Saturday, February 23, 2008


Roll back the clock a couple of months from the previous entry to find me standing before Van Halen with Diamond Dave live at a concert in Portland Oregon on December 1, 2007. When I first heard that DLR would be touring with VH for the first time in over 22 years, I JUMPED!at the opportunity to get tickets. Living in Denver, it also meant making arrangements to fly out to Oregon. No arm twisting there because of my love for that state and having friends there to visit and enjoy the show with.

I flew out several days in advance in order to do some skiing, late night dips in hot springs, grooving on the old growth forests, visiting the coast and spending some time with friends I had not seen in a while. All of this was meant to pump me up for the climax of the trip. Highlights include soaking in a pool of warm water along the frigid roaring McKenzie River in the Cascade Range. Cranking up the car rental stereo in the dripping forest to release VH music into the night while I swayed to their beat under the influence of a strong dose of tequila. Skied slopes of Mt. Bachelor for two days, finding fresh powder amongst the trees dumped by Pacific storms each night. Relaxed on the beach on the Oregon coast, enjoying the sight, sound and smell of endless lines of waves pounding the rocky shore.

D-Day, Saturday!! It had finally arrived! My friend Coston and I drove back to Portland with low, wet clouds of an approaching storm pursuing us. Snow on the Coast Range roads. Made it to Jeff's house about 1 where we hung out and relaxed, enjoying the very wet views outside. Had dinner at Amnesia Brewing. Took the light rail to the Rose Garden where the concert party began! Security was minimal and there was no fear of being searched too closely (for that 1/2 liter flask of tequila!) Ky-Mani Marley warmed up the crowd with a little reggae music. We had moved from our reserved seats to the very top/back of the concert hall so that we had the comfort of movement and dance! Then the climax of the trip happened when Van Halen took the stage! A thunderous roar filled the air! One classic tune after another. I was in heaven, the rock legends down there on the stage playing all the hits that I loved to listen to during my "parties on the Pass" ski weekends. I could not get enough of it.

The encore is over and the lights come back on. All those weeks of expectation are over. I felt elated by the event but totally deflated at the prospect that it was over. We made it back safely to Jeff's house, not remembering much of our journey as I was still wrapped in a golden haze of heavy guitar riffs and tequila.

An absolutely fabulous week!

The next morning while thumbing through the Sunday New York Times Sunday at Jeff's house there was a full page add for a couple new VH concerts in NJ and NY, tickets going on sale the next morning. I was once again ready to JUMP! but I checked their website Monday and noticed that they added a bunch of new shows in January through April, including a stop in Denver!! I was going again in February! The guitar riffs are still rolling around inside my head!

The lesson learned is to not stand on the beach looking out at those monster waves. Grab your surfboard, get out into it and ride the thrilling crest of that wave called life. You will never regret it.

Summer has fallen
Large brown leaves mat the wet ground
Dark forest dripping

There for a moment
Listens to the river sing
Its unceasing song

Eddie's guitar wails
The sound drifts amongst the trees
He rocks the forest

Car stereo cranked
Tequila flows through his veins
Stands before the stage

The faithful gather
Darkened cathedral spotlit
High priests take the stage

The boys take the stage
I've died and gone to heaven
Looked for their halos

Legends ply their gifts
Their rock fueled euphoria
Eighty proof booster

Caress the steel strings
Electric vibe fills the air
Amps power the soul

Expectations climb
The thunderous crescendo
Only way but down

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