Sunday, April 1, 2012

Guilty Pleasures

I don't know if this post belongs on this blog or not. It certainly doesn't belong on my writing blog. Either way, I want to talk about guilty pleasures. You know, those things that make us feel good, but we may not necessarily talk about them. Like really good dark chocolate. Like a rare find of a terrific red wine. Like returning to a single malt Scotch to celebrate some secret victory.

Like seeing the Moody Blues one more time in concert.

Last night, my husband Terry took me to see the Moody Blues again. The tickets were my Christmas present, one I had no trouble waiting to use. We were very close to the front of the Salem (VA) Civic Center, so we could see every drop of sweat.

I've seen the Moodies probably a dozen times, both before and after Red Rock. Before, the show was all about a rock and roll band with a song book I know by heart. After Red Rock, it was about that same band and song book but added the dimension of orchestral music. I love both renditions of the band. Last night, it was the band. Three guys, plus four back up performers, playing their hearts out for an adoring audience.

Graeme Edge still plays drums like a maniac. At 71 (on March 30), he acts like he doesn't know what age is. John Lodge on bass guitar has lost weight but still looks terrific in his late sixties. And Justin Hayward, the 65-year-old baby of the group, reminds us with every chord why the Moodies are still touring and drawing huge crowds. That man hasn't aged much, except to put on maybe ten pounds. Must weigh about 150. At 6'2" he's still skinny as hell. Ray Thomas, the flute player, retired in 2002 and is missed, but the girl who plays flute now is wonderful.

I couldn't help contrasting this concert with previous ones. The civic center filled with cheering fans, all much grayer than at earlier concerts. The first time I saw the Moodies, my hair was brown. Now it's gray. I was a size six. Now, I', not a size six. I remembered all the words to the song book then and still do. When the civic center filled with smoke from dry ice machines, I remembered how different earlier concerts were, when the smoke was marijuana and hashish. And when we stood for "Nights in White Satin," we no longer lit our Bic lighters. I used my Zippo app on my smart phone. Some things do change.

As I left the concert, I heard groups talking about "Sojourn," and "Children's Children," and "Threshold." They were debating their favorite albums. I wore the same tee shirt to this concert I've been wearing for 17 years. It's "On the Threshold of a Dream" and gorgeous. I only wear it to Moody Blues concerts or when I'm in a Moodies frame of mind. It may have gone to its last concert.

After every earlier concert, I always thought, "I can't wait to see them again. I wonder where it will be."

Not this time. I may have seen my last Moody Blues concert. It's a bittersweet thought.

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