As I write this, Humboldt County is on the eve of one of the finest cultural moments the area has experienced since, well … ever. Tonight, taking the stage in a casino (the indoor equivalent of a county fair) is Night Ranger (“The Hum,” May 22). Tickets starting at $39. Leave your self-respect at the door.
When I first heard Night Ranger was coming to our little corner of the world, I couldn’t help but laugh. Sure the band has its fans and more hits than Right Said Fred, but this is 2008. VH1 doesn’t even acknowledge these guys anymore. Who will be next to appear? Mr. Mister?
I don’t know if the memories of losing one’s virginity to “Sister Christian,” or the nostalgic longing for a time when music wasn’t dangerous is what drives people to an overpriced show by third-rate entertainers, but I know a lot of people I would have never expected to willfully attend such a thing are doing just that. I also don’t know if it’s a sign of middle-age complacency or an indication of how low the North Coasts’ cultural values have sunk, but it sure is frightening. It’s Night Ranger! Did anyone even think of this band in the three months before the show was announced? I doubt it.
The music I love isn’t appreciated by everyone. I understand that, and I can also understand why people question my tastes. After all, The Monsters or Elvis Hitler aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. But what strikes me as odd is the reaction I get when I question the taste of Night Ranger fans. When I do that I’m looked at as if I just spat on the Pope. Again: It’s Night Ranger! As if the name alone isn’t worthy of mockery. Wasn’t it Jello Biafra who ranked it up there with Leather Wolf?
I know there are some people who absolutely love the band, and I can’t fault them for that. Of course they would go see these rockin’ fools no matter the price. It’s the people who like the band for two or three songs and are jazzed to the point of erection to scream “Motorin’” in unison that baffle me. Maybe they’re being “ironic.” Maybe they’re just bored. I guess when porn and cheap weed no longer do it you can always turn to the Ranger.
Does the act of losing one’s dignity have a price? It appears so, and it’s just shy of $40. Keep on rockin’ in America, faithful. As long as you’re spending the dough I’m guaranteed some cheap entertainment.
Doug Brunell, Eureka
Sweet Spot: Where is Doug Brunell gonna run to now? Straight to Bon Boniere, because he wins a Bon Boniere sundae for sending our favorite letter of the week.