Thursday, April 7, 2016

F is for Fire! #atozchallenge

A fiery mix of Radio City and English Heavy Metal
All at once we were trapped with 6000 screaming metal fans and a fire. 

Ok, maybe it wasn't that bad.   

It was a very cold Friday on  January 19, 1985.  The English heavy metal band, Iron Maiden were playing five sold out nights at Radio City Music Hall in New York.  Tickets were gone seconds after the phone lines opened up.  I was not one of the lucky thousands. 
I had a friend who scored an extra and promised it to me.  However, upon hearing that my younger sister wanted to go, my friend pulled the ticket on the grounds of fairness.  The real truth was that my friend wanted to get into my sister's pants.  The fact that it would make him a pedophile notwithstanding.  

My father's nefarious connections produced three tickets at the outlandish scalped price of $50.00 apiece.  He didn't want his princess in such roughneck so he came with us but complained about it up until the day.  A father's duty, however.  He thought about asking one of his underworld friends to "escort" us but decided on going himself.  Besides, he thought, how bad could it be? 
I should have warned him. 

My father wasn't big on concerts.  He took my mother to Shea stadium in 1965 to see the Beatles.  He said all he saw were thousands of screaming girls and all he heard were those same screaming girls.  Then he went to a Barry White show in the 70's with his new girlfriend because chicks dug that.  Now he was with the throng of the great unwashed, myself included. 

Queensryche, a popular metal act  was the opening act.  I really wanted to see them but Anthony was in no hurry to shove himself in the packed mass squeezing through the doors.  I heard the band playing but he was confident it was just sound check.  He was wrong.  They were actually on stage playing their testicles off and I missed the whole thing.  

We got inside and found our seats just as the house lights went down.  The band opened with Aces High of their latest album in a flurry of explosions and fireworks.  The sound was bouncing off the walls and the chaos of a heavy metal show was unleashed.  He was sitting in his seat.  Then he was standing.   Then he was standing on the back of his seat.  Because everyone else was.  I was screaming, singing, pumping my fist in the air and he was struggling for balance grabbing onto my sister who was also screaming.  

Halfway through the show beach balls were bouncing around the audience and someone was setting off fireworks.  I turned and found his seat empty.  I went outside to the lobby to find him sitting there with a sort of shocked look on his face.  "It's so loud...", he said.  "I had no idea it would be that loud.  It's like my internal organs have shifted."  I sat out with him for a song although I was singing it under my breath.  I coaxed him to come back in with me because this was a cool father son moment, etc. 
Yeah, I really should have warned him.  

Somewhere during the guitar solo we both looked at each other.  We smelled smoke.  Not the gunpowder pyro kind, the something's on fire kind.  We ignored it thinking it part of the show since no one else was bothered.  My father felt a tugging at his pants.  An usher was beside him motioning for him to come down off the seat.  Considering everyone in the arena was doing it, he didn't budge and went back to the show.  The usher pulled on his pants with more force.  This was usually where my father had to be restrained because he felt he was being singled out.  However, the usher pointed to the seat and tried to scream over the band,





His seat and only his seat took on the bright orange glow of combustion.  Someone flicked a cigarette from behind us somewhere and this is where it landed. 
That was it.  He adjourned himself to the lobby where he waited out the rest of the show.  Funny thing is when he retold the story he couldn't stop talking about what a great time he had.   

Thank you for visiting.  If you'd like something light and cheery, please visit my kid's picture book blog about an adventurous five-legged spider and the mischief he gets himself into at Ollie Bug's Blog , also part of the A to Z Challenge


  1. "playing their testicles off"...bwahahaha! I'm dying over this. Your poor dad in this story. I feel like if you put me at a metal concert these days, I'd probably react the same. You know the saying, "If it's too loud, then you're too old"? Yup, I'm too old now.

    1. Yeah, he wasn't happy. But then he recalled loving it so I count it as a win. You're never to old, Katie. Maybe just a little slower and more prone to sitting.