Monday, April 8, 2019

Faking sick paid off in seventh grade ...Califfornia World Music Festival here I come

Since today is the 40th anniversary of this epic concert, the following is a repost from Jan. 26, 2011. On the UFO front, we've got a crew that will be rocking with the boys this October in Las Vegas.

By Andy

What happens when you fake being sick and stay home from school? As a seventh-grader in 1979, that meant listening to hard-rock tunes on 94.7 KMET in the Los Angeles area and hoping to win the big prize: tickets to the Califfornia World Music Festival.(Yes, they spelled it with two F's.)

My "stomach ache" miraculously disappeared after mom left the house, and I got the phone into a vice grip and continuously called the station when they announced the tickets were up for grabs. Yes, I won, and on April 8, I headed to the L.A. Memorial Coliseum with my dad to check out Aerosmith, Van Halen, UFO, Cheech and Chong and Eddie Money.


* My dad having to return to the car to put back his pocket knife, which didn't make it past security. While he was away, I waited by the front gate and saw several guards pin down a screaming, shirtless, long-haired man who appeared to be strung out on drugs.

* Entering the Coliseum to the sounds of Money's "Two Tickets to Paradise" and the smell of pot -- lots of it.

* Sharing my program with the strangers around me who spoke with slurred words, but still seemed cool to me.

* Cheech and Chong dancing about in pink tutus.

* UFO shredding the stage, even though guitarist Paul Chapman replaced golden-haired and -handed guitarist Michael Schenker for the gig. One person's "UFO Kicks Ass" sign was the best of the day.

* Van Halen opening with the brilliant "Light Up the Sky," David Lee Roth telling the security guards to "Get the fuck off my stage" and Eddie Van Halen raging on the "Eruption" guitar solo. My dad commented: "That guy sure gets a lot of mileage out of his guitar."

* Aerosmith were OK, actually a bit of a letdown following the mighty VH. However, the film of fighter planes gunning away and crashing on two large screens before the band took the stage was stellar.

Not a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon and evening. Not bad at all.

On a current note, a friend of ours recently left his pocket knife in our car during a Neurosis/Black Breath gig. We safely returned it to him the following day. Talk about coming full circle.

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