Postcard 2

Issue Number : ii
Date : December 29, 1995
Period Covered : 11/25/95 - 12/01/95
Current Location: Canton, China
Future Stops : China (Wuhan, Shanghai, Beijing),
Japan (Tokyo, Kyoto)

I heard that Springsteen was kicking off an acoustic tour in
California at the end of November. It would be a solo affair
in small venues. I could not pass up this opportunity since I
was so close (3000 miles). This would mean backtracking to CA
and cutting short my Australia trip, but a few Bruce concerts
is worth it. I left Hawaii with a cheap RT ticket and a rental
car for the week($368). The plan was to fly in to LA and catch
2 shows there. Then drive up to SF, see him play 2 nights in
Berkeley, and fly back to Hawaii to continue on to Sydney. The
only problem was getting tickets to the concerts. All the
shows were sold out and scalpers were asking astronomical

Bruce usually dumps tickets at the box office on the day of the
show. This is for his loyal fans but it also helps to combat
ticket scalping. The dump was probably going to be small since
he was only playing 2000 seat theaters. I arrived at the box
office around 11:30AM and there was already a line about 20
people in front of me. I was planning for a long wait and most
of us had to wait until 7:45 to buy tickets. Standing in line
for 8 hours was not one of my life’s biggest thrills but it was
bearable because of the people that I met. Everyone was
friendly and we past the time swapping Bruce stories. I
finally ended up with row X tickets at face value. I have
never waited on a ticket dump before so just getting in the
door felt great.

Since this was opening night in LA, all the stars came out to
see Bruce. Tom Hanks, Dustin Hoffman, Jim Carrey, Kate Moss,
Johnny Depp, Jackson Browne, Lyle Lovett and Nils Lofgren were
there. Bruce played excellent 12 string and slide guitar all
night long. After the show, as I went to pick up my car and I
got autographs from Nils and Browne. I just missed Bruce
because he didn’t sign any autographs and just sped off in his

On Monday, I did not want to stand in ticket dump line again.
Bruce was scheduled to be the musical guest on the Tonight
show, so I went to the taping instead of the concert. Standby
tickets were free and I picked up 2 tickets at NBC Studios. My
friend Eric sneaked out of work early to go to the taping with
me. We were seated on the studio floor right in front of the
orchestra. Leno was funnier than I thought he would be and
Bruce played “The Ghost of Tom Joad”. We watched the show on
TV later that night and even saw ourselves on the tube a few

I drove 9 hours on Tuesday to get to the Bay Area. On the way,
I stopped in San Luis Obispo (where I went to college) and used
my alma mater’s computers for awhile. They have one the
largest university computer labs in the States. I was also
going to workout at their new Rec Center but I didn’t have
enough time. I was having “systems problems” with their
computers and was stuck in the lab for 3 hours.

I bought 2 tickets for Wednesday’s concert from another Bruce
fan on the Internet. They were in the upper balcony but it
meant that I didn’t have to wait in line. When I arrived at
the theater, my friend John was standing in the ticket dump
line with a voucher for 2 tickets. He told me to sell my pair
and we would use his voucher to get in. I didn’t have enough
time to sell them because they were starting to escort people
holding ticket vouchers throught the front gate. When we were
finally shown our seats, we were in the first row of the
orchestra pit! I could not believe my luck and gave my extra
pair of tickets to the head usher. I told him to give my pair
away to some ticketless Bruce fans outside.

This was the closest I have ever sat at a Bruce concert and it
happened by pure chance. John didn’t even want 30 dollars for
my ticket! He was treating me to the show. Watching Bruce up
close is so different than with a pair of binoculars. You can
see and feel the simmering intensity that he sings and plays
with on this tour. I was so close, it felt like he was singing
in my living room. The concert had a real intimate feel to it.
It was just Bruce, his guitar and harmonica singing songs and
telling stories.

I decided not to go to Thursday’s show because Wednesday night
could not be topped. (** Eileen – I know you don’t have email,
but somehow I know you are going to read this. I now know
exactly how you felt when we saw Billy in London.**) It would
also give other fans a better chance to get in. In the end, I
paid $110 and saw Bruce 3 times in the past week. I saw some
great music, made some new friends and had some experiences I
will never forget. It was a great week and I flew back to
Hawaii with a big smile on my face.

Random Thoughts
I was browsing through a bookstore in Tokyo recently and picked
up a local fishing magazine. I saw an article written in
japanese about JJ, the fishing guide from Hawaii.
I had great Thai food at Keo’s in Honolulu. I finished the
dinner for 2 all by myself during my 11 hour layover.
** Rachael – Sorry I didn’t get a chance to stop by on my
second pass through CA. The week was so hectic. **
** Ray – I was hoping to meet up for dinner when I was passing
thru SLO town. I promise my next visit to “the spa” will be
longer than a few hours. **
** MAO – TVM for the file. 😉 **
** Rob – If you can find Lee Ching’s number that would be
great. Its too late for me to write her. **
** Sonia – I hear your picture is on the WWW. Hopefully, I
will have access to a browser next week. No trabajo in 96 maybe
97. **
** Sundeep – Do you know a Fred Hubert at Nomura? He works in
the real estate dept. I went to JHS with him. **
** Jiasong – TVM for the tip about Shanghai Air. I will try to
fly them to Beijing. **
** Dennis – Did you get the catalog? I have a contact for you.
As sson as I get his OK, I will send you his URL and email
address. **
** Dave – Have your plans changed? I am scheduled to arrive in
Narita at 19:55 on the Saturday the 13th. This can easily be
changed, so let me know. Are you still scheduled to move the
weekend of the 20th? I bought a 7 day Japan rail pass and
would like to start planning my schedule for Japan. **
** Tony – If you want to go skiing in CO in Feb, let me know.
I have a reservation for a flight to Denver on 1/29. This can
easily be changed so keep me updated on your plans. I will
call you in mid January, when I get back to civilization. Will
you be in NY or the UK? I don’t have your UK number. **
** Julia – I saw your work on the Web. Very impressive. Do
you photograph your work and then scan it in? I will try to
write about the GT Yosemite trip in a future postcard. **

Quote of the Day
Now Tom said; ‘Mom, wherever there’s a cop beatin’ a guy,
wherever a hungry newborn baby cries,
where there’s a fight against the blood and hatred in the air,
look for me Ma, I’ll be there.
Wherever there’s somebody fightin’ for a pIace to stand,
or decent job or a helpin’ hand,
wherever somebody’s strugglin’ to be free,
look in their eyes Ma, you’ll see me.’
– J. Steinbeck/J. Ford/B. Springsteen

The views expressed in this postcard are solely my own. They
may not be politically correct and may even be exaggerated.
Names may be changed to protect the innocent or guilty parties.
I do not have a spell checker so typographical errors will be
common. Any reproduction or rebroadcast without the expressed
written consent of Major League Baseball is strictly