Archive for the ‘Good Stuff’ Category

Yep. Hankies.

December 20, 2008

In nearly 28 years of employment, my boss and I never had a picture taken together. It took me getting unemployed by him and a nice Christmas party thrown by one of the former nursing staff to do the job:

I will confess I nearly knocked him down when he walked in the door. I hadn’t seen him in nearly 3 months, after all….

Bittersweet moment.


Too Cute Not To Share

December 18, 2008

I’ve already posted this on the Moody Blues board (of course)… but I thought the rest of you unwashed non-fans might like to see what happens when an aging rock star knocks over his microphone stand:

The look on Julie’s face is priceless. (She’s the blonde keyboard player/singer in the background.) Immediately after that last shot, Norda (the dark-haired lady on the left, the flute player) bent over and picked up the microphone stand.

Also… on this trip I finally caught Graeme’s tambourine in mid-air when he tossed it over his shoulder at the end of his goofy little cross-stage bum-shaking dance, during the song “Higher and Higher:”

Yes, I know you can hardly see it, but it’s there. Blame whoever was running the smoke machine for the poor visibility.

(And for those who have NO idea who that man is… that is Graeme Edge, the original drummer for the Moody Blues, still going strong at age 67.)

A Blast From The Past.

October 8, 2008


The first time I heard this song on local radio I was driving home, pulled up at a stoplight, and the person in the next car looked over at me and quickly looked away again because I was laughing my pinkytoe off and the tears were rolling down my face.

In the next day or two I managed to tape-record the song from the radio; but at this point I have no idea where that tape might be hiding.

It had to be 1986, because unless my brain is completely gone (instead of just mostly gone) that was the year Clint ran for mayor and put Carmel on the map.

Brings back some crazy memories, that’s for sure….

(Edited to add: That was a popular local band called The Medflys.)

Profound Wisdom

July 8, 2008

In a children’s book first published 51 years ago, no less.

Anyone over a certain age probably remembers those paperback books we used to order from school for about 35 cents each. Between us my sister and I had quite a collection. (Click here for a trip down memory lane, if you’re one of those long-ago readers.)

Something said by a character in “Follow My Leader” has stayed with me ever since I read the book long, long ago, and I have found myself quoting it more and more often these days.

The protagonist is an 11 year old boy who is blinded in a freak accident, and while at guide dog training school, he asks one of the instructors why a protruding sharp corner has not been padded, considering there are a lot of blind people around who could bump into it and get hurt.

The instructor’s answer? (I may be paraphrasing; I don’t have the book on hand to check the quote for accuracy.)

“You cannot expect the world to pad its corners for you.”

Doesn’t that just say it all?

Not A Dry Eye In The House

April 21, 2008

UPDATE: For some reason these videos were not available for a time; apparently their URLs changed. But they’re back and good to go now. Watch. Do it.

Someone caught Emma’s performance of “Voices in the Sky” and posted it on Youtube. A couple of times they pan the camera over to Justin. I believe the person with the video camera was leaning against the post just across the table from where I was sitting. When it was over, Justin said, “I hope somebody got that!” Indeed they did.

Watch this. You will not regret it. Do it now.

After Emma was finished and left the stage, Justin and Norda did “Nights in White Satin” for their closing number. Amazing. After 40+ years of performing that song, he still gives it his all.

Adventures In Fandom

April 19, 2008

For those who care…

… the Nashville adventure is nearly over. All that’s left is the plane trip home tomorrow.

It started off badly enough when my alarm went off at 4:30 Thursday morning. I looked at the clock, said a swear word, and then the phone rang. “Ma’am, your taxi is waiting downstairs.” I had somehow set the alarm for the same time as I’d requested the taxi. “Tell him I’ll be down in five minutes,” I told the dispatcher–and I made it in seven minutes. That’s got to be a record. Naturally I forgot a couple of things on the way out the door, but nothing fatal.

The next fun thing happened when the middle flight of the three was delayed–and by the time we landed in Charlotte, I had just 15 minutes to make my connection to Nashville. Lucky for me, the two gates were in the same concourse, albeit at opposite ends. I ran most of the way–and ran myself right into an allergy attack. As I huffed and puffed my way around the corner, the agents at the podium called me by name and said they were waiting for me. They just about shut the plane door on my heels, and we took off on time. I coughed uncontrollably most of the way to Nashville, and apologized to the soldier in the next seat; told him I wasn’t sick, just allergic to something. I had some tea, and it finally calmed down.

I’d have been willing to bet money my checked suitcase wouldn’t make the flight with me–and I was right. But it was actually a good thing, because I was going straight to a club from the airport, and that meant I had one less thing to haul with me.

Now, about that club thing… (Jill, if you’re reading this, take a deep breath and put down your beverage.) I got a heads-up from an online friend (who has mysterious but impeccable sources) that Justin was going to be playing a small informal gig Thursday night at a club. In order to get there on time, I had to go straight from the airport, luggage and all. I met up with some of those online folks in the (short) line to get into the club. We got very good seats–I was maybe 8 feet from Norda, the flutist (who came along with Justin) and 10 feet from Justin himself. But before they went onstage… I bumped into them back near the restrooms. I asked Justin if I could shake his hand, and he said certainly, though he had just put cream on his hands. I said, oh, good, that means I get some too! He was very relaxed, personable, and put everyone at ease. Then Norda came along so I asked if I could shake her hand too. She freed up a hand and shook mine.

