This cartoon also took me down a long and winding road of memories. Memories of all of the concerts I attended back in the day. Some more hazy than others. Back in the day when Bad Company was headlining and Kansas was the opening band and my ticket to the show cost $6. All the way back to the days when I was so young that parents had to drop us kids off to see Peter Frampton and Rick Derringer. Back in the day when everyone was so generous with their weed and there was a constant flow of joints being passed down the rows. I told someone not long ago that I had seen Steppenwolf…and immediately thought, “Steppenwolf? Holy shit, I’m old!” Old enough that when I saw this superstar line-up of George Thorogood, Loverboy, Journey and the Rolling Stones together the ticket price was only $20!!
That was one crazy concert with a really cr-aazy crowd. It was held at Orchard Park’s Rich Stadium, former home of the Buffalo Bills. Orchard Park was never quite the same after that show. First of all, there were a zillion people standing in line and for some reason the stadium folks just would not open the gates. We stood out there forever. Everyone was starting to get antsy and irritated and we all stood around bitching until a few unruly and angry folks decided to bust through the fence. Well, you can imagine what happened next. First one panel of fence was down and a few people squeezed through. Then another panel started going down, and another, and another and suddenly it became a tsunami of people rushing and crawling over trampled fencing. But alas, we were in.
We found our seats and were excited as we settled in, waiting for the first band to come out. It started to rain. It wasn’t bad at first, just a little shower, but then the sky opened up and dumped buckets of cold rain upon us. People were covering up with tarps and whatever else we could find. But the show went on. It poured like a motherfucker the whole time, all through George Thorogood’s performance, all through Loverboy’s, through Journey’s. But what happened next was so mind-blowing …well, maybe moreso because we were all stoned… but even to this day I tingle when I think about it. It’s still pouring, pouring, pouring, I’m talkin’ practically torrential, when Mick Jagger runs out on stage and, I’m not kidding, this truly happened simultaneously, as soon as he reached the mike, the rain. just. stopped. The sun burst out and we were suddenly sitting under blue skies. And for a few moments, everyone stopped and the entire stadium took a collective breath of disbelief. What timing! It was crazy.
And then there was the time at the Black Sabbath/Blue Oyster Cult concert –the Black & Blue tour they called it — when Blue Oyster Cult started to play “E.T.I. (Extra Terrestrial Intelligence),” one of their songs that didn’t get a lot of radio play but happened to be my favorite song on their album, and I shot up out of my seat, arm up over my head, fist pump and a scream Yeeah! And for what seemed like a really long minute, I was the only one standing in the entire convention center because I knew the song from the squeak of the first note while it took the rest of the people a few notes before they figured out what song it was. It was a weird moment, but a cool one.
I had gone to this concert with my friend Chris, one of the funniest guys you’d ever meet, who could keep me laughing for hours. Like the time we were trippin’ and walking around his neighborhood: well, not quite AROUND his neighborhood. We’d walk a few steps and then stop because we were laughing so hard we couldn’t breathe let alone walk; we were out in the street, laughing hysterically for nearly two hours and the farthest we got from his house was three houses down the road, probably in all a total of 180 feet. Anyway, that’s another story. So here we are back at the Black & Blue concert in the Niagara Falls Convention Center and don’t ya know we ended up getting stuck in the middle of what looked like a never-ending row of seats. It wasn’t like that when we sat down. We had great floor seats, 9th row from the stage, dead center. Of course the middle section was flanked by two other sections, one on the right, one on the left (duh!) with walkways separating the three sections. Well, sometime during Blue Oyster Cult’s set, people had moved up to get closer and their chairs filled both walkways. So when the lights went up for intermission, we got up so we could go use the lavatories but stopped short when we saw the row configuration had changed. We looked in both directions and then at each other and both of us, in unison, said, “Nah. We can wait.” We psyched ourselves into believing that we didn’t have to pee THAT bad when really we were just too high to try to navigate through and over the sea of people.
“And then there was this time at the ZZ Top concert…”
“And OMG, at the Aerosmith concert…”
“And here’s what happened at the Supertramp show…”
“Plus the time we were at the Who concert in DC…”
“And then there was this time at the Doobie Brothers and Outlaws concert…”
And on and on I could go. So yeah, I can totally relate to this cartoon. I can fully see myself sitting around with a bunch of old men boasting about how many concerts we’d been to, who had the best seats, who had front row seats, who had the best weed, and all the crazy shenanigans we reveled in back in the day.
I ought to start making my list now before my mid-life memory starts to fade. Thankfully I have a drawer full of concert ticket stubs to help me out if I hit a snag…
Let me hear some of your concert memories! Let’s trip down memory lane together here in the comment section…
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