I am not a religious person, but a very, very spiritual one. And though my Dad has read the bible daily, for as long as I can remember, I have never had the desire or inclination to do the same. I’ve found people’s interpretation of religious texts, and religion, as a whole, to be more dangerous to the general population than not. The Crusades, Islamic terrorism, Hindu & Buddhist extremism, the sexual abuse of priests and pastors on the innocent, the list goes on and on and on.
That being said, there are two very powerful notions of God that are with me daily. That he or she resides within every body and especially that a person can encounter God any place, any time. I always had difficulty believing this when encountering the cruel people of the world. Why would God reside there, when there are far nicer places to be? But then I thought about the awful person being an instrument of teaching for others, for me. God works through that person to show me how NOT to be. What to stand up for and rise against.
I’ve also been thinking a lot about how when I was little and would see a brilliant sun beam, I believed God was shining a light on a person in need. How the thought left me joyful. The sticky bit was in wondering if the person knew it. How often are we aware of that brilliant light shining on us? How often do we take the time to recognize the beauty and love around us? I think it’s time I do more to seek that awareness. That presence.
And a perfect tie-in to the photo up yonder. When my Great Aunt Mary died, my Grandma Tess found hundreds of Catholic medals in her room. I took maybe a quarter of them and fashioned a necklace with a few of them a while back. I liked the spirit of it, of having metal worn by her prayerful hands, but the look wasn’t quite right. I took it apart and made this one, with all my favorites. It jingles and sings, speaking loudest of her, while buoying my spirit, too.
While working out the other morning, as I belted along to Birthday by the Sugarcubes, the idea for this next playlist hit me. Why not a song from every band I’ve seen in concert?! So hear (see what I did there?!) we go, and mostly in order too.
Loverboy – Turn Me Loose. Joan Jett opened for Loverboy at Big Mac – for non-Colorado natives and those born too late, McNichols Arena. It is long gone, but was great while it lasted. My Uncle Chris took me to the show, and I remember us lamenting that we had no lighter, only matches.
Quiet Riot – I met the band! The high altitude had Kevin DuBrow sucking on an oxygen mask. Poor fella. – Bang Your Head
White Snake – this and Quiet Riot were the same show. My hair was kinda big, and I felt pretty darn cool. Is This Love
INXS – my FIRST show at Red Rocks! Oh, Michael Hutchence…) – Don’t Change
the Doobie Brothers, and in keeping with the theme, smoked a doobie with some random guys at the show, also at Red Rocks – What a Fool Believes
the Cure – I saw them at Fiddler’s Green with my friends Jeremy and Matt, more my brother’s friends at the time, actually, and I have zero recollection how our trio planned it all, but went we did. A great show on a perfect summer night, followed by a meal at the bastion of teenage post concert food fare: Dennys! I drove like the sometimes wild teenager I was, with Jeremy quipping from the back seat, “They told us to never do this in Driver’s Ed.” Well, my friends, it wasn’t Driver’s Ed, and we needed to get on home. Close to Me.
David Wilcox – How Did You Find Me Here. Saw him at Chatauqua in Boulder, with my best friend at the time. We waited for him after the show, and found ourselves suddenly shy when he came out, but he knew all the same.
Depeche Mode – Never Let Me Down Again, my favorite of theirs, forever and always. I was teenage-y and angsty, driving under starlit skies.
Big Head Todd and the Monsters – I remember my parents seeing them somewhere in Boulder when they were first starting out, my Dad, of course, agreeing Todd’s head was rather large. We saw them first, packed like sardines at Herman’s Hideaway, then for a local band’s dream come true, their first show at Red Rocks. We were all in love with the moment. They have more famous songs, but this is my favorite: Midnight Radio.
Peter Gabriel – In the tube station, somewhere near Hampstead Heath, on the first day of our honeymoon, we found ourselves with mouths agape at a poster for him playing that night at Wembley. Exhausted and out of our depth, we decided not to try to figure out how we might go, but the thrill of the poster remains. We finally saw him on the WOMAD tour, with absolutely no regrets. Humdrum.
