WINGS OVER ATLANTA: A FAN REMEMBERS
By Mark Gunter
May 18, 2001.
Well, it's 3:25 p.m., and 25 years ago today I was just getting
home from school, having a bite to eat -- probably a Hunts Snak-Pak
chocolate pudding and a frozen pizza -- and getting ready to head
down to The Omni in a couple of hours to see the big "Rockshow".
It seemed to have taken forever for that day to arrive since
tickets had gone on sale back in March. But it was finally here!
I can still remember the feeling of the "tingles" going
up my spine when the lights went down and I could see the shadow
of "the man" climbing the stairs up to the stage with
the rest of the band following. I was actually in the presence
of a BEATLE!
It's still, by far, the most memorable concert I've ever attended.
It was such a rush, and went by so fast, it was just too much
for the senses and memory cells to take in. As soon as I got home
that night, I immediately pulled out all my Wings and Beatles
albums to help in writing down all the songs they had played.
I had not planned on attending the second show the following night,
but after the first night's experience, I had to go back for more
to help cement the memory in my mind.
The next day, my friend and I were lucky enough to buy a couple
of the few tickets that still remained at the box office. After
the show began, we quickly moved from our perch up high behind
the stage to a more favorable viewing area.
Seeing them the second night was even more enjoyable, if possible.
You could just sit back and take it all in in a more relaxed manner.
When the encores began, we decided to make a mad dash for the
front of the stage -- ushers be damned! We made it to about 20
feet in front of the stage. Man, that was great! We were so close
you could see the sweat running down Paul's face. Being down front,
looking up at him, as opposed to looking down at the stage for
the past two nights, was an almost unreal, "out of body"
type of experience. It was a "Is this really happening?"
I can still remember the "way cool" expanding laser
slicing through the smokey arena air just above our heads during
"Soiley", the final song. And then it was over, with
Paul's final departing words: "See ya next time!" I
remember thinking, "Great, maybe that means he'll come back
Of course, due to various circumstances, it would be almost 14
years before we saw him on stage in the U.S. again. As enjoyable
as those '90s tours were, they could never approach the excitement,
the aura and the emotion felt during the '76 Wings Over America