Ladies and Gentlemen, Tom Hanks…

Pardon my thinly veiled East Coast bias here, but there’s no better arena in the country that matches up to Madison Square Garden. The stench of history, the sheer electricity, the kinetic energy, the $23 personal pizza…the life.

Good news: the friendly programming executives at the MSG Nework have brilliantly green-lighted a 10-episode series that will reveal “The 50 Greatest Moments at Madison Square Garden,” five at a time (each one-hour special airs every Tuesday night for those folks in the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut tri-state area; check your local listings). Yes, I failed miserably in my duty to notify youse about the premiere last night — where were ya on that one, dipshit? — but an encore presentation’ll precede next Tuesday’s second episode.

MSG

With the midterm elections less than a week away, I should announce here that you can still swing by their surprisingly stellar website and cast your own online ballot. Save the old tour war stories for another series, though, for the Grateful Dead’s 52 sold-out shows at MSG have already hit the countdown, sliding in at 48th position. And maybe this is just nitpicking douchebaggery on my part, but I find it hard to comprehend how 52 concerts over a 15-year period can classify as a “moment” by definition. I, however, do appreciate the spirit of MSG’s gesture.

(By the way, check out the lede paragraph of the Dead article to which I just linked: “IF Madison Square Garden is the cathedral of rock, then the Grateful Dead are its high priests – and you might want to put an emphasis on high.” Genius! Dan Aquilante of the New York Post, you are a wordsmith and a scholar, a journalistic marvel with his finger on the pulse of fresh, hip comedy – and you might want to put an emphasis on overpaid hack. Oh, I didn’t say that in the original clause of that sentence? Shit. Sorry, Dan, I’m in an All Hacks Off The Stage kind of mood.)

I’ve been fortunate enough to have seen some incredible sights and lived some memorable moments at Madison Square Garden: Stephane Matteau’s overtime goal against the Devils to advance to the Cup finals, the popular rock band Phish’s first post-hiatus notes being drowned out by an truly insane crowd, King Kong Bundy defeating Special Delivery Jones in nine seconds and the Hulkster/Mr. T vs. Rowdy Roddy Piper/Paul Orndorff main event at the original Wrestlemania.

But it’s a moment I wasn’t in attendance to experience that still gets my vote for Greatest Moment at MSG. While I was out of the country on New Year’s 1997, many of my friends and some of you caught one of Phish’s finer shows in the venue. What happened immediately following that show is something that will forever be etched in the minds of many: Crazynakedchick’s Swan Dive.

I’m sure a handful of you have seen that story somewhere before, either on Gadiel’s original message board, a random Phantasy Tour thread or the Slack LaLane post above. But if you’ve never read the gymnastic tale of Crazynakedchick @ MSG, that link is guaranteed to be something you’ll enjoy thoroughly.

Now that’s a fuckin’ glorious moment in the history of The Garden. What about you? What’s your favorite MSG Moment? Share some thoughts below…

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  1. I’ve had so many great memories at MSG

    all 13 Phish shows, take your pick.. I could write a page on each one of those shows and it wouldnt do them justice (highlights from these shows include my first NYE show, the first time i took a bong hit at a show (no pwfoot either), udder balls, 1999, and of course the RETURN)

    I saw 3 GD shows there including seeing Duprees, which was my favorite dead tune, that i knew i would never hear

    MY heart was broken when I went to my first WWF match as a kid, only to see a Rocky Johnson dropkick miss by 3 feet yet still knock a guy on his ass. (as i jew i now know what everyone felt like when they learned about santa)

    I’ve seen Prince, Beasties, Metallica, Black Crowes, Dylan, Motley Crew, DICE….
    and so many others i cant even remember right now, but my favorite moment ever at the Garden

    4/19/99
    Wayne Gretzky’s Last Game
    I got MIRACLED!!!

    I am the biggest Gretzky fan in the world
    My bar mitzvah sign in board was of teh great one (1987)
    Never got a chance to meet him(went to hotels when he was on edmonton, and la, he was an untouchable, yes i was also riding the mess train, before you ranger fans)
    ive been in the blue room at msg, and saw every ranger except wayne)
    (have imentioned im a devils fan and hate the rangers and flyers yet? )

    i went to MSG that day with no ticket, just a gretzky t shirt, a gretzky cup holder around my neck, a mini hockey stick (from his restauant in toronto)..and $200 bucks (which i knew really wasnt going to buy me a ticket)
    fans were being intervied and filmed, and i was pretty genuine in my answers……yada yada yada a guy says its your lucky day he brings me in with a press pass. he wont take anything from me sourveniers, casch, he said to buy him a beer, when i returned from teh beer line he was gone…
    if you are reading this dude…thank you again.i have no stub, jsut a sourvenoit hat, and the photos from my camera that night(i got a poster too)
    i went to the top section and jsut sat down, i rotated seats thoughout the night as i had no stub.
    It was the greatest moment i have ever experienced ( well a close tie with 3-19-95 spectrum, 1st unbroken, lets save that for another day

  2. Ginz, I ever tell you about the time Janet Jones gave me a handjob? Well, maybe it’s just that I rubbed one out to Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach.

    Great stories, though, I was in college outside of New York when Gretzky retired, but I made the effort to catch that one. It gave me the goose bumps, it did. But how ’bout a story about seeing The Diceman at MSG?!

  3. To many to remember, but my first Dead Show 9-18-87 is high on the list. One of the best Morning Dew’s u will ever hear, Shakedown, Good Lovin > La Bamba > Good Lovin to name some of the highlights, 9-10-91 GD with Branford, should i say more. EYES OF THE WORLD. Phish 97 New Years, PHISH return from Hiatus, just simply sick. Billy Joel 2000 New Years show, I got engaged that night. First Wrestlemania. WOW and Many More………

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