"Language, as well as the faculty of speech, was the immediate gift of God." ~ Noah Webster

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Thank You - Thank You Very Much...

I was in a conversation a few days ago about the people I have seen in concert and it left me feeling like I wanted to write about it.

I have seen a number of concerts over the years. Certainly not as many as some people, but I have gone to enough and lived long enough, that I no longer even remember how many, or even all whom I have seen. Maybe I will list the ones I remember at the end of this post; not necessarily for the reader, but for my own benefit. Hopefully, that will jog a few of my memories.
One I do remember, however, is of course, Elvis Presley. I mean, come on!!  Who could forget that?
I will admit, though, there is much I don’t remember about the concert. I don’t remember, what is was that happened to get me there. I barely know who I went with, but I think I remember that. We probably picked up our tickets at P.M. Jacoys at the corner of Sprague and Washington in Spokane. As far as I know, that was the only place to get concert tickets at the time. There were no "Tickets West" outlets or anything of that nature as far as I can remember. And of course there was no "on-line". P.M. Jacoys – that was the place to get tickets. Jacoys was a cigar shop/drug store or something…I never paid enough attention to even see what I was walking into. I simply went to the counter and got tickets.  If anyone remembers, please comment. I would love to trigger a thought in my overly tired brain.
So though my memories are sparse of this concert with Elvis, the ones I do have are extremely vivid. “We do not remember days, we remember moments.” Let me share just a few of my memories, which basically will create the whole essence of this concert.
I believe it was 1976, just a year before he died. It was at the Spokane Coliseum which was upgraded, modernized and renamed the Spokane Veterans Arena. Now from what I remember, the location was the same as it is now; if not the very same location, at least it was the same general area. And I am not sure if the building was completely torn down, or simply remodeled. Help me out there, too, if anyone knows.
Anyway, our seats were just about the same location as they were when my son and I saw Alan Jackson 30 years later. But the seats at this time, were without the benefit of the big screens.  They didn’t have those way back then.  We had our binoculars and we used them!
I remember the anticipation of waiting to see “The King” as he was called. I guess that was "The King of Rock and Roll" - A title he deserved. I do not remember who warmed up for him, or even if anyone did.
I remember being so glad to be there and thinking about all I knew about Elvis.  He had long been my favorite, and I remember the first album I ever had was an Elvis Presley album given to me in 6th or 7th grade by my best friend “Honey Wheeler”.
“Well she is always talking about him”, my best friend told my mom as I blushed in total embarrassment. “I thought she should have an album”.  ARGGGGHH   I love you my friend, but I didn’t really want my mom to know that!  Mom simply smiled.
As I sat waiting for the concert to begin, I remember thinking how ridiculous the women and girls were that wanted one of those famous scarves that Elvis always gave away at his concerts. That certainly wouldn’t be me; but sitting back this far I would never have to worry about it.
And so we waited, anticipating the moment “The King” would walk out onto that stage. I wish I could say I remembered it vividly.  I don’t. I don’t remember if he walked, or if he ran out.  I think I remember he was in one of his white suits. But I can’t say that for sure. That might be simply because we later saw so many photos and video clips in suits of that nature. What I do remember, is when he appeared on stage, I had to catch my breath. There he is, I thought. “The King”. And the crowd stood in thunderous applause of appreciation. I was caught up in the moment too. But as I stood, my very next thought was:  This King I will stand for and greet with appreciation of his musical talent. But the Real King!  If it were the Real King, we would all be humbly bowing low at his feet, to worship Him.  I remember the deep impact with which that fact hit my heart. I remember coming to that poignant realization, more than any other moment of that concert.  For me that was really a lesson for life. We certainly do not make idols of these performers. We most certainly understand the difference. And it is ok to offer your applause and greeting to entertainers who are so very talented and bring us such a great show. I never forgot that moment, and to this day, I stand unashamedly each time to offer respect and appreciation that that kind of talent deserves.
I can’t tell you how many times over the years, I have remembered and appreciated that moment. No, Elvis is not the King. No one but One has that title. And I love that that thought is what I took away most from Elvis’s concert.  I believe Elvis would agree whole heartedly with me on that.
I do not remember any of the songs Elvis sang. I do remember him ending with a segment of Gospel. I can’t be positive, but I believe he ended his show with Amazing Grace.  I wish I remembered. I do remember he had a moment to honor the true King.
