The Last Time I Saw Glenn Frey in Atlantic City
Glenn Frey is dead. The news spread quickly on social media Monday that the Eagles singer/ songwriting had died of 67.
"Glenn fought a courageous battle for the past several weeks but, sadly, succumbed to complications from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis and pneumonia," reads a post on the band's official website.
The last time I saw Glenn Frey was in July of last year. The band's "History of the Eagles" Tour played Boardwalk Hall and me and my boss and Lite Rock co-worker Gary Guida were lucky enough to be offered a pair of tickets to the show.
Although I grew up on all their songs, I had never seen the Eagles perform live and I was excited. Plus, any show at Boardwalk Hall is a good show, so it was bound to be a good night!
Gary came to my house in Margate and I drove to the concert. Whenever you go to a concert, or, anywhere with Gary, you should plan on driving. Gary is known for his poor sense of direction, and, even after working in Atlantic City for more than 15 years, he is more likely than not to get lost, so I usually drive if we go to a concert together.
I have devised several options for parking in Atlantic City over the years, all with one basic idea in mind. Avoid all parking garages. I do whatever I need to do not to use any Atlantic City parking garage. Nothing tests my lack of patience more than waiting in traffic on the top floor of a parking garage for 45 minutes or so. On more than one occasion before I mastered my "no parking garage" policy, I waited a seeming eternity for traffic to clear enough to make it to the garage window to pay them way too much for the privilege. No more parking garages for me.
That night I had one of my usual parking plans in mind as we entered Atlantic City on our way to the Eagles show. Then, for reasons unknown, I decided to turn down South Albion Place near the Tropicana. Even though it should have been very clear to me that this was not a good street to park, I was feeling lucky.
Sure enough, a short way down the street we saw a prime open parking space. It was a good 30 feet from a sign that said " No Parking Anytime'. It must have been fate or the parking gods shining down on me. We parked and walked down the Boardwalk to see the concert.
The show was good, filled with the group's greatest hits and some of the stories behind them. The Eagles will never win a prize for the best live stage show, but Glenn Frey was a pleasant, wise-cracking front man and seemed in good spirits. Of course, the performance was first-rate and the harmonies were wonderful.
Gary and me walked back down the Boardwalk after the show offering our opinions of the concert and taking in the night.
When we left the Boardwalk, I became confused that the car wasn't in the place on the street where I remembered leaving it. I suggested going over to the next block hoping I might have mistaken where I left the car, even as a nervous pain began in my stomach.
The car wasn't on the next block, either. The car was gone. Stolen or towed. The "No Parking Anytime" sign that seemed plenty far enough away before suddenly didn't seem that far away. Apparently, when they said no parking anytime, that meant on that entire section of the block. In my defense, it was a parking spot with no type of prohibiting marking on the curb and it was a good 30 feet away from the damn No Parking Anytime sign!
We checked with a cop at the corner, and, sure enough, the car had been towed to the city municipal lot on the Black Horse Pike.
I was mad. Embarrassed and mad. Mad at the system, mad at the situation and mad at myself for being so stupid. It was almost midnight and Gary still had to drive over an hour to get home. But first we had to find my car.
We hailed a mini-van cab and asked the driver to take us to the Atlantic City Municipal Tow Lot. When we had driven well out of Atlantic City and in to West Atlantic City, just before the Expressway entrance, the cabbie pulled over in a darkened parking lot. I gave him $20 and started to get out before thinking to ask him to wait until we could verify that the car was there. It's a good thing I did. It was the wrong tow lot!
This lot was on the Black Horse Pike and cars were towed there, but not my car. My car was at the real Atlantic City Municipal Tow Lot on the other side of the Black Horse Pike in Atlantic City. How knew? Not us.
We got back into the cab and drove over to the correct lot. Even though it was just down the street, the trip is far from direct because you can only cross the Black Horse Pike at certain places and none of them were the least bit convenient to us. It was now well past midnight and all the warm glow from the night's concert was gone.
When we got out of the cab at the municipal lot, I paid the cab driver again and we started walking up to the claims window. Again, I'm not sure why I thought to yell out to the cabbie to stop, but I'm glad I did. After we confirmed that the car was there, we happened to see the "Cash Only" sign. With a tow bill of over $100, I didn't have the cash. So, we got back in to the cab and went back in to Atlantic City to find an ATM.
This officially sucked!
By the time we returned to the tow lot with the cash, I was frustrated and tired. My impatience with this situation and the no-nonsense attitude by the all-night tow lot guy lead to an exchange between us I can best describe as ...ugly.
Without giving details I am not to proud of, shall we say he didn't like the rush I was in get the car and I was not fond of his slow, plodding, we've-got-all-night-to- get-this-done approach to his job.
The whole process, which included the guy accidentally dropping my drivers license somewhere in the dark parking lot and an ensuing search for it, lasted almost an hour and when the two of us parted, it wasn't as friends.
When we finally got back to my house, it was well almost 1:30 A.M. and I had to apologize to Gary, who still had a long drive ahead of him.
And that's the last time I saw Glenn Frey.