This is one of my favorite July 4th memories, alongside the time G slammed V's fingers in a door and when an anonymous person left a corn infused pile of diarrhea along with the napkin they wiped themselves with, in my driveway.
I asked my friend Karen, who is standing in the front of this photo, if she had any photos of Concert Ed, so that I could write a post about him for the Fourth of July.
She kindly obliged me.
Even better, she sent me a picture of Concert Ed at the Bristol 4th of July Parade, which took place a mere 10 hours before our story begins.
There's Concert Ed, middle right, in the blue shirt, holding up his fist in solidarity. Definitely holding a beer.
And look, there's a 17 year old me, to the left of Ed, in front of the shirtless guy, (another Ed, I believe) wearing sunglasses. I have my mouth open.
Damn we look young.
I think of Concert Ed every 4th of July.
I imagine that there has to be another version of this story somewhere in the dark dank recesses of my old MySpace account.
I know I mention the anniversary of my Concert Ed experience every 4th.
I'm going to take it for another spin if you don't mind.
I used to live in Bristol when I was 17ish. I lived a mere 2 blocks off the parade route, in downtown Bristol.
Of course on the 4th, we hosted a big party the night before the parade.
I vaguely remember a person with poor hygiene, who shall not be named, who was a rather obnoxious drunk, pass out on our floor at this party.
Obnoxious drunks did not get safe passage in that house.
He got written on with sharpie and had the entire contents of our refrigerators condiment section poured on him.
I think he got stripped as well, his clothes thrown outside or something.
His name, nor the state of his underwear shall not be discussed.
Brutal teenagers we were.
But hey, he was pretty obnoxious and obnoxious drunks never received safe passage.
Ed, the guy with no shirt in the picture, brought Concert Ed.
I know nothing about Concert Ed, except that he was a bit crazy and I think he was either a veteran or an ex-hippie type who took WAY too many drugs and never totally came back.
Also, you could pay him to do a "concert" at your party, hence the name, "Concert Ed".
He would come with milk crates full of records and a record player. He would also bring a spinner and have people at the party spin this spinner.
If you got a 7, he would select the seventh record in crate seven and play the seventh song, or something like that. I cannot remember the exact formula.
He would sit, surrounded by his milk crates and play air drums to every song and sing to himself.
I remember going to only 1 of his "concerts".
I fell asleep before the grand finale, where he got all wound up and started yelling and Sig Heiling, during Simon and Garfunkles "The Boxer".
I also think of Ed whenever I hear that song.
(I will add that I received safe passage that evening and did not get written on or sauced with condiments while I slept. I was lucky like that. I am also a very light sleeper.)
So, yes, the party the night before the 4th and there is the picture of the Bristol parade. We are smiling and look quite happy, but I can assure you that we were all pretty hung over and probably quite sweaty and gross.
But who doesn't love a parade?
I had to work that day. I took a bus to work in Newport later on in the afternoon.
Downtown Bristol pretty much shuts down for the 4th. No buses come through, so after the parade, I hiked down to the bridge and caught the bus to work.
Later that night, Horst drove me home. As we pulled in the driveway, I saw that the back door was slightly ajar.
I saw a person's head low to the ground in that doorway.
I became alarmed, as that particular doorway led right into my bedroom.
My bed was placed exactly where that grizzled looking head was resting.
On a side note-parents-If you were dropping off your teenage daughter at her house and the door to her house was open a crack showing that an old man was sleeping in her bed, you'd ask questions, right?
You'd probably go in and kick that guy out or maybe make her come back home with you, right?
Ah, Horst... He dropped me off, no questions asked.
I raced to the carnival, which was also right next to our house. I located my roommate and some other friends and posed them with this question:
"What's Concert Ed doing in my bed?"
To which they had no answer.
I angrily marched back to my house, went in my room and demanded that he get up and get out, thinking that I was going to have to throw the bed out, boil it or perhaps run a flame thrower over the top of it in order to sleep in it again.
Concert Ed began to wake up, slowly, he was obviously still drunk.
Concert Ed began to puke in my bed.
As I was screaming in horror (as a teenager I was a screamer, as are most teenage girls, I suspect)
I heard him moan something about taking a lot of aspirin and somebody giving him bad water.
Concert Ed puked in my bed. Several times, in fact.
There is a poem in there somewhere, maybe for next 4th of July or even later today.
What's more to say than that?
I was enraged, my friend dragged me into the bathroom and locked us in before I could murder him.
Some other very thoughtful friends cleaned my bed.
The rest is history.
I never saw Concert Ed after that night. Probably for the best.
Every year, when everyone starts to break out the red white and blue decorations and plan for the barbecue. I remember Concert Ed.
Independence Day. The anniversary of our country and the time that Concert Ed puked in my bed.