Being a teenager can be kind of rough, especially when you are trying to do the cool stuff and your father is a cop. So was my lot growing up in the ‘Burg. Sometimes there were benefits to having a policeman father. Admission to sporting events, a break on a speeding ticket, and one semi-serious get out a jam card. When it came to going to concerts, though, there was no slack to be given.
At least when I was in seventh grade and Kansas came to town. Okay, say what you will about Kansas, but they used to be the deal. Who from my era doesn’t know “Dust in the Wind” or “Carry On My Wayward Son?” Theirs was one of the first albums I got from the Columbia Record and Tape scam. I did it… I’m owning it… So for my first non-Busch Gardens concert, my parents agreed that three tickets would do the trick.
My father was working so he was out. My friend’s parents said he could go. Who, then, would be using the third ticket?
I thought they were joking, but my father made it clear that he did not want me at William and Mary Hall with all of those pot smoking hippies unless my mother went. I had no choice. My first concert was with my mom.
We got there and had sort of decent seats until I realized that about half the seventh grade was sitting just a few rows behind me. I wanted to walk around, but I suppose we had reached the point of no return, so like any embarrassed teenager, I pretended all those guys
weren’t back there. Luckily, no pot smoking hippies got to us and my classmates never realized I was there with my mom. That was good and for the record my mom is pretty cool. She was also in tune with good music back then, Eagles, Willie Nelson, Helen Reddy. (Told you…)
As for my father, years later he hooked me up with a security job in the pit at a Police concert. One of the fraternity dudes who was also there to pull people out of the general admission seating asked me if I would like a hit on his “funny little cigarette.” I mentioned I would have to ask my father who the frat boy was familiar with. I didn’t partake and he faced me towards the stage, telling me to just watch the show.
Best seats I ever had. And to think, they were courtesy of my father and a pot smoking preppie. That’ll teach him…