Thursday, May 26, 2011

Thursday, May 27th, 1976

The whole day kind of slid by without incident. At least not that I can remember now for I have seen...a superstar! Things will never be the same.

Spectacular is the only applicable word. I saw the gigantic crowd on TV at 6 on the news so I left soon afterwards. I got lost in that crowd for about a half an hour after I got there before they opened up the doors. It was a mad dash to get in since there were no specific assigned seats. They didn't even bother to take the tickets! Based on the fact that all the seats looked full and yet there were people standing in all the aisles, I'm betting there were about a thousand or more gate-crashers!

The place was full of dope smoke and fights and I heard someone say there had been one death outside! People were pushing and shoving and I got knocked down right at the door. I crawled to the first seat I could get to which turned out to be pretty much on the exact opposite end of the Coliseum from McCartney but I could see him and hear him. So loud! And the whole place was just littered with trash!

There were bubbles and smoke during VENUS AND MARS, a Marvel poster during MAGNETO & TITANIUM MAN and, my favorite, lasers and real onstage explosions during LIVE & LET DIE! Plus there was a tricky film shown during BAND ON THE RUN with Christopher lee and James Coburn.

No matter how rowdy, the crowd was quite worshipful of the ex-Beatle. Wings was marvelous! Stupendous! As I left the arena at about 10:30, Paul was still getting a standing ovation about ten minutes after the group left the stage! Wow.

Outside, my ears were literally sore and just kept ringing as I trudged through the trash that was just everywhere on my way back to the bus terminal.

The program book is full of amazing photos and another Marvel Comics tribute. All in all, tonight is certain to rank as one of the high points of my entire life! I saw coverage on all three TV news shows when I got home. Something tells me I'm going to have trouble sleeping tonight. Just...marvelous!

NOTES: This was it. The big day. Anything else whatsoever that happened that day in my life has been lost to history. Having seen Tony Orlando and Dawn in concert weeks earlier, this wasn't my first concert. It was definitely, however, my first ROCK concert. You'll note that, as such, I had no earthly idea of the traditions of the encore. The last number ended, the audience rose to their feet and, for some reason, started waving lighter and matches around. I stood and applauded for a few...then left. Only a handful of others left with me and I couldn't figure out why. It wouldn't be until I ordered a bootleg of the concert a few months later that I came to realize the band returned to the stage and did two more numbers!

I also didn't think too much about it at the time but the Festival Seating conditions here were the same type of thing that would lead to the deaths of eleven people at a Who concert at the exact same location in 1979, just three years later. As I wrote, we had heard there was a death that night even. Since I never heard about it again, I'm going to presume not. Not for a second did I realize that when I got knocked down I could conceivably been a victim myself!

The seat I got was horrid but as I say, it was quite loud. For years, I thought a slight hearing loss I had was due to rock concerts I attended starting with this one but my doctor assured me it was, instead, a minor form of Meniere's Disease that causes me to hear high tones at the expense of low tones.

Ultimately I would see Sir Paul two more times in concert before they became outpriced extravaganzas. You'll note that this one cost me a total of only eight dollars and fifty cents in 1976.

I think I probably actually ended up sleeping well that night as, unbeknownst to me at the time, I was having my very first contact high.

1 comment:

  1. I ran on stage at Tarrant County, May 3rd, 1976 and shook his hand at the first appearance since the Beatles broke up. I would love to have a picture of that to show my grandkids.