Help Out Those In the "Disability Rows"- Fan Request

ratmandoratmando Music city. motownPosts: 312
hey all.
Back the States and sometimes, sadly, it seems to the ME-ME-ME super charged self-absorbed folks who really aren't fans but who live Vicariously through their tablets and phones... (really folks, BE in the moment.. why go to a show if you can't?)...have developed a way to ensure those of us in the disabled seating areas are less likely to enjoy the show. SO here are some tips for REAL fans to help make sure your fellow 10-clubbers, Disabled Veterans, Senior Citizens, Kids in Wheelchairs, and those who have service dogs have a chance to enjoy the show, too... Take it from my last 10 years of wheelchair hell as a music addicted fan.

1. First-- The companion seats are not FREE seats that we save for strangers. Very often they are the people who are holding our medications, ensuring our safety, and the ones who see if our ostomy bags need changing. (Seriously an issue, you don't want to be there.) We pay full price for both OUR seat and the companion seats... if we do have the right to the seat, please don't try to use us to hide from security so you can be at better view of the stage. Many times, you end up blocking the view of the person who isn't able to stand, or move from where we are.

2. If you want to take a photo from where we are sitting, ASK- most of the time, we are happy to have a new pal to say GREAT SHOW! to, and we like being treated like human beings not generic sick people . You can talk directly TO us, and not have the people sitting next to us answer for us, unless we ask you to, but again, keep in mind.. we didn't pay for your seat, and it isn't a full show perk.

3. We are not the beer holders for the entire Arena. I think that in LA, I had more beer spilled into my wheelchair than I had in the last 12 years of bringing it to shows. Why? Because some arenas, in the infinite wisdom place wheelchair seating just inside entrances in case we have to have medical emergency staff take us out of the area. (It's happened on many occasions, but honestly, I've seen more girls fake fainting spells thinking it will get them to the rail than anything else.) Because we are close to entrances, we are close to restrooms, and beer gardens. That doesn't mean we are your rest stop, holding station so you can pass beer and whatever up and down a section of seats. Very uncool- we're people.

4. Kids, short folks, dwarves, and seniors-- we just get the view above the rail. Seriously - try it. Sit in a folding chair, at a rail, see what you can see.. most of us get a full view ONLY 4-8 inches above the great big pipe designed to hold the crowds away. Some venues are terrific in that they've planned for audiences to be around 6' tall, and allow 2 full feet of standing room above the last row. That doesn't mean you should JUMP up on your chair in front of the entire disabled row. How would you feel if you got to see nothing but someone's Levi pocket for 3 hours? Oh, and that brings us to ...

5. Most of us in disabled will NEVER be able to get to GA. We don't get set lists, tambourines, wine, and there are so many of us that can't even leave to use the restroom, in case a security or usher person ends up moving someone into our spot. (Sometimes you'll see 13 wheelchairs in a row, and the designated seating area only holds 8 people.. who thinks that a wheelchair is thinner than a sitting audience member? If you do... you're not realistic.) We will never get the handshakes, or have Mike toss us a pick, or have the guys crowd surf near us. We sacrifice a lot more than regular fans when we go to shows. If we have leg braces or arm braces and canes, we're not just dealing with a sprain-- we have MS, or Lupus, Cerebral Palsy, ALS, or Ehlers-Danlos, or myriad other serious disorders that make it impossible for us to stand or sit at all, or for long periods of time. SO, for number 5-- keeping in mind we don't get to even hope for the gifties so many fans get 2-3 times a year at shows... we would like to be allowed a merchandise line visit. Sadly, so many people cut in front of chairs/disabled people, even stickers are seen as "someday I'll get one". If you see a disabled person in a merchandise line, remember, we are PEOPLE.... and we have saved money- sometimes it's social security, so it really is a BIG deal.... and that 30 stickers you bought just prevented someone from getting ONE. Ebay flippers are really not cool, and to have them jump in front of disabled folks to snag the last inexpensive item on the cart? Way not cool.---Part two coming..

When I hear music, I fear no danger. I am invulnerable. I see no foe. I am related to the earliest times, and to the latest.

