I must be getting into this writing thing. As I sat watching an icon perform in concert tonight, I kept thinking about the blog I was going to write when I got home. We'll see if it comes out as well as it did in my head a few hours ago.
I first became fascinated with the Beatles about the time John Lennon died. I was ten, and I don't remember specifically hearing about it. My dad used to watch about an hour and a half of news every night, so I'm sure subliminally I knew about it but didn't pay much attention. There must have been something that got me thinking about their music though, because up until that point I don't remember listening to much music.
My parents were almost the same age as the Beatles, but for some strange reason they were never interested in their music. Their tastes ran more along the lines of Jerry Vale, lucky me. I guess it was of my own volition that I checked out a Beatles album from the library, I don't remember which one it was. All I remember is sitting in front of my parents ancient, furniture-like record player (which they still have 28 years later), and crying. My mom asked why I was crying, and I told her because there would never be another Beatle's album now that John was dead. Not that there would have been anyway, but I don't think I realized that at the time. She told me that if listening to the music had that effect on me, I wouldn't be allowed to listen to it anymore. Obviously, she just didn't get it.
My next memory of McCartney was watching the Wings tour on TV. I think it was on HBO, but I'm not sure. I finally saw McCartney live in 1989 when I was in college. I thought that might be my only chance to see him live, and that was over 20 years ago. I've since been to the 1993, 2002, and now 2010 shows. I don't say this to brag, but to show the way this man's music has followed me throughout my lifetime.
I knew from previous tours that he would probably play Blackbird. As many times as I've seen him live, I've never heard him explain what the song was about. It's about race issues in the south in the 60's. I'm not ready to explain why, but I now know why I've been drawn to this song for so long.
I think the show tonight was just as good as the first one I saw 20 years ago. It was 3 hours long, and it was the second night in a row in our town. I'm amazed at the energy McCartney has at age 68. I know 68 year olds that get tired after watching 3 hours of TV, much less jumping around on stage singing for 3 hours. "He's worse than the energizer bunny," my husband said, and I had to agree. I got tired just watching him. And this is the first time in a long time that I haven't been one of the oldest people at a concert. Not by a longshot.
I would like to end this blog with a public service announcement. I've been to a lot of concerts over the last 8 years, and I've noticed a significant reduction in my hearing. I realize that I also spend a lot of time around jet engine noise, and I'm sure that's partly to blame as well. Standing in the first few rows of a concert right by the speaker stack certainly doesn't help though. What really frustrates me is to see kids at a concert without ear protection. Please, please, please, if you're going to take a kid to a concert protect their ears. I had ear plugs in tonight and my ears were still ringing at the end. Wait a minute, did I just admit that? Maybe I was the oldest person there, not in age but in spirit. Oh well, at least I'll be able to hear when I'm 64.