"What a wonder life I've had! I only wish I'd realized it sooner." Colette

Sep 17, 2012

FireFall and the Hermit

About the only thing differentiating me from Howard Hughes’ final days:  his nails were longer.  That’s because I’ve been steadily clawing my way out of this mental cage in which I’ve trapped myself for the past few years.  Poor Howard’s room was padded.

Therefore, a recent weekend would have surprised everyone who knows me well, ‘cause it sure shocked the hell out of me.  I went out, more than once; and had a great time, more than once; but get your minds out of the gutter…the only way it involved this man next to me was as a fan, with music.  Look closely and you’ll see the wedding ring I wear around my neck like garlic.

This is Jock Bartley, founding member of the band, FireFall.  Remember them?  I’m considering sending this picture to Mom, just to get her off my back.

“You are the woman that I’ve al-ways dreamed uh-ove…I knew it from the start…”

Not just love songs, which they suggested were written more to please the record producers, but these guys are true rockers.  I may have seen them, but these days I’m experiencing the old CRS.  That must be a common problem because one of the first questions to the audience was,

“How many of you CAN remember the ‘70’s?”  Let the party begin!

The Art & Air Fest in Albany was literally outside my RV locale, so there wasn’t any excuse NOT to go.   I’d walk BC in the morning and watch the balloons being filled and take off.  Later in the afternoon, we walked past the artist’s booths, then watched the night-time light show.  This, to me, is“going out”; pitiful, I know, but as I stated in the beginning, poco a poco.

My date
The free Saturday night concert featured Styx.  Most of the surrounding crowd was young and, waiting expectantly in the twilight for the overdue band to appear, got extremely excited when another band's music was played over the loudspeakers.  I may not be able to remember who it was, but I know who it wasn't.  That’s when BC and I started walking home; sometimes you just feel old.

Sunday afternoon’s free concert in the park featured FireFall, but this time I left BC home so I could enjoy the show and look at the artist’s booths without her tugging.  It was a smallish crowd, but Styx wasn’t exactly capacity-only, either.

I’m not sure how to express this, but from the time they started strumming I was transfixed.  THAT’s my kind of music, plus it suddenly brought back long-forgotten memories.  But the nicest part was the informality of the whole thing; they acted like they were at your backyard bar-b-q.

We heard fun stories, like Eric Clapton’s thumbs-up to Jock when he was starting out.   Jock, astonished with himself for having just performed to perfection his part in a recording session with another band, was further shocked to discover his idol listening appreciatively in the sound booth.  His metaphorical thumbs-up and comment to (sic) Keep playin’ is something Jock will take to the grave.

I postponed posting this because I have a video of the coolest (can I use that word?) rendition of George Harrison’s, Here Comes the Sun, acoustic guitars only, I think it’s called.  I rarely do videos and wasn't even sure if I was recording.  Shot from the side of the stage, I know it was a fluke but I got the whole thing; however, in case there’s a copyright issue I think I’ll write their website first.  Sounds pretty good, but I couldn’t help tapping my foot so it shakes the entire time, but hell, close your eyes and you won't know the difference.  See, that comes in handy for other things, too.

They didn’t have any CD’s left to sell (not that I could afford one), but I’ll bet they do get a lot of Internet sales.   I’m not disappointed in the least; I’ll always have my shaky-shot.

Most of the crowd was subdued, but carefree and thrilled to do so without anyone’s criticism, I danced alone in the background but for a young couple’s toddlers, whose antics infected their parents.  My Dad always said, “Let’s have some En-thuuuuu-si-asm…”, shaking his jowls back and forth.  I feel sorry for kids who grow up in boring households.

Truth be told, even close up while Firefall signed autographs I didn’t recognize any of them, but I doubt I’d recognize Slowhand if he walked up to me, either, and I've seen him 4 times in concert.  Yes, bragging.

As I told a friend recently, my last partner got off cheap; all he had to do was wait long enough until I simply forgot I was mentangled.  Look…a new word!

I doubt I’d have been able to get so up-close and personal back then.  Besides, by the end of most of the concerts, pal Rita would half-carry me out while our spouses ran interference.  Aaaahhh…the good old days.  Just goes to show, wait long enough and anything’s possible.  Thanks, guys!

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