Henry David Thoreau

Comments

  • ratmandoratmando Music city. motownPosts: 312
    6. We LOVE other fans. One of my two favorite shows- In Las Vegas in 2003, a guy who had a front section right near stage right, walked up to to an usher, and CARRIED ME to his seat, and he took my spot up on the rail of the disability row. HE didn't have to do anything of the kind, but he said he had been to the last 4 shows, and saw me sitting alone. It was the BEST seating I had ever had at a gig since losing my abilities. THEN, whenever he went to get a beer, he asked me if I needed anything and was my go-to for water. I loved that guy. (Hi ERICH, wherever you are!) I ended up buying him a tshirt with the money I was going to get my own shirt with... and a few months later, I was able to get my own shirt, too. We LOVE other fans... the gals I met in Arizona in 2013.... I was dancing next to them, (as much as I could), and my service dog was their best friend! I still see them on Facebook and give howdies and love hugs! Again, we're people. Just people.

    7. Service dogs-- It's a big deal for many of us. I have Mutt Muffs for my dog. And other people have hearing protection home-made for service animals. This is a really adorable thing to see... a cute dog, with mickey-mouse ears, rocking at a concert. Children have asked me if it's okay to pet Monty (the Rocker Doggy). But, I've had so many people interrupt him when he was getting my medication, or letting me know he needed a "potty break" or anything he is supposed to do to take his picture. I get that it's a cool thing to see a dog at a show, but remember, they're working for a reason. Please just ASK. It's so simple.. "Hey, that's a great dog, can I take his picture?", and I bet you'll hear "Yes of course!". Monty ended up on a LOT of Google pages and Picasawebs, and facebook, and all over the net. You're saying "Hey, you're a person, cool" which is a big deal, in any case, and you're respecting the work my dog does. That's good for him, as well.

    8. Alcohol is prohibited for so many of us on pain meds, and other medications- it's neither cute, funny, or a reason for a bet to get a "gimp drunk" as I've seen some strange folks try to do. In my case, I was on Morphine for years, and now on Methadone, (meaning I can almost walk normally some days finally!), but that doesn't mean I want to get wasted with you. That is part of the thing I see when people try to get the companion seats, or worse, pal up because security is asking people to get to their seats or stop blocking fire lane paths. If you feel the need to suck up to us, or if you see we have no companion, or if you think we're hot, (yes, some of us are!), and you'd like to get to know us better.. a nice bottle of water is a great way to start.

    9. What I LOVE about Pearl Jam fans.. of all the shows I've seen, the PJ folks are the kindest to anyone who seems to need help. BUT I've also seen people "fake it". Using a cane? Great! Did you happen to buy 11 disabled seats because you thought those were the only places to get an unobstructed view? Then you're a douche, and the bag it came in. Your ingrown toe nail my be the most painful thing in your life, but I was sitting next to a guy who was in a plane crash, another Veteran, like myself was on the other side, and me? I have a disease that makes all of my bones pop out of joint, plus my veins and tendons are VERY loose.. meaning if you hit me too hard you may rupture an artery. Right next to us, in San Diego, were five guys who were there because they were having a stag party-- got tickets the day of show, saw that they could have sections 200 OR could be in disabled. It's not against the law YET for venues to sell these seats to anyone. But think about it.. how many senior citizens, disabled folks, or even people who seem like they're recovering from something have you seen in the last few shows you've been to, who may not have those disabled seats? Guess what... security is trained to watch for people like that, and most venues carry their own wheelchairs and folding chairs so that if someone does seem sick or infirmed, they can be moved to those spots. The disabled seating sells out fast, first, and a majority of the open spots you think are available, are actually called Red Cross Reserve. It's a way for ADA compliance to be met day of show. What if you had a kid, and the week before you FINALLY got to see a PJ show, he was in a skateboard accident and broke his ankle. Should he miss the show because the disabled seating is sold out? NO-- security is likely to move you and him to a RCR seat. Real fans are very cool about this. .. some will gladly give up their unethically obtained disabled spot to help a real gimpy person out. PJ fans do... so watch for it. You may end up in GA because of it. (It's happened several times that I've seen.)

