Though he immodestly titled his memoirs They Call Me Mister 500, Andy Granatelli actually was behind the wheel at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway just once, in the time trials in 1948. Back then, he was billed "Antonio the Great, Famed Italian Speed Ace," even though he hailed from Chicago and had raced only a few times, on state fairgrounds and small tracks in the Midwest. Despite the hype, Granatelli's career as an Indy driver ended ignominiously, when he crashed, breaking his shoulders and knocking out 11 teeth in the process.
The ancient Greeks had the Dionysian mysteries, when they would abandon propriety, dance wildly in a trance-like state and revel in various sorts of intoxicated excess. For boomers, that sounds eerily similar to Rolling Stones concerts of our youth. A 1972 Associated Press account of a Stones show at Philadelphia's Spectrum arena - "a festival of heat, hysteria, perfume, sweat, marijuana smoke and deafening music inside" - merely grazes the surface of the hedonistic mass ritual.
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