Today has been a roller coaster of emotions. I woke to the news of the mass shooting at a Jason Aldean concert in Las Vegas.
Then in the afternoon, we learned Tom Petty had been found at his home in cardiac arrest and was removed from life support. There were confirmed reports of his death that were later recanted. Then a final word that he had indeed passed.
As I thought about Tom Petty this afternoon I was reminded about the time I almost saw him in concert. I was 16, his song Free Fallin’ was a new radio hit, and someone in my school had won tickets on the radio and couldn’t go.
My buddy and I thought it’d be fun concert so I bought the tickets for $20 a piece. When I got home I realized that I shouldn’t have bought them.
You see, back then, concerts were a special event. Not a regular occurrence… and in my area, the big ones were always held at Hilton Coliseum in Ames. That was doable. It was less than an hour from my house and my friend knew Ames well. His family were Iowa State fans and made many trips there to see the Cyclones play.
The thing is our tickets weren’t for a show in Ames. They were for Iowa City. A town that was 2.5 hours away and a town we weren’t familiar with. We knew we’d never be able to convince our parents to let us go so we sold the tickets.
This was well before social media. There was no posting about tickets for sale online. I actually had to ask around. It took some doing but a teacher ended up buying them. He said it was a great show.
I’ve seen a lot of concerts over the years but I never did make it to a Tom Petty show… and now I never will.