet packages.That all seemed cool, but there were no price details, and I wasn’t sure ho many tickets I’d be needing, and… I fretted, but let that 2 days pass.

Which turned out to be a great decision, since Orillia was excluded from all that — no Who fan club pre-sale, no meet and greet packages on offer. (And by the way, it’s $350-$400 for that meet and greet stuff. Rather a lot for what would likely just be an awkward, 2-minute conversation with a stranger, eh? Like, what would I say to him? “Mr. Daltry, I’m a big fan of your work. What a great voice. And what a great chest. Really, thank you so much for not wearing a shirt for most of the seventies! I really appreciate that!”

I’m sure that would have gone over well.)

Anyway. Tickets went on Orillia pre-sale August 16, so I had about a week after Jean got back to talk him into it. Because, see, Jean doesn’t particularly like going to rock concerts, as a rule, and while he has nothing against The Who, you wouldn’t call him a big fan, either.

I waited a day, then launched my pitch. I started with a joke about researching casinos because I thought I might take up gambling, but that fell a bit flat, so I just went into the facts, “and I know it’s a three-hour drive, and it’s Thursday night, which means you’re on call, and…”

“Well, find a friend to go with you and I’ll drive you. We’ll stay overnight, right?”

Say what now? “Yes, we’d have to. And I don’t know that any of my friends would be interested, but I don’t mind doing the concert part by myself.”

“Well, if you’d be alone, I’ll go with you.”

Say what now?

My second bout of fretting now deflated, I turned to to the matter of getting tickets.

I called the casino and asked what the deal was with this pre-sale. Which was, first of all, you needed a casino card. It was free to get one of those, so fine. But secondly, you had to take yourself and your casino card to the box office in Orillia, in person, and get the tickets there.

I concluded it just wasn’t reasonable to drive six hours in a day (there and back) just to get tickets, but then I fretted that they’d be all sold out in that two-day pre-sale.

Jean sighed. And then suggested that maybe we could make a weekend of it, spreading the driving over two days.

I started cooking him all his favourite foods.

But, you know, Orillia turns out to be quite a nice little town (and really only 2.5 hours drive), apparently not drained of its life blood by its casino. It’s right on the water, and it was a beautiful weekend, so we quite enjoyed the beach and the marina. Downtown had an exhibit of classic cars, which was kind of interesting. Our reasonably priced Inn room had a little kitchen, living room, king-size bed, and two TVs! We ate in this neat restaurant set up in an old train, and went to see a musical revue about golf. (Ok, that last one was a little weird, but did fill up the evening.)

And, I have two tickets in the seventh row, just slightly to the right of center stage.

And on the way home, we stopped at Michael’s Statdlander’s new bakery in Singhampton. Best ice cream ever!

So now I can stop fretting. (But Jean can keep telling his anecdote.)

From 1974 interview with Roger Daltrey:

Roger DaltreyQ: Will you still be doing this in your 60s?

A: Sure. Why not? Singers only get better with age.

Q: Would you play Vegas?

A: I don’t know. Maybe.

Q: You won’t get fat like Elvis, though, will you?

A: No. That will never happen.

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