    10. This year... I'm hoping others will join me in HELP -A- DISABLED-FAN- OUT. Did you get 10 or 12 picks tossed at you? Do you need all of them or would you like to hand one or two to someone in the wheelchair seats? Is that the 21st Tambourine you have because you borrowed a nephew to wear on your shoulders? Consider giving it to someone who will NEVER get that opportunity- or even offering a cheap sale, (I'd spend $10 on a tambourine!!). You'd still make cash, and you'd do something huge-- help out someone who would NEVER expect such a kindness from ANYONE. Do you think Steve Gleason is the only ALS fan? Look around... maybe you were able to snag 5 or 6 stickers from the show. Did you notice that some of us have our wheelchairs decorated in stickers? Why? It's generally all we can afford or carry! Going to a Pre-party? First hand experience.. I tried desperately to bid on auction items, but no one could hear me at ass level- and I lost out on three items I wanted to buy. Be the VOICE for someone in a chair at a party. Have you met any of us disabled fans? If you see us alone at a party- invite us to your table! (Waitresses and waiters are REALLY fast when it comes to serving disabled customers.) And to help make our experience part of a real PJ FAN experience.. don't be afraid to talk directly to us. Some of us have speech issues, yes, but some don't. And those of us who do have speech issues just need your patience... we have working minds, and we're pretty cool people. (We know all the songs, I swear!) How about a copy of a set list? A cool thing I was sent last year-- a friend copied all of the set lists from a website, and put them in a binder- with a couple of photos from each venue, the show date, and when it came to picking out what Boots I wanted.. I had a GREAT idea that the Worcester show, and the Oklahoma show were going to be SO cool. And they are. You don't have to give us your life collection.. we just want to share our love of the band with you.. WE are People.

    Thanks yalzes. (yeah, Harvard grad, howdya know?)

    xo to Erich, Dave, Marc, Jeremy, Hazel, Vicky, Marina, Tina, Stephen, Garry, and the 12 or so others who were so kind to me in the 2013 tour.

    Cathe, aka ratmando
    When I hear music, I fear no danger. I am invulnerable. I see no foe. I am related to the earliest times, and to the latest.

    Henry David Thoreau
  • ldent42ldent42 NYCPosts: 7,817
    =D> =D> =D>

    Very enlightening read. Thank you for sharing this.
    NYC 06/24/08-Auckland 11/27/09-Chch 11/29/09-Newark 05/18/10-Atlanta 09/22/12-Chicago 07/19/13-Brooklyn 10/18/13 & 10/19/13-Hartford 10/25/13-Baltimore 10/27/13-Auckland 1/17/14-GC 1/19/14-Melbourne 1/24/14-Sydney 1/26/14-Amsterdam 6/16/14 & 6/17/14-Milan 6/20/14-Berlin 6/26/14-Leeds 7/8/14-Milton Keynes 7/11/14-St. Louis 10/3/14-NYC 9/26/15
    LIVEFOOTSTEPS.ORG/USER/?USR=435
  • moretonbayfigmoretonbayfig Australia Posts: 805
    edited September 2014
    Bump for my mate Cathe - Hey grrrl! Hope you're doing well - enjoy the tour \m/ Thanks for sharing from your experience and reminding the punters of the common rule. Mel xo
    Post edited by moretonbayfig on
  • BLACK35BLACK35 Hanover, Ontario Posts: 19,079
    Thanks for the read and the friendly reminders that we can all do to make this world a better place.
    2005 - London
    2009 - Toronto
    2010 - Buffalo
    2011 - Toronto 1&2
    2013 - London, Pittsburgh, Buffalo
    2014 - Cincinnati, St. Louis, Detroit
    2016 - Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, Ottawa, Toronto 1
  • TerryGTerryG La Crosse, WIPosts: 366
    Thank you for sharing, an awsome reminder to be the best fan (person) you can be and have compassion for others at the show, and in life.
    Thank you Cathe
    Do yourself a favor and be you online. Anonymity plus audience often equals asshole.
    Try not to be one. Make mom proud.
    Dan Johns
  • ratmandoratmando Music city. motownPosts: 312
    Love you all.. thanks for the kind responses.. (was worried for a minute I'd get the old hate notes) BUT in true form, PJ peeps be the bestest.
    When I hear music, I fear no danger. I am invulnerable. I see no foe. I am related to the earliest times, and to the latest.

