Pinky Pie

Elton John, the Beatles & Me

Posted on: April 21, 2011

Tickets I never had ...

My childhood best friend, Shelly Levin, and I were both into Beatlemania big time in the 1960s. We bought all those posters and magazines about the Fab Four (not to be confused with Wisconsin’s Fab Fourteen Senators).

We earnestly discussed which Beatle was our favorite – Paul for me and as I recall George for her.

We planned a Beatles act for the Old Bonhomme Elementary School talent show and I was to be Ringo – I knew how to shake my head even if I have no rhythm. But then I dislocated my kneecap in gym class couldn’t go. I think Debbie Donohue subbed for me. I like to think I would have been better, but then I have no idea if she – or I – were good at lip syncing their songs.

We were very excited when we heard the Beatles were coming to St. Louis to play at Busch Stadium on August 21, 1968. I was invited to go with Shelly and her  sister Cindy, but declined.

I was, in the parlance of my brother, “a stay- at-home-Charlie.” I’m pretty sure Andy went; he was a get-out-of-the-house dude.

I went to a Black Sabbath concert with a guy at Michigan State University when I was at that school  – I think I was momentarily trying to impress him with my interest in that music – but I didn’t much like it or him.

Then there was the Bob Dylan concert in La Crosse where his voice was so bad that I just went home. Dick stayed until the end.

My brother was right, of course, although today I’m more of a stay-at-home-and-couch-Charlie. A person evolves during her lifetime.

But Tuesday I was bravely giving up my couch for the Elton John concert in La Crosse. In La Crosse, we rarely if ever get a huge act  like  Elton John, a reason that my husband who loves live music and performs live music – thought we had to go.

Two confessions ahead:

  1. At the moment tickets went on sale I was in a telephone conference call for a newsletter I do. During the call, one of the attorneys received a text from his daughter asking, “Did you get the tickets yet?” The lawyer told us he responded by saying he was in a meeting and couldn’t do it then. Meanwhile, Dick was supposed to be getting ours on line, but was having technical difficulties. When he came up to my office epressing frustration, I quietly tapped into the site and  bought three tickets (one was a musician friend of his). The clients didn’t know I had done that – until now. Tickets sold out within an hour.
  2. A week after we bought tickets, we received a voicemail about going to a friend’s house for the second seder of  Passover. When I realized the concert was the second night of Passover, I guilted for 24 hours and then called her. She told me to go, that I might find others from our small Jewish community there. And, she said in Israel only one night is observed. (I checked with Wikipedia and it’s true, at least according to Wikipedia.)

With that in mind, I prepared myself for Elton John by listening to the Elton John channel on Pandora, the on-line music service that builds a personal playlist for you around whoever or whatever you like.

La Crosse Tribune photo shows the cancelation notice at the La Crosse Center

But then Pharaoh sent snow – 8.2 inches on Tuesday, April 19. Although folks in La Crosse said, “Let my people go,” Elton John cancelled or postponed to May 4, when we cannot attend.

Dick sold the tickets before I could tell him about some friends who wanted them.  I know he sold them for face value instead of the hundreds of dollars they are selling them for on eBay. Once again, we’ve  missed our chance to get not-so- filthy rich. I hope he recovered the Ticketmaster fees. I would not have cheated a friend either.

As for this Passover, no parting of the Red Sea was necessary. But couldn’t we have a little parting of the white snow drifts in April? Then, like we say on Passover, Dayanu, which means it would have been enough.

I guess that’s why they call it the blues.


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