We went to hear music at Black Dog Coffee last night, one of our favorite things to do and something we've missed so much during Covid's long sojourn with us. We stayed fairly distant, masks either on or ready to put on, and got to share music and conversation and memories with friends.
We've made so many of those memories together, although not being a musician gives me a different perspective than the others have. While my recollections are more likely to be formed around different criteria than theirs, we all have them.
Sarah and Ron Luginbill, with some beautiful violin help from their daughter Lita, sang mostly old songs last night. Ron kept the audience informed as to when the songs were recorded and by whom--and he was always right. I could have sworn "At Seventeen" came long before 1975--I'm glad I didn't argue that point.
We talked about the memories we got from music. And how it's not just the music you remember. It's where you were when you heard it, who you were with, what the weather was like. And how it made you feel.
"It's a snapshot," said Mike Almon. "You should write that."
I'm limited this morning by my own memories, but I'd love to hear yours.
Sarah sang the Beatles' "Paperback Writer" last night. It was nowhere near my favorite Beatles song (that's another column--or maybe a series), but I remember sitting in the car--although not which car--and listening to it and wishing so hard that could happen for me. I wasn't happy with who I was then--who is when they're 16?--and I didn't really believe dreams came true.
Mike Almon always ends his concerts with Harry Chapin's "Cats in the Cradle." Duane and I weren't very long into our journeys as parents in 1974, but the song's lyrics resonated even then. Every parent ends up with regrets, being sorry for times wasted, things said and things not said. But none of us are ever sorry for the time spent on bleachers, one-on-one time in the car, or just sharing the same air as our kids.
June Zinn, who plays the flute, talked about a song she used to play with Steve "Bear" Pochi, a much beloved friend who's no longer in the circle of chairs musicians seem to gravitate to no matter where they are. She can't think too much about the song, or about its lyrics, or she can't play it anymore. Her eyes welled up when she talked about Steve. Memories.
There are songs that Ole Olsen players sing in musical reviews that go so deep into their hearts that if you're watching them sing, you feel what they're feeling. When Kelly Makin starts "At Last," I sit up straight and listen, simply because of the power and the emotion that come from the stage.
It's a lot like, for those of our generation, remembering where you were when President Kennedy died. Remembering later, when Alan Jackson sang "where were you when the world stopped turning" and we all knew and felt again that September morning. The emotion is so deep I can't begin to describe it.
I don't think I've said this very well, and I'm sorry for that. Let me say again, I'd love to hear your memories. And how they made you feel.
Have a great week. Stay safe. Be nice to somebody.