Jethro Tull

Charbonneau Park

Charbonneau Park is a Corps of Engineers park and our first stop on our way to Jethro Tull.  For some strange reason the COE, doesn’t allow booze.  Maybe it’s because of the marina and huge day use area, that they don’t.  Either way, that’s why we travel with a couple of colored glasses.  How, you may ask yourself, can one enjoy a great sunset without a glass of wine?  Drink out of a cup where you can’t tell what the contents are.

The park is nice, but more an RV park than tenters, so we stayed a couple of days and watched the river traffic come and go. It was interesting to watch a barge, heading down river, with more cargo than he could fit in the lock. So, he dropped one at what appeared to be a parking area for barges.  He then proceeded down stream thru the lock.  As he was coming out of the lock, another tug, heading up stream, went in the lock, went up the river to where the guy heading down stream dropped his extra barge, hooked up and after taking a lunch break, headed back down the river with the barge and a presumed hand-off somewhere. It was an interesting dance.

Ukiah-Dale State Park

Our next stop turned out to be a real jewel.  The Ukiah-Dale State Park on Hwy 395, a couple of miles from Ukiah.  There were a lot of RV’s there, but there are no RV hookups.  The camp has water posts, flush toilets, a swimming/fishing stream and that’s pretty much it.  Generators are supposed to be off by 6:00pm and for them most part, were.  Highway 395 isn’t traveled that much, but some.  It quiets down in the evening and there’s very little traffic at night.  We had planned to stay two days, but ended up staying for four.

Jethro Tull is an act Robert’s wanted to see forever, well, at least since Aqualung came out.  When it was announced that JT would be playing in Bend, we got tickets and a room right away.  This was going to be fun: Sasquatch followed by Jethro Tull.  Except it turned out to be half and half.

The good half was Jethro Tull, who have always billed themselves as a progressive rock and roll band.  And that’s what we got: good old rock and roll!  The reason we go to concerts.  So, we got there early and were first in line again.

Ian Anderson and Jethro Tull

We took turns holding our place so we could walk around.  Robert went to the back gate to see if Tim was working and, sure enough, he was.  Tim is a nice guy and catches Robert up on his various concert doings; this time including a story of how security couldn’t guarantee the band’s safety.  The reason: they were bad.  Boo off the stage bad.  We’ve heard some bad bands, but not THAT bad!

The gates opened a couple of minutes late, but that’s when we found out no photos were to be taken at the artist’s request.  Rats.  We tuck away the Sony RX100 and we’d left the cell phone back in the motel.  Of course, the same people that gave us a rash later are the ones taking pictures – even though there are signs all over the place not to.

There was no lead off act, so JT was scheduled to play from 7:30-10:00pm.  There were three sections this time: ADA, Reserved Seating (down front), and lawn which is standing/chairs.  Again, we were first in line, first through the gate, and first to snag a spot – behind the reserved seating and in front of the sound tower, minimizing the number of people behind us.  Again, we told everyone who sat down behind us that we would be stand throughout the whole concert.  Some moved, some didn’t.  An 82 year old rocker standing next to Robert, talked about going to the very first Isle of Wright festival!

Jethro Tull took the stage and the fun began!  Not expecting the antics of a 20 something, Robert was still impressed that someone only two years younger could still move like that.  The famous one-legged stance was still there, just not as long.  We began dancing immediately, joined by the 82 year old next to Robert.  The only problem: we were the only ones, the ENTIRE rest of the audience was in chairs!  Three of the four dancing were probably 20 to 30 years older than anyone sitting, yet here they were and the harassment began.

We still don’t understand why people don’t dance at a concert.  Yes, there are those that are not capable of standing and dancing, that’s why Les Schwab Amphitheater has an ADA section and for concerts like Jethro Tull, reserved seating for those that don’t want to.  The lawn is for those who want to stand (SRO) and those who bring their chairs.  And that is a big problem.  Les Schwab Amphitheater has a sign at the entrance where they ENCOURAGE dancing.  Yes, try to recognize those around you who do want to sit AND, with the shoe on the other foot, try to recognize their are people who want to dance.  We got in the least obnoxious to the masses place and warned those sitting behind us what would happen (less than a dozen behind us, then the sound tower).  As that it wasn’t sold out, there was also lots of space on the hills surrounding the stage.  But, that didn’t stop people from telling us to sit down and giving us a hard time.  Then someone two rows over from us and who’s view we didn’t block, had to get in on it with some really stupid reasons, like: this isn’t a rock and roll concert (tell Ian Anderson that), I can’t stand up (reserved seating available), etc.  When we get to the point where we are no longer comfortable standing, we will purchase reserved seating or, if needed, ADA seating.  Anyway, we got frustrated and Robert wanted to find a supervisor since crowd control was also tell us to sit down.  Remember the sign out front?  When we found one, Robert demanded our money back.  After some discussion, the supervisor said: “I’m not going to tell anyone to sit down.”  So, we went back to where we were and, of course, one of the ones bitching, took one of our spaces.  So, we doubled up. And they still bitched.  After awhile a couple came up and joined us, the 82 year old was back on his feet, and more and more were dancing – as it always happens at a concert.

In the end, the ROCK AND ROLL won out over the bitchy middle-age folks succumbing to old age long before they have to and we wrinklies had a great time with the band!

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