! Senoritas y Senores ~ Vaya con Dios Siempre !

The Longest Day • The Stones, Hell’s Angels & some band called Prince • 1981 (Part 2)

Well… I had to think about this one for a Few Days…because it was One of Those Life-Changing Moments in The Life of Federico.

I’ll Skip Over the George Thorogood & J.Geils Bands. I will say I’ve seen the George Thorogood Band a couple times since this day. Honestly how does a musician like this get to Be Famous? On sheer Attitude, because he can’t really play, he got No Style, No Soul. Just kind of a total White-Boy letdown, I assume like all his fans as well. He doesn’t look all Rocker-Foxy…at all. One of the few rock acts, when he comes on the radio, I turn that dial as fast as I get my hands on it. Just Bad. Never did see Faye Dunaway either. She was probably Chilling at the Polo Lounge, not slumming out there with all us White Boys & Hells Angels. White Boy Rock. Somehow I’ve got a little Latino & Blackness in me & my music preference, Part of the Reason I Love the Stones.

So, about this time, the Acid Kicks In. Only a half-tab., and the One & Only Time I ate it ever before or since. Perfect. Massive Crowd…I’m starting to realize The Only Way is To Rise Above It…literally ~

Ladies & Gentlemen, The Rolling Stones!

Stones Captive Audience ~ L.A. Coliseum Sept. '81

So..of course, All of Us Get Separated.. Good thing we had those Walkie-Talkies, smuggled in our back pockets. Amazing no real security back then, pretty much Anything Goes through the Front Gate. “Geo, come on, Breaker Buddy, I’m in the stands due North of Stones’ stage, 6 rows back, row 38..busting a move to the Field, what’s your 10-20? Over.” cssssshhhhhhh…pure static. I’ve got my sideman Jackie D. with me, and we’re getting ready to Charge the Field, along with a surging wave of  50,000 other Stones & no doubt Stoned Maniacs….

Fh, sporting rare full beard, Doing Recon, with Walkie-Talkie, Stones 1981

I’m starting to see some Rainbow Colors, and they’re not all coming from that Stage Backdrop 100 yards & A Sea of People in front of me. “C’mon, Jackie, we’re Going for It”.

So – Forward went the Charge of The Light (Headed) Brigade..seemingly beginning to Float on a Psychedelic Cloud. It’s So Beautiful ! And over The Sound of One-Hundred-Thousand Coliseum Gladiators Roaring at Top Volume. Jagger..”Well Alright..!” By now, I’m Gliding Forward on a Sea Of Rock & Roll to the Promised Land..Mick leading the charge, Jumping & Dancing forward, hands over his head, just fueling the massive crowd on Rock Nitro. Keith & Ronnie Wood, new to the band, replacing Mick Taylor from the 70’s era. I’ve seen Ronnie previously with Rod Stewart & Faces. He & Keith with matching chopped-up Rocker Shag hair, ripping it up on twin 60’s vintage Fender Telecasters…

An aside on the Stones, as I have seen them a few times now. Over a period of 20 years since this day..Keith & Ronnie always have their Trusty Fender old-skool Basketweave Twin Reverb amps on stage with them. Early 1960’s-era, thrashed cases, with no-doubt State-of-The Art TLC  to Keep those Babies Glowing. Wow, if those things could talk, the tales they would tell. Beat-up on the Outside but still Rocking on the Inside..

I know the Feeling All Too Well.

Something I have always admired about the most legendary Musicians I’ve seen. They can afford to their own Islands in the Carribean, be with some of the Hottest Ladies on the Planet. and in Mick’s case, be Knighted by the Queen of England, Sir Mick. No Small Honour. And yet they’re touring with 20-year $300. Fender amps backing them up, as they did and do still Sound the Best. Of course they’re playing through Monitors the Size of the World Trade Center Towers. Another example of this is Neil Young, who owns and has performed some of his most famous recordings with a 1940’s Martin acoustic guitar – Originally owned by none other than Hank Williams.

