Back in the distant reaches of time, namely 1992, my distant but still good friend Steve McMullen and I cooked up a scheme. The opportunity to see our all-time favorite band, not just once but twice in the same week, simply could not be passed up. This is back in the days when you could get free tickets to really big concerts just by working at a radio station, and so I procured tickets to the Tacoma Dome show while Steve bought tickets to the Dodger Stadium concert. We both managed to get floor seats, good ones even.
Here’s the catch: the concerts were three days and most of the west coast of the USA apart, and I didn’t drive. (I still don’t, mind you.)
Steve, bless his diehard-fanboy soul, drove up from L.A. to Portland to retrieve me. Wendi and I were living with her folks at the time in that big crowded house on Ivon Street. Steve also arranged crash space with his folks in Seattle so we could catch at least a bit of shuteye before the big drive south.
The Genesis show in Tacoma counts as the first time I’d ever seen my favorite band live on stage, and it was an exceptional show. I especially loved the old medley, as well as some of the longer pieces and the inevitable drum duet.
That night we slept, and early the next morning we started southward. Steve drove almost straight through. We didn’t have the time to actually stop anywhere for the night. Sure, we were fueled by enthusiasm and the energy of the previous night’s show, but that can only carry you so far. I remember a dreary, dry, flat stretch of I-5 in California during which we had no choice but to pull over for a couple of hours and catch some brief shuteye at a rest stop. As it is, we still made it to his place just in time to get a solid night’s (and most of the following day’s) sleep.
My one and only visit to Dodger Stadium involved nothing to do with baseball. This time Steve and I knew (more or less) what to expect, so in some ways we could relax and look beyond the most obvious parts of the live performance and really get a feel for everything that was put into it. The set list was a bit different, but the showmanship still impressed the hell out of us. Mind you, Phil still goofed up the lines to a particular song the same way in both cities, but that was made up for by the amusing change to the lyrics of “I Can’t Dance” for the live performance. All in all, it was another outstanding show.
I crashed on Steve’s living room floor once again, then took the Greyhound home. That was, sad to say, the last time I saw my old friend, though we were in touch for a few months longer. I do wonder what he’s up to nowadays… and what he thinks of the last Genesis album, for that matter. Heh.