Tag Archives: Nashville Symphony

Burt Bacharach – One of the Coolest Cats Around

14 Mar

This week, we saw Burt Bacharach perform with the Nashville Symphony. It was a great show filled with the numerous hits that he has written. Unfortunately, we did not get pictures that are good enough to put on the blog. Instead, I will use this picture.Raindrops

That is the first picture that popped up when I Googled “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head,” my favorite Burt Bacharach song. It is the one I went to the concert to hear, and, luckily, he sang it. At 87 years old, he left most of the singing to a trio sitting by his piano. They were no Dionne Warwick, but they did a tremendous job.

As I said, he sang the song I wanted to hear. Most people know it as the song from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. I know it as the song that, for some reasons, fascinated me when I was a kid. I have been told that I sang it all the time. That is strange considering that I still have not seen that movie in its entirety.

Speaking of Westerns, I learned something that the concert. Burt Bacharach wrote “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance,” which was not used in the movie of the same name. I need to look through the blog archives to see if I wrote an examination of that movie. If not, then I need to do that.

Before the show, a friend of mine kept kidding around and telling me that I should ask Burt about Angie Dickinson, his ex-wife. My friend is a big fan of Angie Dickinson. I did not get the chance to ask that question, but I once wrote a post about her and a few other actresses. My friend should read it.

In my mind, Burt Bacharach has always been the epitome of cool. In the 1960s and 1970s, he was one of the coolest cats around. After seeing him in concert, we realized that he is still one of the coolest cats around.

My iPod Has Issues – 1812? Are You Sure?

2 Jul

Tonight, we are going to hear the Nashville Symphony play a rousing concert of patriotism. All kinds of American composers will be featured, but the finale will be Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. Unfortunately, that piece of music has nothing to do with American patriotism. A lot of people think it commemorates the War of 1812 between the United States and Great Britain. Actually, it celebrates Russia’s defense against Napoleon in that year.Napoleon

Anyway, it has become a staple for symphonies around the Fourth of July.

Soon, I will have to start getting ready for our sojourn into the big city. With that in mind, I leave you with a set list from my crazy iPod. It may not be patriotic, but it will be rousing.

“It’s Been a Long Time” by New Birth

“Tender Years” by John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band

“Why Can’t He Be You” by Loretta Lynn

“Mandolin Wind” by Rod Stewart

“My Old School” by Steely Dan

“Maybe” by The Chantels

“You’re Gonna Break My Heart Again” by Whitesnake

“Fake Plastic Trees” by Radiohead

“Daddy Frank” by Merle Haggard

“The Monkey Song” by Stacey Mitchhart

“Fantastic Voyage” by Lakeside

“Lyin’ Eyes” by The Eagles

“Looking for a Rainbow” by Chris Rea

“Chains of Love” by Big Joe Turner

“Longhaired Redneck” by David Allan Coe

“Tush” by ZZ Top

“The Last Pale Light in the West” by Ben Nichols

“Pinball Machine” by Lonnie Irving

“Little Red Rooster” by Big Mama Thornton

“Runaway” by Del Shannon

Now, I am to prepare for the symphony and that long-haired music.

 

The Fab(ricated) Four

25 Feb

This weekend, my wife and I went to the Nashville Symphony with her dad. We do this quite often, as it is always a great performance in a great venue. However, this performance was a little different. The Classical Mystery Tour is a band that impersonates The Beatles with the backing of an orchestra.Classical Mystery Tour

I had read great reviews about the show but was not prepared for how cool it was. Impersonators can be hit or miss, and these guys definitely hit. They had the voices. They had the mannerisms. “Paul” played a left-handed guitar when he was actually right-handed. They also had the clothes. The band started with the mid 1960s suit look and changed into the Sgt. Pepper look. Then, they went to a 1970s style with “John” wearing his famous white suit.

I liked the entire show, but a few moments stood out. Hearing “Live and Let Die” with an orchestra was awesome. I know it is not a Beatles song and saying it was my favorite could be considered sacrilege, but it was awesome. I also liked “Imagine”, another solo effort. When it comes to actual songs by The Beatles, their rendition of “The Long and Winding Road” was great.

It was during “The Long and Winding Road” that my mind starting going to places other than the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. It went to a young man lying in the dark with his headphones on. That was me, and that is what I used to do every night before going to sleep. I cannot count the number of nights that I woke up with music still playing in my ears.

“The Long and Winding Road” was exactly the type song I would listen to. It is slow, melodic and, in my mind, kind of sad. Of course, I like all kinds of songs and have a fondness for heavy metal, but the slow and sad ones have always held an attraction for me.

As I listened in the dark, I would imagine myself being the sad one in the song. I would bring up any heartbreak or hurt that I had experienced and used it to bring up a melancholy mood. It may have been fatalistic and was definitely emotional martyrdom. However, that was me. I was always bad about imagining myself as the one in the movie who gave up the girl for a later cause. I guess that would make me Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca.

In the dark, I would listen to these sad songs and play movies in my mind. In those movies, I was always the one who watched others walk away or was the one who was doing the walking away. I guess that is why I ended up having a good time in therapy.

I do not do that anymore. I still listen to sad songs, and they still entertain me. However, I do not place myself inside of them. I listen to them as an outsider who is happy with where he has ended up in life. Placing myself in sad songs probably meant that I was not happy with where I was in life. Now, that is not the case. I am happy with where I am.

That is a song with a different verse. That is also where my mind went as “Paul” sat at the piano and sang “The Long and Winding Road” as the orchestral sounds filled the room.

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.