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What if Iggy Pop sang for Joy Division or Don't Take Pictures in Carnegie Hall

3/12/14 16:44 Philadelphia Airport waiting for a connection to Pittsburgh

Last night, I saw Iggy Pop for the first time. I’d like to see him again since the performance was a benefit concert at Carnegie Hall for Tibet House, the cultural capital in the US for Tibetan culture as expressed by Dr. Robert Thurman.  I bought the ticket since Iggy is the grandfather of punk and there’s nothing in the horizon that gives the impression that he will play in the New York area anytime soon.  I expect another year will pass.  I’ve been to the Tibet House benefit concerts before, I recall Michael Stipe kissing Mike Mills on the lips after they performed a song together.  Allen Ginsberg reciting his poetry while Philip Glass played solo piano as the poem progressed the music...glistened in our ears.  I’ve seen Patty Smith who closes each show with People Have the Power.  She sang a Lou Reed tribute, Perfect Day and then came back with her band to perform Land which merged into a voluminous chant…Gloria.  Her sways and hand gestures are timeless, calling out to the the sedated crowd in the orchestra...demanding them with her powerful voice to get up!   But before Patty...seeing Iggy perform with New Order was a truly rare experience, as well as a pure shock - the artists on the stage performed three songs, two were Joy Division, Transmission, and Love Will tear Us Apart as well as a New Order song, California Grass which was the first time it was performed live.  Iggy’s baritone voice was strong.  The experience was like watching a black baggy coat phantom rise from the dead...rest in peace Ian Curtis...but if he was alive he'd feel the hairs tingle - Iggy was chilling - so fucking close to perfection.  Dance....dance...the crowd was close to hysterics...as Iggy's jerky dance moves were like split fire lightening.  And I wondered - how old is this guy? 66…How could I complain of these aches?  Was he born with a limp?  Never knew it…some guy behind me said it was part of his shtick.  That is what makes New York great; some guy uses a Yiddish phrase to say Iggy has balls.  The National played as well, performing a song for the first time with a string quartet and accompanied by Sufjan Stevens.  Never heard of him, but he received a good response from the audience.  No crazy stories to share.  Well one.  There was a guy who kept taking pictures and it was a huge distraction since he was a couple of rows ahead and below me.  No one was stopping him.  I thought, where the bleep were the fucking ushers?  I had to keep this event in perspective, using the F Bomb there would not be acceptable, you know this was a benefit concert for the Tibet House after all.  Buddhists don’t go for F bombs at their concerts.  I'm furious and I know from getting caught at Carnegie, oh those red uniformed ushers in Carnegie Hall have a fierce reputation for pouncing on anyone who tries to take a picture.  This guy had free reign, not a care, like he was like a photographer at a hockey game, and he kept taking pictures, almost as if it was a nervous reaction. I imagined what sparks were flying off in his brain; I must take this fuzzy picture, oh…this one as well. Oh, there goes The National.  I need to take more fuzzy pictures.  There goes the stage hand; he looks interesting from up here.  I will take FUZZY picture.  So, I think – heck, maybe they changed policies at the venue?  Maybe, I too can take a picture? A moment I can share with you. Why not?  I pull out my phone and click and…CRACK...BAM….a flashlight is blaring, blinding me and my shocked face.  I hear from the aisle, “No pictures!”  Wait, I’m telling the usher…yeah, I know what you're thinking and you’re right…I’m telling on the photographer in front of me… the shit head who’s clicking away two rows…down there… in front of me, who does not stop!  I took one.  ONLY one fuzzy picture…she tells me, "I didn't see him, I saw only you."  I stress, he is there.  Look...I watch her peering over the heads in the last row and she catches him and tells him to stop.  Yes!  Vindication is alive.  She goes back to her post.  The guy didn’t stop.  She catches him again, and she stormed down to him four more times.  Each time she leaves, he shrugs his shoulders.  Does not give a shit.  I say, yeah, sure, you can try to stop us - you usher in red – try to stop the shit-head photographer… and me too... we go on taking more faint and distant pictures…all images were fuzzy in this historic venue.  For the record, I took two.  Check em out.  I copied the clear close-up from the web.  I saw my brother, Dave afterwards and met Ali and Amanda on the corner of 56th and 7th since they went into the city to see Brian Cranston in All The Way.  Dave drove back to PA.  And afterwards we ate at Carnegie Deli…Amanda and I spit a pastrami sandwich… it was the best pastrami sandwich I ever had, the meat was so lean it disintegrated on my tongue.  We drove home and I was up less than five hours later to begin… a new day of work…


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