My friend Tom and I had traveled together before, but California was the real thing, the ultimate road trip, and the time was right. Summer breaks from college were ending; future obligations with military and careers were looming; and each of us were becoming more involved and closer with the girls who eventually would become our wives….and still are. The image of Jeanne above was taken a few days before we departed, and would be in my thoughts constantly.
My 1965 MGB had one more stop before Tom and I would depart Bergenfield, N.J. at 3:00 AM August 13th. That would be with Jeanne and I to the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium, (Queens, NYC) to see Simon and Garfunkel in what would become perhaps one of the most memorable concert mismatches of the 60’s: relatively quiet, thought provoking, folksy songs of the headline duo; opened by the almost unknown, screaming loud, freaky, scary antics of Jim Morrison and the Doors – the latter having a bad emotional night and venting that with screeching and instrument smashing. Sitting high up in our $5 seats, we shared the shock and stunned silence bestowed by the audience to the new group from California, which left Morrison to reportedly say “I want to kill this crowd!” (“Killing…” is a phrase he prolongedly screamed out in their first number, “The End.”) Ironically, S&G came on shortly after with their iconic hit “Sounds of Silence!” (See a description of this iconic concert here.)
Of course, the Doors would go on to become one of the premiere rock groups of the 60’s, of which I have long been a fan (Think: “Light My Fire.”) And Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel have left us with a lifetime of great music.
Driving home after the show, I was psyched for the cross country trip to begin, starting in just 2 hours.
Below is the MGB as it looked, freshly cleaned the day before. Note it is actually British Racing Green, not black as photographically rendered.