This afternoon I plan on wandering over to the Buffalo Convention Center to attend the Farewell to The Aud event. It's not like one can say goodbye there though. One needs to go down to the actual site for that.
One more glimpse of the place where I saw my first real concert - Jethro Tull - and many more after that...Both many more Jethro Tull concerts, and many more other bands too. Tickets for the orange seats, bought at Norton Hall/the Student Union at UB, were typically purchased due to cost concerns, with full plans to actually park our butts elsewhere.
One of the last times I was in the Aud for a concert was for Bob Seger and his "Like a Rock" tour. I was with someone not familiar with this routine and when I was attempting to wander through lower seats she said in a loud voice "I thought we had orange seats!" after which the usher looked at us and shook his head. I pointed out to her exactly where these seats were, way way up at the top. As we walked away I explained the plan, which she said I should have done previously. I thought she knew! We later watched from a side view in the blues.
Wrestling matches too. I remember my father watching Haystack Calhoun and Gorgeous George on the black and white television. In later years I would go to the Aud to cheer on Hulk Hogan, Jake the Snake, Ricky Steamboat, and various other wrestlers, all while taking pictures, like the one here (I didn't give them ALL away after I had moved on). Some of these I would later sell to wrestling magazines and to fans.
The first match I went to, tagging along with friends on a nothing to do night, featured Jesse "The Body" Ventura (later to be Governor of Minnesota) wearing his boa and Adrian Adonis (real name Keith Franke, of Kenmore). I was smitten with the whole thing, for a while anyway. I lost interest eventually when it became too much like work, and it was more intriguing to take a closeup of a praying mantis in front of us (at an outdoor match at the Hamburg Fairgrounds) than Sergeant Slaughter.
I actually didn't see too many Buffalo Sabres games at the Aud. My first hockey games there were for the Buffalo Bisons, while sitting in the gray seats. They weren't comfortable then, but much better than those orange seats that we viewed the Buffalo Braves from...and one of my kids thinks the upper level of the Arena is scary...Fear of falling was a given. I don't see how anyone could even want to drink too much beer up there.
My kids got to see the Shrine Circus in the Aud (from the safety of lower seats), so they have a bit of themselves in the building too.
Now the seats are for sale - the blue ones anyway. The oranges were bolted to the floor and it wasn't practical to undo them for sale. A tool probably rolled down the aisle and went crashing to the floor in a slow motion foreshadowing of doom for any who tried to pry them loose :) Down with the ship...er, Aud... for them!
Anyway, there promises to be various vendors of memorabilia set up, and I definitely plan on coming away with something, even if it's just a hockey puck. You can have your picture taken in front of a fake front, but I'd rather go down to the foot of Main for the real thing.
For those who couldn't make it to Buffalo this weekend, there will also be an online auction of some of the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium seats that have been set aside for just this purpose. Get ready to shell out some bucks, as people bid as high as $1000 for 4 attached seats. Not me. I'll take a picture instead.
12/10/08 Update: Possible auction of the orange seats