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Commentary : A Case Of One-upmanship

January 20, 1985|SUE MARTIN

I didn't wait in line for the tickets. I didn't pay $300 for primo seats at the Sports Arena. I only own two of his singles and one album. What does this spell? I didn't see the Boss. But I know there are plenty of you little rascals out there who did and who won't hesitate to go on at length about what a great show your less fortunate Springsteen-maniac friends missed. Isn't that just the bottom of the box? Don't you just hate that?

I always have. And yet, I find myself doing the same thing sometimes. I take perverse pleasure in reciting my litany of high points to anyone who'll listen. My list goes all the way back to Beatles concerts--and beyond. I was at Disneyland's opening day in 1955.

But in talking about these events with friends, it frequently disintegrates into one-upmanship and the event in question becomes a bone of contention. Like, "Whadya mean you missed 'E.T.'! Just about the most popular film ever? It played a year !"

My brother is one of those who has never seen and has no desire to see any of the "Star Wars" films. He's proud of that fact. Some people just don't get off on outer space. My brother's also proud of the fact that he saw Jimi Hendrix open for the Monkees at the Bowl back in '67. A legendary match-up if there ever was one. And, of course, he will not hesitate to point this out when legendary concerts are a topic of discussion.

However, I can counter with the fact that I went to the Frank Zappa/Zubin Mehta concert at Pauley Pavilion in May of '70 and sat next to ladies in furs because they'd go anywhere to see Mehta.

I know a few who went to Woodstock, and I once knew someone who'd been to the Concert for Bangladesh in New York. I was impressed. And now, I'm sadly behind in all my rock 'n' roll concert viewing, so that anyone can top me in that category. However, being an also-ran can keep the conversation from being too one-sided. Like, "I almost went to the one and only Monterey Pop Festival in '67, but I couldn't get the money together." Or, I had a ticket to the opening night of the Devonshire Downs rock festival in '69 and Jimi Hendrix was one of the acts. I missed the show because I couldn't get a ride.

Did you miss seeing the Olympics this summer in person? Are your friends taunting you because you didn't see Edwin Moses or Joan Benoit or Mary Lou Retton?

I also missed seeing the Royal Shakespeare Company during the Olympic Arts Festival, and I have friends who make me feel like a cultural dinosaur because I didn't see Derek Jacobi. So I went to the Bowl for the "Prelude to the Olympics" Gala and heard Placido Domingo sing and watched fireworks and hoped for a great two weeks of Olympic Games to follow. Big Deal.

I admit that this is soggy potato chips to those folks who were able to attend the Opening Day ceremonies. I'll never live that down.

There are other events for which I'll never have an affinity or understand. (Have you noticed, when you're not impressed with something someone saw or did, how testy they get?) I've never been to the Rose Bowl (though I did go once to the Rose Parade). I've never seen a UCLA-USC anything. I've never seen Frank Sinatra sing and, God bless me, I've only seen Carlo Maria Giulini conduct once, his first concert with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in October, 1978.

Smart people only go to what they want to see and don't succumb to peer pressure (hah, hah!). They seem to take a perverse pleasure in saying they missed the King Tut exhibit at the County Museum of Art. And they probably missed the recent "Day in the Country." I missed the big Van Gogh exhibit when I was in high school. (However, I saw a similar exhibit when I was a kid at Exposition Park, before there was a County Museum of Art. So there.)

There are people you couldn't pay to go see a Laker game, especially during the playoffs. And Disneyland during a three-day weekend? Forget it! They wouldn't be caught dead at the ballet, either, not even for Baryshnikov.

Well, anyway, I didn't miss the Olympics. I went to a track and field event at the Coliseum and loved every minute of it, even though I wasn't conversant with the sport. So I give myself a perfect 10.

And lastly, beyond even my belief, I went to the Jacksons' "Victory Tour." I didn't wait for the video. I couldn't help myself (and the free ticket wasn't that much of a deterrent).

Besides, I really love Dodger Dogs.

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