Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Music Of Our Lives

In the spirit of "25 Random Things About Me" my husband is trying to start his own viral note by asking his Facebook friends to list all the concerts they have seen in their lifetime. So far, only a few people have responded but the enthusiasm of those folks just proves what an important role music (especially live music) plays in our lives.

Since my list was virtually identical to his list I didn't bother. But it did make me think about the shows I attended from 1976-1983 BB (Before Brian).

When I was 11, a local minister piled a bunch of us kids into a van and took us to see America at the Spectrum in Philadelphia. Years later, I found out he was a pedophile. Luckily for me, little boys were his drug of choice.

At 12, I went to see Emerson, Lake and Palmer thinking that I was going to see Crosby, Stills and Nash. Imagine my surprise when they didn't perform "Our House."

My dad took me to see Miles Davis at a free outdoor concert at Penn's Landing when I was a teenager. I think the great trumpeter only blew into his horn three of four times during the show. For the rest of the performance he paced the stage like a crazed bi-polar bear at the zoo.

I went to see YES the year the toured without Jon Anderson.

I went to see ELO the year they decided to tour without the strings.

I went to see Styx the year they lost their minds on the Mr. Roboto tour.

In between, I sat through more Billy Joel concerts than I care to admit.

Now that I'm in show business, I don't like to go to a concert unless I can get in for free. Our connections have enabled us to see David Byrne, Steeley Dan, Tom Jones, Paolo Nutini and Glenn Campbell for the low low price of zero.

Elvis Costello was one of the last shows where we actually paid the price of admission. The day before the concert, I told my then 80-year-old mother-in-law who were were about to see. Understandably, she had never heard of the bespectacled rocker. But the next day, while standing in line at the bank, she struck up a conversation with the young lady standing behind her. When asked if she had any plans for the weekend, the woman replied, "Yes, I'm going to a concert." With a straight face, my elderly mother-in-law said, "Elvis Costello?"

At that moment, she was the coolest senior in all of New Jersey.


Anonymous said...

What's wrong with admitting you've been to many Billy Joel concerts? He's a phenomenal musician and entertainer.

Traci Skene said...

I used to be a big Billy Joel fan... even owned all of his albums. Now, I just can't stand listening to him. In fact, my first posting on this blog was an analysis of the Piano Man lyrics. Perhaps it's because I live in the Philly area where his music is played constantly. After 30 years, I've had enough.

Mike Marshall said...

Traci, I have been to so many concerts, it's hard to remember them all. Starting in 1970 at the age of 14 with Jimi Hendrix. Next week I'm going to see The Michael Schenker Group at The House of Blues. I love live music. Peace, Mike.

Abbi Crutchfield said...

I picked up where you left off Traci. I boycotted Billy Joel for years in solidarity with my sis who received his album instead of Mariah Carey's one birthday. 1.5 decades later his greatest hits magically appeared on my iPod, and now I'm a fan. But if you feel that way about his albums, imagine what it's like to be him. Or an employee in the Joel-themed sandwich shop, "A Matter of Crust".

Traci Skene said...

Oh no, now I have "A Matter of Crust" stuck in my head!