Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Eagles 35 Years Later

The Long Road Out of Eden

On August 6, 1976 I led a car caravan of friends from Coeur d'Alene Idaho to Seattle Washington. We had tickets to see The Eagles and Linda Ronstadt perform at Seattle's (now imploded) Kingdome.

In retrospect it is amazing we all lived through the trip. I mean Dennis drove a Ford Pinto (no explosions thank goodness). I drove my dad's supercab pick-up with its homemade camper.

Most of my friends were just out of high school. We all worked together at Pete Clausen's new McDonalds in Coeur d'Alene. Many had never driven further than Spokane. Some had never been given permission to go more than 20 miles any direction.

The concert tickets were $14. The interior of the Kingdome was filled with reefer smoke. When the lights went down everyone lit and gently waived matches. The opening act was Linda Ronstadt. Her voice was angelic. After Linda there was a long gap and then The Eagles came out and were pumped. They played long, hard, and loud. The acoustics in the Kingdome were so bad I actually left the arena to listen from the outer walk ramps.

We didn't have money for motels, so after the show we simply started to drive back to Idaho. Somewhere near Snoqualmie Summit we pulled off the interstate and slept under an overpass in our cars and the camper.

When the sun came up we were cold and (most of us) smelled bad. But everyone knew we'd had a great adventure.

I miss everyone from that trip. Three weeks later I left Coeur d'Alene for college and never saw them again.

Fast forward.

This past weekend I joined friends from church that wanted to go see The Eagles at the MGM in Las Vegas. The show is the second to last stop on their 2011 "Long Road Out of Eden" tour.

In the cab driving to the MGM I noticed a fine white Rolls Royce stopped at the light next to our cab. I laughed at the old dude driving it. He was older than Methuselah, yet was sporting shoulder length white long hair. His face that left no doubt that he had inhaled over the years. And, just like our cab driver, Mr. Rolls was clearly upset at being stalled in traffic.

It was a reminder that no matter the price of your tires, everyone in life gets the green light at the same time.

When we got to the arena most of the audience was pretty old. We were mostly bald or grey haired. Some had walkers. Many rolled oxygen tanks. 

The arena was (of course) smoke free. The Eagles started right on time. There was no Linda this time ;-(. The acoustics at the MGM were fine. I did not need the foam earplugs I brought.

As the concert began I realized the old dude driving the Rolls was Joe Walsh.

Voices were clear and strong. The music was tight. They played without a break for a little over 2 hours. They did two encores.

The concert was awesome.

Hotel California

One Hit After Another

Before the show I took my usual Vegas stroll. This time through the new Cosmopolitan Hotel (I love their current TV ads.) The exterior of the hotel was downright boring. The entrances are oddly placed. The roofline can only be described as peculiar. Signage is lame. The interior layout displays no coordinated planning at all.

But once inside the interior finishes, artwork, and overall vibe and "attitude" of the hotel is way cool. Staff is an eclectic mix of old and young all wearing black sportcoats. The place is fun. The Wicked Spoon buffet was also quite good.

A Cocktail Bar Resides Inside the Three Story Chandelier

Some of the Cosmopolitan's Art Collection

Cosmo is Home to Another Amazing All Saints Store

After the show I walked some more. When I reached the Ballagio its waters were choreographed to Frank Sinatra crooning "Luck Be A Lady Tonight". Life rarely offers 3 minutes of anything more perfect than that.

Luck Be A Lady Tonight

So, I offer thanks to the Eagles. You were wonderful. And this many years later, I extend a toast to all my friends in Cd'A, wherever life has taken you; "Salut"!

Roadboy's Travels © 2011

No comments: