1975 – Cornflakes and Classics in Chavez Ravine

Picture 21975.  The scent of hashish in the air, I look over at my mother who didn’t seem to mind at all. I wonder whether I will get a contact high just sitting there in my seat at Dodger Stadium.  I smile at my brother who smiles back and takes a deep breath.  It is 1976 and the sun is going down.  On my right is a long haired guy with big round glasses and a “Don’t Shoot Me, I’m Only The Piano Player” decal T-shirt.  I secretly wish I had that shirt and wasn’t instead sporting one that said, “Come Caca”  (In Spanish, it means, “EAT SHIT”).  Funny at the time, but later quite embarssing, as it looks as if I am proudly calling out the shit from whence it hides.  I swoosh the strands of  long brown obvioulsy un-attended hair from my forehead and crane my neck to get a glimpse of the stage. We had been waiting for an hour,  breathing deep and quietly trading visual forecasts of what Elton would wear and whether “Bernie” would come out on stage or not.  Suddenly the soft murmer of laughter, talking, cat calls and the valiant croons of late-comers to their  their “seat-saving parties” or vice versa.   The crowd is strangely silent, collectively expectant.   With a flash of the million-watt stadium lights a Glittery trim Elton bounds across the stage and takes a bow.  HELL …LOW…LOS ANGELES!!!!!   Elton takes his seat at the piano, the lights flash again and Elton is a blaze of movement. Pounding the piano, … outfitted in spectacle of home team adoration,  or at least an admiration of Steve Garvey,  a sequined Elton begins to sing.  His mouth over the microphone,  body seemingly detached from his mouth, Elton’s back rises and falls as he moves from the orchestral opening of the song to the first incredible lines.   His head cocked eyes looking sideways and by now singing wildly, the crowd begins to move.  I mean really move!   We are all singing “Why’s there never light on my lawn?..Why does it rain and never say good-day to the newborn?.”  We revel in “Grey Seal” from “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and it has never been so real to me.    WE ARE ECSTATIC!  WE ARE HERE! WE  ARE WITH ELTON!  THIS IS MIIDA!!  AND WE ARE TOGETHER!  and we know we will never have this time again. People are struggling to climb onto the chairs someone uses my back to boost themselves up behind me.  I don’t care.  I put my hand on some else’s shoulder as I am pushed forward.  I don’t mind.   I look tentatively at the young man I just made aware of my existence,  he smiles  as if he knows me,  and that we were ALL friends.  Sharing something so amazing, so special that nothing else at this point in time matters.  We are all helping eachother to be a part of Elton’s show, taking it all in.  The air is sweet and musty the sun is going down over Los Angeles and everyone is smiling. We are all moving as one.  Our mother is laughing, she has forgotten about selling insurance and making the rent.  We hug her and we know that we will never have another time like this, together,  our entire lives.    I notice someone’s younger sister, clearly one of “The babysat,” still clutching a Tigerbeat featuring a zitty Leif Garrett or maybe it was Shaun Cassidy.   No more Tigerbeat for me, I think to myself… I am the brio twelve year old lass proudly holding her  copy of “Rock of the Westies.” I resign myself to the fact that I won’t get it signed and quietly tuck the album under my seat.  I take my place between my brother and mother and resume singing,” And tell me grey seal How does it feel to be so wise?…To see through eyes That only see what’s real…Tell ell  meeeee greyyy  seeeeee  ul.

Picture 3

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