Is This Real Life?

Ken is on the left.

I had something happen to me yesterday–something awesome–that made me ask, “Is this real life?”

In the middle of the afternoon, I got a message from someone named Ken. He said he’s a fan of my games, and he wanted to say hi. It was really nice to hear this.

Then the message got really cool.

Ken said that he’s in a band called the Old 97’s. He had heard that I live in St. Louis, and his band was playing in St. Louis that night, so he asked if I wanted tickets to the show.

It just so happens that a friend introduced me to the Old 97’s over a decade ago. Even if you’re not a fan, you may have heard a few of their songs, like Question and Timebomb. They had a scene in the movie The Break Up. They’re not the Beatles, but they’re legitimate rock stars.

Let’s process that for a second: A rock star likes my games and asked me if I wanted to attend their concert.

I’m not a spontaneous person, but I did not want to take something like that for granted, so of course I accepted. My friend Katy agreed to go with me on short notice.

When we arrived at Delmar Hall, Ken was hanging out by the side of the building. He called us over, and we proceeded to chat about games, music, and movies for a good 20 minutes. He said that he’s been playing games for years, as he has tons of free time when he’s not touring.

Then, before I even thought to take a photo, he had to take the stage. Katy and I went to the box office to get our reserved tickets, and 10 minutes later, the guy we were hanging out with was up on stage playing bass guitar for a packed crowd.

I’m still kind of in awe about the whole thing. Have you ever had something like this happen? Were you cool about it? I tried my best to stay cool, but it was very difficult.

4 thoughts on “Is This Real Life?”

  1. That. Is. Awesome. Scary. Cool. I’ve met two Nobel Prize winners, but they’re not as spontaneous or fun as rock stars. And yes, I used to play the Old 97s when I had a DJ shift on the college radio station, so it’s cool they’re still touring. And even way the heck cooler that you got to go to their show.

    Also, I’m really glad you got out and had an evening that was different and memorable.

    • That’s really cool about the Nobel Prize winners! And I’m glad you’re familiar with the Old 97’s. They’re still rocking out, though Ken said their demographic has changed from 20 somethings to 40 somethings. 🙂

  2. Jamey,

    Several years ago, I worked at the Office of the Secretary of Defense in the Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office, serving as the Senior Cold War Analyst in which I conducted “cold case” investigations of shoot downs over the former Soviet Union (my foreign language proficiency in Russian greatly aided this endeavor). During one of my first days in the office, the DASD (Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense hosted a dinner for a number of the senior staff and a few of us younger folks (I was a mid-level Captain) attended as well. At my table were two russian archivists and Adrian Cronauer. Yes, that Adrian Cronauer made famous by Robin Williams’ portrayal in “Good Morning Vietnam.” We had a great conversation that evening, starting off with his on-screen persona played by Williams, to the fact that we’re both natives of Pennsylvania (me, Philadelphia; Adrian, Pittsburgh). Definitely a very cool encounter.


    • Joe: Wow, that’s awesome! It’s neat that it wasn’t just a brief meeting–you were able to have a substantial conversation with him. That’s really cool.


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