Last weekend, I saw Yacht Rock Revue cover The Beatles’ “Abbey Road” album at Variety Playhouse, at it was awesome. Before they did that album, they did Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” with “The Wizard of Oz” playing on a screen behind them, so we could all see if what we heard was a worthwhile endeavor from our stoner friends in undergrad actually is, in fact, a worthwhile endeavor. It sort of is. Maybe it’s moreso if you’re high. Speaking of high, this was the encore after the Beatles’ set:
I loved it.
I grew up loving the “Abbey Road” album, because my dad did. He had it on reel-to-reel, record, cassette, and CD. Possibly on 8-track, too. I used to love it when my mom was down the street for the neighborhood Bridge game, and the old man would open the closet at the end of the hallway, reach into the stack of LPs, and pull out the iconic picture of the fab four in the crosswalk. Just as the opening notes of “Come Together” would pipe through the Pioneer speakers he brought back from Vietnam, he’d pull out the tambourine with the peace sign and “up against the wall” handwritten in yellow highlighter on it, and he’d add live percussion.
I learned to love quality music from my dad. Almost as much as he liked The Beatles, he liked Genesis. Once in high school, when I mentioned wanting to stay out past curfew with my friend Chad to see a show, he asked who the performer was. I don’t remember the act, but he smirked in response.
“It’s not like you’re going to see Phil Collins or something.”
For the past 20+ years, Chad and I have regularly brought this comment up as the alternative argument to anything we considered doing for entertainment, as it was the gold standard: Phil Collins or something. Hell, I still want to see Phil Collins or something.
The odd thing is, I didn’t have much interest in live shows when I was younger. My first concert was Bon Jovi with Skid Row in the 8th grade, and I enjoyed it pretty well, but later on, when friends would talk about wanting to see live musical performances, I’d protest with a “but you can hear them for free on the radio!” and save my $18.50 instead (which seemed a lot when working for $4.25/hr). My being a cheapskate trumped my liking music.
One summer night in high school, a bunch of friends went to see Don Henley, and I stayed in to save my $18.50 (even though I really liked his music). The next evening, my friend Jeremy told me in detail about the songs off “End of the Innocence” and the old Eagles tunes he played, and my chest burned with regret. I decided I’d never skip another show I was interested in again, and for the most part, I’ve stuck by that. So, when Don Henley came to Atlanta last October at Cobb Energy Center, I was there, and I texted Jeremy to let him know it. His response: “you’re my most beloved maniac” (which I translate to “I love how you hold onto a thought for 25 years and then act on it when given an opportunity!”).
Now, seeing live music is a staple of my spring and summer. This year, for example, I’ve already got tickets to They Might Be Giants, Van Morrison, Willie Nelson + Merle Haggard, Kenny Rogers, Duran Duran, The Cure, and Journey.
But for 20+ years, I’ve wanted to see an artist I’ve never quite been able to see. A Yacht Rock Review show covering his “Purple Rain” album one Halloween a few years ago was as close as I’ve come, and I was beginning to worry it would be as close as I’d ever come.
But last night on Facebook, someone posted an announcement: on March 30 at noon, tickets for 2 shows next week at The Fox Theatre will go on sale. Only 2 tickets per purchaser, and they had to be bought on the theater’s website, by phone, or in person there (ie, no Live Nation, Ticketmaster, etc.). I was excited, but was afraid to let myself get ecstatic, as I knew I had to be at the Air Force base for a mandatory meeting today at noon, so I asked my bride to please please try and call or get through on the website for me.
At 5 minutes before noon, I began to worry I wasn’t going to get tickets, so I texted my paralegal to see if she would also try for me. I walked into my meeting (which, thankfully, started about 10 minutes late) after trying the phone and website a few (about 75) times, and both were obviously inundated with traffic; I couldn’t get through. I was not optimistic.
Then, at 12:19pm, I got this text from my paralegal: “Oh shit, I got in!”
In the orchestra pit, on the 5th row, at 7pm next Thursday night, borrowing some unforeseen disaster, I will be at this show:
And it’s all I’ve been able to think about since 12:19pm.