Mick and Me
I just saw the Rolling Stones live, an unlikely event for someone like me who avoids rock concerts since eardrums are such a nuisance to replace. Also, in an open stadium I get tired of holding an umbrella, though it beats getting rained on by spilled beer.
The other thing you should know about me is that back in the sixties (A.D.) I didn’t even like the Stones. As far as I was concerned there were two kinds of people: (1) Beatles fans and (2) fans of that other British band who elevated darkness to an art form. Why listen to lyrics about spare women and nervous breakdowns when John, Paul, George and Ringo wanted me to love them do?
It was always shocking to learn that a friend, often someone I knew and trusted, was a Stones fan. It was like finding out they were raised by Republicans. Occasionally I stumbled onto that rare species who claimed to like the Stones AND the Beatles, though it always seemed musically improbable to gimme shelter when she already came in through the bathroom window.
So why on the night of August 26 was a nice girl like me chanting from Hartford, Connecticut’s Rentschler bleachers the “oooh-oooooh” backup to Sympathy For The Devil? Voluntarily. It’s my sister’s fault. She desperately wanted to see the Stones while her husband desperately wanted not to—which she told me at a family dinner on the night of the concert. Moments later we had shaken down the entire table for cash, including a seven-year-old nephew with nine dollars in a Jedi wallet. We drove our $187 to the stadium keeping a lookout for a scalper with a clearance sale. And as we entered the parking lot, there he stood: a tall man waving concert tickets, the most beautiful being on earth. It was God.
“Best seats in the house, ladies.” That was God talking.
Here’s what 93 bucks buys you at the door: Stage-side, Row 3, Limited View. Very Limited. Conclusion: You can’t always get what you wa-ant, but if you climb up high, yeah, you just might find, you get what you nee-eed! When Sir Mick strutted across our Unlimited View, my sister and I turned into wild women—minus the beer and other substances that the rest of the stadium seemed to be enjoying.
The following is a scientific observation: When the middle-aged female brain enters the Jagger orbit, it entertains unexpected thoughts. “Mick, look up here.” (My sister.) “Prairie Sugar!” (Me.) “Oooh-oooooh.” (Both of us.) “I’d give anything just to iron your pink jacket.” (My sister.) “Even my 1993 Ford Escort hatchback.” (Me.)
Who would guess that four decades later, the same music fan that believed all you need is love could be guilty of risking her eardrums to play with fire? My alibi: I was thinking of John, Paul, George, and Ringo the whole time.
Copyright 2005 Patricia Draznin