Can’t Hurt to Dream
I must confess that I’m a sucker for well-executed ’80s rock—which explains how I wound up at Camden’s Tweeter Center for the first time in more than 10 years this July. I was there to cheer on one of my favorites bands from the big-hair/acid-wash/dry-ice era: Def Leppard, a British quintet that at one time was selling out venues the size of the Wachovia Center.
Well, it’s been 20 years since their peak, and the band isn’t packing stadiums anymore. In fact, they couldn’t even fill the Tweeter Center on a balmy summer night perfect for an amphitheater show. Funny how the empty seats didn’t seem to bother them. Though they’re pushing 50, the guys looked surprisingly svelte, and the smiles on their faces said it all—they enjoyed being on stage; even after all those years, this wasn’t just a job.
The happiest guy up there had to be Rick Allen, barefoot and grinning ear-to-ear high atop his drum riser. A model of resilience, Allen has been drumming with one arm since he was injured in a 1985 car accident. As a drummer myself, I can appreciate what it must have took for him to, in essence, relearn his instrument. Watching him up there, I realized I might’ve missed my calling—to be a drummer in a successful rock band. Though I’m fairly sure I wouldn’t trade an arm for that privilege.
The Def Leppard show got me thinking: What would the rest of my staff be doing if they weren’t stuck working for yours truly? Here are the (largely unedited) responses I received:
Senior editor Tara Behan: “I’d love to be a five-star chef, with restaurants all over the world named after me. Or maybe I’m watching too many episodes of Top Chef.”
Creative director Ingrid Lynch: “I’d love to have Oprah’s job, or to come up with groundbreaking ideas that are beneficial for the environment.”
Associate editor Dawn E. Warden: “I read about this guy in a recent issue of Condé Nast Traveler who’s got this incredible vista in some exotic location and a rustic dining room where people pay $350 for a meal—his choice. That’s what I call bliss.”
Assistant editor Benjamin Berliner: “I’d like to be a high school math teacher. Math is something everybody can agree on. You can’t dispute 1+1=2—unless you’re clinically insane.”
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE: “With the pharmaceutical/biotech industry being so big here, music doesn’t stand out,” says local event promoter and scene veteran Mark Schulz. “We’re not sending out big names like Atlanta, but our music scene rivals Nashville’s.”
And as it turns out, many of the musicians making waves in Philadelphia and beyond have Main Line roots. Read about them in our first-ever local music guide, which features profiles on hot new artists, interviews with Schulz and other industry insiders, and a directory of venues for live music lovers and wannabe performers of all stripes.
So, listen up: We really do have a music scene. And our hope is that you’ll get out there and support it.