This takes me back to one time I too was "gently nudged" by riot police.
1973 Summerfest Milwaukee – The police had already hauled George Carlin off the stage to jail for saying those 7 words. A crowd of about 10,000 booed but let it pass, after all, The Doors were about to play.
I was far from the stage on a rise leaning against a pole in a beer tent singing along with LOVE ME TWO TIMES. Suddenly Green Bay Packer great Henry Jordan – who was the face of Summerfest that year – walked out on stage in front of The Doors – while they were playing – and waved to someone off stage. The plug was pulled and the lights and sound went off, through his PA Jordan said. "Sorry but it is 11pm and time to go. GOOD NIGHT!"
People down front began throwing plastic cups and paper wrappers at the stage. To the right of the stage a gate opened and hundreds of Milwaukee police in full riot gear descended upon the crowd who had done nothing and beat them silly. I sipped my beer thinking how glad I was not being down there.
I noticed one riot cop running up the incline toward what I assumed was some disorder behind me. As I looked behind me to see what the trouble was, he hit me as hard as he could with a baton across the side of my head, I went down and he keep pounding me in the head with that club until I was unconscious. I came too in the paddy wagon on the way to jail with not a few other innocent bloody people. I had long hair at the time.
That’s the bad news which has forever made me an enemy of pigs large and small.
The good news was that they did not search me. I had a joint and a lighter in my pocket. And guess who happened to be in the cell next to me?
Though we could not see each other for the wall, I lit it up and passed it out the front of the bars and felt the hand grab it expertly. We joked around and when it was just about finished the jailers took notice. I ate it before the cell door opened which caused them beat the crap out of me some more, and threaten a stomach pump.
But hey, I smoked a joint in jail with George Carlin! They released me around dawn with no charges.
I have physically touched two of three of my idols. Keith Richards stepped on my hand and smiled down on me once as I was grasping the edge of the stage. But I never did get to touch or meet Kurt Vonnegut Jr.