At the risk of sounding like a curmudgeon, I have a message for all superstar rock groups fronted by charismatic lead singers who are thinking about crashing my daughter's wedding.
This announcement became necessary after I watched the viral video for Maroon 5's new single, Sugar, featuring the band invading nuptials all over Los Angeles on a single day in December and performing the song in front of shocked newlyweds and their equally shocked guests. Maroon 5 was busy that day; I counted seven crashed weddings in the video and I may have missed a few. After a while, weddings tend to look alike, except the ones that wind up on America's Funniest Home Videos.
Now, I like Maroon 5; their tunes are impossibly catchy and several reside on my iPhone. Their front man, Adam Levine, is rapidly entering George Clooney territory as "the dude every guy wants to be." Good looking, sells millions of albums, judges a top-rated singing competition, voted People magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive" and married to a Victoria's Secret model. Oh, and he can seemingly grow a beard in minutes.
But now he thinks he can drive around Los Angeles with his bandmates, show up unannounced at in-progress weddings and play a song featuring the lyrics, I want that red velvet, I want that sugar sweet, don't let nobody touch it, unless that somebody's me?
Not the wedding I'm paying for. No, just like the boys my daughters will someday marry, he'll have to speak with me first. And it's not going to go well.
"Mr. Schwem, I mean sir, my name is Adam Levine and we'd like to play a few songs at your daughter's wedding."
"You're too late, son. I've already hired the Sultans of Swingtime."
"But sir, we're a multi-platinum, arena-filling rock group."
"And the Sultans of Swingtime gave me a deal. I golf with the bass player's dad."
"But we'd play for free."
"Nothing is free in life, son. You must not have kids."
My girls are 17 and 12 so I believe I have a few years before I'll be escorting either down the aisle. But helpful website costofwedding.com estimates the average nuptials cost around $25,000 -- times two in my case. I'm willing to suck it up and spring for the dress, the limo service, maybe even a vegan entree for those guests who really should keep their dietary preferences to themselves for one night and be glad they received an invitation at all. When my little girl is married and the reception is in full swing, I'll lean against the back wall, sip champagne that came with the banquet hall's liquor package and proudly survey the great party I created.
What I don't need at that moment are a bunch of guys pulling up in a convertible, one with a guitar slung across his chest, with a crew that starts erecting a stage WHILE the party I paid for is taking place.
Enjoy your dessert everybody. This will only take a few minutes. Is there an extension cord handy? We need to plug in a drill.
What dad would say, "Sure, go ahead. Just move the ice sculpture aside. It only cost $1,500."
Indeed, the first crashed wedding in the Sugar video features a brief discussion with a visibly irritated, "Dad-looking" gentleman who appears ready to call security. He was never seen after that. I assume Levine paid the tab for the entire reception, or at least the bar bill.
If hiring famous rock bands to play weddings becomes the norm, then I guess I had better set the wheels in motion. I'd love to see Journey reunite and serenade my daughter with Open Arms. Bruce Springsteen, how would you and the E Street Band feel about singing, I Want to Marry You after my little girl cuts her cake?
If those bands aren't available, Mr. Levine, I'll be happy to insert an "out" clause in my contract with Sultans of Swingtime if you think Maroon 5 will be free. But you and I will hammer out a deal and a playlist in advance. Give me two months' notice and a good price; I'll provide a stage and preshow meals for you and the boys.
You're not a vegan, are you?
© 2015 GREG SCHWEM DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, LLC.