I never make plans. When I saw that Roger Waters was going to be performing ‘The Wall’ at the Staples Center in Los Angeles I made plans. It was for a November show and I knew it was a risk that something could pop up, but I bought the tickets anyway. I was a huge Pink Floyd fan growing up and I still am. I was planning to take my wife and when I excitedly told her that ‘I’ve made plans for us,’ she was confused and amused.
While I was doing the Vuelta last year the plan for the concert came undone when I learned that we would have the first camp of the year in the Cayman Islands at exactly the same time as the concert. On hearing the news I worked so hard at controlling myself and then semi-destroyed the hotel room I was staying in with all the flare of a jilted rock star. The real humor of the moment came when I suddenly remembered I wasn’t alone and turned around to find Christian Vande Velde hiding behind his bed scared shitless. I eventually mellowed out (CVV had already made a beeline for the door) and I told myself, this is why I don’t make plans.
Last week I got an urgent email from CVV asking that I call him right away. Now those are the types of emails that can go two ways: good news or bad news. I wondered if the Spanish hotel had finally tracked him down after I blamed the damage on him. But we’re buddies, I could explain that misunderstanding, so I called. Remarkably, he said he had tickets for The Wall concert in Barcelona and he was taking me! Immediately I thought, there’s no chance the hotel has been in touch with him. I’d lost track of Roger’s tour schedule and I didn’t even know the show was coming to Spain. At first he wanted a man date, and I would’ve been fine with that. It would have been the perfect venue to have apologized for my uncontrollable rampage back at our hotel room at the Vuelta and that somehow his name got left with hotel management. But at the last moment he asked if my wife Randi would like to go, and of course she would, so he gifted us both tickets. Fortunately, Randi’s mom was in town and could watch the kids.
So we went up to CVV’s house and got the tickets and said ‘thank you’ a bunch of times. CVV told me the concert started at 7:30pm and I checked the internet and it said the same thing. I don’t know Barcelona that well so we left early. The doors weren’t open when we got there and surprisingly they didn’t open til 7:30. When we went in and sat down I thought wow this is basically going to be a private showing. After sitting for some time Randi started asking the ushers what time the show started and she was told 9:30pm. She wasn’t happy about that as she wanted to eat after the show and she was already hungry. She also asked the ushers if there was smoking allowed. He clearly said, ‘No’ as someone right next to him was puffing away. So we hung out there and waited for the show to start anyway. By the time it kicked off the venue was fully packed and also full of all kinds of smoke.
It was an emotional show for me. I forgot how much I listened to that album growing up and it brought up a whole bunch of deeply seated feelings. Waters still has good energy on stage and the special effects that they had going were pretty amazing. It was a visual and musical treat of the first order. It moved me in ways I had not expected but also welcomed. I was touched at the core of who I am and I was grateful for the experience.
So now the show is over and we have to drive an hour and half back to Girona and it’s 12:30 at night, we’re wrung out from the show and pretty hungry. Unfortunately, on the way to the concert I turned the lights on when passing through the tunnels, parked and didn’t turn them back off. So when we found the car the battery was dead. We started asking people for jumper cables, but no one had them. They all willingly offered to push start our car, but my car is not a stick shift. All the cars are now gone and we finally get lucky with a taxi cab driver who had the cables and helped us with the jump start. We finally got home at 2am.
It was a day to remember and none of it was planned.