Learning to Fly (Pink Floyd). 40 Songs for 40 Years, 1987

This record really hasn’t held up well for me (it’s an OK David Gilmour solo album, I guess), but it earns its spot on the list because this is the first—and only—big rock show I ever went to. A few months later, I turned into a proper music snob, and by the time I was in college, I wouldn’t even think about going to a show with more than 300 people.

Like thousands of other kids, I waited by the phone until the instant tickets went on sale. I later learned TicketMaster had reserved the good tickets for scalpers and industry insiders, so no amount of speed dialing could get me a good seat. I was stuck in the nosebleed section.

My dad—a huge Pink Floyd fan to this day—said he’d drive me and my friend to the show, but since the tickets had already sold out, he couldn’t get a seat. With the full confidence of the totally naïve, I assured my dad that surely someone would have a seat to sell before the show. Dad was understandably skeptical but agreed to go along anyway—partly out of hope that I was right, and partly just to keep an eye on me.

When we got to the show, I walked up to a guy who clearly had a ticket to sell—really good seats, he said. I was too savvy to believe this, but he only wanted face value, so that was good enough for me.

My friend and I went off to our seats high above the stage floor. My dad found his seat, too: sixth row, center.