"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Monday, February 09, 2009

Musical Monday

My musical Mondays so far have featured artists I've seen in concert. I suspect that will occasionally be the case.

Today's video is even more special than that. It's a performance I actually attended myself! A very, very long time ago.

First, some background.

I was raised in a household of classical music and Broadway show music lovers. But my mother also has a great appreciation for roots music--from slave spirituals to celtic to folk. Which is why I grew up hearing songs by the Sea Island Singers, Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Jean Ritchie, and so many more.

As a tot I knew Woody had a son with the very cool and unusual name of Arlo. When I was very little, being driven round from the swimming pool or back and forth to each other's homes, my first best friend and I liked to sing "I Don't Want a Pickle, I Just Want to Drive my Motor-Sicle" and giggle like crazy.

Later I developed a more mature appreciation of Arlo's music, along with an admiration for his peace activism. I purchased his albums (on vinyl--note to self, time to hunt for cd re-issues, especially The Power of Love). I've made the pilgrimage to Stockbridge, Mass. to see "Alice's Restaurant" and the iconic church featured in song and film.

And I've seen him in concert. At last count, four times: Atlanta, Denver and twice in New Hampshire. Or was it twice in Denver, once in NH?

I was astonished and thrilled to stumble on a YouTube a clip of the very first Arlo concert I attended.

Watching it is surreal.

I remember how my classmate and I went backstage afterwards--at her insistence, because I wouldn't have thought of it myself--to meet the man. I suppose this was my initial behind-the-scenes brush with greatness. We hung out for a little while with him and the band a handful of other acolytes like us.

So here's Arlo, as witnessed by yours truly, performing the Steve Goodman song that he turned into a radio hit.

I dig the preponderance of frizzy 'fro's. The friend who was with me, she had a crazy, curly head herself, not unlike that of the backing singer.

For everything Arlo, go here.

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