The year was 1981, some of our readers will be wondering if we still had dinosaurs but I can assure you we did not. However, there were no computers, cell phones and definitely no I-pods. My bedroom walls had a Led Zeppelin poster, Z-92 stickers and a centerfold cutout of Ozzy on them , on the floor next to my stereo was a stack of albums. At that time, The Blizzard of Ozz album was on the end of the stack. I remember Z-92 advertising that Ozzy was going to be in town and I began saving money for a ticket. The concert was set for May 28th 1981 at the Omaha music hall that held a whopping 2500 people. The day of the concert was like any other day in late May in the O. Ninety degrees and about four hundred percent humidity. I didn’t wear shorts in those days and my attire consisted of my suede shoes, my high hip Levis, held up with a dark brown belt, and my sleeveless Ozzy t-shirt that exposed my enormous biceps (hehe). Due to the youth of some of our readers, I won’t discuss my state of consciousness for that particular day. Waiting in line seemed to take forever and when the doors flew open I raced to the front of the Music Hall. I couldn’t believe it, I got front row. At this point my whole body was sweating profusely from excitement and the heat. We made it through the first band, Motorhead, and I could hardly contain myself waiting for the main event. Finally, the lights went out and the auditorium went silent. A few minutes went by and in pitch darkness, Randy Rhodes’ intro to Crazy Train rocked the hall and the crowd exploded. As the lights and pyrotechnics lit up and nearly singed my eyebrows, Ozzy appeared on stage it hit me that this was going to be the most incredible day of my entire life. The song order was Crazy Train, followed by Mr. Crowley and then a switch to Paranoid and some other old Sabbath song. Very quickly I noticed that something just didn’t seem right. The fifth song was I Don’t Know and half way through the song Ozzy went to the microphone and apologized that he was sick and walked off stage. He barely made it off the stage and the lights came on, the crowd stood in utter disbelief at what just happened and were hoping it was some kind of joke or part of the act. After a few moments, the roadies began to pull equipment off the stage and I had to duck as debris started flying toward the stage. Unbelievable, how could anything so perfect end up so depressing.
As I sat down to write this blog about fishing conditions this fall, I couldn’t help but put it in the same category as my Ozzy concert experience. I still remember the anticipation of that concert, from the first day I bought the tickets it seemed every night I had to check my secret hiding place to make sure the tickets were still there. This fall seemed like a rerun of that time constantly checking the water temps and flows with such great anticipation of a return to our beautiful virginesque waters. And yes I know that is not a real word and probably should not be used while talking about Pueblos’ river, but I’m just saying. With the weather changes we have had this fall, the reservoir turnover seems to be like an upright agitating washing machine constantly kicking its endless debris into the outflow gates. We have had moments on the river this fall that took me back to that opening riff where I felt like this is going to be the greatest day of my life and then quickly followed by total disbelief. One day I make the walk back to my car with music dancing in my brain and the next I’m ready to scream. Now I know Ozzy went on from that evening and made quite a career for himself. For me, I guess my musical desires changed and never really had the desire to see another one of his concerts. If I were a betting man I would put my money on November being a lineup of one incredible concert after another, or we can hope.
The weather shows a drop in temps this week and hopefully the turnover completes itself. I know I like to gripe a little about the clarity but even with dirty water, beautiful music can be played in your head. The pics are from the last few evenings on the river and as you can see, the fish are looking incredible. One of the things about working in the shop over the years is taking “fish measurements“with a grain of salt. The old joke about why women are shortsighted would fit in perfectly here, so when my friend Tino called and told me he landed a 22incher on Saturday, I was like sure you did, and then he showed me the pic. Bravo Tino!!!! Some great fish, some frustrating days and some
days that just make you glad you are alive. As always Connell, Cat, Winston, the late Randy Rhodes and the Drift fly Shop want to thank you for reading….