Pack Fair and Square

One of my favorite blogs, The Walker, is consistently good; today it takes a look back at an early 1980s concert at the Los Angeles Coliseum featuring The Rolling Stones, The J. Geils Band, and a then-little-known performer named Prince, who outraged the crowd when he appeared in “a long black greatcoat that opens to reveal he’s wearing nothing but bikini underpants underneath.”

I was never a huge fan of J. Geils, but I admire their live album Full House, which I think is a masterpiece. When I myself saw them in the early 1970s (not in a splendid coliseum but in a hockey arena in Hershey PA), I was most surprised to find that Peter Wolf — who at the time was seriously involved with Faye Dunaway, who subsequently became his wife — appeared from my vantage point to be a weird little troll, who spent much of the concert frog-hopping around the stage.

“Why would a glamorous actress be dating a frog-like gnome?” I wondered, but when I met up with Wolf after the show, in my capacity as the area’s ‘with-it’ concert reviewer, I found him to be a) not short, b) not troll-like at all, and, in fact, c) quite handsome, intelligent and charming. When I photographed him, he even asked if I would send any good photos to him, since he needed some new ones.

I immediately envisioned a whole new career for myself — photographer to the stars! — but as it turned out, the camera I had borrowed for the evening was broken, so the pictures were definitely not a success. (One of them, when liberally Photoshopped, is at least mildly interesting.)

p.s. I see that the Hershey Arena these many decades later is now the Giant (I mean GIANT) Center — perhaps a grocery store or a tribute to the late great Andre. Tomorrow night, in fact, the Hershey Bears hockey team will be there playing the Syracuse Crunch. The Bears were of course started back in the 1930s as the Hershey B’ars, so this means that whenever players on the two teams collide they will create Crunch Bars.

p.p.s. It’s a wonderful thing to remain oblivious to reality. The Wikipedia points out something that has never occurred to me about Full House, an album I’ve now owned for 38 years. Turns out that the five playing cards on the album jacket cover do not, in fact, make a full house.

About RPS
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