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Posts Tagged ‘Ziggy Marley’

When I was a senior in high school, my best friend Holly and I managed to talk my father into taking us on a “college visit” to TCU in Fort Worth. Our alterior motive? A huge end of summer concert at Texas Stadium, featuring Iggy Pop, Ziggy Marley, The Smithereens, Guns n Roses and INXS.

Looking back, the line up was perfect. At the time, we figured we’d skip Iggy Pop and suffer through Guns N Roses in order to fully enjoy the others. Ah, youth. What I wouldn’t give today to see Iggy and GNR in all their 80s glory! But Holly and I were focused on the “One Thing:” Michael Hutchence, the lead singer of INXS who we adored and worshipped. We. Could. Not. Wait.

Dad happily drove us to Dallas. He took us to dinner at Hard Rock Cafe (remember, this was 1988, when HRCs were not a dime a dozen and it still meant something to sport their famous t-shirts) and laughed while we danced to techno music on the dance floor. The next day, we made a cursory visit to TCU (I did apply and I got in early) before he dropped us off at the stadium at 4 p.m. In the days before cell phones, we agreed on a rendezvous point around 11 p.m., when we calculated the extravaganza would end. And then Holly and I happily traipsed off to enjoy a day of music … in a huge venue … with no parental supervision and no cell phones.

It was an amazing concert, despite and because of the light rain that poured the majority of the time through the roof of Texas Stadium, making the floor a huge slip-n-slide for the concert goers. We watched safely from our dry seats in the stands. We danced to “Tomorrow People” by Ziggy, rocked out to “Wall of Sleep” by The Smithereens, went to get snacks during Iggy Pop (sigh), and begrudgingly purchased a GnR t-shirt for my brother. Axl Rose was in typical form that day, cussing the crowd and expressing his disdain for the “shitty” sound system. He finally shouted, “Fine, we’re outta here. And you can enjoy INXS … the biggest group of fags I’ve ever met.” Class act, that one.

Then the moment we’d waited for: INXS took the stage amidst flashing lights and pyrotechnics. It was everything we hoped for and more. Michael was goregous. The band rocked. We screamed and sang and danced. When I hear “Kick” I can still see the flashing lights and the band strutting around the stage. Perfection.

Years later, when Michael Hutchence died, I sat on the floor in my apartment in Alabama talking on the phone with Holly in her apartment in Washington, D.C. The miles between us vanished and the years faded away as we remembered the incredible experience of the concert at Texas Stadium. It was simply unforgettable.

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