David Rhoden

I saw ZZ Top.

. Day .

It was the end of my first week working at my new job. We decided it would be fun to head to the new bar around the corner, the Circle Bar for some after works drinks. We might have stayed a little too long. My new boss got the idea we should try to get last minute, night-of-show tickets to the inaugural show at what would later be called the Smoothie King Center. The band were ZZ Top and Lynyrd Skynyrd so of course Sara and I said yes.

We went in my car as my boss had had a bit to drink. As soon as we got there he was able to buy tickets from a scalper for his wife and himself. That left me and Sara to fend for ourselves. Fortunately, this was still the 20th Century and there was a smoking area set up outside. A guy I knew from a record store, named Jason Craft, let us in (the area was delineated with police barriers). He just disconnected the barriers for a minute, which was a really nice thing to do for a new acquaintance.

Once we were in there were no problems. Plenty of empty seats. We missed Skynyrd, which was probably fine.

ZZ Top had these nifty invisible conveyor belts as part of their stage set, so every once in a while they could go walk on them and it looked like they were moonwalking, sorta.

Anyway, great show. Afterwards as we were driving away in my old Volvo, we got in traffic on the left of an F250. My boss leaned out the window and yelled at the driver. "Hey, what are you drivin' that American Steel for? You need to get in one of these Swedish automobiles!" That was pretty interesting, waiting to see what would happen next. Fortunately nothing did.

We wound up at the Trolley Stop Cafe, on St. Charles Avenue. May people have fond memories of it. I don't really have any memories of it except we were trying to get some food into the real drunk guy. It was fine at the time. Later Gordon Ramsey and his TV show would wipe it off the map while claiming to help it.

ZZ Top flyer