What is it about being a teenager that makes you feel so in tune with the ideas of alienation and loneliness? I swear, I had so many wonderful, caring friends, not to mention a very warm and loving family, and yet songs, poems, and stories that dealt with these issues just SPOKE to me. Resonated like no other subject. So “Message in a Bottle” was a favorite for me, from the very first time I heard it.
Back in 1983, The Police went on tour. They played at Day on the Green, which was an amazing all day concert in the Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, California. The Police headlined, and the other groups on the lineup were The Thompson Twins, Oingo Boingo, Madness, and The Fixx . My favorites were The Fixx and The Police. What I remember most about hearing Message in a Bottle live was that everyone there seemed to know every word. There’s no other feeling just like being in a huge amphitheater full of people, everyone singing along, knowing every word, and totally being in the palm of the hand of the group on stage.
This was the second concert I had ever seen. The first was another Day on the Green, just a few weeks before, which was Simon and Garfunkel. It was years before I realized that concerts could indeed suck, and that there could be animosity between the performers and the audience. If I could go back in time, I might give poor Mike a goodnight kiss, because he took me to one of the best concerts of my life. But I didn’t like him that way, and I did not want him to get the wrong idea. My older brother had drilled the idea into my head that there was nothing worse than a tease, someone who led guys on. So he went home with no kiss. It was a frikkin’ amazing concert, though.