Six or seven weeks ago, Charlie Sheen announced that he was going on tour in what he described as his "My Violent Torpedo Of Truth" tour. Sheen announced various stops that would include the Nob Hill Masonic Center in San Francisco. A friend and I were sufficiently excited about it that we thought it would be fun to buy tickets to see the train wreck that was Charlie Sheen. As the date approached, I quickly realized this would go down as either the best or worst purchase of my life.
Having taken a couple days to reflect on the April 30 show, it is possible this was both best and worst purchase of my life. The show itself was mostly a train wreck, through no fault of Sheen. It is entirely possible he would have bombed on his own. Unfortunately, hecklers in the crowd decided to make the show all about them. Through the entire show people yelled a variety of comments that would have made most anybody blush. When the first significant heckler started, Sheen went berserk and challenged the guy to a fight. As more hecklers got after him he calmed down and while he did respond to them, they were quickly led out the door by security.
When I bought the tickets, I figured Sheen would be a train wreck. Given the events of the last few months, anything beyond that would have been fairly stunning. However, I never factored in how big a train wreck much of the audience would be. My friend is originally from New Jersey and she described a sizable chunk of the crowd as very much like a Jersey Shore crowd. And there was nothing complimentary about that. In looking back it is not remotely surprising that there would be that kind of crowd at this kind of "show." If I had thought it through, this would have made perfect sense.
However, even with the crowd and the show being more or less a total train wreck, there was one surprisingly touching moment. Sheen came out for the event wearing a San Francisco Giants jersey with Vaughn and 99 on the back (his Major League character for those that don't know). In the first five or ten minutes of the show, Sheen brought up Bryan Stow, the Giants fan severely beaten following a Giants-Dodgers game down in LA.
After the booing and F*** LA chants subsided, Sheen stated that the money from merchandise sales (yes you could buy Charlie Sheen merchandise) was going to be donated to the Bryan Stow Fund. After mentioning that, someone in the crowd walked up and handed Charlie Sheen a $100 bill. Sheen shook his hand and thanked him. As soon as that happened, people started filing up to the foot of the stage to give Sheen money for Stow, followed by a handshake from Sheen. This went on for 10 or 15 minutes as Sheen went from collecting the money by hand, to having one of his people use his hat, to finally using a trash can. Apparently in total, people in the audience donated $4,000 of their own free will, and by night's end there had been $9,000 worth of merchandise sold, plus another $7,000 kicked in by Sheen to bring the total money raised to $20,000.
Charlie Sheen may or may not be a crazy dude, and I'm sure plenty of people judge him based on his recent actions. However, after experiencing one night of his Violent Torpedo of Truth Tour, it is safe to say Charlie Sheen falls into a bit more of a gray area for me. He put up with hecklers for much of the night, which is tough for anybody. More importantly, he raised some serious cash for a man in need. This tour and the past few months have been about Charlie Sheen's narcissism and self-involvement. However, for at least a few moments, there was something at least a little bit selfless about the evening.