Thursday, February 16, 2006

another weird dreams ends this Tzolkin for me

Bad dream a.m. 02-16-2006 (13 Ahau)

In this dream, myhusband had gotten a pair of tickets to see AC/DC. It’s been years and years since I saw them; they don’t put out albums like they used to (they are getting kind of old; in their 50’s and 60’s) and last tour they didn’t come to Connecticut at all.

The concert was at some place in Hartford we’d never heard of and never been to, but we had a photo of it and behind it there was a Holiday Inn. So we figured if we could find the Holiday Inn, we could go a few blocks and it would be there.

But of course traffic in Hartford is terrible and half the streets are one-way, always in the wrong direction. We actually saw the tour bus go by, but we couldn’t get to that street to follow it. It reminded of the time, also in Hartford, that I waited outside by AC/DC’s tour bus until around 2 a.m. to meet them and when they finally came out their security guard sent me away and I was hiding in the bushes and the drummer (the bald one-forget his name) saw me and winked. I suggested to Willy that security might not be so tight now as it was in 1990 and we could probably meet them for real. (Not that he was with me in 1990--I was actually with my friend the Troll that night, but she went home and left me there in the street lurking at the tour bus.)

We gave up trying to find the place in the car and parked and walked to the Holiday Inn. We knew from the photo that it was MAYBE 2 blocks away. But they told us we had to take some kind of underground tram and it was extremely complicated. Finally we got there.

It was a tiny place. I don’t think it held 1,000 people. One part of me was sad to see this band, once one of the greatest in the world, with one of the top 10 best selling albums of all time (Back in Black, of course), reduced to playing such a tiny venue. But part of me was excited to be in such an intimate setting, and I knew there’d be no obstacles to meeting them this time. The seat layout was almost like a big college lecture hall. It was steep. There were 3 staircases going directly from the stage-area right up into the crowd. A central walkway divided the area into “upper” and “lower” and you could enter from the stage level or from the walkway level (where we came in). There was nothing stopping anyone from walking onto the stage, so you know I did! And I looked around, and there in a side room I saw Brian Johnson (lead singer) standing there talking to someone. He wasn’t 20 feet from me!

I went back to our seats and told Will, “I just saw Brian Johnson-he was like right there!” and he laughed at me that I could still get excited about this band I’ve been listening to for 25 years, since I heard “Hell’s Bells” for the first time at the roller skating rink.

It seemed like for a time my friend from college was there with us, complaining about something her sister had done. That part isn’t clear.

Our seats were in the lower tier, all the way to the left (as you face the stage). Not obstructed view, actually really great seats, but for some reason I didn’t want to be in them. I got up and went up to the walkway where a few other people were standing, and I went all the way to the top of the right hand staircase. It seems like I was wearing a long dress, either red or black or both, which isn’t something I’d really wear to an AC/DC concert. (I used to go dressed as Angus Young, the guitar player—in bermuda shorts, a button-down shirt and a tie.)

The first song started, and I had my arms in the air, kind of ticking off the beat. It was one of those things where the song is totally familiar but I couldn’t think of the name. Brian Johnson came UP the stairs from the stage and pointed at me and started waving his arms around like me, kind of laughing. He was smiling. His face up close (well, closer than I’d ever been in person) didn’t look like I’d imagined it would. I know he’s 60, but his face was very tan and lined (well, he DOES live in Florida!) He looked almost Mexican. But his hair was still dark and full and wavy.

Then he backed down the stairs and started singing and the song was “Whole Lotta Rosie” which I don’t think I’ve ever heard them do in concert (it’s from 1977, a Bon Scott song). "Whole Lotta Rosie" is about a very sexy fat woman. It's not a past hit of theirs; more like a cult song. Along the lines of "Fat Bottom Girls" from Queen.