    Henry David Thoreau
  • I can't imagine who would hate for this. Thanks for sharing and hopefully we can all do better. After my mum became disabled, I couldn't imagine how many people would just let doors go on her. And she was one of the most thoughtful souls. Enjoy your shows :)
  • manitoumanmanitouman In My HeadPosts: 534
    What a great post! My wife and I have had similar experiences. Folks should also be aware of people moving slowly. Instead of becoming frustrated with them, perhaps see why they are moving slow in the first place. My wife walks with a cane as a result of a tragic accident and several major surgeries. She doesn't mean to be in your way but she's moving as fast as her body can carry her. No one but that person can know how frustrating it is when you have a strong mind that says "I want to do this, this and that" and having a body that says "Yea right, I don't think so."

    She would gladly trade what others think of as disability "perks" for a day without pain.

    Great post! My wife sends her kudos for how well written it is.
    Soldier Field, Chicago, IL 7-11-1995; United Center, Chicago, IL 6-29-1998; MGM Grand, Las Vegas, NV 10-22-2000 ~PJ10~; Pepsi Center, Denver, CO 4-1-2003; Cricket Pavilion, Phoenix, AZ 6-7-2003; United Center, Chicago, IL 6-18-2003; Alpine Valley, East Troy, WI 6-21-2003; Fox Theatre, St. Louis, MO 10-5-2004; The Gorge, George, WA 9-1-2005; United Center, Chicago, IL 5-16-2006; United Center, Chicago, IL 5-17-2006; Pepsi Center, Denver, CO 7-2-2006; Pepsi Center, Denver, CO 7-3-2006; United Center, Chicago, IL 8-23-2009; United Center, Chicago, IL 8-24-2009; Rogers Arena, Vancouver, BC 12-4-2013; Key Arena, Seattle, WA 12-6-2013; iWireless Arena, Moline, IL 10-17-2014 ~No Code Show~; Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, MN 10-19-2014; Bradley Center, Milwaukee, WI 10-20-2014 ~Yield Show~; Pepsi Center, Denver, CO 10-22-2014 ~PJ24~: Wrigley Field 1 & 2, 2016......
  • ratmandoratmando Music city. motownPosts: 312
    Thank you to your wife... and what's here name? Do you want me to draw her something from this tour? I've been doing that for some people.
    When I hear music, I fear no danger. I am invulnerable. I see no foe. I am related to the earliest times, and to the latest.

    Henry David Thoreau
  • TerryGTerryG La Crosse, WIPosts: 366
    Bump for a great post
    Do yourself a favor and be you online. Anonymity plus audience often equals asshole.
    Try not to be one. Make mom proud.
    Dan Johns
  • SPEEDY MCCREADYSPEEDY MCCREADY Posts: 23,689
    edited September 2014
    Damn!
    What a fantastic post!
    Post edited by SPEEDY MCCREADY on
    Free Boston Lou!!!!
  • ratmandoratmando Music city. motownPosts: 312
    I am so happy to know you guys. ANYONE in Denver this year?? Look for the BRIGHT red hair, the red wheelchair with about 50 PJ stickers on it, (Provided Spirit Air doesn't lose it!!!!), and sorry, the rocker doggy won't be with me, so I'll have to find my own medication. I understand that's easier in Denver. ;)
    When I hear music, I fear no danger. I am invulnerable. I see no foe. I am related to the earliest times, and to the latest.

    Henry David Thoreau
  • ratmandoratmando Music city. motownPosts: 312
    So... I'm bumping this, as this was the first tour I saw that ADA was actually next to GA, in front rather than behind!! And of all the shows I've ever seen.. and you KNOW it's been tons...(and as a musician. tons more)... this is the FIRST time I saw non-celeb ADA folks getting picks from Mike, getting, (oh me?? ! Yep, and the fella next to me with massive disabilities, too)... getting TAMBOURINES. (we aren't tamb-bait, I swear. we never were.) And, Mike actually played directly next to the ASL translator, and to the group in the sides who couldn't even SEE the show, due to visual issues- he played to them. Jeff even joined him during the show.. right to ADA!

    I believe in miracles....... I believe in a better place for you and me..........
    When I hear music, I fear no danger. I am invulnerable. I see no foe. I am related to the earliest times, and to the latest.

