My boss (and friend) is a huge Stevie Wonder fan. Every time the subject of Stevie comes up, and you’d be surprised how often it does, he tells me earnestly “Stevie can play every instrument, you know.” I always act like I’ve never heard this before, and Boss goes on to outline a certain album where Stevie really did play every instrument, etc.
So you can imagine how excited he was to learn that Stevie Wonder himself would be playing the unfortunately named Sleep Train Pavilion* this week. However, Fate – actually, work – had other plans, so he ended up in Chicago and I ended up in traffic.
As I crawled slowly down Highway 24, I had the A’s game on the radio and thought sarcastically, “At this rate, I’ll get to hear the end of the game.” Little did I know how right I’d be, since the game finished in under two hours (the A’s won** 2-0) and the traffic didn’t. I was beginning to wish Stevie had just called to say he loved me.
As I sat in an endless stream of cars on the seemingly endless Ygnacio Valley Road, amid Porsches and Mercedesesezzz, it occurred to me that traffic is pretty much the only thing that being rich can’t get you out of. The people in their richmobiles were just as stuck as I was, and they couldn’t escape or go any faster, either.
I found this a remarkably comforting thought.
When I finally got to the show, I was, of course, late, late being my natural state. It was a great show, and I was surprised by how many younger fans were there. The two girls in front of me were probably 18 and sang along to every song, swaying and dancing blissfully despite the 96 degree heat. Stevie was charming and gave it everything he had, which is saying something for a legend who’s been in show business for more than 50 years.
A couple of days later, I had my hair re-blonded and shaped so it’s bouncy and pretty again. My stylist mentioned that she went to the show, too, so I said how heinous the traffic was. She then told me that she could have told me a much faster and all-around better way to go, being a native of Concord, if only she’d known.
If only I’d known, too.
*Why can’t corporations keep their names OFF arenas and stadiums? Wouldn’t it be much classier to buy a place and keep calling it, say, Concord Pavilion than slapping your company name on it? Or to start off that way, instead of being Pac Bell Park, AT & T Park, etc., just be DiMaggio Field or McCovey Park? And while I’m at it, I’ll just say how despicable I find it that the Yankees are abandoning their historic, 85 year old stadium for a new, bigger one, all in the name of, you guessed it, more money.
**The A’s seem to be pleased that I moved to their town. They’re currently second in the American League West, and won both games I’ve been to this year.