I'm 12 going on 13, my sister Andrea has one of those rare (back then) moments where she decides to do something totally cool with me. She buys me a ticket to see the Psychedelic Furs and Talk Talk play at Isle view Park in North Tonawanda! It was part of this three-day festival. Each day featured a different style of music, (Country, Metal and New Wave). The "New Wave" show is the least attended (like I could tell). To me, there was a shitload of people!!
Andrea and I pull up some lawn as we sit through the opening act... Some unknown College band from Jamestown called The 10,000 Maniacs(Go figure!)
Talk Talk comes on and suddenly we're engulfed by people. Everyone stands up and we can barely see over their heads.
Now comes the break before "The Furs." Andrea and I wait till most of the crowd heads to the beer tents and we make a beeline all the way to the front row. When the Furs come out, we are right in front! This was during the "Forever Now" tour so they opened w/"Love my Way." Andrea and I freaked b/c we (like everyone else our age) were die-hard MTV viewers, and knew all the dance moves from the video. Well, I'm sure I was the youngest person in the front row (and if I was 12, I'm sure I was wearing something super-spiffy like my "Smurf" t-shirt)::slaps forehead::: Anyway, we're dancing right along with him step for step, he sees us and he blows us a kiss... We scream!
The "Mirror Moves" tour comes to Darien Lake Amphitheater, which is (at the time) nothing but a stage at the bottom of a grassy hill). My older brother, John, takes me because the girl he likes is going with her friends instead. I was recently busted by my Mom for smoking and the only reason she let me go was because John would've been out the price of the ticket if I didn't.
We get in his car and speed towards the park. Once we get on the Thruway, he asks me if I smoke. I say "No!" thinking that I'm in for a lecture. "Too bad," he says, "Cause I DO!!" He laughs maniacally as he lights a smoke and tosses me the pack. "Oh man! You have NO idea how much shit I get away with because Mom's always looking to bust you! You're the best thing that's ever happened to me!"
He buys me a tin pail of beer. Yeah, they served beer from the tap in these tin pails that cost $6 and held about 4 cups of beer (I still have mine!) I befriend the girl he's crushing on and she decides to date him on my advice. Til Tuesday opens and The Furs were brilliant as always! They add this horn section for "Sleep Comes Down" and I don't know why, but it reminds me of Gunga Din.
1987 - 88?
"Midnight to Midnight" tour - I'm probably in trouble for ~something~ again. All I know is that the local news is doing a live interview with Richard Butler and the opening act is about to take the stage. I leave the dinner table and go sit on the front steps. I don't want anyone to tease me for crying over missing a concert.
My brother comes outside and sees me feverishly trying to brush away my tears. He looks at me, shakes his head in exasperation and says, "Let's go." We make it to Darien Lake in 20 minutes. A record time no one has ever beat to this day.
I run into the same girl my brother used to date while waiting in line for the girls' bathroom but the line's waaaaay too long, so we decide to pee in the boys' bathroom. They don't seem to mind. My brother buys me (another) bucket of beer and a t-shirt that I wear every day for gym class... when I actually go to gym.
They play "Heartbreak Beat" and I am dancing like a mad woman underneath the stars on a beautiful summer night. I am on the cusp of turning 17. I am beautiful and everyone is watching me dance ... I vow to stay this way forever...
I see the Furs one more time in an old theatre in North Tonawanda (ironically). This time; ~I~ buy the tickets for my sister and I.
We walk in. The place is crowded but the first 3 rows are empty. Thinking of my past experiences, we sit in the front row. They take the stage, we all jump up and start dancing... Suddenly, we are being hit w/popcorn. We turn around... everyone is in their seats and they are yelling at us to sit down!!!!
We are devastated. Now we are sitting in the front row... sulking. Richard looks me in the eye. I mouth, "I'm sorry!" He winks and blows me and Andrea another kiss. We stand up and get heckled into sitting back down over and over through the entire show. I feel as if I've broken a vow. The 16 year-old me would have flipped off the entire crowd and danced like nobody was watching. The 30-ish me is self-conscious and astounded that these guys have taken the stage while it's still daylight out and have agreed to play in a place where they only serve beer in the lobby... Plus, they're ~inside!~
PS: They play "Forever Now" as an encore. It's like a spell is broken and suddenly ~everyone~ rushes to the front of the stage. Andrea and I find ourselves getting elbowed to the back. I can't be sure of this part but it seems to me that Richard sings to only us. :)
Monday, June 16, 2008