Magical Summer Moments

Sunday, September 6, 1970. My very first concert.

Smokey Robinson and the Miracles at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. Their opening act was Little Stevie Wonder who had just had a big hit with "Signed, Sealed, Delivered."

This was my very first concert. I found the ticket tucked away in my high school photo album. Thirty-nine years ago today.

Greek theater ticket005  

I remember being a little salty still from the beach (Playa del Rey) earlier in the day.

I remember it was a double-date. My date, Terry, who was sixteen at the time (I was fifteen) had only had his driver's license for two months and drove an ancient red station wagon. Seatbelts? What?? =D

SBHS prom 1971054  

We drove up through the Hollywood Hills. You have to drive through a neighborhood of palatial homes to get there. I remember being shocked and surprised by this as only a wide-eyed fifteen-year-old can be.

But, ah... once we got into the Greek and found our seats...

The music was classic Motown. The air smelled clean and fresh as only outdoor concerts can. There's that roar and rush as the performers take the stage.

The lights! The sounds! The oh-my-gosh-they're-RIGHT-THERE-onstage amazement! Our favorite songs being performed live. They have never sounded better.

It was a magical night for me and one of my very fondest memories. My first live show. Notice the ticket price - $5.00. Wow.

I love that I can pinpoint the exact moment I fell in love with live shows. There was nothing like it. NOTHING. The music seriously came alive in a way that couldn't be captured over the radio or through vinyl.

It was live. And I was alive. And I was THERE.

That feeling has never left me. I have been to dozens of live shows since. And am never disappointed.

I recently took a Facebook quiz and was able to list over 50 acts that I had seen live, not counting stage, plays, and musicals.

The first two will always be Smokey and Stevie. It was one of those definining moments in my life. Who knew?

1. Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. *
2. Stevie Wonder.
3. Chicago.
4. The Beach Boys. *
5. Glady Knight and the Pips.
6. The Temptations.
7. The Four Tops.
8. The Grateful Dead. *
9. Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young. *
10. The Moody Blues. *
11. Fleetwood Mac.
12. Rod Stewart.
13. Linda Rondstat.
14. Carole King.
15. James Taylor.
16. Barbra Streisand.
17. Tito Puente.
18. Oscar de Leon.
19. Celia Cruz. *
20. Willy Chirino. *
21. Marc Anthony.
22. The Tubes.
23. Elvis Costello.
24. KC & the Sunshine Band.
25. The Monkees.
26. Tower of Power.
27. Johnny and Edgar Winter.
28. Bruce Springstein. *
29. J. Geils Band. *
30. Peter Frampton.
31. Boz Scags.
32. Michael Jackson.
33. U2. *
34. Chayanne.
35. Alejandro Fernandez.
36. Jethro Tull.
37. Huey Lewis and the News.
38. The Doobie Brothers.
39. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. *
40. Van Morrison.
41 The Allman Bros.
42. The Rolling Stones.
44. Brian Wilson.
45. Paul McCartney.
46. Peter Gabriel.
47. Loggins & Messina. *
48. Julio Yglesias.
49. The Go-Go's.
50. Jimmy Buffett.
51. Andy Garcia.
52. Gloria Estefan. *
53. The Marshall Tucker Band.
54. Lynrd Skynrd.
55. Charlie Daniels Band.
56. The Who.
57. Stephen Stills.
58. Warren Zevon.
59. Junior Walker and the All-Stars.
60. The Rascals.

(NOTE: There are many more. I keep remembering a few more each day...)

Even now, the excitement and fun of a live concert or show still calls to me. Of all the fun things we do now, going to shows is still high up there on the list.


These are programs and tickets from just this summer.

Amy and I saw Dirty Dancing at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood.

Dirty dancing poster 

We have season tickets to the Orange County Performing Arts Center. This was for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.


And of course, here we are in New York, on Broadway, waititng to see Wicked.

Wickedmay 2009 101

Las Vegas at the Wayne Brady Show.


Andy Garcia at the Conga Room.


David Copperfield at the Long Beach Arena.

Fam at david copperfield 

Dana Carvey at the Orleans in Vegas.

Dana carvey 

We collected our favorite friends to accompany us to see Fiddler on the Roof (which coincidentally happened to fall on Lucy's birthday, but that's not important right now.) Go figure!

Fiddler people

And of course, Disney's Electrical Parade.

Electrical parade 

We usually take the cheesy "I-was-there" photo. And even if it's blurry, we call it good. This was at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater where we saw the Pacific Symphony on their Rodgers and Hammerstein movie night.

Pacific symphony  

That's us in all our Uber-Geeky glory.

We have passed on the love of the theater and live entertainment to our kids. In fact, we've taken to scouring ticket sales at the beginning of the summer to find the best deals.  (I know. Uber-geeks.)

But I was reminded that this is a love that started thirty nine years ago (today) in what was for me, a magical moment in time. And even though the ticket prices are way higher than $5.00(!) live theater and concert-going is still very much a part of my life and of my family's life.

And I have the ticket stubs and cheesy pictures to prove it. =D

Do you have a favorite concert or show? Do you remember your first one? Tell me about it. I want to know.