MSG - Part Two
schrade at akrobiz.com
Mon May 24 21:10:27 CDT 2004
Our Saturday hotel was absolutely kick-ass. A huge one-bedroom
suite with a kitchen! We could look out the window & see MSG
with its huge electronic billboard reminding us...."Tonight....The Who."
Kevin's buddies, Stu & Mike, showed up in the early afternoon,
after driving in from D.C. I've met them both before but was quickly
reminded what funny, friendly, Who-inspired people they are. It
was Stu's first visit to NYC & he was brimming with excitement.
After relaxing for an hour or so we headed uptown to Hurley's Saloon
to join the Wholapalooza party organized by the hard-working
people on the Relayers list.
Hurley's was blast! An entire room rented out, a private bartender,
Who stories, a Who raffle, & a an outdoor patio area where smok-
ing was allowed!
I met so many wonderful people for the first time & also got to
see some old, familiar faces from the past. What a great gathering.
By 5:30 PM we (me, Jon, Kevin, Stu, & Mike) decided to head
back to our hotel to "get ready" for the concert. We made the
decision to skip the pre-show gathering at Molly Wee's. It made
sense at the time but now I see that, because of that decision, we
missed seeing Joe Lewinski. You'll remember Joe as being the
one who DIDN'T TAKE KEVIN'S CELL PHONE NUMBER
WITH HIM & WAS UNABLE TO COMMUNICATE WITH
Jon & I went to MSG early to see some of David Johanson's
set. And after almost getting stuck in a locked, employees-only
stairwell, we managed to locate our seating section. Don't ask.
David Johanson sucked. I wondered if it was because I was see-
ing him in a huge venue but I quickly came to the conclusion that,
even in a small club, his set would've sucked. Boring.
The Who's set: It was an OK Who show. Not a spectacular Who
show. Daltrey did seem a bit distant & there was very little silly
Pete, however, did seem truly grateful that he was there & that the
crowd was so very responsive. That was nice. He played brilliantly.
Pino, Pino, Pino. My new attitude is.....fuck him. I'm tired of
wondering why he plays the way he does. I'm tired of wondering
why he isn't audible. Fuck him. I'm there to watch Pete & Rog.
I expect nothing from Pino & I receive nothing from Pino. The
image I remember which sums up Pino is when, during the bass solos
in "My Generation," Jon angrily threw his hands up in the air & then
thrust his hand out & imitated the act of turning up a volume knob.
When Jon's not happy, you *know* something's wrong.
Why the fuck does the band play "Eminence Front" night after
night even though they botch the damn song probably 75% of
"Naked Eye" was a treat, but, if I remember correctly, they played
an acoustic-type version of this song as an encore when I saw
QUAD at MSG in '96. But it was still exciting to hear the song
as it's one of my favorites, especially the lyrics.
The show was fun, but, really, it took a second seat to hanging
out with my Who buddies that weekend. I mean, I love the band,
I love The Who, but I've seen it all before, it seems.
My spirits were at their highest when I was laughing & partying
with my friends. The Who brought us all together, that's true.
But my most treasured memories from that weekend won't be
of Roger & Pete. They will be of Jon, Kevin, Stu, Mike, Leslie,
Emily Schiff, Terry McBride, Greg Retus, Trish, Ozzie, Alan,
Jason, Jeff (!), Mike Starcke, WordBob, & all the others I
laughed & toasted beers with.
After the show we ducked back to the hotel & then went to
Molly Wee's, apparently missing Joe Lewinski by mere minutes.
Molly Wee's was fun. More beer. More Jager. Who on the
jukebox. Loud, spirited conversation.
After a while we had all pretty much hit our limit & it was time
to go back to the hotel & retire for the night.
The next morning, we got our shit together, some went to break-
fast, & we prepared to leave. After checking out we went over
to MSG, & sat on the steps for a few minutes. Those who desired
enjoyed a last smoke, & then we said our final goodbyes.
Jon began his long drive back to Michigan; Kevin, Stu, & Mike
headed uptown for a visit to Strawberry Fields; & I hailed a
taxi to take me to LaGuardia airport.
How do I express the fun I had that weekend? How do I ex-
press the way this core group of friends got along, &, like Stu
said, clicked? How do I express how comfortable we all felt in
each other's company?
I hope I was able to get a little bit of that across, but I know I
haven't captured completely the fun & spirit of that weekend.
Suffice to say that, as we were saying our final goodbyes, the
year 2005 & it's possibility for another Who tour was mentioned
more than a few times.
LONG LIVE THE WHO!!
AND LONG LIVE MY WHO-FREAK FRIENDS!!
THEY'RE THE BEST!!
- SCHRADE in Akron
John Kerry For President
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