Guns N' Roses faithful queue up for show tickets


Through the haze of sunglasses they watched the world pass, ensconced in their chaise lounges. The reclining, shorts-clad teens waited to the sound of music blaring from a boom box on the ground beside them, conscious of the slow passage of time.

"I've never seen so many people in line so early," said Ellen Wehner, manager of Maryland Bedrooms in Glen Burnie. When tickets went on sale at 9 a.m. Saturday for the Guns N' Roses concert, Mike Chester, 17, was first in line at the store's Ticketmaster outlet.

"We were here first!" one of his friends argued Friday afternoon, but Mike stood his ground.

"Yeah, but you didn't sleep out here for two nights!" he retorted.

The popular heavy metal band will headline a one-night show also featuring Metallica and Faith No More at Washington's RFK Stadium July 17.

The Glen Burnie High School student staked his claim early, arriving Wednesday for a shot at a coveted ticket in the 50,000-seat venue. Make that eight tickets.

"I'm buying tickets for all these guys," he said, indicating his friends. At $30.50 a pop, Chester will be spending $244 for the heavy metal icons.

By Friday afternoon, about a dozen metalheads had braved two nights of unseasonably cold weather and the heat of day, camping out on lawn furniture, in sleeping bags and blankets, comforted by the strains of Guns N' Roses emitted by a portable radio. The lifestyle is routine to some.

"The last time Guns N' Roses came around, we did it," said Jeff Clark, 17, another Glen Burnie High student.

The store has had ticket lines for many heavyweight area concerts over the years, including U2 and the Grateful Dead most recently.

"They camp out rain or shine. I've seen it pouring down rain, and they sleep in their cars. In the wintertime, they cook out there," said Brian Herman, Maryland Bedrooms owner. "For the Grateful Dead, sometimes I get complaints about them, but they're being well-behaved," she said, motioning to the small crowd outside.

By Saturday's opening time, Wehner predicted 100 to 200 fans would be lined up. Ticket-seekers passed time perusing the new Glen Burnie High yearbook or talking about summer and the concert.

"I want to be at the lower level, first or second row," dreamed Mike, rating the other bands on the bill. "I'm here for Guns, I could care less about Metallica."

Herman took it all in good measure: "Bruce Springsteen goes on sale in June. There's going to be another line camping out again."

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