In the fall of 1984, Crosby, Stills and Nash played at the Carver Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City. Being the "Cable Guy", I had to be there to install the cable from the 4th floor down to the women's locker room. For my work, I got my customary two tickets, which I gave away to friends, and had an "All Access - All Areas" stage pass, which meant I could get into the dressing rooms with the bands. Just to make sure the cable was working right.
Hell, the promoter probably thought he was getting off cheap by just giving away two tickets, knowing good and well that a stage union guy would probably be charging him $25 bucks an hour to run cable and have to hang around for 10 hours to do what amounted to be nothing more than about 20 minutes of work on my part.
What he didn't know is that I would have done it just for the backstage pass.
Before CSN went on stage, they were walking down the tunnel area of Carver and David Crosby was walking along with his girlfriend. He had this very vacant, very stoned look in his eyes. It was pretty surreal to see. (This was long before Crosby cleaned up his act after being jailed in Texas.)
So, CSN starts to play. They sound good. Good crowd on hand. Everyone is getting into it.
About halfway through the show, I have to go to the bathroom. There's a small bathroom in the tunnel of the arena off to the side, just past the men's locker room. So I went in to take a leak. I'm standing there at the urinal and all of the sudden someone bursts into the restroom, he runs behind me and goes right into the toilet stall and starts "throwing up his toenails", as my grandmother used to describe someone violently throwing up.
I'm still standing there and I say, "Man, are you all right, buddy?"
He kind of gurgles and says, "Uhhh, yeah, man. I'm all right." And he heaves again.
I finish up and I go out the door and there's my buddy, Andy Piro, who was working with S.C.O.P.E., which was the U of Iowa's student organization on entertainment. He said, "Did you see Stephen Stills in there?"
I said, "That was Stephen Stills in there? All I know is that I'm standing there peeing and some guy busts in behind me and starts throwing up in the toilet."
Andy said, "After that last song, Stephen Stills came off the stage and came up to me and said, 'Where's the nearest bathroom?' So I bring him up here."
We stand around for a moment and, sure enough, out walks Stephen Stills out of the bathroom, wiping off his mouth. He said to Andy, "Thanks man." And he went back down the tunnel toward the stage.
(Andy thought it might be drug related, but his road manager told me later that evening that Stephen did, indeed, have the flu.)
And Stephen Stills went back out on stage and did a magnificent solo, just playing the hell out of his acoustical guitar in the process. I was pretty friggin' impressed considering ten minutes before he was on his knees praying to the porcelin god...
So, I like to tell people people one of my claims to fame is that Stephen Stills once threw up next to me.