So, it was the first time Best Friend and I would be seeing Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. It was us, plus Two Lovely Ladies. We were in a giant sports arena, just about as high as you could climb without actually perching on a rafter. But we did not care. It was Bruuuuuuce. We were just so happy to be there.
We were waiting for the show to start, chatting and whatnot, when this fellow came up to us. He had a bit of a tough-biker-dude vibe about him, and I was a bit suspicious. He says "I only have two left, but if two of you want to go up to the front row, they're yours." My companions instantly said "yes!" but I wasn't quite so quick to the yes. My reply was something like "who are are you and why do you have these and why are you giving them to us?" Tough Biker Dude laughs just slightly and says "I work for Bruce. He doesn't let the front row of tickets be sold. He sends me out before the show to find people like you, with seats like these, and move you up to the front." My companions are pratically throwing their tickets at Tough Biker Dude, totally ready to trade up. My reply? "Do you have any ID?" He flashes his passes and badges and says "Do you want them or not?" So Best Friend and I hand over our tickets and take what he's offering. And off he goes, into the night. And the four of us just sat and stared at each other. Four people. Two tickets.
The Two Lovely Ladies looked at Best Friend and me, smiled and said "GO!!!" So we did. We made our way out into the concourse area, then stopped and looked at each other, slightly dazed. Then we looked down at the tickets we were now holding. Mine said Row 1, Seat 1. We looked at each other again, screamed, and took off running. Down three levels of arena. Screaming the whole way. We did stop briefly to call my mom, who had generously given her ticket to Best Friend earlier in the day, and told her what had happened. Her reply? "F***!"
When we finally made it down to the main level, we were shown to our Row 1 seats by a grinning usher. Looking around, it was a row of bewildered Bruce fans, talking quickly and animatedly with each other, pointing to where they had come from. We giddily took our seats, shared our story, (there was an episode with some $21 beverages, but that's another story), and the show started.
Turns out our Row 1 seats were about three feet from The Big Man, Clarence Clemons, himself. Oh. My. Gosh. A) It's Clarence Clemons!!! B) Bruce spends A LOT of the show hanging out with Clarence!!!
At one point, Bruce held my hand for about 2.1 seconds. And at another point, during a stunning Clarence solo, I became bold enough (maybe due to the $21 beverage) to reach out, very slowly, and touch (maybe the right word is "pet") Clarence Clemons's shoe. It was extremely soft. And he glanced at me with a look somewhere between "silly girl" and "why are you touching my shoe?"
It was one of the Best Nights Ever.
Love you, Clarence.