Friday, 13 December 2019
Reading time 2 minute 58 seconds
Happiness equals your reality minus your expectations
Do you recall your first ever live music concert? Mine was a big one, which is a sentence I never thought I’d get to say. The Big One! The greatest of great of the great 80’s concerts. No not Live Aid, or Queen. It was “Wham! – The Final” on 28th June 1986 and I was 15.
The pop Duo Wham! had decided to split up and were having a farewell concert.
Wham! were the biggest group of my generation. My dad’s generation had the Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Slade. We had Wham!
Were they on the same scale as those other groups from my dad’s generation? Who knows?
To us at the time they were bigger than anything we’d ever witnessed. That’s the great thing about being a teenager. Everything is new and better than everything else anybody else has ever liked. Ever.
To give you an idea of how big Wham! had become, they were first western pop group to play China, featured on a satirical puppet show name Spitting image and biggest of all their lyrics were on the back of teenage magazine Look In so I knew what they were singing about. If you haven’t sang along to a taped from the radio version of Club Tropicana in a pair of speedos in your bedroom then quite frankly my friend you haven’t lived.
I didn’t really know what to expect of my first live concert but an event happened that day that still makes my skin break out in Goosebumps.
There was a crew of us about 15 strong. The excitement in the air could have been bagged and sold as a narcotic. Everybody felt it. There was nothing but today. There would be no tomorrow. Wham! the greatest pop group in my living history were splitting up. Life after this event was cancelled.
We arrived at Wembley Stadium, the sun was the brightest it had ever been before which is weird considering the sadness of the day. My rainbow spectacles have been in place for over 35 years on this event so the memories have become Disneyfied. Everyone was smiling. Wembley Way had heart bubbles of love floating in the air. All of the 80,000 audience knew each other through a shared love of Wham! Pickpockets had taken the day off, ticket touts were only selling at face value and handing out useful tips on hydration and sun care and I was there.
Inside the stadium at our seats I was spellbound. I’d never witnessed that many people together. Then I had the experience. If I knew how important it would be to me later in life I’d have paid more attention.
I sat with my mate Nick Hughes. I’m fairly sure we’d known each since we were babies but my memory of that time is a little hazy. Nick was and is a lovely person with a cheeky smile that can light up any room and make you feel warm and loved. He looked at me, gave me a smile and said come on Willsy, let’s do it. I was ready! This was it.
Nick rose from his seat in one fluid movement and put his hands above his head then sat back down. I followed suit, nudged the person next to me and they followed suit.
People around us started doing the same. Then the action travelled as if it had a life of its own.
It traversed our row, slowly at first, it snaked down and then along multiple rows. One moment it was ours and then was opposite us on the other side of the stadium.
We had started a Mexican wave in Wembley.
Myself and Nick looked at one another and giggled like school boys, because we were school boys. We were so excited. 80,000 human beings were joined collectively as one. We had made this happen. The wave continued. It travelled around the stadium like the Tsunami it was and raced towards us. The speed took my breath away.
OK Nick, get ready. The timing on the next part was vital. It reached us, and we repeated our movement as did everyone around us. The wave moved on. 3 circuits later and it started to dissipate. That’s 5 new Wembley circuits in today’s money.
The concert happened. It was brilliant but not as brilliant as the feeling of creating that Mexican Wave with Nick. To this day, it’s one of my proudest achievement. If I would have had children they probably would have been my second proudest achievement as you never forget your first.
I may need to get out and experience life more.
Photo: I want one of these cows for Christmas.