April 9, 1972 (Sunday)
Robinson High School
Fairfax, Virginia, U.S.A.
Badfinger returned to D.C, to close their early 1972 tour with
a show at Robinson High School in Fairfax, VA, on Sunday, April 9, 1972. I knew they
were coming and I saw an ad one day. The minute I heard about that I decided I would
go. I went with a different friend of mine, also from my local Beatles fan club chapter.
We arrived early. From a distance, we saw a large yellow Ryder rental truck (as I learned, this was the trucking company they usually used). Two guys were unloading equipment, and I saw stenciled letters "BFR" (for Badfinger, of course, as I learned) on some items. We said hello and introduced ourselves. These guys turned out to be Fergie and Nick. We chatted with them while they unloaded and set up equipment.
They let us into the boys' locker room that served as a dressing room. I figured that we would be asked to leave before the band came, but they let us stay. Then Badfinger arrived. The members said "hello", individually, looked around, and clustered in a corner and talked among themselves. Tom picked up a guitar (not his bass), played a few chords and softly sang the lyrics to "Heart of Gold," a then-popular song by Neil Young. Pete played chords to something else. He didn't say much, but looked around a lot. Mike chatted with people and laughed, like Joey. They all smoked cigarettes from time to time and shared a bottle of 'Bali Hai' wine.
After a short while, I worked up my nerve and offered them a white paper bag that I had brought along, filled with lots of foil-wrapped Hershey's chocolate kisses candy. Don't ask me why I did this: it was a spur of the moment thing. It was close to Easter, and I wanted to share something. Individually wrapped candy seemed safe, I thought. And it was popular, too. I think Mike took the bag, looked in, said something like, "Look! It's candy!" With that announcement, at various intervals, each went over there and pulled out handfuls.. ate them, tossed them at and to each other, and beaned each other on the heads with the balled-up wrappers. They finished the bag, of course.
Later, the show rocked. We stood near a passageway between the locker room and the bleachers, where the band performed on a raised stage. Folding chairs on the main floor served as seating, with side bleachers the side seating much of the rest of the crowd.
For us, standing and dancing, leaning against the wall for support when needed, was the order of the evening. We enjoyed ourselves. People around us danced, shouted, and had a good time.
For me, the excitement was in hearing the music. I didn't analyze the shows, I was just there. I enjoyed it.
After the show ended, my friend and I remained a little longer, waiting for our ride home. Most of the group members left the gym and returned to the locker room. Pete either remained behind or returned, talking to the roadies. As he passed through for the last time, we told him it had been a great show. He thanked us. We wished him and the others a safe trip home and said we hoped everyone would get some rest and that we'd look forward to seeing them again on the next tour. He thanked us again and was gone.
Debbie Randolph Harrison
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