February 2000: Yes were touring in support of The Ladder and played two shows at the Royal Albert Hall in London. I had tickets for both. After the first show, I went on to a friend's party and got mugged while waiting for a train. So, if you search around on Facebook, you can see a picture of me at the second show with a huge black eye.
Ah, well. These things happen, I thought.
The next Yes tour, the Masterworks tour, wasn't coming to Europe, so I and a friend decided to fly out to the US east coast. We were planning to see three shows and meet up with some friends we'd made online, like the infamous Steven Sullivan and Jeff Hunnicutt.We began with the 23 July Nissan Pavilion show, then the fantastic and infamous 25 July Virginia Beach show. Down the coast for Raleigh on 27 July, then it was on a train to get to Charlotte for the next day. We met some other fans on the train and we were offered a list to the venue that evening.
There we are, five of us in the car, just leaving the motel, when BANG. Another car had slammed into us as we were turning. Everyone staggered out of the car, checking to see how everyone else was. Lots of calls of "I'm OK", lots of consequent relief... except for me, who was still sitting there, too winded to say anything. I eventually climb out and it's obvious I'm not OK. Fortunately, we were one block from an emergency room and I was soon patched up, but we missed the show! And, unfortunately, my shoulder was in pieces and that took four years of pain and two operations to be repaired.
So, one misfortunate on the way from a Yes show. Then another misfortune on the way to a Yes show. Come December 2001 and the Magnification tour and I was a bit worried that something would happen during the show, maybe a lighting rig falling on me or something. But nothing untoward happened; the curse appeared broken.
Further happy shows followed: 2003, 2004, 2009.
And now it's 2011. I've got tickets for Cambridge tomorrow and London later in the tour. Both were nearly sold out. I could only get a standing ticket for Cambridge. But that's fine. It's not like I can't stand for two and a half hours.
Except, guess what? I broke my toe yesterday. I tripped going upstairs. A hairline crack of the proximal phalange of the right toe. A pretty trivial bone to break. It's not going to stop me working or anything. Except, you know, if I was planning to stand for two and a half hours in a crowded concert hall 48 hours later. That might not be a good idea.
The curse returns.