It was 1982 and I had been in California for about two and a half years. Like many residents of Southern California, I was a transplant. A native nutmeg-er, a young kid from the Constitution State who had been offered a job in Hollywood. In my early twenties, single without any children, I seized the opportunity and went west.
I’d seen the Tournament of Roses Parade many times on television back east over the years. I’m pretty sure I had never been to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena even though it was less than 25 miles from where I lived in Sherman Oaks. Judging from the list of singers, songwriters and artists due to be on stage that day, I just had to go: Jackson Browne, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Stevie Wonder, Linda Ronstadt and Dan Fogelberg were some of the people scheduled to be there. Plus, there was a bit of a buzz that there might be a few surprises. It was Peace Sunday…and it was going to be an all day concert.
Over eighty thousand people filled the Rose Bowl that day and I was one of them. It was a really hot day. I remember that because I got caught in a long long line trying to buy a Coke. It took a long, long time. I missed most of Stevie Wonder. Anybody who was anybody in music at the time seemed to be there. It was the most rock star power I had ever been to see live in one place at the same time. It turned out to be a history making show.
Here are two of the surprises.