    Henry David Thoreau
  • deadendpdeadendp Northeast OhioPosts: 6,025
    Thank you for updating this thread. It needed it, if you know what I mean. So happy that you had an awesome show where you could SEE!
    2014: Cincinnati
    2016: Lexington and Wrigley 1
  • TikiTiki USAPosts: 4,114
    edited August 2016
    I just came from a sadly closed thread where a completely clueless Wrigley 2 concert goer bought himself some super pricy stubhubbed ADA seats although he and no one in his party had a disability, and ended up with a throatful of KARMA wah wah wahing his absolutely "Horrible Experience".
    Not naming names, but If you're not NEEDING that ADA area, and you find yourself in that area, chances are you're kind of a douche.
    Post edited by Tiki on
    Bristow 2010, Montreal 2011, a tale of 2 Worcesters Charlottesville Glendale 2013, Leeds Memphis 2014, Hampton Columbia Fenway Park 2 2016
    EV Providence 2011
    1991 RIP WBCN

    the chief culprit of the thread heading south
    you're welcome
  • TikiTiki USAPosts: 4,114
    BLACK35 said:

    Thanks for the read and the friendly reminders that we can all do to make this world a better place.

    and this.
    Bristow 2010, Montreal 2011, a tale of 2 Worcesters Charlottesville Glendale 2013, Leeds Memphis 2014, Hampton Columbia Fenway Park 2 2016
    EV Providence 2011
    1991 RIP WBCN

    the chief culprit of the thread heading south
    you're welcome
  • MP59559MP59559 Posts: 126
    Tiki said:

    I just came from a sadly closed thread where a completely clueless Wrigley 2 concert goer bought himself some super pricy stubhubbed ADA seats although he and no one in his party had a disability, and ended up with a throatful of KARMA wah wah wahing his absolutely "Horrible Experience".
    Not naming names, but If you're not NEEDING that ADA area, and you find yourself in that area, chances are you're kind of a douche.

    Couldn't help but think of that while reading this great thread. This thread should be pinned to the top of the forum as a reminder to fans.
    10.02.96 | 09.16.98 | 08.29.00 | 07.02.03 | 07.11.03 | 05.25.06 | 04.11.16 | 08.05.16 | 08.07.16

    "He made the deal with the devil.
    We get to play with him.
    He goes to hell, of course.
    We're going to heaven."
  • TikiTiki USAPosts: 4,114
    edited August 2016
    yeah number 9 is where its at. not for you #evenbros
    Bristow 2010, Montreal 2011, a tale of 2 Worcesters Charlottesville Glendale 2013, Leeds Memphis 2014, Hampton Columbia Fenway Park 2 2016
    EV Providence 2011
    1991 RIP WBCN

    the chief culprit of the thread heading south
    you're welcome
  • ratmandoratmando Music city. motownPosts: 312
    edited August 2016
    Really loved ASL.this year...a companion to a hearing disadvantaged gal who was with an ASL reader was singing in sign. I was too...he sang in ASL, i sang in Brit SL.. and it rocked the hell out of Footsteps. (Footsteps Hall are two great ASL words to *sing*)
    When I hear music, I fear no danger. I am invulnerable. I see no foe. I am related to the earliest times, and to the latest.

    Henry David Thoreau
  • hedonisthedonist standing on the edge of foreverPosts: 17,644
    Agreed, great post - and timely, though always a good time for spread the word. What's sad though, is so much of this is / should be about compassion and common sense.

    Glad you had a blast during this tour :)
  • Fenway ADA A2 section seemed like a good set up. Very spacious/close to stage/wheelchairs arranged up front with about a 10 foot distance to others standing, tambourine toss was close. Enough room for more people day of show .
    Great discussion to educate people. Ratmando... you should re-post every so often
    Stub Hub and others sell ADA seats for 10 x face. Talk about lack of compassion
  • JH6056JH6056 Posts: 945
    ratmando said:


