The main event of the Road Trip, well, second to seeing Toni, was going to a Kansas concert there in Springfield, MO. I’d been to concerts at the grandstand at the Illinois State Fair with hard rocking acts like K.C. & The Sunshine Band (google it kids) and the Beach Boys. At the K.C. concert I learned that “shake, shake, shake your booty” was not a song about babies getting funky and that booty was what I was sitting on. I was a very white-bread, middle class, mild-mannered mid-western boy. That night I would go where I’d never gone before, an indoor, theater concert complete with laser light show by a rock band.
I didn’t sleep well that night in the motel with visions of marauders stealing away boxes in my dreams. John woke me up during the night having a nightmare and yelling things in his sleep about being chased by a ventriloquist’s dummy. But that night I was ready to go and being with John, away from home and going to a rock concert had me in uber-hyper mode.
We stood in line forever and then finally were let in to the theatre and we found our seats up in the enormous balcony. The place was packed out and I couldn’t see an empty seat in the place. I can’t remember the opening band or even if there was one but when Kansas came on stage the lights went even darker and the light show started and I was ready to rock.
And then I noticed in the row in front of us that something was being passed down the row. At first I thought it was a cigarette and “that’s weird, don’t they know this is a non-smoking place?” I looked around for ushers or someone who’d tell them to put it out. As it passed on by in their row and the stage lights came up and I could see I realized it wasn’t a cigarette, it was a joint. Then I started worrying about a police raid and having to call my dad from Springfield, MO to come bail me out of jail.
I wish I made that up.
I had a friend in school who smoked pot. A lot. A doctor’s son, he and some other friends would have fun by putting their mom’s tiny dog in a gym bag and zippering it closed and as they smoked a joint they’d exhale into the bag and get the dog high and laugh at the dog when they let it out of the bag and watched it bump around the room. They were higher than the dog so it seemed hilarious to them at the time, but they never tried to get me to smoke with them.
I was distracted by thought of jail time when John, on my left, handed me something that was making it’s way down our row too. I passed the joint on to the person on my right who took it, took a drag, pretty sure he inhaled and eliminated his chances to be president, and then passed it to the person next to him. I figure out the police probably weren’t coming tonight and this was just part of the show. A joint made its way back down our row every little bit and some held it a little longer than others but everyone seemed to share nicely with each other. I just passed it on, so did Toni and John, every time it came our way.
The laser light show was amazing. All kinds of shapes and images were formed in the air above and in front of us. About half way through the concert the lasers formed a 3D Pegasus that flew towards us up in the balcony and the crowd let out a collective, “Wooooooooooa, awesome!” And at that moment the lights came up a little more with “Carry On My Wayward Son” and I could see this huge, thick cloud of smoke was hanging over the downstairs and it occurred to me that we in the balcony must be actually sitting inside the cloud. At concerts end I was feeling like my friends little dog. I had inhaled second hand pot smoke and now I had the munchies and was feeling very mellow about life. John & Toni both laughed at me but I was feeling pretty good about it. The next day though would be more of a “Dust In the Wind” day.
…to be continued…