|My pencil portrait of Madonna, circa 1987|
As a teenager, I was probably amongst the first in our school to discover Madonna with the release of her self-titled but album. From the moment I first heard "Holiday", "Lucky Star", and of course, "Borderline" I was undoubtedly hooked. Not only did I become a fan, but so too did my music loving mom, Mary.
For those of us of "a certain age", remember the days way back when a concert was announced one would have to visit their friendly "Ticketmaster" outlet to actually purchase their tickets in person - if you wanted to be assured of good seats? Well, way back in the summer of 1987 my mom decided to surprise me with tickets for a fun weekend for us to Madonna's upcoming "Who's That Girl" world tour concert in Toronto at Exhibition Stadium. With my fun loving grandma in tow, they both set off for Barrie (in Ontario) where the nearest Sam's outlet was to purchase some hopefully good tickets. Little did they expect to have to line up (duh?), but line up they did for the better part of a sunny and according to my gram - hot Friday afternoon. I can only imagine the hilarity and the drama as craziness always seemed to ensue when my gram and my mom were involved in a caper, ha ha!! Thankfully their persistence snd patience did indeed pay off, and they left Barrie for home with two supposedly prime tickets for the upcoming show on the July 4th weekend.
Understandably I was elated with this surprise, and when the weekend finally arrived, my mom and I set off early in the day in her beloved black Chevy Silverado pickup truck for the drive to Barrie where we'd catch a train to the city. Once there we did our usual routine vice - shopping, which as the afternoon drew on was followed up with our traditional visit to Mr. Greenjean's eatery in the Toronto Eaton Centre, our most favourite place to nosh. During our dinner I had to use the facilities, and happened to walk in on a couple of gentlemen imbibing in some rather questionable narcotics in the washroom. I don't know who was more surprised, them or me, and I was offered what I suppose one might call a "hush doobie" to assure my silence - something I graciously declined. Upon returning to the table though, my bloodhound like mom was wondering what the strange smell she could detect was? Damn that second hand smoke, and where was Fabreeze when you need it?
After dinner we hailed a taxi and headed off to Exhibition Stadium. Once we arrived, my ever impatient mom went off in search of a seating chart to determine which gate we were supposed to be at. Much to her dismay, she soon realized that the tickets she had been told were "prime seats" were less than she desired for us. So what does she do? Captain Crazy hails one of the scalpers scattered outside the stadium and proceeds to grill him for the best tickets he has - and haggle with him over pricing! Me, I was totally fine with what we had but not her - and now we had FOUR tickets! Oh but wait, it gets better. For then - much to my shock and perhaps a tiny bit of embarrassment (youth and all), she then proceeds to scalp our tickets to some folks looking to acquire some. Seriously, I thought we were gonna be arrested and spend the weekend in jail, LOL!
Anyways, after all the not so covert drama - our seats were AMAZING! Five rows away from the corner of the stage and Madonna was at eye level for the entire show. It was INCREDIBLE!! We danced on the seats, we sang along - we had a BLAST! Ironically enough (um, yeah), we were surrounded by the same vaporous clouds which I had encountered earlier in the restaurant washroom back at the Eaton's Centre. My mom - ya gotta love her - was like, "Hey, that smells familiar?" I'm not certain is she was completely naive or what, but we were dancing in clouds of pot, ha ha!! We were already high on the magic and the music of the occasion, so nothing could have embellished that more for us already.
Many years have passed since that magical weekend, and it really was one of the most fun that my mom and I ever had together. I still have all the mementoes of our Madonna adventure, and I certainly hope you enjoyed the story as much as we enjoyed living it!
|My ticket, my program & the front of my t-shirt|