I just went through my 7 scrapbooks of significant events, which have been compiled to date from age 11 to now, 55 years. And the object this time was to discover how many unique performers and groups I have seen in concert, excluding theater shows, like on Broadway, or the West End in London primarily. I knew that at least some of the listed performers will have been repeated, as I like to do things that are pleasurable repeatedly.
The longest list of performers seen repeatedly was Bruce Springsteen, both with and without the E Street Band, now standing at 19 times seen live in person. But then, that was a no brainer, as I have been dubbed the #1 fan in all of New York State. My home is a shrine to him, and also with Patty, in some of it. With Bruce goes Patty, after all. And she counts as a subcategory too, for being in the E Street Band, as I enumerated these groups and performers by how many have women in them. Unsurprisingly, rock is a male dominated domain. We came in with 47 groups or performers female, at least one member, out of total list count of 145.
Wow, 145 distinct groups! But I also followed the rule that the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame uses: that a musician can be included both as a solo performer as well as a group member. There are several instances of that too, in my list. A few of the performers were counted as concerts, even though the line between theater like spaces and concert halls might have been blurred, in a few cases. For example, Springsteen on Broadway was a theater, but he qualifies as a concert artist, because the bulk of appearances were in concert venues. Saw him on Broadway three times though, 2 of which were in the 1st and 2nd row orchestra, so we interacted again, all 3 times even, because I am loud and boisterous in my enthusiasm!! He saw me, wearing my custom made T shirts, with him and me meeting in person, for his book, Born to Run, which was in the same week, in September and October 2016, NYC and Seattle. Yup, bonkers 4 the Boss! Blinded by the Light of his brilliance indeed.
Now methinks that this list should be made into a work of art, but that is in the realm of fairy dreams…as it will be a commission of an artist, which isn’t something I have ever done. Probably too much to do, in cost. Or a patchwork quilt? Another pricey item…and how do u include 145 artists on a quilt 4 a bed??!! Sounds like too much. As a rebellious teen-ager, I wrote on my bedroom wall, in black magic marker, a list of my performers, among other important things…on a mint green painted wall. I remember the parental reaction too, back then, of writing on walls. My compromise was to repaint the wall, years later, into Dark Purple, so writing was not an option then. Still rebelling, year after year after year. It also said on that pre-wall: SEX, DRUGS AND ROCK-n-ROLL REIGNS SUPREME! You might have thought my single mother at the time might have been alarmed by such a religion of my teen self so obviously displayed. And I was experimenting, from age 15 on, because I was an early bloomer in all these things. Permissiveness was the parental style in my teen years. When sex was on the menu, a visit to the gynecologist was necessary then, to prevent pregnancy and STD’s. OK, they thought, kids are growing up…and this is part of that. Practical advice and medical care, that was it. And yes, alcohol experimentation, weed, hash even, but nothing worse than that. No cocaine, no crack, no OxyContin, which might not have even existed back then.
Today’s young people have a whole panoply of threats to their welfare, much more than in my youth. A country gone amok with gun crazed lunatics, armed to the teeth with AR-15’s, AK-47’s, vaping with permanent damage quickly to young lungs, many many pain relievers that are narcotics in the homes of their parents, and a culture that is avoidant of such narcotics, which means inadequate pain relief, even when it’s clinically indicated. Because countless millions have already died from the heroin substitution post no more narcotics availability. Fentanyl, laced products with horse pain relievers, that kill just on the first time. Add on all sorts of threats, including biking in streets filled with unconcerned motorists, who look at the bicyclist like he is an impediment to your getting where you want to go, fast! It’s the same attitude that drug dealers use: it’s all about me, and my own needs; never mind you, and your needs. That doesn’t concern me.
We are in a soup of threats, which to me the biggest one is the climate change catastrophe. One of these threats will be coming to get you, one day or the next, so my advice would be to be good, to help your fellow man, and to care about him and her, because the good you do counts on your life ledger, before the Last Judgment. And in the meantime, enjoy your music, food and drink, sex, whatever floats your boat!
It’s later than you think. Have a party too! Because people like that sort of thing. Sing, dance, eat and drink…no harm in that. And the endorphins are flowing, which is its own pleasure, the natural kind. We will keep doing the stuff we love, even while the world is crumbling, in pieces, shattering glass, up till the end. Kristallnacht will be repeated in the future, and it won’t only be the Jews, but any minority group you find yourself in. They are coming for you too, because hatred is this time’s Boogeyman. Everywhere. And no one is safe, ultimately.