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Art vs. History

It happened once before, long ago: July 20, 1969, to be exact. I'd bought tickets to see Blind Faith and I was psyched, until I realized that it was the night of the very first manned moon landing — and the very first walk on the moon.

I was so torn: The moon landing was such an incredibly exciting and uncertain event, but I was also a music fanatic (surprise), and the idea of seeing Eric Clapton (he was so good back then), Stevie Winwood (he was so good back then) and Ginger Baker (he is still pretty good) was a one-shot chance. I was still kicking myself for missing the Goodbye Cream Tour the year before.

The moon landing was scheduled around late afternoon or early evening — I can't recall — but the astronauts were scheduled to take a rest before they did their walk. So I figured I could go to the concert and drive back from Baltimore in time to see the walk.It didn't happen that way. The moon walk happened earlier than planned, or at least earlier than the television news had led me to believe. In fact, Ginger Baker wouldn't come out (or so we were told) until the moon walk happened.

There were no big screens at the Baltimore Civic Center, and no simulcasts. In fact, when my friend Pete and I got home, it was just a few steps away from their re-entry into the lunar lander. There were no instant replays, either.

I have a chance to see Radiohead in Santa Barbara on the last day of the band's U.S. tour. It is also the same night that Barack Obama accepts the Democratic nomination to be president.

I bought my plane ticket.