...in March 1976, Keith Moon collapsed at his drum kit during the second song "Substitute" after downing muscle relaxers and brandy before the show. The band had to reschedule the performance for early April and the rescheduled performance turned out to be one of The Who's best performances...
I was there (both times)...
Please share any memories you have of these shows!
You can't just say "I was there" and leave us all drooling like that!
I had hitch-hiked (remember that?) in the snow (!) without a ticket (!) from Providence, RI (!) With only a few dollars in my pocket, I made it to Boston. On the way there, I thought about the Who... particularly Keith Moon, who was always unpredictable. As I rode in some stranger's car, I thought about an article that I had read recently, about Keith Moon having passed out at a show. They had finished the concert with a drummer from the audience! That must have been something, I thought. I daydreamed about my good friend, a drummer and Who fan who lived in Boston. What if Moon passed out again? And suppose that my friend got to play with the WHO?
Well... it didn't all happen exactly like I'd imagined...
I was able to buy a ticket from a scalper, $20 for an $8 ticket . The Who came on... and something was obviously wrong from the start. They got through the first song. They tried a second one, after which Pete announced that they had to go backstage for a bit. Keith wasn't feeling well, he explained.
The Who left. The house lights came on... and the confused audience grew restless. Finally after about 20 minutes, Daltrey appeared. Daltrey spoke, apologizing that Moon was very sick and unable to perform. He promised that they'd come back and make it up. Many in the crowd booed. If that's how you you feel, then we won't come back, he said. The crowd fell quiet, and Daltrey at that moment looked like Tommy... as he apologized one last time and left the stage.
After Daltrey left for the second time, people were just shocked. The concert was over. We were instructed by an announcement to hold onto our ticket stubs, and they would be honored at a re-scheduled show. (And what if there's no re-scheduled show? I wondered? They'll refund the face value on the ticket, which for me was $8. Since I had spent $20, I'd be out $12! I was angry about that... $12 was a lot of money to me back then.)
I had an idea: I thought that I would look for ticket stubs on the ground! They'd be very valuable! I had a few hours to kill until the bus back to Providence, so what the hell. So I scoured the filthy floor of the Boston Garden, looking for ticket stubs, without any luck. Many people had the same idea, it seemed. Even ushers... they were emptying trash cans looking for stubs. So much for that idea.
But later on, after the Garden had mostly emptied out, I was still hanging around. I stood alone in front of the stage, which had drapery hanging from the edge. I quickly ducked behind the curtain, unobserved. I was under the stage, and I walked towards the backstage area. I walked briskly past one or two guys behind the stage. They didn't stop me.
I wandered the hall backstage at the Boston Garden. I hoping to see the Who... but they probably had already gone back to their hotel (or to the hospital...). I came to a door marked "Hospitality Room," which I pushed open cautiously. There was no one inside. But there was a lavish spread of food, which must have been for the band, who were obviously gone. Well, I felt particularly ripped off, what with the $20-$8 thing. Plus I WAS feeling hungry. And why should all this perfectly good food go to waste? So I helped myself. I was stuffing my face as two women came in... that's when I left the room.
I was walking down the hall eating a chicken wing, when I heard "Hey! You!" "Me?" I said, belching as I turned around and saw two guys. "Yeah. Let's see your backstage pass," one of them said. "My pass. Yes. Well..." I stammered. And they threw me out a side door into the snow.
A few weeks weeks later, they announced that the Who would return to Boston. I went to the local art supply store, and purchased some heavy paper that matched my ticket stub in color, weight, and texture. I then meticulously copied my stub... by tracing it on a light box. I was learning so much at art school! I was able to redeem both the real and the fake tickets (separtely, of course!) at the box office for new tickets! Two for the price of one!
The Who came back and played GREAT a few months later.(Preceding is true...)
(And here are some made-up embellishments to the story)
I drew the fake ticket to read "Section 1, Row 1, Seat 1", and it was exchanged for that very same seat. At the new show, I surveyed the view of the Garden from my new seat. Much better! I couldn't wait for the show to start! The lights went dark... But before the Who took the stage. An usher with a flashlight came over to me. A female usher I could tell, but I could not see her face. "Come with me," she demanded.
It turned out that she was not a real "usher". But I can tell you that she was a real woman. We shared the seat, with her comfortably (if you know what I mean!) on my lap. Touch me, Feel me, indeed.
As the show ended, she blew this weird blue smoke towards my face. I blanked out... When I awoke, I was back in the snow next to the Boston Garden...
So I headed toward the bus station. After some confusion, I found the right bus and got on. I noticed that the driver was dressed up in a magician's tux. He had people put their tickets and money into his top hat. I had board The Magic Bus!
Even though it was after midnight, the bus was nearly full. It was very dark, but I could make out one empty seat near the back of the bus. There was a woman sitting in the next seat. I sat down, and I realized that the woman in the next seat was the fake usher from the concert. "Who are you?" I asked her.
I woke up in a Soho doorway....
Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 2008-12-21 22:40 by schillid.