Only The Good Die Young
It's not hip to admit it now, but the first concert I ever paid my own money to see was Billy Joel
As I mentioned back when I launched this thing, one of my intentions with Jagged Time Lapse is to to share chapters from my musical-memoir-in-progress with paid subscribers as I kick them into shape.
I don’t yet have a working title for the book, but the concept is similar to what my friend and colleague Josh Wilker did with his wonderful Cardboard Gods. Except where Josh used baseball cards from the 1970s as a means to make sense of his past, I’m using 45 rpm singles as a series of windows into my turbulent adolescence — a period of my life which coincided with some of the greatest music ever heard on AM radio, and some of the absolute worst. This is the latest chapter I’ve been playing with; please let me know whatcha think…
Crisler Arena glowed through the fog of the wet October evening like a freshly-landed UFO beckoning us to climb aboard. Zaltzman and I splashed our way across one puddle after another as we ran through the darkness towards it, my dad’s firm instructions to meet him and his Toyota Corolla station wagon back on the same corner at 10 p.m. already fading in our ears.
I’d been to Crisler Arena dozens of times before; my dad was a season-ticket holder for University of Michigan basketball games, and I’d even sung there as part of the All-City Chorus during the Ann Arbor Public Schools’ “Spring Music Night”. But this was my first real rock concert; and though the setting was familiar, tonight the venue’s smoke-filled atmosphere seemed as alien to me as if we actually were entering some kind of spaceship.
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