The Eagles

I saw the Eagles perform last night. I bought the tickets six months ago, and put them by the side of my bed, and waited patiently for the night to arrive.  Honestly, I have to say that I thought that something awful was going to happen and that I wouldn’t get to see the band that I had wanted  to see so badly for ten years or longer.

Glen Frey said in the movie, “The History of the Eagles” that “people did stuff to our songs.  They took trips, fell in love, had their hearts broken, got married….” (paraphrasing here).  I remember the first time I ever heard the Eagles; I was in the back of my parents’ car, driving back from Michigan (somewhere in Nevada, I think) , and “Take It Easy” came on the radio.  After days of nothing but country music, hearing Glen Frey singing “C’mon, baby, don’t say maybe” set my little pre-teen heart aflutter.

Forty years later, I sat in the dark last night and heard the band that lives in my heart as the Who does, even if they occupy a different area.  The show last night was perfect, musically and emotionally, and I would see them again in a second. They re-did the arrangements for “Witchy Woman” and “Heartache Tonight” and gave both songs new feeling. Last night, I listened to the Eagles, and the thought came to me again, the same thought that came to me as I watched the Who the last two times, and it was not a comfortable thought.

The Eagles are definitely a well-oiled machine, and there are no bumps allowed in the road at this date.  The show is big, and produced, and smooth, and well-rehearsed  – it was definitely what I wanted to see from them, and I left wanting more, which I think is always the sign of a good show. But… it seems as if we’ve gotten to a place in musical history where our angry young men are now nostalgic elders who love music and are finished and polished, instead of raw and exposed.  Maybe it’s natural progression, and it just happens as we get older.  Except it isn’t, and it doesn’t.  I loved the show; I felt as if there was little or no spontaneity, and that’s the way Glen and Don want it.

The Eagles have been through various band members, fought onstage, lifted Joe Walsh out of the deadly arms of addiction, and stayed incredibly popular, even during the ten-plus years that they weren’t a band.  Last night original member Bernie Leadon joined them onstage, and it felt like a missing piece of the band was back in place.  They ended the night with “Desperado,” and Don Henley’s voice took the song to a new place – it was the voice of a man who’s been there and back, and isn’t finished yet. It was an exquisite ending to the evening.

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It’s 2012 – what are you gonna do about it?

Last week I started a list of intentions for the upcoming year, but got bored with it. It’s eleven years past 2001, and we aren’t traveling to other galaxies, or colonizing other planets; the future is here, and it’s less like “2001: A Space Odyssey” and more like “Blade Runner.” I would love if my list included a trip to Neptune, but not this year, unfortunately.

Now that 2012 is six days old, and trying to get up and walk, I thought I would give it another try – this is a fast list, because you have things to do, don’t you?

1.  Write things that people want to read; the rest may not be in any order, but this is number one. I know this because when I’m doing it, nothing else matters…and when it happens, the bunny slippers do a jig of glee:

2.  Go up the coast as far as I can – San Francisco, Santa Cruz, then into Oregon, and maybe Washington, who knows? It’s way past time for some adventures, and time to pack some bags and go see something new.

3.  Take a cooking class – Italian? Sauces? I know some wonderful cooks, and I don’t pretend to become one of them, but I would like to do it a little better (and re-doing the kitchen will fold right into this – see what I did there? Got the vocabulary, now I just need to do the actual cooking).

4.  Knit – and a little yarn bombing, so many perfect spots for this around Long Beach, and this year could be the year…here’s some ideas (and the caption for the last one? “Tank blankie”!) –

5.  Watch movies – does this surprise anyone who has been reading here?

6.  Read books (and work on my ADD, so I can finish…oh, wait, is it my turn on Words With Friends?)

7.  Kickboxing – going to a gym where the instructor yells at us; it’s not pretty, and that’s as it should be.

8. Listen – to music, other people, and the universe (yeah, I said it; what, Mr. Judgmental?)

Have a pleasant 2012 – thank you for shopping around at “Julie Wrote What?,” even if you were only looking for a photo of the tattoo that George Clooney had in “From Dusk ‘Til Dawn.” Hope you stick around after completely grokking George’s tattoo to do a little reading (it makes my tattered and torn heart sing to think that you might). I will refer back to this post as the year gets on its feet and totters around, and you can check on me to see if this was worth the time it took to write it, or if I’m just a list-maker, and not a doer. “Let us go, then…”

