Mark and me just before we head inside to see and hear Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend of ‘The Who’
Mark’s Big Birthday Trip
Mark faced – er celebrated – his big 65 with me in Las Vegas. We went all out and had a great time. And though Mark had fun, I noticed a few of the celebratory events were more geared to the Laurie side of joy, because that is WHO Mark is. He loves to bring joy to others, especially me.
So to that end, Mark agreed that our ‘Big Deal Vegas Outing’ for HIS birthday would be seeing The WHO live at Caesar’s Palace, because The WHO is one of MY top 3 bands. And back in my young, dance all night, concert days my fondest memories were of when I had seen them twice on tour at the Seattle Center Coliseum. Once in 1975 and again, in 1976 and those songs were the soundtrack of my teens. Yikes!
Fast Forward over 40 years and I, who used to swing the long brown hair and skin-tight denim of my g..g..g..generation, was about to swing the long DYED-brown hair and COMFORT-sized denim of my DE-g..g..g..generation.
Check out the proof!
And for grins and giggles, a snippet of the same song from the live WHO concert from 1976.
I so enjoyed this concert, but at the same time….
Laurie FINALLY Understands the dang space baby scene in 2001: a Space Odyssey
That movie is a trip – if you haven’t seen it check it out, but in the end of the movie, one of the main characters experiences weird time shifts from current to old to aged to middle age and back to baby all at the same time.
Check it out…
Here is Roger and Pete from 1976
Here they are from 2017
And for EXTRA grins and giggles…
Here’s my Fantasy Roger from 1975
Time don’t change all…
Notice in the above photos that Pete still holds his guitar in the same way. And I can attest, that Roger STILL has his pipes. Man, can that dude sing! And he is probably one of the last rock frontmen to use a wired mic, as he is renowned for his thrilling and varied mic tricks where he tosses the mic, swings the cord and makes awesome shapes and lassos it in like a rock god cheerleader all while belting high notes like you can’t believe! And HE CAN STILL DO IT!
But time can be trippy…
Time rained down on me and sent me back to being a teen screaming for more with all of the time in the world to make things happen. My vision kept seeing Roger and Pete as they were – as they are – as they were – as they are in a weird other worldly version of time-pong. I too became old, young, old, young, noticing the same chords, same mic tricks, same magic on the stage – like a stereoscope slightly out of focus.
I experienced my entire life bookmarked between those concerts all at once and the tears flowed. Two of The WHO had long since passed. Keith Moon, the drummer died in 1978 and bassist, John Entwistle, right here in Vegas in 2002. John ‘The Ox’ actually passed away at age 57, one year younger than I am now. Roger and Pete actually made no bones about the difference time made to them. They laughed about it. Many oldster quips peppered the evening. They looked different. The energy was a bit different, and yet, there they were, doing as they had done all of those years ago. The remaining members of The WHO could still deliver what they loved to the audience who still loved them for it.
In the glow of the concert hall, I felt all of my victories and defeats slide over me, all of my friends, celebrities I’d followed and family were there and gone, my hopes that vanished, unexpected dreams that came true, all of my physical sizes large and thin, one after another in that concert seat in Vegas. I was scared this might be a heart attack and this was the famous ‘end of life review’. But it was just me, once again on the Magic Bus, realizing that WHO I am is not static, that there were and are, many, many sides to me, and all of them equally Laurie. I don’t need to be perfect, or thin, or the best voice actor in the world. I don’t need thousands of dollars or FB likes. I am a miracle. Mark is a miracle. You, are a miracle. All I need is to be like Roger and toss my mic in the air trusting that somehow, I’ll catch it – and knowing that even if I don’t, this kid will be all right.