bowie loves you, by Giacomino C. Parkinson

Well it seems lady luck was passing by my hemisphere or the stars and planets were aligned on Monday, June 19, 2000 as I was lucky enough to attend my 5th Bowie concert!

roseland ballroom

My friend and (lol) bodyguard Duane and I drove up on Sunday, as I wanted to get my bearings before the concert. We checked into our closet away from home for the next two nights, and then ventured out into the city night. (To view some pics of the city, click here.) My mental to-do list for the evening had a few entries, but two quests were imminent: food and finding the Roseland Ballroom! I lost count as to how many blocks we walked, was it 57th, 58th street? Ok, where the hell was I?? I had my trusty laminated Streetwise Midtown Mahhattan map (don't leave home without it, unless you are a native NY'er) so why couldn't I find the ballroom? D'OH-did I remember to write the address down? NO! The tickets were locked in the safe back at the closet. (Great planning there, way to go Deb.)

Since I obviously had sabatoged our chances of completing quest 2, it was off to accomplish quest 1. This would be carried out with minimal difficulties as I know where the Carnegie Deli is without the map. Busy as usual, but no wait; if you get to NYC I recommend eating there. Let me say this, one sandwich can feed two people with leftovers. The walls are lined from one end of the restaurant to the other with 8x10's of all the "FAMOUS" whom have dined there. Upon rolling my overstuffed body out to street I realized it had started drizzling. It was at that time we decided to return to the closet away from home, after a quick stop to Virgin records. We would use the next day to locate the elusive ballroom before the concert.

Well the day arrived and the to-do list was longer than the previous day's since I still had to locate the ballroom. First things first: I opened the safe, got the tickets and wrote down the address. With that accomplished, I called the Roseland to see what time the doors opened and if cameras were allowed. Doors opened at 6:45pm and no camera! I was saddened by the news, but it wouldn't upset my mood since I was going to see the man!

Due to my laziness (and waiting to see Duran Duran on The View, ahhhh), it was close to noon before we departed for the journey. My luncheon appointment with a friend ended at 2:00pm, and then it was off to find the ballroom. Low and behold, we had walked right by the street the night before (52nd). It wasn't that hard to find since we had the address. Also, the line of about 100 people milling about at 2:45 in the afternoon was a good clue. I took a few shots of the Marquee and, it was off to complete various tasks that I didn't accomplish earlier (Heather deciding what CD she wanted from Virgin). Of course all I could think of was the fact that I should be in line. I figured that by the time I got there I would be in the back of the ballroom but that is another story :)

After a brief respite at the closet and prep time to get ready, it was off to Roseland for the real thing, no more dry runs :). We arrived at 6:50pm (please note 5 minutes after the doors opened), and much to my dismay the line was a tad longer. Just a few hundred more people which went down the block and halfway around the next. Sadness. BUT I WAS THERE!!! The line itself was a pretty interesting mixture of people and ages ranging from teenagers (obviously their parents brought them up with good musical taste) to people older than me. (SHOCK--Such is not the case at the majority of concerts I attend). What we found most interesting is the crap people left on the street. The discarded items consisted of things like cigarette packs, soda cups, some food wrappers but the closer we got to the door the items got a little larger and more expensive. Obviously some of the first in line slept there overnight. Playing cards, bed pillows and blankets. But the best was not one but two of those collapsible chairs that are made of nylon of which can be folded up and put in their handy dandy carrying case. It seems that was too much to deal with as they were left there about 10 feet from the entrance. (Their "new" owners, the guys behind us, didn't see that this would be too much of an inconvenience as they decided they would just check them in at the coat check, lol.)

Now came time for what is usually the groping body/purse search that happens at almost every concert in the DC area. Being that I was in New York, I figured it would be worse. NOT-just the opposite! I could have brought in a tank if I so desired. The guy took my ticket and that was that. I stepped through the doors only to have to walk through another set of doors, and once you entered there was no reentry. I walked the short hallway to the "ballroom," where I would spend the next couple of hours with a man I have admired since the 70's.

Where was everyone? I mean, after the line outside... where was everyone? Well quite frankly I didn't care at that moment as I walked briskly across the ballroom floor to my spot: THIRD ROW!! We were about 10 to 12 ft. from the stage, and about 30 ft. from the spot where Bowie would be standing most of the night. It was almost 7pm, an hour before the concert was scheduled to begin (hmmmmm... what to do for the next hour). Music played in the background, mostly 80's tunes, but wait were my ears deceiving me? Was it, no, couldn't be, yes it was..NUMAN!!!! (Did David pick this set list?? :)

Sadly I realized at that moment that I had not aquired my "free gifts" that all Bowienetters were to receive upon attending the concert. Oh no, what should a poor girl do? Forego the lovely items (Bowie/Roseland T-shirt, mousepad, awesome poster, etc.) or lose my great spot? Well my dear friend (& bodyguard), Sir Duane, was kind enough to volunteer his services and go retrieve said treasures. While he set out on his quest I held my ground for the throngs of people I had seen outside were flowing in creating a sort of sardine effect. Duane was back in about 30 minutes and had successfully completed his quest.

The remaining minutes were spent people watching and meeting other fans stationed around me. The hour (8pm) finally arrived and then passed. Time crept by slowly and soon it was 8:15. I was beginning to worry that maybe the concert might be canceled as was the one the night before. As everyone knows by now it had to be canceled due to Bowie having laryngitis. It was the first concert ever that he had to cancel in 35 years. BUT I was not to be disappointed because in the next few minutes he arrived on stage!! "Hello everybody," he bellowed over the crowds' cheers. "Hellloo David," we all screamed back! "Now come on, take a look at me, was that the proper way to say hello? Let's start again, Helllooo Bowienetters!!" "Helllllo Sailor," we all screamed in unison. Aptly put as he was dressed in a sailor outfit looking quite adorable I might add. Bowie talked for a while then introduced a girl from Tokyo whom had traveled the farthest for the concert. What followed was 2+ hours of (as always) fantastic music. If you care to know the set list of read other comments about this concert click here. Even though I was given erroneous information (no cameras-almost everyone there had one, but me), that I now know what it feels like to be a little fish in a can, I would do it again and again. Bowie has never let me down at any concert I have had the luck to attend. He is an outstanding performer and his voice was superb (thanks doc).