In 1978, I was generously provided free tickets, while homeless, to a KISS-Aerosmith concert at The Seattle Center’s auditorium in, well, Seattle.

While awaiting entry in the front of the line, I started hearing excitement. The doors must have finally opened. It was first-come seating, and the crowd surged forward and happily started forcing its way toward the front door, the only entry they had stingily provided us. Several very worried-looking young people and I were so squeezed on that the plate glass window we were pushed up against actually bowed in and out like it was breathing air!

I grew angry. The people pushing knew exactly what they were doing: They were doing harm to others, on purpose.

Thankfully, I’m still here. I could have been simply a news item and long ago forgotten. Yes, that. The very next year, on Dec. 3, 1979, concert-goers at a performance by The Who in Cincinnati rushed through two doors at the arena, resulting in the deaths of 11 people. Those young people are not here anymore. They could have been easily. Instead, society trampled them to death.

Myself, in Seattle? I started throwing very hard punches, aiming for the evil-looking faces, which then understood what they were doing enough to turn around and start pushing the crowd the other way. I said, “Forget the concert,” and tranquilly went right back to being a lonely homeless person again.

If this “share” wakes up one unthoughtful person following the Astroworld tragedy, it was worth generating it.

Al Martini

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