I remember him looking very sickly.  This was one of the last concerts he performed before he died.  I remember thinking, “He looks so yellow. He just doesn’t look well.” But I don’t believe his performance was affected.  It was August of 1977 when he passed. 
I remember when the moment came and he started passing out those famous scarves. DANG!!! I am too far away to ever get one!  Yeah!  Those silly girls didn’t look so silly anymore.  I would have taken one in a heartbeat.
That is all I remember. That’s my Elvis story. I am so glad I got to see him. I was 21. This wasn’t my first concert, but it is the only one I have any recollection of at all during my youth. I know that is due to the impact of seeing one so famous, and taking away from it a right heart attitude about how we should view these performers. We thank them for their performance. We appreciate their talent. We are satisfied with the show they have given. But we only worship one King.
I have a few fun memories of some of the concerts I have seen, but most memories fade away into that blue screen of death.  I just can’t reboot most of my memories.
Some of my most special memories still make me smile, though:
I do remember taking my niece when she was about nine to see her first concert. It was the Judds, and they were performing at what we then called “The Opera House”.  I almost got us kicked out of there for trying to take a photo of them so she would have a memory of her first concert. I can’t remember the band that warmed up for the Judds, but I remember the expression of one of their faces, when I let that first flash go off.
I remember taking my friend Shari to the same Opera House to see Bruce Hornsby. I barely knew who he was, but he was one of her favorites, so I took her to see him.
I remember going to John Prine with my brother at the Coliseum...again, I barely knew him; but my brother loved his music.
Bob Dylan with friends and family – at least twice. It might have been 3 times.
My sister’s band warmed up for Sawyer Brown; one of my favorite bands at the time.
Reba McIntire posed for a photo for me and told me I had a cute dog.  It was an outdoor concert and I had taken my pup.
B.J. Thomas offered me an album and I was too shy to stand up and take it! Good grief!  He had to give it to the man in front of me. Somebody shoot me, please.
I cried as a 60 year old at Herman Hermits…oh my!!  That is for another post; and it wasn’t for the reason it might seem.
Finally, I went to one of the contemporary Christian artists concerts with my family where several musicians/artists played. I was not familiar with any of them. I simply have never listened to that kind of music...Is it a sin, to say I don't like it? ;-) They all sound the same to me, and it is too close to rock and roll, in my mind...LOL!  Sorry. I am very glad they like it though. :-)
And now that list! From the most recent, down to the earliest concerts I have attended:
·         Roots and Boots - Daryl Worley, Aaron Tippen and Sammy Kershaw
·         Toby Keith
·         Blake Shelton
·         Tim McGraw warmed up by Cassidy Pope
·         Alan Jackson
·         Herman's Hermit
·         Don Williams
·         Neal McCoy
·         Alan Jackson with Miranda Lambert warming up Alan’s show
Ok, Alan was the first concert I had seen in about 20 -25 years , so my memory gets fuzzy here…not sure I have a correct order at this point. On a side note, my son bought me Alan Jackson tickets when he was 15 with his own money for my birthday present. Totally surprised me in every way. And this was probably my favorite concert effort…Yes!  It even topped Elvis. I’ll write about it soon, if I haven’t already.
·         Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
·         Sawyer Brown warmed up by Cat Daddy
·         The Judds warmed up by Garth Brooks (yes in that order!)
·         Bob Dylan at the Gorge
·         Asleep at the Wheel
·         Bruce Hornsby
·         John Prine
·         Charlie Daniels Band
·         Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton
·         Reba McIntire
·         Mel McDaniel
·          Bob Dylan at Tacoma Dome warmed up by Tom Petty
·          Oak Ridge Boys
·          Hank Williams Jr.  There were several that played together at the Tacoma Dome, Hank was not the one I went to see, but he was the last to play…Many in the audience were walking out, not happy with his show. He is the only one I remember seeing at this concert, but I believe the Judds were also there, and I think it was also Merle Haggard performing before Hank.
·          B. J. Thomas - I probably saw him about 3 times during this span of time
·          K.I.S.S.  LOL NO!  I did not go see them, on purpose. They were warming up for someone before anyone knew who they were. And NO! I do not remember who it was we went to see, but I obviously couldn’t forget K.I.S.S. Scared me to death! And no, I didn’t listen to their music…ever!!  LOL It was my older sister and I that went and I wish I could remember who it was that we went to see. If I had been older, I would have walked out to make a statement in opposition for what they stand.  I simply didn't know at the time, nor had I ever heard of them. There were only a few Rock and Roll bands I liked in my youth, always listening mostly to country.
·        Elvis - The King of Rock and Roll

OK! Well let's just say I appreciate most of them! "Thank you! Thank you very much!"


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