Glad you asked. A few days before Gerhard and I were set to leave for Philadelphia and New York to do Fred Greenberg's Marketplace shows, a letter arrived from Ken Viola informing me that he was working on a film "Master of Comic Book Art" and that he hoped I would consent to do an interview with him for the film, either in New York or here in Kitchener. Being a New Yorker Ken knew that it's always nice to give a little something if you want a little something (Yeah? What's in it f'me?).
Well, campers, he invited Ger and I to be his guests at the Eric Clapton show at the Ritz Club. I told Karen to phone and tell him we would be delighted. Eric Clapton in a club? You bet your ass we'd be delighted. Mind you I wasn't getting my hopes up... there have been a few occasions when people have offered your humble narrator the moon and turned out to be full of, how you say, merde.
But he dropped by the table late in the afternoon and dropped off the tickets. "9:00 show doors open at 7:30." Two blocks from the club there are people with "need tickets" signs. When we got there, the line stretched down 11th to 3rd, down 3rd to 10th and down 10th past the parking lot. To say the people at the end of the line were a little twitchy is to understate the matter dramatically.
"C'n we see youah tickets? We scalped 'n' I wanna know if d'tickets is good."
D' tickets looked good. A girl behind us wanted to check as well.
"Moy sistuh got dese. I hope dey ain't counnafit."
I said we had our tickets given to us.
They all looked at me like I landed from Mars.
"Someone gave you Clapton tickets?"
At that very moment Ken walked up.
"Here you are. I thought I'd find you out here. You're not supposed to wait in line. C'mon, c'mon."
He looked at us with that manner New Yorkers have when contemplating a non-New Yorker that says anyone who lives anywhere else has got to be, somehow, kidding. A brisk walk down 10th, down 3rd and down 11th and there we was -- er -- were. Ken dove between two football player size guys who looked at Ger and I like we were Gobots and it might be interesting to see what kind of cars we would be reassembled as. Ken turned and said "Dese two. Dere wit' me."
So there we are, sucking on a couple of Rolling Rock beers. Maybe fifteen feet from the stage. By nine o'clock the place was packed (goin' 'round and 'round.) About 9:30 Slowhand took the stage. After three songs I had the same feeling I get drinking too much good champagne too quickly. It was amazing. Awesome.
Pick your own superlative. The man is God.
With two songs to go, he stepped up to the mike and said "I'd like to introduce a blood brother of mine, Mr. Keith Richards."
Gerhard, who was about four feet behind me and to the right, claims that I jumped about four feet, five feet and seven feet in the air in rapid sequence. I was screaming "Keef! Keef!" They did killer versions of "Cocaine" and "Layla." By the end of it I was one big aching muscle from head to foot.
There are definitely times when this all becomes worthwhile.
Copyright 1986 Dave Sim
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