When I arrived at the United lounge at LAX to get ready to board the flight to New York on Thursday to see The Stones Saturday night I sort of played the mental game of “who else is going to New York on this flight to see them besides me”. Unable to identify any candidates, at least on the early 8 30 a.m. flight I took, I contented myself with the idea, that I was and that’s what I cared about. I had to remember that few rock fans were early birds like me who thought 5 a.m. was a great hour to get up or maybe even a little late.Excited beyond belief. and then I thought this is so irrational as I’ve seen The Stones literally dozens of time, but this show, this 50th anniversary is something different and apparently not just for me.I landed and deplaned into a gray wet city…low fog….kind of cold to the bone New York weather but happy the lights were working everywhere, my biggest concern being as you walk down the street that someone else’s umbrella doesn’t take out your eye — the umbrella thing always has the potential to do damage because of different peoples size and shape and of course awareness that you have this peculiar thing above your head but so does everyone else.
I was up early Friday and prepared for a TV interview about my Stones ebook, Mick and Keith: Never Stop but first I had to stop by and get my tickets for the show at a hotel in mid-town.
Without too much detail here….there’s a ticket service I am fortunate to have access to that while you of course pay for your tickets, the selection is great and it’s made easier than I believe going through the usual channels. getting these tickets can be more rigorous than going through the TSA – you have to prove who you are, who sent you and then if you pass through all those tests if you will, you get your tickets and backstage or lounge passes, depending on your VIP status, if you have any… I have a little juice – backstage no, lounge yes, and that’s fine with me. While waiting on my tickets, I cracked up listening to others stories of New York a-list celebs who, did in fact care deeply about where they sat and entered the venue, from others in line waiting too. What a world. Here I am just grateful to have been not only able to buy a ticket, was successful at getting one and had the privilege of being able to come across the country to do so to hear some great music.
Throughout the day as I walked around the city I had the awareness I needed to not only check that the tickets were still there, but protect them as if my purse glowed with the letters Rolling Stones tickets inside.
Last night I got a text from my girlfriend on a plane (what a world we live in) with the question – was I going to the show? She and her brother were coming in from LA! I texted her back up at 33 thousand feet and said of course, let’s go together.
I told her we’ll take the train to Brooklyn, everyone said it’s easier and takes you straight to the venue, Barclays, the new arena, no parking hassles. Nothing. Cheap. Fast. Easy…
In the fifty years since I started seeing the Rolling Stones, from the first show, which was a $5 ticket in Long Beach, California when no one I knew would go with me in 1965, to now sitting in New York City on the 34th floor on my childhood friends apartment having flown across the country to see them; having paid a ticket price I’m too embarrassed to write down or admit publicly….much has changed, but not my impulse to watch this band over and over.
The icing on the cake, among others for me, is not only am I seeing them tonight and I’m in a reverie and a swoon over it, believe me, is that I’m off to Brooklyn New York the place of my birth where I assure you, no one was heading for great rock and roll in 1962 when the Stones took their baby steps that would lead to world rock domination.
I am prepared to have a blast tonight and absolutely celebrate the band, Mick and Keith, Charlie, Ronnie, the spirit of Brian Jones and maybe Mick Taylor and Bill Wyman will show up too. I will honor their contribution to me and everyone else, but mostly I will dance and sing and be so deeply thrilled to be a part of this thing that has always been bigger than any of us fans individually….and that of course is rock and roll.
I will be there for me and for all of you who can’t be there but in spirit. I can’t wait.