Saturday, November 24, 2007

I know it's kinda corny...

but I'm pretty excited right now. Last night I was given two tickets to the Billy Joel concert by my son's girlfriend. The concert is tonight at Portland's Rose Garden arena. It's important to state that I was a SERIOUS (you do see the capital letters there to express my seriousness, right?) Billy Joel fan when I was younger. I adored his earlier albums, like Cold Spring Harbor and Streetlife Serenade. I became such a huge admirer of his, in fact, that when I last saw him in concert in 1984 (I believe I paid $15 for that ticket), I had vivid fantasies of him seeing me in the crowd and asking me to leave with him. Seriously. I had myself convinced he would take me home with him. He was the man for me.

It was his birthday on that night in 1984 when he played in Portland. May 9th. I had painted this HUGE (note the capital letters again) banner that read HAPPY BIRTHDAY, WILLIAM JOSEPH MARTIN JOEL on it, certain that this would assist in, and ensure, him picking me out of the crowd. Hey, how many people would know that this was his full name? (And how many would actually care?) I was his number one fan.

Sigh. Suffice it to say that the evening was one of a small number of significant disappointments in my life. He didn't pick me. Most likely, he didn't even *see* me and I went home in hiccuping, sobbing tears. My girlfriend, Melissa, who went to the concert, too, comforted me the best she could. The mania and hysteria of public figure worship is as powerful as it is bizarre and, clearly, I had experienced it first hand.

I actually found my old ticket stub from this concert a few months ago, along with a very poor quality, very far away, 110 film photograph of him on the stage. I hadn't thought about that night for years, so it's funny that all this - and tickets to his concert - is coming back now.

Don't tell my sons this story because they already think I'm an uncool goof for having every one of Billy Joel's albums up through 1993's River of Dreams. Someone told me he's considered America's Elton John. Is this true? I haven't heard anything new by him for years now. I'll let you know if his music still speaks to me and also, of course, if I get to go home with him tonight. :-)


  1. Sorry, I was just cruising through some of your old posts and had to comment on this one. I love Billy Joel. He's one of the few singer/songwriters who has a clue. His lyrics have something to say and his music is interesting---not just the same 2 chords all the way through the song.. My kids just roll their eyes when I sing along to his CDs.
    I'm crazy jealous that you got to see him in concert-twice. I've never seen him.

  2. I was just looking at your sidebar and I spotted Billy Joel...I really dig Billy Joel! We got tickets for he and Elton John in Cleveland, OH this summer. I can't wait!!!

  3. Funny. Just got tickets for his first performance in Pittsburgh this July 1st. Eagerly awaiting to see him. Just discovered your blog and reading from the beginning. Maybe someday I'll have my farm. Sigh.


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