The Def Jam Tour 1987
Public Enemy. LLCoolJ. Eric B & Rakim.
They were all coming to London. Hammersmith Odeon. Three of my favourite artists. Three nights in a row.
I HAD NO MONEY FOR A TICKET!!!!!
So, I had to have a plan. I tried asking the parents. NO! I tried asking my older brother to buy me a ticket. NO!
I'll have to get a job then. What job is going to take me on and pay me in time to get a ticket for this show...?
Step in my man Scott at number 9. He tells me that his brother Barry can get me a job at.... wait for it.... Hammersmith Odeon! No way! "Yeah man, he works there as an usher" What? Can you believe it? Where do I sign up? I went down there and sat through what I swear was the simplest interview I have ever had.
"Do you mind working late?" Nope. "Are you okay with talking to people and showing them to their seats?" Yep. "Do you mind clearing up the bar during the intervals?" No problem. "When can you start?" Today! Now!! "Congratulations. The job is yours!" To be honest if they asked me to shovel elephant dung til midnight I'd have said 'Hell yes'.
I went to work about 4 hours EARLY every day that the tour was on. I watched LLCoolJ sound checking. I watched dj Bobcat sit on his record box and polish his gold chains. I watched Eric B walk around in his Dapper Dan suit and a neckfull of jewellery. I sat with a small crowd and listened to Chuck D talk about life, the universe and everything. I got autographs from Flavour Flav and Terminator X. I was so gassed at just being there. I took pictures of the shows, especially when LL brought on his massive boom box. Flashing LED's and everything! I still got them somewhere. They will be posted eventually. The dopest part of it all, besides walking around the venue just before the doors opened and seeing hundreds of people dying to get in, was the the fact that I actually GOT PAID to watch a show - 3 times - that only weeks before I couldn't even afford a ticket for!
In fact, if you listen closely to the live show inserts on the 'Nation Of Millions' album, you'll hear me screaming 'I CAN'T BELIEVE IT'