August 16, 2005

In the summer of 1977 I somehow talked my mom in to letting me and my friend Mike go to the Pink Floyd concert at Soldier Field. It was the first big concert I ever was "let" go to. (I think mom had a new boyfriend at the time and wanted the apartment to herself). I had no idea what to expect. I was all of 13 1/2 years old. One of my older cousins heard I was going and the day of the concert he pulled me to side and said "Here take this with you." In his hand was a some aluminum foil folded into a neat rectangle. "What the hell is this?" I asked him. "Thai stick" he said. I had no idea what thai stick was but still I looked him in the eye and said "Cool man, thanks." I shoved the foil into my front pocket and ran out the front door to my moms VW bug for a ride to the concert.

After we picked up Mike, mom started in with the speeches. Mom had a variety of speeches and I think I'd heard them all at least a hundred times. The whole way there my mom was lecturing us about "the druggies" who would be at the concert and if anyone offered me anything I was to say "No thank you" and walk away. Mom always warned us about the druggies. The druggie speech was one of my favorites. In my mind, they were crazed Mansonesque junkies who wielded syringes like swords and chased you around until they could inject you with heroin. Then they'd laugh and tell you "Now you're a druggie". Mom was finishing up her speech with her grand finale "You don't want to end up like a druggie,do you?" Mike looked at me and rolled his eyes. It was going to be a long ride.

When we pulled up to Soldier Field, mom asked me if I had my ticket. I reached in my front pocket to check and almost accidently pulled the thai stick out. I just kept my hand in my pocket and said "Yea I got it."

I felt like such a druggie.

We waited in line forever. finally the doors opened and everyone ran on the field towards the stage. We had great seats about thirty feet from the stage. We were out of our minds with excitement. We were also some of the youngest kids at the show. There were a group of older guys who were standing next to us and one of them was telling the others how bummed he was that they didn't have any pot. One of the other guys said "Yea that would be cool". I looked at the first guy and said "I've got some thai stick". They all turned at the same time and I swear they all said "Dude!" at the same time. I gave them my thai stick and they put it in a pipe and smoked away. When the pipe was passed my way, I gotta tell you I was scared shitless. I didn't want to end up a druggie so I pretended to take a hit. Mike saw what I had done and did the same thing.

Our new friends started talking about how awesome the blue blue sky looked. They were really stoned. Mike pointed to the top of Soldier Field and said "I wonder what it looks like from up there?". I looked over at our stoned friends and they had started wrestling on the grass. I told Mike "Lets go man." and we started walking up the stairs. When we got up to the top, we were looking down at a stadium filled with 90,000 people. Mike was like "Oh we gotta get a picture of this". I had this crappy little kodak instamatic camera with me. When I took the picture below, it was about an hour before Pink Floyd took the stage.

It was one hell of a concert.


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