Friday, February 20, 2009

California Sunlight, Sweet Calcutta Rain...

Another year has come and gone. My kids keep telling me: "You aren't getting any older, you're getting...well, um...yeah, you're getting older."

I believe I've told you this before - first rock concert I ever saw was Led Zeppelin's The Song Remains The Same.

Well, technically, t'was the first concert film I ever saw...(first actual rock concert concert was The Stampeders at the Centre of the Arts in 1976).

It was a weekday matinee screening down at the Coronet (billed as Regina's first triple auditorium theatre! And long since torn down). I went with my school chum Bart Habermiller. We took the bus to get there. There was one other person in attendance, an older gentleman. Bart was a little creeped out. I didn't care.

The lights dimmed. The movie began.

It's a long film, and the extended fantasy sequences starring the band members interspersed between musical performances did make it feel even longer. Bart fell asleep halfway through, around the same time the one other patron eased themselves up out of their seat and walked out, muttering about being sooooo bored.

But I sat through it all. Entranced. Mesmerized. Awed. All those kinds of words. C'mon! It was Zep, man! One of my musical idols! Rock n' Roll gods!

And a band I would never have a hope in hell seeing in Buttkick, butcept on a movie screen.

Anyway, I woke Bart up as the tail credits rolled, and we shuffled back out into the late afternoon sun. Not California sunshine mind you, but I still did feel enlightened in some way...more informed and inspired and connected even to an exciting world that existed beyond the city limits of a small prairie town.

With all the internets and the youtubes today, all short bursts....clips and excerpts...from everywhere, I often wonder if such a singular seminal viewing experience is ever possible for our that opens their eyes and ears to the power and pleasure and possibilities of the rest of world.

Ohh it makes me does.

The Song Remains The Same

I had a dream. Crazy dream.
Anything I wanted to know, any place I needed to go

Hear my song. People won't you listen now? Sing along.
You don't know what you're missing now.
Any little song that you know
Everything that's small has to grow.
And it has to grow!

California sunlight, sweet Calcutta rain
Honolulu starbright - the song remains the same.

Sing out Hare Hare, dance the Hoochie Koo.
City lights are oh so bright, as we go sliding... sliding...
sliding through.

If you discover what you're missing, even now, it's always possible to find it.

Now where's my cake.


Trevor B. Cunningham said...

Happy Birthday. I used to usher at the Coronet, but it was eight years after this Zep screening. I have been scratching my head over a long, seminal viewing of anything anymore. I think an 'experience' is getting lost somewhere. It's hard to immerse oneself in snippets, clips and chop cutting. Maybe it's our age?

Christina said...

Happy Birthday!

You're getting older. It's okay. You're, um, wiser... Right?

I turned 40 this year and was worried I'd end up face down on the area rug next to a spilled bottle of gin if I didn't plan things out well. So, I invited 25 musician friends over and ended up face down on the area rug with company, next to an empty bottle of whiskey. I consider the night a success - I didn't cry and I didn't throw up.

I met Robert Plant last year when he was in town, playing at the Greek. He shook my hand and looked right past me at the breasts of the hot girl standing next to me. T-Bone Burnett talked to me for 10 minutes and laughed at my jokes. End result - I heart T-Bone.

Didn't someone say never to meet your idols? Probably good advice.