29 January 2009

Ever more skeptical of old-timers

The other night Dave2 and Sizzle saw 81 year old Etta James in concert. During President Obama's inauguration ball, I did actually wonder where Miss James was when Beyonce performed Etta's largest hit "At Last." Apparently Etta James was pretty pissed about not being there and said so quite colorfully during her concert. At least they said her singing was as amazing as ever.

Still, that wasn't the most noteworthy aspect of the evening for Dave2 and Sizzle. Both came away visually traumatized. Click through to read their accounts; secondhand won't do them justice.

Their experience is pretty much the final coffin nail to any desire I might have to see an old legendary musician in concert. See, my first date was to a Ray Charles concert. A bit of web research says he was barely 58 at the time, but a lot of hard living made him seem a lot older.

My date's parents and my dad both volunteered as ushers at the venue to enjoy its classical fare. Old rock bands and performers would make up the stray "popular music" concerts of the summer. Think Moody Blues, the Beach Boys, and James Taylor. (If I hadn't been with stubborn friends for James Taylor, I totally would've scalped my ticket. While we were waiting in line to get in, I was offered $120 for my $20 lawn ticket.)

My parents dropped us off and the comp tickets his parents had scored for us got us into the grounds. When we got to the shed--the roofed part of the venue with seating--the usher pointed out that the tickets we had were for the wrong date. His parents were ushering that evening, so we found them and they found us some empty seats.

We wandered the grounds for a while before the concert was supposed to begin. A half hour after it was supposed to start, there was an announcement that Ray Charles was running late.

He was THREE HOURS LATE! That's a helluva long time to come up with first date ever chitchat. We were friends, so I think it was mostly fine, but c'mon, three hours? When Ray Charles finally arrived, he didn't apologize for being late and his singing was horribly off-key. He performed for half an hour and left, no encore. I'm SOOO glad we didn't pay for that.

A year ago on TTaT: Thirty Year Old Jock-Thug


  1. I've heard about so many singers running late and postponing concerts. That's so frustrating. And especially on a first date! ;)

  2. Not just any first date either, the very first.

  3. Three hours!?!

    That is horrible. I don't care who you are. That's RUDE!

  4. No explanation or apology either. That drives me nuts with anyone who's really late.

  5. Three hours of no Ray Charles or three hours of a sexed-up Etta James fondling her breasts and rubbing her crotch... hmmm... I'll take the silence please! :-)

  6. It'd be a tough call, Dave. Since one would typically be paying for 3 hours of no Ray Charles, I think I'd opt for Etta.... as long as I had a blindfold. (I'm sure the temptation to peek would be too great without one. ;)