Sunday, August 14, 2005

Music On My Mind

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As I've noted before, I'm forever singing, have always known lyrics to countless songs, I can often "name that tune in 3 notes", etc. Music has always and will always be part of who and what I am.

This night I've been thinking of some of the wonderful musicians & concerts I've seen over the years. These include:

*Tito Puente -- the venue was a restaurant, so it wasn't so large a place that I couldn't see him well. He was well into his senior years when I saw him, and his daughter performed as well. It was more than difficult to sit still in my seat with that wonderful rhythm of the bongos and the horns pounding out the music of Brazil and Cuba and other hot-blooded countries.

* George Benson -- I was about 17 when I went to see George with my two brothers and a friend of my oldest brother. The ride down to the concert venue was exciting in itself; my brother's friend owned a Porsche Targa with a sunroof. The roof was off and we were either standing with our head out of the roof, or the George Benson music was already blaring on the car stereo. The concert itself was memorable as Mr. Benson made that guitar playing look so easy and he became one with his guitar.

* Billy Joel -- I saw this concert when I was university and had amazing close-up seats, thanks to a friend. All around me, people were smoking up, pretty much first time I was plunked right into such a setting. I'd never smoked up, nor have I ever, but (now laugh all you want!) I came out of that concert, stinking like a joint, and I remember sniffing my sleeve, wondering if I could get high off of it!

* Michael Feinstein -- This great cabaret singer/pianist kept me smiling with his music that night. The next day, noon, I was lucky enough to have had a scheduled one-on-one interview with him for 45 minutes...that kept me smiling that night, and the next night, and the next night....

* Janis Ian -- I saw her at an outdoor, lakeside venue when I was in my late teens. "At Seventeen" had spoken to me when it was released; all of Janis's music spoke to me that night at the concert.

* Itzhak Perlman -- I take every opportunity I can to see this great master violinist in concert. I've seen him both conduct the Toronto Symphony and be its star performer on the same billing, a wonderful feat for anyone.

* BB King -- Another master guitarist whose guitar strings "sing the blues". The sweat pours off BB's forehead as he nimbly plucks away and makes his guitar sing.

There have been many other musical performers and concerts I've seen over the years, and perhaps I'll tackle some more at a later date, on another blog post.


cruisin-mom said...

Pearl, favorite topic...Billy Joel was great in concert. So was Paul McCartney...almost like seeing the Beatles. My first concert ever was the group Chicago, at a great venue called the Greek Theatre. I had front row seats, in the middle, and could see them those were great seats!

Air Time said...

After watching Izhak Perlman perform at the DSO, on a Thursday night, and seeing that he was also schedule to perform on Saturday night, my wife and I dared and double dared each other until we found ourselves back stage with him, and invited him to our home for friday night dinner.

He declined, he said he was flying home to NY the next morning to have friday night dinner with his family, and we be flying back on Saturday for his next show.

He was amazing to watch, though. He conducted and performed that evening.