Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Last 24 Hours

disclaimer: this post is a bit long, but it was a busy 24 hours

Greetings friends ... hope this finds you all well and enjoying these last vestiges of Summer (at least here in NYC.) I, personally, am NOT a fan of the season and I'm looking forward to the cool, crisp days of Fall.

I basically had the week from Hades ... family drama, work drama, apartment drama ... too much frickin' drama! I was seriously ready to move to "a place where I can't be found" (points for whoever gets that reference LOL.)

Luckily, at the end of the week comes the week-end. Brilliant, huh?! *rolls eyes* And though I was missing Jon Bon Jovi and the boys in Mexico, I was getting Southside Johnny and his boys in Jersey. That certainly had to brighten my spirits right?

So off I went to Ridgefield, NJ last night to catch the Jukes. Hadn't planned on attending, but my friend B from Seattle was in town, so off I went. After a rather eventful short train ride we headed over to the show eventually finding parking way out in the hinterlands (possibly west of the Mississippi.) This was the first event in this new park and I have a feeling they may have underestimated what kind of turnout they would have. Walking ... and walking ... and walking to the venue was strangely reminiscent of the BJ Soldier Field shows. But, eventually we made it ...

And thank goodness we did because it was QUITE a night.

First off, there was a choreographed gang of spiders on the stage -- they seemed quite frightened of Johnny and headed towards Kazee, but then possibly caught sight of Jeff's hat and all ran the other way. It was totally like that scene out of the Harry Potter movie ... but with a rock-n-roll soundtrack.

Secondly, it was a fantastic set list which included just about all my favorite songs, great horn playing and the occasional interspersed random song quote from Kazee (always a highlight.)

Thirdly, SSJ was in rare form ... though in actuality, its not that rare ... its just HIM. At one point, he took out all the money out of his pocket and ended up handing it all to me when the guys in the band started circling him. So, there I was with this cold hard cash (okay ... more like hot sweaty mushy cash) in my hands. I'm thinking a new iPhone, Jovi tickets, a taxi back to the car after the show! ... but, no, I was nice and gave it back to him. Next time though ... LOL

I didn't take many pictures due to the lighting. Every few minutes we would get blinded by these bright yellow lights, prompting my friend Linda to say that we probably looked like french fries in the front row. Haha. But, look at this blurry one. What is it with him giving me his version of the stink eye? ... see what I mean about the hat? (truth be told, the hat was absolutely FABULOUS)

And so that was last night.

Who knew it would get even better today?!

A couple of months ago I was chatting online with my crazy German girls when one of them mentioned Rick Springfield. Now, I was a devoted fan of his music in the early 80s and drooled over him as Dr. Noah Drake, but Rick fell by the wayside when a few years later, a sandy-brown haired, blue-eyed singer came on the scene.

But, when B mentioned Rick Springfield, I thought I'd check out what he was up to and found he was doing a concert at the Best Buy (better known as the Nokia) Theater and bought a ticket for the soundcheck package.

What a fantastic experience! From the minute you arrive, through entry to the venue, getting to meet the band, talking with Rick, taking pictures and getting autographs.

The whole thing was relaxed and fun and had a feeling of being part of a family. Rick spent quite a lot of time just hanging out and talking. It was a small group of us -- seems they keep it to approximately 25-30 people which makes it not only manageable for the staff, but an intimate, accessible event for those attending. Rick was incredibly sincere and funny and generous with his time. What a wonderfully nice guy!

I have the distinct feeling I will be attending many more Rick shows in the coming years. :-)

So, after the meet-and-greet I was heading over to have some dinner before the show ... and look who I run into!? The beautiful and talented Montego Glover from MEMPHIS (which I saw for the 15th time last Sunday!) Since I was by myself, I did the "hold camera out and pray" technique. This was the result. LOL

After a bite to eat, I ended up meeting up with two of my fellow Jovigirls Chris and Sandy ... who ironically decided at the last minute to buy tickets to the Rick Springfield show. And only a couple of blocks from there Southside was playing at BB King's so off I went ...

Like Jon Bon Jovi said about Southside at Blossom, "I love that man." Me, too. There truly is nothing like a Jukes show and nobody like Johnny, so I take every opportunity to see them. The energy at BB's is always amazing and I think it brings out not only the best, but the craziest out of everyone. But, a little chaos is good for the soul. *wink*

It was slightly odd to walk in and not see Kazee at the keys though -- he was playing a charity gig in Baltimore. But, his sub Bobby Lynch was really terrific ... oh, and what is it with Jukes keyboard players and hats?! LOL

... and they might not be the original Chuck Taylors, but he got the shoes, too ...

... ahhh, them Jukes horns

with my favorite cheerful lad from England Neal Pawley (you should check out his fun stuff at 11 Acorn Lane)

... and the very sweet Billy Walton who gave me his pick and the set list :-)

I've gotta say, seeing two SSJ shows in two days is always a good thing. And it certainly turned my whole week around ... but isn't that what music is supposed to do? Inspire, console, excite, energize, soothe, transcend.

Okay folks, that's all for now. I'm exhausted! Until next time ...