Wednesday, May 26, 2004

The long and winding road

Okay, just one more entry, then I've gotta get to work (sheesh, I'm starting to sound like The Washingtonienne!).

Just briefly, I want to organize my thoughts on what I'll be writing about over the next few days. I said at the beginning I wanted to take advantage of this journal to make concrete my memories of some things I've never written about, but very much want to, for posterity sake: namely my concert experiences.

Over the 12+ years I've lived in Nashville, live music has become my number one recreational passion. I see probably fewer shows than a lot of "music hounds" (my pet name — pun intended — for guys like me who would rather listen to and talk about music than just about anything else), but I'm pretty sure I see more shows than most who fall into my category of being happily married and not involved in the music biz (although I used to be, but while important, that's another discussion for another day). I seem to go in spurts, seeing 4 shows in a week's time and then not seeing another one for 6 weeks, but I'm familiar to enough people in the club music scene here in town, and the DJs and staff of our premier local rock radio station that most of them either know me by name or by face, giving the familiar "hey, what's up man?" nod when I walk into the room.

My wife? Well let's just say the club scene isn't her cup of tea. She values sleep much more than music, so this is something she doesn't mind giving me the space to do on my own pretty much whenever I want to. She'll always come to a concert when it's in a comfortable venue with reserved seats, but showing up 2 hours early to sit on the sidewalk, waiting for the doors open to get into a general admission show just ain't her idea of a good time. I could say the same thing about tagging along with her while she pores over bolts of fabric and decorator sewing patterns or milling around an antique mall for hours, so we understand each other. She's a great lady and we know each other so well that we co-exist almost perfectly. And I thank God for that every single day.

So back to the concerts. Having lived the majority of my adult life in Southern California, where you'd think that the access to music is as good as it would get, I never dreamed it could be as good as it here in Nashville. I've talked to a few folks who swear by Austin, TX as the best locale for live music around, and I'm sure they're right. However for my purposes, I don't think I could ask for more than what I've got right here in "Music City," but I'll talk more about that at another time — this entry is already way longer than I intended for it to be.

Let me just say that I'm going to start with my first concert and work forward the best I can remember toward present day. I've probably forgotten many more shows than I'll be able to remember, but I'm certain I recall just about everything about Numero Uno. And that's pretty amazing to me, considering I was only 8 years old. It may not be as big a deal to the 20somethings out there, but if you're within 15 years either way of my age (this is your homework assignment: figure out how old AJ is), I think you'll agree, having seen The Beatles in concert during their first and only extensive American tour is a most noteworthy event. In fact, besides my older brother who took me, and another one of his friends, I'm the only person I know of who actually saw the Fab Four in concert here in America.

It was September 3rd, 1964 at the Indiana State Fair Grounds in Indianapolis, and was one of the defining moments of my lifetime. Details tomorrow.

Besides the concerts, I'll be talking a little about my other interests and how they've helped to forge my personality and sense of self: sports, family, friends, and the like.

But now, as Dick Vermeil once told my favorite football team, "GOTTA GO TO WORK!"
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