So, in 1980 I was working at the Warehouse Records in the Huntington Center. I had a former manager and friend by the name of Fate who ran the Westminster Mall store. When I heard about Pink Floyd coming to perform the Wall in concert I called my friend Fate (yes, that really was his name). You see he had a connection…a friend at Columbia Records and that friend could often set him up with really good seats for concerts. And, Pink Floyd was on Columbia. We discussed it and Fate said not to worry, he was sure he could set us up with some good seats.
The tickets went on sale and there were long lines, but I didn’t worry. I had my connection and knew that I had a seat.
A couple days after the on sale date I got the call. He was able to get a couple seats, but in the allocation of all his friends who needed seats…I was left standing like the kid when the music stops in a game of musical chairs. He was very apologetic, he even brought me a program from the show afterwards. But, as a poor college student in the pre-internet days I was at a loss as to how I could get a ticket (short of a scalper, which was out of my budget.)
So, I missed the show in 1980
In the back of my mind, I told myself I’d see them another time. But, there wasn’t another time. Fate, egos and lawsuits came into the picture and Pink Floyd broke up. They reformed with three of the four members and I saw them in Atlanta in 1987. I saw David Gilmour on a solo tour. I finally saw Roger Waters in 2000, twenty years later. Then at the Hollywood Bowl with Nick Mason doing Dark Side of the Moon. I saw Gilmour once more with Rick Wright. I even saw a “tribute” version of the band do the Wall. But, I’d never really gotten the experience of seeing Roger, the main writer perform the entire set. This was one of the few really attainable concert “misses” in my entire history of seeing shows. The big one that got away…
So, in May when the rumors of a Wall tour came true I eagerly snapped up tickets to the LA and the Anaheim shows. (Plus the added Anaheim show a few days later). I’ve waited another seven months with tickets in hand for tonight…the moment when I’d finally see the Wall performed by Roger Waters.
I’d have loved it to be all of Pink Floyd, but that became unlikely with Rick Wright’s passing a few years ago. So, Waters and the Wall were to be my ‘make-up ” show for 30 years of waiting.
I recount all this because as you can see…there was pretty much no way this could ever live up to the expectations built up over 30 years of waiting, of listening to the show on official release and on bootleg. I knew every word and every nuance of the of the music. I even had some of the visuals in my head from photos, the Berlin concert and the program.
I drove up early to Staples Center and walked to the ESPN Zone for dinner. Grabbed an easy chair and watched part of the Monday night football game. Giving myself plenty of time I headed across the street to the center and braved the long lines to get in. (Metal detectors, really drag the process of getting inside). Once inside I checked out the extremely overpriced merchandise…$45 t-shirts….I’m sure that the tickets cost less than that in 1980.
I grabbed my seat and waited for the prompt 8pm start that was promised on the ticket….
(I wrote all of the above the night after seeing the show at Staples. Now I’m less than 24 hours away from seeing it a second time. (and a third time on Tuesday).
I’ve decided to post this and withhold my review until I’ve seen the show again. I came away from Staples with some specific impressions, but those have changed a bit over the past couple weeks and I think I’ll wait until I’ve seen it again to put it all into perspective.