Years and years ago when our love was still young Dean confessed to me that a particular Patti Smith song (don’t recall which one, but it was sweet) reminded him of me so while I never loved Patti Smith’s music (never took the time to listen, I suppose) I kept her in a special place in my heart and didn’t mind when Dean played her music.
About 5 years ago Dean read an article in the New Yorker praising her tour that year so we got tickets to see her at the 9:30 Club. It was a fine concert and she and her band performed well and were gracious to the fans (unlike Bob Dylan who was an asshole when we saw him earlier that year at the Merriweather Post Pavilion) but it left Dean slightly disappointed — the performance did not live up to the New Yorker review. Plus unless you are a “VIP” you have to stand the during entire performance at the 9:30 Club.
I get emails from the 9:30 Club about upcoming shows. The 9:30 Club is owned, in part, by Bethesda resident Seth Hurwitz (and father of a middle school friend of my son). Seth and his partner also operate the Merriweather Post Pavilion, and promote concerts at most other venues in the Washington DC area including Baltimore. So when I received an email from the 9:30 Club announcing that Patti Smith would be playing the next evening at the Ram’s Head I suggested to Dean that we go. He was all for it. A few minutes and $90.50 ($35 per ticket + $13.50 service fee + $7.00 tax) later we had tickets to see Patti Smith.
We spent the day puttering around the house and considered eating dinner in Annapolis, where the Ram’s Head is, but decided to save some money and eat at home. We left home around 7:15 hoping to arrive in Annapolis about when the doors opened so we could get a good seat.
We arrived in Annapolis, parked the car and walked to Ram’s Head Tavern, giddy with the excitement of doing something unusual. We remarked at the quaintness of Annapolis and wondered if our daughter had ever been there.
Once at Ram’s Head we had to ask where the show was being held and were pointed towards a giant guitar on the wall. We showed the woman at the door our ticket and after a few moments of confusion said. You’re in Annapolis at Ram’s Head Tavern. We said we knew. She said, your concert is in Baltimore at Ram’s Head Live. We didn’t know there was more than one Ram’s Head.
I must have had a look of utter dismay on my face because she said, you don’t want to waste that — here, I have a table for you. She showed us into the music hall and sat us at at small table near the stage where we were treated a Christmas concert by the John Blount-Dave Tucker Big Band.
Luckily we like big band music. We’re lucky it wasn’t country and western.