“It was 20 [or perhaps almost 30] years ago today…” — The Beatles
On April 22, 1987 Peter Dolan and I were standing on the corner of Irving Plaza and E. 15th Street, nursing pints of Guinness. We were trying to get tickets to the sold out Big Audio Dynamite show that evening.
Here is how Pete remembered it in a message to me years later, great stuff – “Mick and Don” are of course Mick Jones and Don Letts. They got out of a yellow cab and walked right past us:
That was a great night, and a great show. I remember, we headed up there; the show was sold out, and the scalpers were asking crazy prices. We saw Mick and Don exit the cab, and you shouted, “Hey, Mick, we want to see the show, but the scalper’s prices are crazy.”
We were standing there for a while, mulling whether it was worth paying what they were asking, when a guy came up to us – “You guys want to see the show? I got back stage passes. Twenty bucks each. I can’t do the deal here though, we have to go around the corner.”
And he offered us these stick-on patches, for $20 each.
It seemed kind of dodgy, and I half thought we were going to get ripped off, but he said “Put these on and I’ll walk you in.” So we paid him, and he led us in through the stage entrance, and it was an amazing show. I think one of the encores was a cover of Prince’s 1999, unless I’m thinking of another B.A.D show. But in any case, it was one of the best shows I’d ever seen.
So now it’s almost 30 years later, and for the first time, it occurs to me… did Mick or Don send that roadie out to offer us a way in?
Well, today I found my backstage pass, stuck to the back of my favourite BAD album, “Number 10 Upping Street”. Pete and I never did go backstage in case you’re wondering. I can’t say why…