But before he got to the chorus, Brian Johnson dropped the mike and fell over. It was clearly not an act. He was grabbing his chest. Some people from the venue and some others that I guess were part of the band’s entourage came running out. No one in the audience knew what to do. He was on the floor just in front of the middle seats. I started to push my way down, to give him Reiki or hold his hand or SOMETHING, but I couldn’t get through. Then he was on his feet, being held up by others, and saying it was just angina, but still holding his chest. Someone was talking about calling an ambulance and in fact through the windows we could see one coming. They hustled him off stage into the room where I’d seen him before and then the rest of the band left and all of us were just sitting there (or standing, like me), not knowing what to do or what the hell was going on. Were we going to get a refund? They hadn’t even gotten to chorus of the first song! Or would there be a rescheduled concert in the future? Was he okay?

One of the guys who’d been onstage with Brian Johnson had a fake arm in his hand and I realized that BJ had had a fake arm, and that didn’t make any sense to me. I thought, no, it was Bon Scott (1st lead singer, who died in 1980) who had a fake arm. But Bon Scott didn’t have a fake arm either. Weird.

It was a while later when this guy wheeled out a pedestal and unveiled a white bust of Brian Johnson. It was kind of crudely done, like plaster just slapped together, kind of primitive. I didn’t like it. Some people clapped and others were unsure of what was going on. Someone said loudly that it was a nice likeness, and the man shrugged and said, “well, it’s his death mask.” And walked off the stage.

No formal announcement, but he was dead. That was it. Refunds ceased to matter. AC/DC had replaced a dead singer once, but they were old and tired now. The band was over.

I was heartbroken. It’s one of those things you know will happen—like a beloved pet or an elderly relative dying—but you are still surprised at the depth of your grief. You might have even told yourself that the person would be better off dead if they were suffering. But when they do die, it’s still awful.

I went back to my seat and Will wasn’t there. There was a girl I didn’t know, and she was crying. We started crying all over each other. She said she had seen AC/DC about 30 times in concert. I told her 15 but really it’s only about 7 or 8. Will came back from looking for me and said we had to go, but I didn’t want to leave. He gave me the keys and said he’d meet me at the car. (Or maybe it was a spare key?)

I went snooping around and was backstage, but it was more like a bed and breakfast backstage than what I’ve seen on videos. The rest of the band was gone. I looked out the window and saw the ambulance still idling outside. Was he dead in there? The tour bus was nearby too. I found a video camera and looked at the footage on its little screen. It looked like they might have been doing a behind-the-scenes DVD. I watched Brian Johnson walking around Hartford, mugging for the camera. A guy came up to him, who I recognized as the one who had shown the death-mask, and gave him a can of something. I want to say it was dark tuna fish like what cats eat but that’s just too gross to contemplate. Anyway, he was eating out of this can (it was a weird sized can too) with a fork and laughing, and that was the last shot. I felt like the food had been poisoned and I thought about stealing the little camera, but it wasn’t proof of anything.

I left it behind and found my way back on to the confusing underground tramway and back to the Holiday Inn area. It was one of those moments—why are people smiling, why are they happy, when someone special just died? I wondered if I should call someone. Should I put an announcement on the internet? I had seen this famous person, this icon, drop dead basically right in front of me, moments after he’d been pointing at me and laughing.

I found Will and the car and he was upset that I was crying. I said, “He saw me. He pointed at me. He laughed with me and danced with me. And then he died.” I couldn’t decide if I felt special or punished.

Will said, “I wasn’t going to say anything but he was laughing and dancing with other people too.”

I wasn’t jealous; it didn’t matter now because he was dead.

And that’s all I remember.

Only asides: today’s the last day of the Mayan calendar Tzolkin—a day of endings and wrapping things up and moving on.

In 3 days it will be the 26th anniversary of the death of the first AC/DC lead singer, Bon Scott.

I haven’t talked to or seen my college friend in many years, since the baby shower for her first baby, who I think is around 5 now.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, now that is a cool dream! Dreaming is great!