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You’re never too old

I had been eagerly awaiting this day. Unfortunately, it didn’t unfold the way I imagined it would.

It was Tuesday – Tuesday 18 March 2006 to be exact – hot on the heels of Easter. I had the day off work. An extra day tacked on to the Easter break.

I woke up very early with a thumping headache and an upset stomach. I had a premonition of what lay ahead.

I wanted to scream: “NO … this can’t be happening!” I couldn’t – it hurt too much. It hurt to say anything at all. It hurt to look. It hurt to think. I took some tablets and crawled back into bed.

“These better work,” the voice inside was saying. “Think calm thoughts. Relax. You’ll get to your concert. Don’t worry Marica.”

“Why does this always happen to me?” said the Marica who was feeling sorry for herself.

I had tickets to go to my first ever rock concert that evening. This was to be a big occasion for this 50 year old. Who was I hoping to see? Here’s a clue.

Those famous lips

That’s right, none other than those veteran rockers The Rolling Stones! Yes, they were in town and I was one of the fortunate 40,000 people who had a ticket. This was to be their last concert on this leg of their Bigger Bang World Tour.

As I lay there the euphoria I had been feeling in anticipation of this event had gone. I had to get through the day first before I could even think about the evening.

The time eventually came when a decision had to be made – do I go or do I stay?

“If I feel bad can we come home,” I said to my patient and loving husband.

“Off course,” was Lynsey’s reply. Mind you I would have expected no other response from him.

All the way there in the car, this voice inside me was saying, “You can do this Marica. You can! It will be great. It will be worth the effort.”

I had arranged to meet my brother-in-law, Steve, because he had all the tickets for our group.

Lynsey and I arrived before the others.

As we were waiting Lynsey and I overheard an announcement on the loud speakers: “No cameras of any kind were allowed into the Stadium.”

We looked at each other and both thought the same thing: “You have got to be kidding!”

Lynsey headed back to the car with our cameras while I waited for Steve.

Amongst the throngs of people that were heading towards the Stadium gates Lynsey managed to bump into Valentina (my sister) and Steve. Since their car was parked a lot closer to the Stadium than ours was they decided Lynsey should put the cameras in their car. Valentina would take him to their car. Steve would continue on to find me at our agreed to meeting place.

As Steve and I were waiting for the rest of our group to arrive his cell phone rang.

“Did you give me the tickets for Lynsey and I?” was my sister’s question.

“Yes,” was Steve’s reply. He checked in his pocket to make sure he didn’t still have the tickets. He didn’t!

“I can’t find them,” said my sister.

If you could have seen the look on Steve’s face. It is best described as a ‘pained’ look.

“Well, you better look for them,” was his reply.

After a number of calls back and forward the facts were clear. Valentina and Lynsey no longer had tickets to get into the concert.

We stood there silently. No one dared to say anything. Each of us was trying to work out what to do next.

“I’ll give up my ticket, so we only need to find one more ticket,” I blurted out.

I was ignored.

After a moment Steve noticed a ticket booth. He wondered if they would be able to re-issue the missing tickets because he had the receipt for all the tickets he had purchased. We headed for the booth.

Steve explained the situation. We waited to see what the response would be. I bet they’ve heard it all before many times.

“Yes, that’s not a problem as long as you can tell me the exact seat numbers,” said the man behind the counter.

“By the way there is a charge – it will cost $10 to reprint the tickets!” he added. This seemed like such a small price to pay.

Steve made a quick call to Valentina to say we had a solution and it was all systems go.

Just as they were about to print the tickets a man came up behind us. He leaned over and asked: “Where can I hand in these tickets? Someone must have dropped them.”

We all looked at him incredulously, even the man behind the counter.

“Are they seats CC41 and CC42?” we all asked at the same time.

The man looked at the tickets. “Yes,” he replied.

This stranger had just handed in our missing tickets. Now what are the odds of that happening? We thanked the man in a rather excited manner. He seemed pleased that the tickets were back in the hands of their owners and he walked away smiling.

We all stood there stunned.

Everyday miracles do happen. This was evidence of it.

I said to my sister, who had joined us by this stage, “I can’t believe that someone picked up the tickets and actually handed them in?”

She looked at me and said “Why are you surprised Marica? Isn’t that what we would have done?”

“Yes,” I said while at the same time mulling over all the other possibilities as to how this may have ended.

All this happened before we even got through the gates!

As for the show itself – words fail me. It was all worth it and more. This was a spectacular event. You can understand why this band is still in business after all these years. They were polished, professional, and thoroughly entertaining. The music was great as well.

Mick Jagger doing what only he does bestI’ll never forget that first impression of The Rolling Stones live as Mick Jagger jumped onto the stage in his shocking pink shirt singing Jumping Jack Flash. This was one of many outfits he wore throughout the show. You couldn’t miss him even from a distance. Then there was the massive screen behind the performers projecting what was happening on stage.

Jagger’s energy on stage left even the youngest in the audience in awe. He did not stop moving for the entire show.

“Someone told me the last time I was here was in 1966. I didn’t even think I was alive in 1966.” said Jagger.

I smiled as I did the maths and looked around me at the people I was sitting with. Some weren’t even born then! Some wouldn’t even have been walking or talking then. Others would clearly remember that visit where The Rolling Stones were the support act for Roy Orbison who was performing in the Wellington Town Hall. Oh, how times have changed.

These guys may be in their sixties now, but clearly The Rolling Stones love what they do. And we love them for that. There’s no other reason they would work this hard to put on such an amazing show.
Simon Sweetman, Stuff

No matter how I was feeling before, I felt alive during this concert. I wanted to dance. I struggled to stay put. Music has always had a positive effect on me. I loved their passion. I loved their energy. We had it all. The stage set, the fireworks, the lighting, the moving stage, the music, the people, the energy, a beautiful warm moonlit Wellington night, a fantastic crowd, and a wonderful venue. It was perfect.

I walked away completely blown away. I believe what I saw were consummate professionals. Their bodies may have aged physically but what we were exposed to was a deep seated passion and love for what they do.

Tom Scott cartoon: Time on our side?

How exciting it must feel to have such passion and drive for your work within you like that. Aging doesn’t take this love away. It is there within. As long as it is fuelled it will burn like a fire. This is what we saw.

My day didn’t work out quite how I planned; but then that is nothing new.

This is a night I will never forget.

You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you just might find
You just might find
You get what you need

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