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The band did a great version of "Spirit of Radio," but I could've done without "Subdivisions" and another tune I can't think of at the moment. But whenever someone yelled something out, like "Play some Pink Floyd," the band would perform the request. It was great.

I wandered out to the back patio for a street taco. Todd was showing a new barbecue and counter area he had installed all along the patio. A few concrete tables with thatch covering helped make this small back yard a comfortable place for a party.

I heard a group of people talking about Ozomatli winning a Grammy. One lamented, "Yeah, now we won't get to see them at the small venues like the Belly Up." Another person added, "Well, last time they played 4th & B, so I think they had already moved up to the bigger places. As long as ticket prices don't get too high."

One blonde woman named Kitty was very friendly. She mentioned that she got Elvis Costello tickets for Todd's birthday present. I said, "That show sold out. You're lucky you got them in time. What a cool gift." She then said that she and her husband would also take Todd and Carla to dinner the night of the show. She said something to me like, "We just got him T-shirts last year. How many T-shirts does he need, though?"

As Todd got a little alcohol in him, he seemed like someone who would like T-shirts with phrases on them. I heard him say things like, "Birthdays only come once a year. Aren't you glad you're not a birthday?"

When the band stopped after 45 minutes, Todd kept bugging them to continue. I was talking music with them in the back yard until it started drizzling and we went back inside.

I started talking to one guy about the Lakers and sports radio. Every time one of us would bring up a good debate from one of the recent sports shows (steroids in baseball, instant replay in football), someone would come over and interrupt us. I don't think we ever finished a single subject we started on.

At one point, a few of the Swanke kids came home. They had spent the evening at a neighbor's house.

Someone asked Todd his age, and he said 41. I told him he looked good for 41 and his friend said, "Well, all the alcohol he's consumed over the years has sort of pickled him." This guy then went on to tell me some crazy drinking stories about the two of them. "There was one time we were drinking until the bars closed. Then at two we went down to TJ to drink some more. We got back to his place after 5:00 a.m. And his wife got up and ironed my shirt, since I was going straight to work. That is an amazing woman he's married to." Carla was nice, and I can't imagine anyone looking better after having five kids. Someone mentioned they had been married 18 years, but Kitty said Todd had dated her when she was under 18. She wouldn't tell me how old he was at the time, though.

The band started playing again. Someone yelled out for the Who, and they played "Baba O'Reilly." When the lyric was supposed to be "teenage wasteland," they sang "41-year-old wasteland" instead.

When I worked in radio, this song was always requested by the wrong title. People would call in for "Teenage Wasteland." That and the song "Karn Evil #9" by Emerson, Lake, & Palmer were the two that nobody knew the title of but always requested. ("Karn Evil #9" is the one that starts "Welcome back, my friends/to the show that never ends.")

One woman at the party was trying to set this guy up with a friend of hers. She said, "I'm not sure if you'll like her, though. She deals poker and she's really independent." The guy said, "I've met 150 girls just like that. And they all become dependent." We all laughed like teenagers.

Todd called me into the kitchen and gave me a shot of something blue. It didn't taste bad. He pointed out a few other things and offered me some. I told him I didn't want to drink much since I had another party to go to.

I headed out back to finish the music conversation. We were talking about our favorite Beatles albums, and a woman said, "Why do people act like the Beatles are so great? Is a song like 'I Want to Hold Your Hand' that much better than those Herman's Hermits songs?" We all laughed. Then we all started shouting at once. One guy asked, "What about Revolver?" Another said, "Sgt. Pepper changed music in 1967." Another person was trying to explain the brilliance of Rubber Soul. When someone told her, "What the Beatles did with The White Album was unheard of," I jokingly said "Yeah. McCartney has a song where the only lyric is 'Why don't we do it in the road?'" Another guy laughed and said, "Yeah, and that album has that one song with just noises and a voice saying 'number nine, number nine.'" The woman looked confused and then said, "See. You guys are all proving my point." Then she said, "Do any of you guys like the Bee Gees as much as the Beatles?"

That may have been the hardest we laughed all night.

Crash your party? Call 619-235-3000 x421 and leave an invitation for Josh Board.

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