Sunday, May 16, 2010


My first concert got me off to a good start - it was back in 1971 at the Anaheim Convention Center, with James Taylor, Carole King and JoMama on the bill.

Last November when tickets went on sale for their reunion tour concert at the Hollywood Bowl, I purchased a couple, plus paid the ridiculous Ticketmaster ransom because this was definitely an event worth attending.

Friday night was the big night. No way did we want to deal with traffic around the Bowl so Julie and I drove to the Arcadia Park and Ride lot to take the easy way out and board the bus. There weren't very many people with the same idea, just a few of us. And we waited and waited. No bus. Finally one woman called Foothill Transit and found out that for "leased" events at the Bowl, which this was one of them, there is no park and ride from Arcadia. The nearest stop was in Pasadena.

So off we went to Pasadena. When we got to the parking lot there was a long, long, long line of people waiting to get on few, few, few buses. The line moved agonizingly slow. It seemed like the buses took off infrequently; you would think with that many people they would load up the bus and then send it off. But nope, the buses just sat there while we just stood there.

Finally we got near the front and finally they began letting passengers stand on board (all the buses before the two that were still there did not let anyone stand up). With so many people in line, wouldn't you think they'd have a clue that they should let passengers stand as well as sit? Or that they would collect the money in advance?

Anyway, we were told that they had to order more buses and there were only going to be two, in about half and hour. It was 6:30 when they announced it, an hour before the concert was to start. At 7:00, one of the assistants checked with the transit supervisor and was told 10 more minutes. Okay, we figured we would just eat on the bus and then run to get to our seats when the bus arrived.

At 7:10 we were then told that there were NO more buses coming and we'd all have to drive to the Bowl and find our own parking. We got in the car, sped over to the Bowl and.. encountered a horrendous traffic jam. It took a long time to get basically nowhere, and by the time we did get to the Bowl entrance, there was no parking available anywhere. It seemed the nearest parking was closer to Hollywood Boulevard.

Faced with having to walk such a long way plus the nightmare of what it would be like walking such a long way back to the parking lot, we decided to call it a night and just came home. $99 for the tickets ($126.05 after the ridiculous service charge) down the drain.

Driving down Highland and then La Brea to get to the 10 Freeway was very interesting because it had been ages since I was last in the area. Many things had changed and many things hadn't. Back in high school and college we'd drive around that area all the time - I fondly remember going up to Hollywood Boulevard just to walk around. Or going to Wallach's Music City on Sunset, and later Tower Records. The drive down to the freeway brought back the feeling of those high school cruising days and reminded me why I was so fascinated by the nighttime.

Now that's some small consolation for missing such an important concert but at least the evening wasn't a total waste. Still, this was a major disappointment. There is no one else I would rather see in concert than those two - their songs make up such a significant share of my life's soundtrack and having missed seeing them makes me feel incomplete.

Another consolation: The recent release of their combo CD/DVD of their Troubadour Reunion Concert recorded in 2007. Saturday morning I watched the DVD. Not nearly the same as being there or at the Bowl, but nevertheless I'm really happy to have those two captured on video. An added plus was to have three of the musicians from the original tour playing with them this time, too: Russ Kunkel, Leland Sklar and Danny Kortchmar. It couldn't be any better than that.


donna said...

That's really sad, Rickie. I know how much you enjoy their music...

Rickie Miyake said...

Thanks, Donna. See my post for Tuesday, though!