In the clouded mind
We seek to choose memories
Perhaps they choose us
(c) 2016 Annette Rochelle Aben
Okay, those who know me, know that music has always played a HUGE part of my life. My parents were rabid record collectors and there was always a stereo in our home. Even if we didn’t have a vehicle, we had music. I can even recall the very first 45 rpm vinyl record I ever purchased with my allowance. “We Ain’t Got Nothing Yet” by The Blues Magoos!
Ah yes, I remember it well.
Okay, I am from Detroit, Michigan and there are several amazing venues for music here in the “D”. My folks always took us to concerts. As a family, we would attend the Detroit Symphony, have summer picnics in the park whilst being serenaded by The Detroit Concert Band and enjoy various chamber orchestras at The Detroit Institute of Arts on magical Sunday mornings. We’d even catch the free musical acts, such as Count Basie when they played the Michigan State Fair. Most enjoyable!
Ah, yes, I remember them well.
Okay, so as I grew up, the arenas for music shifted from the free, family-friendly fare to the stand-in-line to plunk down your hard-earned money to snap up tickets to see everyone from Neil Diamond to Elton John and Wayne Newton to Billy Joel. A few of the others included, Heart when they first began touring as well as that up and coming duo, Hall & Oates. Naturally, Detroit rock and roll was well appreciated, for whenever Bob Seger or Alice Cooper were in town, I was there!
Ah, yes, I remember them well.
Or do I?
Okay, so I am having a chat with my dear cousin Peg one evening and we were playing “remember when” about who we saw, where we saw and when we saw” when she dropped a bombshell. “Remember when we saw Queen?”
Okay, so we went rounds on this, I mean rounds. “Annie.” She calls me Annie. “Annie, I saw them and you were there with me, so I believe that we did, in fact, see Queen in concert.”
Crickets on drugs.
Okay, the next day I am relating the obligatory love and kisses from cousins to cousins to my sister when I chose to share this ridiculous conversation about seeing Queen with Peg. To which my darling little sister, Lorraine, replies, “Yeah, I was there with you two. Billy Squire played first. Don’t you remember when that girl jumped up on stage and chased him around until security dragged her off?
Don’t crickets have predators…
Okay, she continues by telling me we were sitting w-a-y up in the nose bleed section, off to the left a bit. All at once, I had this thought. “Were we at the Joe?” The Joe Louis Arena in downtown Detroit was what I meant. And I got this vision of people 3 rows behind us who stood up and were able to touch the metal rafters at the very top. Must have been, because she smiled.
Ah, yes I remembered THAT!
Okay, as I was not the world’s most ardent Queen fan. However I was a most obnoxious Billy Squire fan. In fact, probably drove everyone around me nuts singing along with him, at the top of my lungs at the top of the Joe. So why was I not able to remember all this? Probably because I was quite the alcoholic who was cross addicted to drugs as well. And a concert (where I didn’t have to drive) meant getting w-a-s-t-e-d. Naturally my sister confirmed that I was completely trashed, thank goodness Peg was driving that night.
Okay, so I did an internet search and found that yes indeedy, Queen and Billy Squire were at The Joe Louis Arena, in Detroit, Michigan on August 6, 1982. Apparently, so was I.
The crickets have been replaced by the rumble of thunder outside my home right now. We are about to have a storm. I have yet to catch up with Peg to let her know that while I still do NOT remember the actual concert, I do have a couple of random memories about that night. Once I pondered it, I could see Billy being chased by some love stuck fan while he kept right on singing, dashing about the stage like an athlete.
Ah yes, I remember that well.
Okay, to bring this even more into the present moment. Recently, I had a casual conversation with a friend I have only known about 3 years, who happens to be the ultimate Queen fan. We were talking about her birthday, which just passed. She was waxing nostalgic about the best present she ever got, when her boyfriend took her to see Queen when Adam Lambert was touring with them. She remarked that while he was good, nothing compared from that night back in the 80’s when she saw Freddie Mercury and Queen at Joe Louis.
Since I didn’t know her then, should I be able to remember that?
They said it was so
Memory, don’t fail me now
Cue the crickets please
(c) Annette Rochelle Aben 2016
Cue, Maurice Chevalier, please…