I have two penciled in events every week on my calendar. Monday night is a gathering of writers called Monday Night Writers Group. Very clever title. Tuesdays @ 9 is a weekly reading series that was started in NY by Naked Angels and has sprung up out here in LA LA land as well.
These two nights have been responsible for a whole slew of great activities, from plays that have come to fruition, to nights of sketch comedy, to musical guests at Tuesdays who have become favorites.
And then there was November 22, 2006.
Word went out to the Monday night crew via email. One of the regular attendees had access to 50, that's right, 50 free tickets to The Rolling Stones at Dodger Stadium.
47 frantic cyber blasts later I was assured that I'd be going along with Melody and cousin Timothy.
For Melody this was almost up there with being in the first row throwing her t-shirt at Eddie Vedder. The Stones are possibly her favorite band. I can still see her pulling up alongside me in her brown Ford Taurus in Carrboro, NC blasting 'Beast of Burden' and a whole new understanding of The Stones' appeal becoming apparent to me. She made them seem sexy to me.
How can you prepare for a monumental experience like seeing The Stones at Dodger Stadium? You really can't, and I suppose it was a good thing that we found out about the tickets the day of the show. This way we couldn't build it up so high in our heads. The spur-of-the-moment nature of it insured that we would take the show at face value.
And what a value it was.
The set was a 5-story luxury hotel facade. Each floor housed several rooms that had been sold as suite tickets. Each appeared to be tricked out like something out of a Hollywood glam fest movie. The entire infield of Dodger Stadium was packed with a screaming crowd. Our free tickets had us in danger of colliding with incoming flights to LAX we were so high. But the giant video screens kept you connected to the action and the sound did the rest.
And oh what a sound. I don't know how they managed to sound tight and intimate in an arena of that size but they pulled it off. Every time they started a song we would all look at each other in amazement...they wrote this one too?
The first three songs?
Jumpin' Jack Flash
It's Only Rock 'n Roll
Let's Spend the Night Together
The last three songs?
Paint it Black
COME ON! And for two hours in between they peppered us with Midnight Rambler, All Down the Line, Start Me Up, Honky Tonk Woman, Under My Thumb, Tumblin' Dice...just an endless array of hit after hit after hit.
I spent the first 40 minutes watching the big screens to see Mick, Keith, Charlie and Ron up close. But I then gave that up and trained my natural eye all the way across that expanse to see The Rolling Stones in all their glory.
If I held my finger and thumb up Mick would have fit between the slightest of spaces. But his spirit arced up and away from the stage in all directions, never ceasing to reach out to each and every person in that cavernous club.
The moral of this story? Connect with a group of people to pursue your passions. You might wind up witnessing something awesome. Thanks Monday Night Writers Group!
They played 'Sympathy for the Devil', man! Are you kidding me????????