Some folks described this gig as a “jam” but it was more of a “round-robin” format, as I understand the term. Justin played a song, then the next guy in line played a song, and then a brother and sister duo played a song. And so forth. Justin and the next guy were joking around and trading mock-insults and banter. It was very entertaining. One of the highlights was when a couple of members of the “Moody Bluegrass” tribute band brought their 8 year old daughter onstage and accompanied her performance of “Voices in the Sky.” I don’t think there was a dry eye in the place. Even Justin (who wrote the song, for those of you heathens who don’t know) wiped away a tear or two. This portion of the evening ended with Justin and Norda performing “Nights in White Satin.”

After a break, another group went onstage to perform. Justin and Norda hung around to listen. During a lull I went by their table and thanked them for such a marvelous performance. Then Norda and I did a couple of minutes of flute-geek talk–right across Justin. He probably enjoyed the fact that for once, someone wasn’t trying to get HIS attention. Norda is very friendly and down to earth. A little bit later I went back and got each of them to autograph one of the pictures I had come prepared with just in case. They both obliged and were very nice about it. Justin said, “Oh, I haven’t seen this picture! Where’s it from?” “San Francisco, opening night of this tour,” I told him. Norda didn’t think the picture of her was so great, but she signed it anyway. I told her I’d see her from the third row the following night.

The Ryman Auditorium seats are just like old wooden church pews. I was actually in the first row of regular seats, behind two rows of folding chairs in the “pit.” So when it came time to rush the stage, as tradition demands, all I had to do was stand up. The show was fantastic, of course, as usual, and during both of the group bows (the ones before and after the “encore”) I waved at Norda and she waved back and mouthed “thank you” at me. So that was pretty cool.

A bunch of other stuff happened, including Kerry flying down from Wisconsin to join me, a Maalox moment at the will-call ticket window when they had no idea who I was, and a trip this morning out to the countryside in a rental car to photograph a few wildflowers… but those things will have to wait. I’ll try to report more later (and there may be pictures too) but I only manged about 2 hours of sleep last night, and I’m running on fumes. So I am going to take a nap. I have to be out of here at (gasp) 4:30 a.m. to get to the airport on time tomorrow. So ta-ta for now!

Thank You, Justin Hayward

March 17, 2008

I went back and read the news archives at Justin’s website. Here is part of what he said in September 2001. Emphasis mine:

As you know, the people of Great Britain and London, my home for most of my life so far, have experienced acts of terrorism many times in the last thirty years. But now nothing on the scale of the USA. I feel as if someone I love has been mortally wounded. But America will always be the greatest nation on Earth (and I’ve seen the rest of the World). I pray there can be peace on Earth.

Take note, you America-hating Americans. Even an old British rock ‘n’ roller recognizes the greatness of our country. So there.

Glory Be… The Man Can Smile!

March 10, 2008

Maaahvelous concert again last night. Here is part of the concert report I posted late last night on a couple of fan boards:

First off… I got busted at intermission for the camera, but the security guy was nice about it. He said put it away and we’ll call it square. So I did. But then during “Question” there was no WAY a security person was going to see me, because everybody was up out of their seats, dancing, some in the aisles. So I ripped off a bunch more frames.

Something went haywire with the projector at the start of the second half, so there were no background pictures for the entire second half. I hope they get that fixed.

Justin smiled just a little more tonight than he did Tuesday. But he still looks a bit tired. Nonetheless… he did not “phone in” his performance. He was magnificent. As were the rest.

Graeme announced that it was Julie’s birthday. He then went on to say they had recorded “higher and Higher” “before you were born, love.” After he went back to his place at the drums after the song, I saw her flip him the bird!

Oh, and when I first sat down (in the 4th row) there was a guy one row ahead and a few seats over. I guess I must have said I’d gone to San Francisco–because he said, “Oh, are you CrankyBeach?” Geez! My reputation precedes me!

I actually took over 500 pictures last night, despite the alleged camera ban. Many are blurry, and most have problems such as microphones in front of faces, shadows on faces, waving arms between me and the stage… but I did get a few really decent ones. Here’s a nice one of Justin and John rockin’ out:

I’m still in Santa Rosa. I went skating this morning–the young lady in the rink box office was at the concert last night too–and planned to go wildflower-chasing this afternoon, but I was so tired I came back to the hotel and slept the afternoon away. And now it’s time to chase down some dinner. I’ll go chase flowers tomorrow, before I go home.

Life Doesn’t Get Any Better Than This!

March 9, 2008

Rolled into Santa Rosa about half an hour ago… now sipping a mocha at Bad Ass Coffee, which is literally right next door to tonight’s concert venue. Saw the big equipment trucks parked behind the theatre as I came down the off-ramp.

Driving a Lexus through San Francisco and across the Golden Gate Bridge on a warm day (!), windows down and sunroof open, blasting the Moody Blues as loud as I wanted–it doesn’t get any better than this. Until showtime, that is, which is less than 6 hours away, woo-hoo!

More Photographic Goodness

March 5, 2008

As I upload them, I’ve dumped my concert images into a slide show on Photobucket. More images will appear as I upload more pictures. Enjoy!

Update: The slide show is now complete with the 30 pictures allowed when you aren’t a paid member of Photobucket. And the images are now in chronological order except for the very first one.