Friday, October 15, 2010

Jefferson Starship in Central park 1976 an excerpt 1st draft

                              A free concert in Central Park. An excerpt from my book.

     Just shy of my seventeenth birthday, I thought I was old enough to go, but I lied to my parents about where I’d be spending the day just in case. Julie and I hopped a train to New York City to catch the show. There had to have been at least a gazillion people in the park and everyone was sopping wet. It rained so much I quit caring about staying dry. The show was just getting started, and to our far right, an eighteen-foot fence buckled with the weight of the kids who had climbed it to get a better look at the stage. The dank air reeked of body odor, mixed with the earthy smell of wet dirt; a waif of urine stung my nose as we passed by the Porta-Potties.
     I nudged Julie. "Smell that?”
     She pinched her nose and gagged.
   “They're probably already overflowing. One of the hazards of free concerts—no place to go." I commented. 
     She laughed.
     For an hour the two of us slopped through the mud, and pushed our way through the pack of slimy drowned rats until we were in the forth row in front of the stage. 
  Grace Slick was dressed in a teal blue halter-top and flared, high-waist jeans. She had a small role of fat hanging over the top at her waistline, but she wasn’t self-conscious at all, like I would have been. She was joking with the audience, swigging off a bottle of whiskey in between songs, and taking hits off joints passed up to the stage by her fans.
     Some redhead dude kept yelling, "Hey Gracie, show me your tits!" right in my ear, and, our favorite song Miracles sounded like shit, but we didn't care. Hell, were a few feet away from one of our favorite bands!
    And, the band members sure were troopers. They kept on playing even though the electrical equipment was getting wet.
      "Hope they don't get fried," said the stout hippie dude wedged behind Lori and me. He and his buddy had followed us on our slow trek toward the stage, hitting on us the whole way. Both of them were shirtless, had long scraggly beards and looked at least twenty-eight. (Old men, not our type at all) But, we were packed in too tight to get away from them, and they were nice and all, so we ignored the harmless flirting and accepted the joint they offered us.
    "Hey watch it," I said as the kid on my right stomped on my foot. He was a short—about eighteen, with olive skin and shiny black hair, rather Sicilian looking, and he was totally out of it.  He was on something, and what ever it was, it wasn't for babies. And, I wasn't the only one he was stomping on.
     The muscular dude, directly in front of him turned around and screamed, "Hey, cut it out man. You're buggin' me."
    But, the kid ignored him too, continuing to dance and randomly fist punch the air—and the back of the angry dude's head. The next thing I knew the angry dude turned and socked the kid right in the nose. The kid went down. He was lying unconscious on the ground with blood oozing out one of his nostrils. People were stepping all over him. So, I bent down to see if he was okay. He looked dead, for real.
     "Are you all right?" I asked. 
     He didn't respond, so I bend down to his ear and yelled, “Hey kid, are you all right?"
     When he didn't respond again, I shook his shoulder.
      In a flash he was back on his feet, dancing like nothing had happened. He looked okay, except for the bloody nose. Not wanting to get blood on my clothes, I inched away from him, but it didn't do much good since we were packed in like sardines and all. So, I decided the best thing to do was ignore him and listen to the band.
      Jefferson Starship cranked out a rendition of "Fast Buck Freddy" which was one of my favorites, but I didn't get to enjoy the song because the bloody-nosed kid liked the song too, and started to do a striptease in honor of it. He removed one article of clothing at a time, twirling it over his head and seductively tossing it into the crowd despite the all protests of his immediate neighbors.
      "No!" I screamed, when he was down to his tighty-whities. 
     But, it was too late. He flung his underwear they disappeared into the crowd. 
    Now, I had a naked kid with a bloody nose, haphazardly gyrating and swinging his nasty stuff right next to me. But, this wasn’t the worst part.
     “Julie we gotta move.” I flicked my eyes at the kid.
       She wrinkled her nose and nodded.
       We tried to con the old hippies into swapping places, but instead swapping places, they moved on either side of us. My protector draped his arm over my shoulder giving me a major case of the creeps. 
     I was soaking wet with a dancing naked kid one human body away, and a shirtless old hippie thinking I was his chick—not cool.
     "Excuse me a moment," I said slipping out from under his hairy armpit.  I pushed my way over to Julie; the crowded rolled in response. I hooked my arm through hers and pulled. We moved in the only direction possible—away from the stage.
     "Hey where you going?" The old hippies yelled in unison.
   "We gotta get home," I yelled back over the top of the heads of the people I managed to put in between us. Julie and I made our way to the back of the crowd  as the show was winding down.
      “This concert will probably go down in history. I’m glad we went,” I commented.
      “Yeah.” Julie agreed
       “I wonder how the naked kid will get home?
        Julie shrugged.
*          *         *       


  1. I Was just fourteen when i went to this show. Readind the review above me is quite a replica of just how i remember it. those people were most likely a few feet away from me because i actually remember it just like she says it happened. 35 years later i still go see the band at bb kings every couple of years. Funny thing they vseem in a time warp...PAUL AND DAVID. God bless these old relics of the the 60"S...close your eyes and relive the past. Peace.

  2. Thank you for this memory. Although I was a high school student in Manhattan during that time, I never saw them live. I did see Papa John Creach at Hofstra in '77 or '78. Carry the Fire!

  3. Snuck to this was on my birthday so we decided to was just like she said. One of the most amazing concerts I have ever been to...



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