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Rock 'n' Roll Adventure, Part 2
Saturday, October 7, 2006
It was cold and rained all day. We didn't care. We were warm with the fresh memories we had to share. We thought how rotten it would be for Mick and the boys and the fans if the Stones' second show was that day.
Sunday October 8, 2006
The day began with light showers as well. By the afternoon the sun was peeking through the clouds, but there was still the crisp fall air. Chris said we would go and hang around the stadium to hear the second show if the rain held off.
We had our rock and roll adventure on Friday and so there would be no chance of seeing the band a second time. I checked our account and there was only $24 left, so we drew out $20 to buy a souvenir as we listened to the music. At least this was something to look forward to.
We left the house shortly after 5 pm and walked to Taylor Field. Tonight we had no hope to get in, so I took my camera along this time. Cameras were banned inside the stadium so we didn't have it with us at the first show. Chris wanted to get some photos of the fireworks going off. It wasn't too cold when we left the house but by the time we got to the stadium it was getting chilly. We were bundled up though and were prepared to tough it out.
Once again the place was a madhouse of excited people making a beeline for their seats. We sat outside the west gate and watched the crowds. A slight sense of melancholy crept over us because we knew we would not be getting in but we were happy to relive our adventure of two nights earlier. Chris joked that he would sneak us in like he used to do when he was in highschool. It got closer to showtime. We made our way around to the north end where we could see the stage through the fence on the previous night, but there was a green tarp over the fence now blocking any view and a huge crowd of hopeful spectators had assembled making it hard to breathe, let alone see anything (especially for me in my wheelchair!)
We headed to the south end of the stadium to be closer to the music. The opening band was doing their best to warm up the crowd by now. Most people were inside. We wandered around looking for a good vantage point, but all spots were taken. We wound up at the southern most end of the parking lot. It was at this security gate where trucks full of equipment and such could drive through. There it seemed we had a bit of luck because through the security fence we could see the jumbotron screen on the side of the stage. It was as good a spot as we could hope to get. "Good enough," we said to each other. "WE saw the show on the first night anyway." Chris pulled out his stool and sat behind me and put his arms around me to help fend off the increasing chill. It was a long, long hour between the opening act and the start of the Stones' show. By that time there were about 70 people who had the same idea as we did all standing behind and around us. We had to move at one point because we were right in front of the main gate for vehicle traffic going backstage.
The show commenced and the fireworks shot skyward. Chris snapped as many pictures as he could and hoped that they would turn out all right. The Stones were in great form and had just launched in to their second song, when the most and unbelievable thing happened to us.
There had been people going in and out of the gate all night, with bundles and packets of posters and merchandise for the stalls. Suddenly, Chris saw this fellow out of the corner of his eye walking up to the gate from behind us. The man was very nicely dressed with neatly styled grey hair and he was wearing an official Rolling Stones tour jacket which told us he was connected with the show in a big way. The guard immediately opened the gate for him and he went through. After a short while the man came back to the gate and spoke to the guard. The guard opened the gate wide and the man in the official jacket motioned to Chris and I to come in and follow him! We were completely stunned. I looked at the man and pointed at myself and said "Who? Us??" I looked back incredulously at Chris. The only thing I could think of was that we were in some kind of deep trouble. But the man nodded and beckoned us to follow him. Chris jumped up, grabbed his stool and pushed my chair as if in one motion. The next second we were inside the gate following him. He leaned close to speak amidst the booming music. He said he had some business to take care of and told us to stay put, then he went someplace for a moment or two. By now we were right at the edge of the back of the stage. The once so small jumbotron now towered above us, and there was the ramp the boys used to gain access to the stage. Our new friend came back and directed us to follow him. He led us down past the side of the stage through the guards and right to the front edge of the stage. This fellow had power alright. People parted for him like the Red Sea parted for Moses. He put us in the aisle about halfway between the front row and the stage. He spoke to the guards and pointed to us but we couldn't hear what he told them. Then he said to Chris "You'll be fine here". Chris thanked him but he was already gone. Chris and I stared at each other in utter shock. A few minutes passed and the man came back... with a chair for Chris! Chris and I shook his hand and said "Thank you so much! You are a very kind man!" He smiled and walked away backstage. Our words seemed so inadequate for what he had done but we couldn't think of anything better to say.
There we were, closer than front row and only 20 to 30 feet from one of the wings of the stage where in the previous show Keith Richard had walked to play for a delighted crowed seated in that area. This show was as fantastic as the first one. The Stones played a slightly different set this time. As in the first show, they joked about the weather saying things like "We thought it was cold in Boston!" Mick introduced Ronnie Wood as being "part of the Frozen Finger Brigade" and everyone laughed. I thought how funny it would be if they knew that it was not unusual for there to be snow in Regina at that time of the year. Ha! Now, I was already about as stunned as stunned can be but then Mick started another song and sauntered down the wing of the stage, straight to where we were!! He was... you guess it!... a Stones throw away! :D
When the show was over we just sat there and watched the crowd swarm by us and the roadies as they started to dismantle things. We wanted to avoid having to push my chair through such a crowd (another 40,000 to 45,000 as in the first show) so as soon as there was a gap Chris pushed me towards the backstage entrance where we came in. He was prepared to say something to the guards, but didn't have to as they opened the gate for us and let us through with a big smiles. No crowds that way. We also ran in to an old school chum of mine who was working on the local part of the crew and said a big hello.
On our way home we stopped and bought a poster from the souvenir stand. We went to the 7-11 for a giant coffee and to tell a friend of ours who works there the unbelievable story. We wandered home through the wet streets. It hadn't rained all evening on us, the fans or the Stones.
That night was so special that it changed our lives. In a subtle way, mind you, but changed us in positive ways that lifts the spirit and makes a person feel special. Chris had said we would have a rock and roll adventure. He wasn't kidding!
Last edited: Mon Mar 19, 2007 6:15 am
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Really jealous now LOL glsf you are back
That was a fantastic tale PL, I'm so happy you got to see them a second time, especially as it was unplanned. Whenever I think of the Stones I will think of this tale ;)
Did you ever find out exactly who the guy was who let you in the second time? He certainly must have been someone close to The Stones if the crowds parted for him like that. Oh I am soooo very pleased for you both. Imagine getting to see the group TWICE!!! What a fantastic adventure and one I know that neither Chris nor you will ever forget.
Wow Prairie Lily, what great luck! What I would do to see the Stones in concert!
How lucky can a girl, and guy get.
An absolutely FANTASTIC adventure, and wonderfully told, Prarie Lily!
Oh what a great 2 days you two had.I loved to hear you tell it as only a true Stones fan could do.I'm so glad you got in that close such a marvelous spot.This will be a story to tell and be very proud of.I hope the pictures are good.
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