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November 28, 2007

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Doug

Hey! I was at that Boston/Black Sabbath/Van Halen/Sammy Hagar show at Anaheim Stadium! I loved that show. It was my first big rock concert. I went with three guys from my high school. Their dad was the Protestant Chaplain at the Air Force Base we lived on, and my parents said "Okay" to my request to go with their sons the next day. They sat close to each other at our high school football game that night. We lost to Mammoth High School 24-6, I think. Little did my mom know that these two lovely boys were some of the biggest stoners in the school. Anyway, on the way down, KMET announced that the concert was completely sold out. My three friends must've thought, 'It must suck to be Doug.' After they went in, I hung around hoping to buy a ticket. The scalpers were wanting too much. I think I had $43 on me, but couldn't spend all that on a ticket and eat, etc. While standing around by the gate a very drunk kid with a stupid grin on his face stumble-walked towards a policeman that was lined up front. He held out his ticket smiling as the cop approached, turned him around and arrested him. That lovely ticket fell to the ground and I was on top of it as fast as you could say "I hope I'm not rushing too fast to arouse suspicion and yet still be fast enough to be the first one to claim it.' I made it in and, while buying a large coke to satisfy my parched throat, a lovely SoCal girl with a French bikini approached me and asked me if I had any acid. This was my introduction to the rock culture of the 70s and I immediately wanted in. 'This is the life for me' was the general thought. You've probably heard me talk about this show before. If not, I forgot you were there, too. I bet you knew the guy that got drug away by the police, huh? I was in the very back of the field (closer to home plate as the stadium was laid out, I believe) for Sammy Hagar. He and his guitarist had a duel during "Bad Motor Scooter." Sammy was trying to better the man after being blown of the "something" stage (yes, the f-word was already a staple at heavy rock shows in '78). I found a "river" of people flowing to and from the stage and got in it, getting closer and closer as the concert wore on. I believe they said 78,000+ people were in attendance. KMET dj "Paraquat" Kelly came out and yelled something about Van Halen parachuting out of the sky, as four parachutes popped out of a plane. The wait after that before David Lee Roth and band took the stage was agonizingly long. He said, "We are NEVER doing that again!" This was their triiumphant return to LA after conquering the world on their amazing debut album, and they truly rocked. I got closer to the stage for Sabbath. Funny thing, this show was my very first known exposure to the group. The next Monday on the way to school a friend was asking, "Did they play 'Fairies Wear Boots?' Did they play 'Iron Man?' Did they play this...that?" I had never heard of this band, really. I immediately liked them and still enjoy the under-appreciated "Never Say Die" album to this day. By the time Boston took the stage I was holding on to it right in the center. I felt like I was king of the world, working my way up to the very best spot in the whole stadium. Heck, I felt even cooler than that roadie that wore the shirt that said, "Go To Hell World, I'm A Stage Hand." Boston, to me, sounded SO good. The sonic clarity was like the perfection of digital sound from a cd played through a good set of cupped headphones. It was perfect! I remember staring Brad Delp down during "Rock and Roll Band" or some other clap-along number as he bent over smiling at me, coaxing me to clap along with everyone. I just stood there with my arms crossed, defying his command, feeling too cool. Ha ha.

Why did I say all this?

David Bach

Right on, Doug! Thanks for all the added detail. I too worked my way around the grass during each set. I could not make the deep burrow to the front of the stage like I usually did at these stadium shows—as my girlfriend was with me and the crowd push was too much for her. She did let me make a solo drive to the front during Sabbath's set so I could say "Hallo Geez!" to my hero. We probably stood next to each other and didn't even know it. There must have been a kindred cosmic vibration on that day that led to the metal-forged friendship that you and I have today. Thanks for sharing!

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