    10. This year... I'm hoping others will join me in HELP -A- DISABLED-FAN- OUT. Did you get 10 or 12 picks tossed at you? Do you need all of them or would you like to hand one or two to someone in the wheelchair seats? Is that the 21st Tambourine you have because you borrowed a nephew to wear on your shoulders? Consider giving it to someone who will NEVER get that opportunity- or even offering a cheap sale, (I'd spend $10 on a tambourine!!). You'd still make cash, and you'd do something huge-- help out someone who would NEVER expect such a kindness from ANYONE. Do you think Steve Gleason is the only ALS fan? Look around... maybe you were able to snag 5 or 6 stickers from the show. Did you notice that some of us have our wheelchairs decorated in stickers? Why? It's generally all we can afford or carry! Going to a Pre-party? First hand experience.. I tried desperately to bid on auction items, but no one could hear me at ass level- and I lost out on three items I wanted to buy. Be the VOICE for someone in a chair at a party. Have you met any of us disabled fans? If you see us alone at a party- invite us to your table! (Waitresses and waiters are REALLY fast when it comes to serving disabled customers.) And to help make our experience part of a real PJ FAN experience.. don't be afraid to talk directly to us. Some of us have speech issues, yes, but some don't. And those of us who do have speech issues just need your patience... we have working minds, and we're pretty cool people. (We know all the songs, I swear!) How about a copy of a set list? A cool thing I was sent last year-- a friend copied all of the set lists from a website, and put them in a binder- with a couple of photos from each venue, the show date, and when it came to picking out what Boots I wanted.. I had a GREAT idea that the Worcester show, and the Oklahoma show were going to be SO cool. And they are. You don't have to give us your life collection.. we just want to share our love of the band with you.. WE are People.

    Thanks yalzes. (yeah, Harvard grad, howdya know?)

    xo to Erich, Dave, Marc, Jeremy, Hazel, Vicky, Marina, Tina, Stephen, Garry, and the 12 or so others who were so kind to me in the 2013 tour.

    Cathe, aka ratmando

    This is great Cathe/Ratmando! And even though I already have happy warm fuzzy memories of my interaction with the folks in the ADA section the last 2 PJ shows I attended, this makes me glad I facilitated 2 of the exact things that so many disabled fans miss. At Fenway I walked up to a guy I had never seen before but who looked SO STOKED to be there and for the show to begin, and I gave him one of the Ed guitar picks I'd just gotten. And in Charlottesville which was already one of the best PJ shows ever, I was able to start a chain of events that led an amazing fan in a wheelchair to go from getting harassed by venue security and not being able to see at all from regular floor seats mid-way back, to getting into the GA pit and then awesome other fans took over and parted like the Red Sea and he ended up ON THE RAIL in front of Mike, got lots of love from Mike and Ed, got Mike guitar picks and Ed's tambourine, and had the show of his life. We got to hug and pretty much cry for joy when it was all over. That was as much what made that show over the top for me as PJ's actual performance.

    All it takes is being observant and remembering that even the tiniest acts of kindness (to anyone, not only disabled fans) sparks a ripple that spreads. Definitely being considerate and not being a douche is also super important.

    Thanks again Ratmando! If it's ok, I've shared with another concert-addicted disabled friend/fan who does a lot of work in her country (Australia) to bring attention to both the challenges and opportunities that happen to differently-abled fans. Here's to hundreds more awesome shows for you!
  • Ed gave a tambourine to a guy in a w/c at Fenway 1. Immediately I gave my poster to the same guy . The guy seemed happy to get 2 souvenirs simultaneously
    ratmando said:

    6. We LOVE other fans. One of my two favorite shows- In Las Vegas in 2003, a guy who had a front section right near stage right, walked up to to an usher, and CARRIED ME to his seat, and he took my spot up on the rail of the disability row. HE didn't have to do anything of the kind, but he said he had been to the last 4 shows, and saw me sitting alone. It was the BEST seating I had ever had at a gig since losing my abilities. THEN, whenever he went to get a beer, he asked me if I needed anything and was my go-to for water. I loved that guy. (Hi ERICH, wherever you are!) I ended up buying him a tshirt with the money I was going to get my own shirt with... and a few months later, I was able to get my own shirt, too. We LOVE other fans... the gals I met in Arizona in 2013.... I was dancing next to them, (as much as I could), and my service dog was their best friend! I still see them on Facebook and give howdies and love hugs! Again, we're people. Just people.