Did you go? A musical history by-the-numbers

Friday night – and  just because I feel like it, here’s a list of concerts I’ve seen in my life, as best as I can recall- check them out and see if we were together in different rows at any of these shows (due to a faulty memory, I don’t have all of the dates, but I tried to list them in chronological order):

1. Elton John and Kiki Dee – 1974 – Forum, Los Angeles

2. Frank Zappa, Flash Cadillac – 1974 (New Year’s Eve) – Long Beach Arena

3. The Doobie Brothers – Long Beach Arena

4.  Yes – LB Arena

5. Jefferson Starship – LB Arena

6. Emerson, Lake and Palmer – LB Arena

7. Yes, Peter Frampton and Gary Wright – Anaheim Stadium

8. Pink Floyd (Animals tour)- Anaheim Stadium

9. Kansas, Blue Oyster Cult and Ted Nugent – LB Arena

10.  Neil Young and Crazy Horse – Los Angeles Convention Center?

11.  Yes (with a rotating stage) – Forum?

12.  Neil Young – Rust Never Sleeps tour

13.  Steve Martin and the Blues Brothers at Universal Ampitheatre – 1978

14.  The Kinks – 1980 – at Universal Ampitheatre

15.  Ian Hunter and Mick Ronson – Roxy, 1980

16.  Pink Floyd – The Wall at the Los Angeles Convention Center, 1980

17.  The Who – 1980 – two nights at the L.A. Convention Center

18.  David Bowie – Los Angeles Forum

19.  The Who, the Clash, and T-Bone Burnett – Los Angeles Coliseum, 1982

20.  David Bowie – Anaheim Stadium, Let’s Dance tour

21.  US Festival 1983 – David Bowie, Stevie Nicks, INXS, U2, Pretenders, Berlin, Missing Persons, Joe Walsh (so I’m told), etc.

22. X – California State University Long Beach

23.  Fishbone and the Dead Kennedys – Olympic Auditorium – 1985

24.  Sugar Cubes and Public Image – Irvine Meadows (now Verizon Wireless Ampitheatre)

25.  Tina Turner – Pacific Ampitheatre

26.  Jane’s Addiction – some outdoor venue in L.A., can’t remember, sorry

27.  Iggy Pop (with Slash on guitar), Alice in Chains, Mary’s Danish – Palladium, early ’90s

28.  Bob Dylan – 1992

29.  Tina Turner  and Cyndi Lauper – Greek Theatre

30.  Neil Young – Greek Theatre, acoustic set

31.  Neil Young with Crazy Horse and Social Distortion – L.A. Forum

32.  Rolling Stones – Staples Center – 2003

33.  Tom Petty and Jackson Browne – the Forum? (If Cyndi reads this, she’ll remember, because I don’t) 2002?

34.  Social Distortion – House of Blues

35.  The Blasters – Coach House

36.  The Who – Hollywood Bowl – October 2006

37.  The Who – Long Beach Arena – February 2007 (seats on the floor, Lemmy was walking around before the show, cool)

38.  Weezer and the Foo Fighters – Long Beach Arena

39. B-52’s – Orange County Fairgrounds

40.  Jack’s 4th Show – Foreigner, Eddie Money, B-52’s, and I can’t remember who else we saw at Verizon Wireless Ampitheatre …anyone?

I’m pretty sure I’ve missed a few, but these are almost all of the concerts that I’ve seen, plus these, all at the Orange County Fairgrounds:

Three Dog Night – one of the best concerts I’ve ever seen

Temptations

Guess Who and Bachman, Turner, Overdrive

The Gap Band

Davy Jones, Bobby Sherman, and Herman Noone (of Herman’s Hermits) – all in one night? Way cool…

And I forgot about two more, let’s just say #41 and #42, although they were back up among #14 and #15:

41.  David Crosby and Graham Nash – Universal Ampitheatre

42.  Stephen Stills – Forum (it was supposed to be Stills and Neil Young, but NY didn’t show up, and Stephen Stills couldn’t hide his annoyance; good show, though)

*****

Peruse, and let me know if you were there and what you remember. Rock on, babies!

