By Tenzin McGrupp © 2003
Las Vegas (1998) Senor and I dropped acid and went to see an epic Phish concert at the Thomas and Mack Center. During the second set, they covered the entire Velvet Underground album Loaded. That particular performance, Senor declared, was the best set of Phish he had ever seen. I agreed. After the show, I almost got into a fist fight with a cab driver, who looked like Gopher from the Love Boat and I wanted to kick his ass after he made fun of me. I flipped out a few minutes later and lost my shit in the middle of the Sahara Casino, on a head full of double-dipped acid, with all the lights and flashes and sounds of chips and slot machines and the free drinks and people from Canada having fun and all the visual stimuli… the entire dark side of Las Vegas laughed and tossed me aside, like a parking ticket on the windshield of Paris Hilton’s Mercedes SUV.
New York, NY (2001) Full moon in NYC, as Molly and I went to see Medeski, Martin and Wood play their usual Halloween show at the Beacon Theatre. The Yankees were playing in the World Series that same night (pushed back due to 9.11) and due to the scheduling conflict, I had to miss the Game 4 (Yanks were down 2-1 to the Arizona Diamondbacks). After a stellar performance and great seats (up in the balcony), the concert ended just after 11:30 PM. I waited for Molly while she went to the bathroom. Right next door to the restroom was a small janitor’s closet. One of the custodians for the Beacon Theatre had a small color TV playing on top of his cleaning cart. A couple of die-hard Yankees fans, wearing multiple costumes (Elvis, an Apache helicopter pilot, a guy in a purple wig) all huddled together watching every pitch. The Yankees were down by 2 runs in the bottom of the 9th inning. Byung-Hyun Kim, the Arizona pitcher gave up a two out 2-run homerun to Tino Martinez, who swung at the first pitch and crushed a homerun in one of the greatest World Series moments of all time! We all jumped up and shouted, “Ti-no! Ti-no! Ti-no! Ti-no!” Quite the thrill, because less than a half hour later, Derek Jeter hit the first home run ever in the month of November, again off of Byung-Hyun Kim.
Tenzin McGrupp is a writer from New York City.