MY VISIT TO SEE THE L.A. KINGS
Well, well, well. I was invited to of all things an Ice Hockey game at the famed “Staples Centre” in Los Angeles. Their team is called the L.A. Kings – they dress in black & white which makes them appear more dramatic. Now I have to speak the truth and say that I did not really want to go. However the evening arrived so we made our way to the stadium through the usual L.A. traffic (common in most major cities around the world). We arrived 2 hours before the game began, which gave my friend an opportunity to show me around a location called “L.A. Live”. With huge screens on almost every building and as the evening darkness slowly descended upon the city that never appears to sleep, the screens came alive & vibrant with images of games past and present. Along of course with the endless movie and television ads, but it was quite spectacular. Then we made our way with the company of some 19,000 rabid L.A. Kings fans, many dressed in the Kings uniform bought in huge quantities at the store inside the stadium, along of course with the two million gallons of soda and the ever present crunch of popcorn. As the fever pitch grew the first thing I noticed was the pure size of the venue and as we walked around looking for our seats I looked down the narrow isle that leads us into the arena. They had thick black curtains across and that of course is to keep the cold in. Anxious as I was to see the ice rink proper I slipped in and drew the curtain aside. It was like looking out of your front room window on a cold December day, a kind of mist hovering over the ground. Also I observed they had several fog machines pumping, I imagine to create atmosphere which it did in abundance. So now to the most fabulous part of the evening for myself, when my friend’s long-time friend approached us to invite us down to the hallowed ground of the penalty box. It turns out that he was the “time keeper” for all the games and has been for the past 24 years. His love of the game was obvious. Sitting next to him “The Voice” of the L.A. Kings with an open microphone direct to “Toronto Canada”, Toronto being I assume the ice hockey capital of the world?. Then what followed was for myself and many hundreds of loyal fans who get there early was the “warm up”.
This is when they permit you to come down from the cheap seats (even though they were approx. $90) down to the front row ($300 per seat) to let them see close up (and I mean close up). Just a perspex or high density plastic barrier between the players a certain death should one of the high velocity pucks were to hit you. Then the magic began.
Today is now the 17th November 2013 and I find myself unexpectedly sitting in the front pew at the church of hosts Dave & Sue. They are Lutheran and the church is on the Glendale Blvd where Jeni and I would shop on our arrival in Burbank back in 1989.So here I sit in a church of whose faith is based on one more tiresome desire to separate ourselves from the crowd. However their attempt to be separate often means that they end up in the same “mould” but come out a slightly difference colour and then the process begins all over again.Again.Again.
However here I am very relaxed and have (as one would expect) as a visiting guest of their head of music and are more than active within their church. So it is with pleasure that I am watching a ritual unfold which is a one in a million opportunity and as I travel my way in the grasp of the final innings of the game of life on earth.
Dave is the man who produced/arranged one of the best periods of my adult life in that he encourage me to attempt to do a recording. Thus 3 years later I am back for our second attempt. Once more in his musical hands so to you Dave thank you over & over again for putting the beat back in my heart, through “sensitive humanity” along with his innate skill makes our combination a truly lovely touch.