Mood swinging

Sometimes no one says it like Charlie Brown, know what I mean?

It hasn’t been a bad day, just a frustrating one.  Here’s the Smiths to elaborate – days like today make me gravitate towards the Buddhist concept of desire being one of the roots of suffering; if that isn’t true, I don’t know what would be.   I’m comfortable with the fact that I can’t control other people’s actions, only my own;  I also like the idea of being present in the moment, without thinking about what was or what could be. I’m not saying that I do that all the time though; I definitely daydream a lot, and my therapist tells me that I analyze every little thing, which I agree with (I think the reason I analyze everything is because…wait, see what I did there?).

Someone very nice recently said this to me, by way of Facebook (we will be covering Facebook more completely later on in the semester, and there may be a quiz, so heads up, students!): “Look for the blessings.”  Look for the blessings – I don’t  think it can be said enough.

To me, laughing is always a blessing – here’s Bruce Willis on The Daily Show today with Jon Stewart; it’s six minutes and change, and funny (I watched it twice). Life is pretty absurd; we better learn how to find the funny in it, or we might not live longer – it will just feel like it.

Finally… for me, there’s always music.  I can’t get enough of Keith Richards lately; here’s “Locked Away” from 2008. Cracked and bleeding emotion – sometimes there’s pain, but it’s better than feeling nothing at all, isn’t it?

(I’m sleep deprived, hence, the jumpy post. I love that you indulge my rants; smooches!)

Urgh.

Anyone remember the movie “Urgh! A Music War”?  Back in the day (early ’80s),  my brother Steve and his friend Steve (both of whom at one time weighed over 200 pounds; my brother’s friend Steve actually reached almost 300 at one point, so I felt pretty safe going places with them; even though neither one of them could throw a punch to save his life, they were physically imposing) took me to L.A. to see it for a midnight show. Here’s Klaus Nomi, a true original; and here’s Wall of VoodooDevoOingo Boingo! I could post more, but I would end up posting the whole movie, it’s just that great:

Watch it (or watch it again) to see the bands who were able to last beyond the new wave, and those that weren’t.  Highlights for me include the Alleycats, Pere Ubu (listening to this band is like having my eyelashes plucked out one at a time, but I can’t turn them off for some reason), the Go-Go’s, the Surf Punks, the Cramps, and the Dead Kennedys. (I went to see the Dead Kennedys at the Olympic Auditorium, also with Steve and Steve. During the evening, I had to tackle not-my-brother Steve, who, after a few cocktails, was fond of engaging strangers in conversation; as a group of evil-looking skinheads was walking down the aisle toward the mosh pit, he was slowly reaching out to touch one of them.  I had visions of him being pummeled and tossed out in the street, so I flung myself into his lap, if only to keep him from making contact with these guys, and more importantly, them making contact with him. )  It was always an adventure to go out with Steve and Steve — stay tuned for more on these two, won’t you?

I’m writing about this to avoid writing about my mother, who is being discharged today.  She will be coming home with a live-in caregiver, and will be in hospice care as well.  I have to go to the hospital around 11, then an ambulance will be transporting her to her house, and I will be meeting the ambulance there.  This will be a good thing for her; she will be more comfortable at home, and I think it will be easier for everyone to visit.  I’m a little bit numb right now, but I will feel better when the day is over.  There is food shopping, a little housework, and a few other things to do at her house, but otherwise, everything has been taken care of.  Jamal had to go out of town this morning, and he’s worried about me, but I’m as all right as a person can be in this situation.  I’m working on taking care of myself, because as hard as I thought this year has been, it’s about to get harder, and I need to stay physically and mentally healthy to get through this.  What did Dan Rather always say at the end of his broadcast? “Courage.” Courage.