Seal – Violet. The song always dazzles. And OMG, I forgot about his hair!
U2 – The first and best time was for the Joshua Tree tour at Big Mac. I spent the night with my best friend, along with a guy who was a friend of a friend, in his camper to buy tickets at Peaches Records and Tapes on 72nd & Federal. We slept little, talking about our mutual love for the band, their music the soundtrack to the night. It doesn’t get much play around here anymore. The Unforgettable Fire.
Public Enemy – the second time I saw U2, they were the opening act, though none of my fellow concertgoers were fans, so I silently sulked in the parking lot – the original and best Mile High Stadium, while we waited for their set to be over. Fight the Power (the most awesome 2020 version). Chuck D….
Pearl Jam – This was the height of their fight with Ticket Master, and fans reaped the reward. It was an electric night at Red Rocks, the band playing their hearts out. I still remember what I wore and still have a crush on Stone Gossard. The name alone, peeps…. Garden.
Lyle Lovett – I’ve mentioned this before, but here goes again. Another night at Red Rocks, and on the day Jerry Garcia died. On the news before we headed to the concert, a distraught fan (a Boulderite on the Mall, of course) said, “Now I know what people felt when Jesus died.” That is dedication, my friends. Cowboy Man.
Willie Nelson – A national treasure and everyone’s favorite pot head. Sorry, not sorry Cheech and Chong. I wrote about seeing him, gosh, twelve years ago! The feelings remain the same. And the song? A tough call. Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain.
the Black Angels – the LOUDEST show of our lives (at the Wonder), our ears ringing even after sporting, in true old people who enjoy their hearing fashion, hot pink ear plugs. Yowza. But, but, but, oh what a show!! Fucking fantastic that. Young Men Dead.
Dolly Parton – Our last show at Red Rocks, maybe the very last we see ever, as we’ve grown to prefer a quiet life without the burden of jostling crowds. And this, my favorite song of hers: Mule Skinner Blues.
Say hello to part two of my ultimate 70s playlist! Much scribbling, sighing, scratching out and circling again, but really quite worth the effort to reminisce. SO good!! I even went to the trouble of Youtubing all the videos. You’re welcome.
Paranoid – Black Sabbath – Quite apropos for our COVID-19 times…
I get aura migraines. A fact of my life for more than thirty years. The tiniest dot of light that grows into a wild snake, gradually engulfing the whole of my vision. A beautiful menacing messenger commanding me to slow down, better yet, STOP, get to a dark place and observe. My latest got me thinking of how it resembles Acoma pottery, delicately bending lines of turquoise and white, rust and black. Beautiful really, despite what it really means.
Not only am I temporarily blinded, but pain is imminent. I have been warned. What better way to ride the wave than by getting lost in music, as singing is one of the best avenues I know to forgetting pain. And since I mentioned a 70s Playlist a while back, here goes, complete with a disco interlude!
This is a L O N G list, and equally notable for what isn’t here. Every time I thought I had it, I remembered something else. I think there’s got to be a part two.
Can’t You See – The Marshall Tucker Band
That’s the Way – Led Zeppelin
Low Spark of High Heeled Boys – Traffic
Angel from Montgomery – Bonnie Raitt
Southbound – The Allman Brothers
L.A. Woman – The Doors (one of my top karaoke songs!)
Greetings from Friday night! It is exceedingly rare for us to have two events in one day, so you know it’s pretty special when we do. The recently completed Ent Center for the Arts (such a gorgeous space!) hosted Sybarite5, a unique and fabulous string quintet that plays Radiohead covers, among other magical music, so, you know, deal sealed. The show was fun and funny and the music super wow, wow, wow. These people can play, y’all!
We also had a pre-show nosh at Tap Traders – my stellar, delightfully pink and purdy, sour beer was a blackcurrant, and the hubster’s an Oktoberfest – tis the season. If you’re local (even just passing through), head on over to the Ent Center to see Linda Fleming’s great works, outdoors and in, check out the multitude of other sculptures, the beautiful architecture, and the stellar view (photo below), of course. You won’t regret it!