Tag Archives: Luciano Pavarotti

I Learned My Motto From My Dad in Clarksdale, Mississippi

16 Mar

During our foray into Clarksdale, Mississippi, my mom questioned where or not we should eat at the Ground Zero Blues Club. It looked a little rough around the edges, and she was not sure about it. I must admit that it looked different from what I thought it would.Clarksdale 4

However, my dad did not have such qualms. He wanted to go. Not because he thought the food would be awesome. Not because he thought we might see Morgan Freeman. As he said, it was because we could always say that we did it.

My dad has never said that he has a life’s motto, but I think that would be it. He has spent his life wanting to do as much as possible and wanting to see as much as possible. I have been lucky because he has had the means to do so and because he took me along. He also passed that motto down to me.

I can always say that I did it.

I waited a long time to get married and have a family. While my friends and acquaintances did the usual thing of settling down and making memories, I filled my life with experiences. Those experiences have included traveling to various places; listening to different kinds of music; immersing myself in art; and learning as much about the world as I possibly could.

I have differing tastes, and I am pretty sure a lot of people think I am strange because of it. There have been several posts written about the music of my iPod. Sometimes, I even think it is crazy with the variety of stuff that is on there. Some of it is well-known, and some of it is obscure. I do not even like all of it. It is there because I think it is interesting.

I feel the same thing about the world. It is a very interesting place filled with interesting people and interesting things. Something can be learned from all of it. Driving to Clarksdale, my dad and I were just as interested in the crop dusting planes and the fields they were spraying as we were the destination ahead. It is flat land and seemingly endless, but there is a lot interesting about it. The history. The people. The cemeteries we passed.

It was a new road for me, and I was glad that I drove it because I can always say that I did it.

That is why I saw Dave Brubeck perform. I wanted to always say that I saw him play “Take Five“.

That is why I drank wine at the Inglenook Vineyards. I wanted to always say that I was there.Honeymoon 016

That is why I saw Ray Price in concert. I wanted to always say that I heard him sing “For the Good Times“.

That is why I went to Clarksdale, Mississippi. I wanted to always say that I was there.

That is why I saw Luciano Pavarotti and AC/DC in the same venue during the same week. I wanted to always say that I saw both shows.

That is why I went into the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota. I wanted to always say that I walked in.

Throughout most of my life people have considered my tastes a little strange. I like music that you cannot find on the radio. I like to travel to places that many people would not even consider. The same can be said for my choice in books, movies and other forms of entertainment. I like those things for the experiences because life should be filled with experiences.

I am not trying to make myself out to be some kind of great thinker who has figured out the secret meaning of life. I am trying to say that I learned something in Clarksdale that had nothing to do with its history.

I never realized what my motto was until my dad spoke it out loud. He stated it perfectly.

I can always say that I did it.

Concerts of Interest

4 Jan

I have written a lot about concerts, so you can probably tell that I am a concert-going freak. I will see just about anybody perform. Some of the shows were great. Some of the shows were not as great. Many of them have been forgotten. However, a few have stood out because I found them different and interesting.

Undoubtedly, Luciano Pavarotti provided the most interesting concert experience. He was past his prime, but his power and talent could be felt throughout the arena. I have no idea how someone got him to perform in Nashville, but I feel privileged to have heard one of the Three Tenors.Luciano Pavarotti

Seeing Dave Brubeck play at the Ryman Auditorium was also a privilege. I wanted to hear his most famous work, “Take Five”, but I came away with more than hearing one popular Jazz number. I spent the evening mesmerized by a legend who turned a Country music shrine into something completely different.Dave Brubeck

Speaking of Country music, I have seen Willie Nelson several times, but the most interesting took place in a minor league baseball stadium. He and Bob Dylan toured stadiums throughout the country and had their stage positioned behind second base. People packed the infield as the two legends played throughout the night. It was interesting, but I kept thinking that the show going on backstage was probably more interesting.Willie Nelson and Bob Dylan

Dudley Moore came to Nashville many years ago to play a Valentine’s Day show with the Nashville Symphony. He was a great comedian, but he was also a classical pianist. What do you think he played? If you guessed “Bolero”, then you would be correct.Dudley Moore

I saw Leonard Cohen because I wanted to hear “Hallelujah”. I heard “Hallelujah” and a few more songs that I recognized. Actually, one is sung by Don Henley on my iPod. There were several aspects of this concert that I found interesting. First, those that love Leonard Cohen really love Leonard Cohen. Second, those who don’t, like my date who feel asleep on my shoulder, really don’t. Third, he came out for encore after encore. It had to be some kind of a record. I wouldn’t know because we left after about four of them.Leonard Cohen

Charlie Daniels lives in my county and can be seen hanging around all of the time. His concert was interesting because I watched it from backstage. My friend worked for him and invited me along to sit how a concert works from the other side. I met Daniels around the buffet table, and we talked about people that we both knew. I remember that he had a hard time getting around, and  wondered how he was going to perform. That question was answered as soon as he got in view of the audience. He ran, jumped, and played. When the show was over, he went back to moving around slowly.Charlie Daniels

There have been many interesting concerts, but the last one I will write about was a live performance by a dead guy, Elvis Presley. I went to Elvis Week on the 30th anniversary of his death and attended the reunion concert. The original band and backup singers performed on stage while a video image of Elvis sang along with them. The sold out show was better than 90% of those I have seen with living people. However, the audience reaction was the interesting part. People were crying, shrieking and screaming like he was really there. I saw the living Elvis when I was a kid and remember that audience acting the same way. ELVIS LIVES!!!Elvis in Concert

If I see more interesting concerts, then I will let you know.