    7. Service dogs-- It's a big deal for many of us. I have Mutt Muffs for my dog. And other people have hearing protection home-made for service animals. This is a really adorable thing to see... a cute dog, with mickey-mouse ears, rocking at a concert. Children have asked me if it's okay to pet Monty (the Rocker Doggy). But, I've had so many people interrupt him when he was getting my medication, or letting me know he needed a "potty break" or anything he is supposed to do to take his picture. I get that it's a cool thing to see a dog at a show, but remember, they're working for a reason. Please just ASK. It's so simple.. "Hey, that's a great dog, can I take his picture?", and I bet you'll hear "Yes of course!". Monty ended up on a LOT of Google pages and Picasawebs, and facebook, and all over the net. You're saying "Hey, you're a person, cool" which is a big deal, in any case, and you're respecting the work my dog does. That's good for him, as well.

    8. Alcohol is prohibited for so many of us on pain meds, and other medications- it's neither cute, funny, or a reason for a bet to get a "gimp drunk" as I've seen some strange folks try to do. In my case, I was on Morphine for years, and now on Methadone, (meaning I can almost walk normally some days finally!), but that doesn't mean I want to get wasted with you. That is part of the thing I see when people try to get the companion seats, or worse, pal up because security is asking people to get to their seats or stop blocking fire lane paths. If you feel the need to suck up to us, or if you see we have no companion, or if you think we're hot, (yes, some of us are!), and you'd like to get to know us better.. a nice bottle of water is a great way to start.

    9. What I LOVE about Pearl Jam fans.. of all the shows I've seen, the PJ folks are the kindest to anyone who seems to need help. BUT I've also seen people "fake it". Using a cane? Great! Did you happen to buy 11 disabled seats because you thought those were the only places to get an unobstructed view? Then you're a douche, and the bag it came in. Your ingrown toe nail my be the most painful thing in your life, but I was sitting next to a guy who was in a plane crash, another Veteran, like myself was on the other side, and me? I have a disease that makes all of my bones pop out of joint, plus my veins and tendons are VERY loose.. meaning if you hit me too hard you may rupture an artery. Right next to us, in San Diego, were five guys who were there because they were having a stag party-- got tickets the day of show, saw that they could have sections 200 OR could be in disabled. It's not against the law YET for venues to sell these seats to anyone. But think about it.. how many senior citizens, disabled folks, or even people who seem like they're recovering from something have you seen in the last few shows you've been to, who may not have those disabled seats? Guess what... security is trained to watch for people like that, and most venues carry their own wheelchairs and folding chairs so that if someone does seem sick or infirmed, they can be moved to those spots. The disabled seating sells out fast, first, and a majority of the open spots you think are available, are actually called Red Cross Reserve. It's a way for ADA compliance to be met day of show. What if you had a kid, and the week before you FINALLY got to see a PJ show, he was in a skateboard accident and broke his ankle. Should he miss the show because the disabled seating is sold out? NO-- security is likely to move you and him to a RCR seat. Real fans are very cool about this. .. some will gladly give up their unethically obtained disabled spot to help a real gimpy person out. PJ fans do... so watch for it. You may end up in GA because of it. (It's happened several times that I've seen.)

    10. This year... I'm hoping others will join me in HELP -A- DISABLED-FAN- OUT. Did you get 10 or 12 picks tossed at you? Do you need all of them or would you like to hand one or two to someone in the wheelchair seats? Is that the 21st Tambourine you have because you borrowed a nephew to wear on your shoulders? Consider giving it to someone who will NEVER get that opportunity- or even offering a cheap sale, (I'd spend $10 on a tambourine!!). You'd still make cash, and you'd do something huge-- help out someone who would NEVER expect such a kindness from ANYONE. Do you think Steve Gleason is the only ALS fan? Look around... maybe you were able to snag 5 or 6 stickers from the show. Did you notice that some of us have our wheelchairs decorated in stickers? Why? It's generally all we can afford or carry! Going to a Pre-party? First hand experience.. I tried desperately to bid on auction items, but no one could hear me at ass level- and I lost out on three items I wanted to buy. Be the VOICE for someone in a chair at a party. Have you met any of us disabled fans? If you see us alone at a party- invite us to your table! (Waitresses and waiters are REALLY fast when it comes to serving disabled customers.) And to help make our experience part of a real PJ FAN experience.. don't be afraid to talk directly to us. Some of us have speech issues, yes, but some don't. And those of us who do have speech issues just need your patience... we have working minds, and we're pretty cool people. (We know all the songs, I swear!) How about a copy of a set list? A cool thing I was sent last year-- a friend copied all of the set lists from a website, and put them in a binder- with a couple of photos from each venue, the show date, and when it came to picking out what Boots I wanted.. I had a GREAT idea that the Worcester show, and the Oklahoma show were going to be SO cool. And they are. You don't have to give us your life collection.. we just want to share our love of the band with you.. WE are People.

