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Have You Ever Been to a Concert?

I saw an interesting poll question today on another site and wanted to repeat the question here; have you ever been to a concert?

That includes any sort of organized concert, put on by any professional musical artist or group. The only exception would be that it wouldn’t include a ‘concert in the park’ event or a sidewalk concert put on by an amateur. It has to be a regular concert.

The reason this interests me is that I came close to saying no. I’ve never lived in a place that is large enough to have concerts and prefer not to travel to see one. Oh, I’d travel to see Home Free, Pentatonix, or Peter Hollens in concert, if I could afford it, but the point is that I’d be highly selective. Yet, my wife and I did go to a concert.

It was several decades ago and we were living in a town in S. Oregon. The town was on a major N-S route through the state, but it wasn’t an interstate route. Celebrities occasionally came through, but it was simply on the way to somewhere else.

One day I was listening to a radio station with the call letters of KFLS. This was one of three radio stations in town and it was the pop and oldies station. I liked listening to the radio station because they often played music from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s; the sort of music I grew up with.

Anyway, they had a contest that day. If the 10th caller could identify the song and the performer or group on the next song played, they would win two tickets and round trip bus transportation to a concert. I was barely paying attention to any of that, naturally, until the song started. I knew what it was immediately and I knew who performed it. 

It was Dead Man’s Curve by Jan and Dean. For people who don’t know who Jan and Dean were, they were contemporaries of the Beach Boys and sang the same sort of music. If you don’t know who the Beach Boys were, I feel sorry for you. You missed a lot.

Anyway, I scrambled to find the phone book to call KFLS. I hadn’t, after all, written it down. I finally found the phone book, looked up the number, and dialed. Before the DJ could say more than, “Thank you for calling KFLS,” I said “Dead Man’s Curve by Jan and Dean.” There was a long pause. I knew that I’d missed out because it took so long to find the phone book.

Then he said, “Congratulations! You are the 10th caller and you just won tickets and transportation for two to see Jan and Dean in concert!”

The concert was low-key and rather than in an auditorium, it was held at a fairgrounds, to my delight. The highlight of the concert needs a sort of explanation. At the height of their fame, Dean was in a serious car accident that left him with similar brain damage a person has when they suffer a major stroke. He went in for therapy but was never to fully recover. Concerts after that time featured Jan and a fill-in for Dean, though when he was recovered enough, Dean traveled with the concert.

The highlight of the concert was when Jan announced the song “Dead Man’s Curve” and Dean walked on stage and actually sang the song with Jan! You could tell that he had trouble with half his body and his voice wasn’t like it had been when he was healthy, but it was an inspiration and he got a standing ovation.

So yes, I’ve been to a concert.

  • Have you ever been to an organized concert of any kind, put on by a professional singer or group?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Have you ever wanted to go to a concert?

    • Yes
    • No

What do you think?

13 points
Legend

Written by Rex Trulove

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9 Comments

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  1. It is interesting, great topic Rex. Going to a concert is an interesting activity to consider. I have been to many children’s choir, band and orchestra concerts.
    I have been to professionally managed concerts.
    I was fortunate to live in Bloomington Indiana when the Indiana Unversity School of Music was rated one of the best in the world. I went to many different kinds of concerts. Joshua Bell was in school at IU and I went to one of his performances.

    • I suppose that one thing that makes me a little reluctant to go to concerts is that I tend to avoid crowds. That is one reason I’ll not live in a city if I have any choice. Since the Jan and Dean concert was in an open-air fairgrounds, it didn’t feel crowded, though there was no doubt several thousand people there. It didn’t feel crowded like it would have if it had been in an auditorium.

      I used to say, “Put me in the woods in the middle of nowhere with a knife, some string, and a match, and I’ll not only survive, but I’ll also build a beautiful camp. Put me in a city and I’ll be dead within a week.”

      • I grew up in both worlds. Chicago was where I learned about cities early on. That sticks with you. I moved to Southern Indiana when I was still young enough to adapt. So outdoors made sense to me, cities make sense to me.

        But I do like crowds!

        • I’m too old to adapt very well, I’m afraid. The largest city I’ve ever lived in was Salem, Oregon, when I was 14. I definitely didn’t like it and at the time, there were only about 600,000 in the town. I currently live in a town with less than 1,000 people, counting the entire valley. At times, even that feels like too many people.

          Put in a different way, I get along with most people and in general, people don’t bother me. I just tend to be a little uncomfortable with mankind.

  2. Yes, the Beatles, Liberace, Connie Stevens, Robert Palmer, the Beach Boys. Then there were singers we saw in a club in downtown Cleveland — Stevie Wonder, the Fifth Dimension, Dionne Warwick, the Four Tops…

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