As I Glide on my Psychedelic Haze through the Crowd forward, I’m taking all this in. My Walkie-Talkie is chirping away in my back pocket, No Way in Hell to hear it, nor do I care, single-mindedlysurging ahead, by now So Smoothed-Out, I’m not even ruffling anyone’s feathers as I press on, to the Front of the Stage. The Gemini-Must Get to The Front in me, urging me forward on my Inescapable Quest. By now, my feet are off the ground. I’m so Chilled Out, I have made it to within about 50 feet from the front of the stage, Jagger directly in front of me. My feet are literally off the ground, as the crowd is so dense, I’m being held suspended about 6″ off my feet by Sheer Humanity…

Sir Mick in command of his armies, 1981

Being Elevated Above the Crowd by several inches, I am taking in a Commanding View. Jagger is strutting about & Looks Directly at Me. Our eyes lock for a moment, and we communicate as he has no doubt done with millions of others in his amazing career. For me, I feel I am The Stones-Whisperer for that instant. The crowd is surging back & forth with the force of an Ocean of People, but I am Riding the Wave, held suspended in a Stones Haze. This is my Moment of Rock Nirvana & The Essence of my Story…

Needless to Say, this moment was indeed the highlight of the day..My friend, who is quite Fearless, The Inimitable Jackie Davis, a Pure-Bred 22-year-old Irishman quite experienced in Mayhem of All Sorts, is nearly crushed to death by the crowd. On departure, he is speechless & cowering in a darkest back corner of my van, having nearly Met his Maker in his mind this day. We’ve briefly acquired the company of some Unattached Ladies, who have Crammed in Back with the Boys. They last for a bit further along in the day, before Disappearing as Mysteriously as they Arrived. I never did get all the details, for I am Le Chauffeur ~ What Goes on in Back of Limo, Stays in Back of Limo.

By Days’ End, around 10pm, after a Grueling 14 hours thus far, I’m letting the Boys Out the van, still riding the Aftermath of Acid, but in Command of my Wits. Suddenly I’m pounced upon from the front by none other than the Blazing Headlights of my friends, The Huntington Beach Police Department. My boys have summarily departed, save my Companero, Geo. Loyo, who’s still in back, in the Shadows of the Van Interior. The cop headlights have blazed a 1000 Watt Daylight Awakening into my windshield, and snapping me Back To Reality rather abruptly. I exit the front & greet my fate head-on, casually strolling to the Front of the Stage, suddenly inspired to throw down a Command Performance. “Hello Officers, what seems to be the problem here ?” As I commence to giving an Oscar-Worthy acting job to my Captive Audience, I faintly, ever so faintly feel the van back door open from within, as I am Casually Leaning on the Van. Geo is Silently Sanitizing the contents from the rear of the van into the bushes by reaching just outside through a crack in the door….

I proceed with my Acid-fused Command Performance, regaling the Police of our Stones Adventure, and ‘Gee, what a Fun Day it was, Officers, I’m SO Glad to be Home..!’ (I was not at home). Somehow by the Grace of God & Sir Mick looking over us, I manage to De-Fuse the Situation & escape Certain Death, had the Cops searched the van, or even look in back. Our friends leave us, and after one of my Greatest Days Ever, capped by the greatest Best Actor Effort I’ve ever put forth, before or since, I’m Maxed Out, enlisting the efforts of Geo Our Saviour, to drive us home.. and so ends (one of my many) Longest Days of all ~ And its Adventures…

Cheers, F of C

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5 responses

  1. Robert Davis

    fred, ala federico:
    a well told story my friend. i too remember the days of the mega, super concerts. the summer jams back in the midwest where i grew up. they always required a road trip on our part, as they were most often held in st. louis and kansas city. wide open and anything went back in those days. i can remember one such summer jam where van halen was the opening band in a five band line-up. summer of ’78 if i’m not mistaken.
    thanks for sharing your longest day, it brings back many, many memories.
    roberto

    January 25, 2010 at 7:41 pm

  2. I have been back here 3 times now and am absolutely loving the energy on this discussion. Thanks for a good outlet to read high quality data.

    November 28, 2010 at 7:30 am

    • You’re Welcome and Thanks for the Return Visits ~ Cheers, Federico

      November 28, 2010 at 4:19 pm

  3. JAM

    Ah Federico, I also was at the Stones Coliseum show of ’81, on my very own acid trip! Mine was a bit more sordid, involving quaaludes I acquired from some low rent dealer i had hooked up with, fushia leather pants, and white fringe go go boots – the heel of one broke off so I ripped off the other and was no doubt hobbling around if i could even walk, somehow ending up Backstage and talking to Jack Nicholson, who i later learned had called my dad to inform him of my obvious addled state…can you say…busted! dark but heady times in my young life. I was 19. Don’t remember much of that show, just Jack and what I wore lol.
    xo jam

    April 7, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    • Had you ended up in Federico’s van after that show, perhaps a 30 year-old kid named Mick would be running around California Concerts today…?! Cheers XXX ~ Federico

      April 8, 2011 at 12:20 am

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