    Thanks yalzes. (yeah, Harvard grad, howdya know?)

    xo to Erich, Dave, Marc, Jeremy, Hazel, Vicky, Marina, Tina, Stephen, Garry, and the 12 or so others who were so kind to me in the 2013 tour.

    Cathe, aka ratmando

  • hedonisthedonist standing on the edge of foreverPosts: 17,644
    JH6056 said:



    All it takes is being observant and remembering that even the tiniest acts of kindness (to anyone, not only disabled fans) sparks a ripple that spreads. Definitely being considerate and not being a douche is also super important.

    Seems so simple, doesn't it? We (hopefully) learn this shit in kindergarten!

  • JH6056JH6056 Posts: 945
    hedonist said:

    JH6056 said:



    All it takes is being observant and remembering that even the tiniest acts of kindness (to anyone, not only disabled fans) sparks a ripple that spreads. Definitely being considerate and not being a douche is also super important.

    Seems so simple, doesn't it? We (hopefully) learn this shit in kindergarten!

    Good point - maybe they should sell beer in sippy cups at shows so they don't spill on other folks! :) I put a smiley face but I'm totally serious - wouldn't that be an improvement?
  • ratmandoratmando Music city. motownPosts: 312
    JH6056 said:



    Good point - maybe they should sell beer in sippy cups at shows so they don't spill on other folks! :) I put a smiley face but I'm totally serious - wouldn't that be an improvement?

    Hmm great.idea.
    When I hear music, I fear no danger. I am invulnerable. I see no foe. I am related to the earliest times, and to the latest.

    Henry David Thoreau
  • JC29856JC29856 Posts: 6,951
    edited August 2016
    One of the best all time shows was Continental Arena I 2006 rocking with guy in wheelchair first row Mike side. Never forget the absolute sense of joy I witnessed/felt for and from the guy throughout the show. Don't remember his name but McCready solo'd him a few times had the guy in tears. I'm talking playing directly in front of him for at least 30 40 seconds and allowing me to video and take pics. I think he ended up with a setlist and McC pick. Truly amazing!
    Sorry to go off topic but not sure what changed from then other than GA vs assigned seating.
    (And these questions can be re-phrased and asked about 90% of what you asked)
  • ratmandoratmando Music city. motownPosts: 312
    Yup...rows made ADA interesting...often not up front. Earlier years, we got early entry, too. Oh, and my ADA buddy Kyle Foster died this year. I want to get baseball cards of ADA fans who have we can set out during shows... weird?
    When I hear music, I fear no danger. I am invulnerable. I see no foe. I am related to the earliest times, and to the latest.

    Henry David Thoreau
  • samjamsamjam New YorkPosts: 9,203
    This is a fantastic post, thank you so much for sharing. This should be mandatory reading!
    "Sometimes you find yourself having to put all your faith in no faith."
    ~not a dude~
    2010: MSGx2
    2012: Made In America
    2013: Pittsburgh, Brooklynx2, Hartford, Baltimore
    2014: Leeds, Milton Keynes, Detroit
    2015: Global Citizen Festival
    2016: Phillyx2, MSGx2, Fenwayx2
  • ratmandoratmando Music city. motownPosts: 312
    I don't know what it is with Mike-- he is AMAZING to those of us who can't things others can. He took a gal to coffee in New Orleans to talk about her wheelchair story- and he always ALWAYS seems to go towards the ASL translators to play a bit. LOVE some McCready!!

    When I hear music, I fear no danger. I am invulnerable. I see no foe. I am related to the earliest times, and to the latest.

    Henry David Thoreau
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