My adult self looks online for something to jog the messed-up morass of this memory, and what I find helps very little.
I find reviews of the show, I watch a poorly done documentary film on YouTube about it. I read the Wikipedia entry about “The Godfather of Shock Rock” and where Alice Cooper was at in his personal life during the time of this concert.
I remember nothing of The Baby’s performing as the opening act. I look at videos of their hit song Every Time I Think of You, and all that comes to mind is that my nineteen-year-old midwestern self would probably not have cared for it, or the band that sang it. Too pop for that snob. But I don’t remember it… AT ALL. If I actually had snorted that half pill capsule offered by that random guy next to me… that might explain a whole lot of my not remembering at this concert.
PCP (“Angel Dust”) was still being sold legally to veterinarians as a horse tranquilizer until 1965, so in 1979 it wasn’t surprising that loads of people had easy access to the insanely dangerous stuff. Once again, my naive young self had no idea. Once again I was one lucky naive young midwestern fool because (if I had taken it, and if it was PCP) it was probably a very weak dose because I don’t remember having the shit scared outta me as would certainly have been the case.
As most certainly WOULD be the case several days after this concert, when I would make a much MUCH stupider decision.
But at this concert…
Like I said, I remember nothing of the opening act. I remember quite a bit of of the show Alice cooper put on, but not from that sweet front and center spot where Allen and the rest of the gang were having the time of their lives. Ignoring my “crazy” friend’s direction, I left my spot to help someone.
I left my spot to help someone and Allen was right in that I never got it back. My adult self is pretty glad about that decision. My adult self would like to think that this shows how my helpfulness is an essential part of who I am and that thought is empowering. The memory of my young self has little to go on so I guess I’ll try and accept that I was still the good boy after all.
I’m pretty sure it happened sometime during The Baby’s opening set. Or perhaps even before it got started. That could be the real reason I remember nothing of it. Perhaps I never even took that PCP. Anyway, I do remember turning around, just to look at the crowd and seeing this woman disappear. Like she fell. She wasn’t too far behind me but the crowd was so thick, I couldn’t see much.
I remember thinking right away that the way she disappeared was not at all like she was just bending over to look for something. It bothered me so I moved towards her and immediately realized that I lost my spot.
“Shit.” Oh well… I was committed to this decision so I took the few steps in her direction. I had to push people aside to get a look but… there she was, on the floor. She was out cold and so of course I got down to look. Of course I also did not employ much of my first aid training as a young nurse’s aid back in Rochester. I just picked her up.
Again, I remember very little. Perhaps I had snorted that pill after all. I don’t know, I just know that I took the woman out to the hallway on the side of the auditorium where there were food and drink vendors. I have no memory about any details as to who she was but now that I write this, I’m sure that I got her some water and talked to her for a while.
I know I went back in by the time Alice Cooper started his show, because I remember the introduction by some guy in a cyclops psyche doctor costume and Vincent Price’s voice (no doubt a voice-over). I enjoyed this very theatrical and very well performed show but as I said… it’s my memory of having helped that woman that my adult self is now holding onto.
At least I have that now. It sure would have been good to have had something to hold onto a few days later when I make what my adult self would have to say was one of the worst decisions of the entire “adventure” thus far. When I snorted a whole bunch of what I thought was cocaine (bad enough) but what turned out to clearly be PCP. And it wasn’t weak stuff either.
To be continued…