Thursday 20 June 2013

Captain Dynamite

I think that I have mistimed my medication tonight. It is over the counter medication, but it’s designed to reduce swelling and relieve pain. The other one is to numb the pain and send me into over the counter unconsciousness. Unfortunately, they are beginning to take effect and I have this to write and a few other things to do before I should go to sleep. I am having trouble concentrating and there is a loud ringing in my ears. I am assured by Louise that the ringing is definitely in my head. Great! I’m just going to keep pushing through and hopefully it will make some kind of sense.

I can remember that when my friends and I would go to concerts, it was vitally important to get the timing right for the drugs. If you took the drugs too late, then your buzz would come well into the concert and you might have to listen to your favourite song totally straight. Taking them early was the worst. There was a very good chance that you might forget to get up and go to the concert altogether. You might get lost on the way or get side tracked by something bright and shiny.

Back in those days and I suppose the same would apply today, you had to get as much information about the drugs and concert as you possibly could. You needed to know just how long after you took the drugs you would get the peak high. This would involve taking the same drug the weekend before and actually remembering that you were testing the drug. Once you found out how long it took to reach the peak stone, all you needed was to find out when the headliner would take the stage for a wondrous night of chemically induced enjoyment.

Unfortunately, the headliners were more than likely higher than their fans and couldn’t be trusted to be on time. That was a bummer, but usually they would take the stage well within the window your drug allowed you. The odd time for no apparent reason, there would be an opening act that wasn’t announced. Sometimes they would be announced and you just didn’t pay attention or forgot because you were more than likely high when you bought the tickets. If you were really lucky, the opening act would be fabulous and they would enhance the evening’s enjoyment. If you were lucky…

I can remember one concert that had all of the earmarks of a great evening. The band was “Ten Years After”, we had had a wonderful meal, taken the drugs, had no trouble at all getting to the “Gardens”, and finding our seats. There was a haze of bluish smoke hanging in the still air of the stadium while everyone found their seats and looked around at all of the other freaks in the audience. This was going to be a magic evening! Well, until the opening act showed up of course. The act was “Captain Dynamite”.

Captain Dynamites act was unique to say the least. He comes onto a stage with a large wooden box in the centre and proceeds to tell the crowd that he would get into the box with a stick of dynamite and blow himself up! WTF??? He had this spiel about how dangerous and death defying the act is, but all the audience could focus on was dynamite and explosion. You see, the drugs were kicking in and we were supposed to be listening to Ten Years After, not watching some nutcase blow himself up.
Captain Dynamite gets himself into the box and within a few seconds the box and Captain Dynamite blow up in a cloud of flame and smoke. Fuck!!! He gets up and staggers around the stage with a microphone telling us what beautiful people we were, to a chorus of “You’re Fucking nuts!”

“You Fucking Moron!”

“Get the Fuck off the stage!”

“Did you see that guy?”

There were people laughing, crying and just staring at the stage in disbelief. He finally stumbled off the stage and within minutes Ten Years After took the stage. It wasn’t a good start to the concert, but it turned out to be a good night of music.
I found a video of Captain Dynamite who was still blowing himself up in 1986 at the age of seventy to the delight of baseball fans, country fairs and shopping centres. What a whack-a-doodle!

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