By Lani Tunzi
I would never advocate missing school, but the rare occasion occurs when you feel compelled to momentarily disregard your scholarly pursuits. Seeing your all-time favorite band perform happens to be one of those occasions.
The first day of the semester was August 20 and the Rolling Stones were playing at the Rose Bowl two days later. Once I factored in the pre-concert tailgate party and the traffic, it was plain to see I would need to leave school early. No exam, drill performance or 19th nervous breakdown could prevent me from being there.
The Stones have been my favorite band since I was about seven years old. In the second grade, I sculpted a mini Charlie Watts and Mick Jagger out of clay for a shoebox diorama. In fourth grade, I wrote a biography of my childhood ‘hero’ at the time, Keith Richards. In seventh grade, I went with my parents to my first Stones concert, in San Diego.
So, while school is usually my priority, the cost of missing class was well worth the nosebleed view of my favorite, 70-year-old-plus musicians.
It was the Stones’ first performance in Los Angeles in nearly 25 years and having them less than four miles away made attendance seem obligatory. All the more so because the show had originally been scheduled in the spring but was postponed by Mick Jagger’s heart surgery – a procedure many fans worried could be the end for the band.
However, the Stones sounded as great as ever and Mick pranced through the stage in a way you’d never expect of a man who had a faulty heart valve fixed four months prior. Keith Richards even lived up to the tour’s title ‘No Filter,’ going without one of his signature headbands for the Pasadena performance.
The whole night couldn’t have been better. Hours before the Stones were to perform, people from all walks of life came together as if part of a celebration, a communion. Family members and complete strangers alike, brandishing the infamous tongue in every way imaginable, sang, danced, and waited excitedly for one of the most famous bands of all time.
Yes, time is definitely on the side of the Stones. Whatever deal they made with the devil seems to still be in effect and lucky for me, I could see them at least one more time before it expires.
Note to my English teacher: If it is any consolation, I spent the first two hours of the tailgate working on an essay on my cellphone as the sound check echoed all around.
Lani Tunzi is a senior at Eagle Rock High School.