My most memorable concert experience

My friend Chad Canfield, host and producer of the excellent podcast, The Canman Show, recently asked fans of the show on Facebook to tell him about their most memorable concert experience. Read those postings here.

Chad’s request seems to have been inspired by taking his daughters to see Miley Cyrus in Des Moines, but let’s not hold that against him.
Being in the media, and an omnivorous music fan, I’ve seen hundreds of concerts, of course. The unexpected appearance of a giant star makes this one my most memorable.
The year was 1979, I was in between my freshman and sophomore years of college, working a summer job in Council Bluffs, the town where I grew up. I bought tickets to see America in Omaha’s Civic Auditorium, with a friend and co-worker, Steve Haberman.
I wasn’t a huge America fan, and was actually more interested in seeing the opening band, a new group called McGuinn, Clark and Hillman, who had just released their debut album. I say new, but these guys had been around and had an exceptional pedigree. The astute music fan has already recognized Roger McGuinn, Gene Clark and Chris Hillman as founding members of the Byrds, along with the legendary David Crosby.
I liked the MCH album, and was also intrigued to see what Byrds chestnuts (or Chestnut Mares) they might pull out during their set.
In retrospect, I must have been even more of a fanboy than I really remember, as I chose this concert over seeing Eric Clapton, who was playing a day or two later in the same venue.
So, the concert arrives, my friend Steve and I have sits in the first balcony with a good view of the stage. There’s a skinny, middle aged man with brown hair and a bear a couple of rows behind us, who we are sure is an incognito Clapton.
The MCH set is good, including their minor Top 40 hit, “Don’t You Write Her Off,” but it was the encore that made it memorable. My sharp-eyed friend picked up some commotion just offstage and said “let’s go to the main floor.”
So, we run downstairs, and arrive in front of the stage just to hear Roger McGuinn say, “Here’s a great old song, and a great friend to help us out… Eric Clapton!”
Wearing a faded jean jacket, Clapton walked onstage. He was clean-shaven, so was not the fellow who had been sitting behind us. In retrospect, I don’t know why we would have thought Eric Clapton would have been sitting in the balcony, anyway, but it was the seventies and it is possible our thought processes were somewhat cloudy.
Clapton buckled the strap of a Fender strat around his shoulders, and proceeded to rip through a torrid version of “Eight Miles High.”
We would have listened to that band jam all night, but unfortunately the headliners wanted to go on, so the ex-Byrds and EC left the stage. We went back to our seats to hear an unremarkable set from America.
Thirty-plus years later, that 15 minutes still ranks as my most memorable concert experience.
On an unrelated note, I see that Miley Cyrus Fan Club is now following me on Twitter. Obviously, typing that name in the original FB posting was a mistake.

Fall TV

Took me a few days to get to it, but I finally pulled “Flash Forward” off the DVR last night. I was pretty impressed. I haven’t read the Robert Sawyer novel it’s loosely based on, but was skeptical. I’m generally nuts for Sci Fi shows (or is it SyFy now?), but have been unimpressed with ABC’s efforts in that direction.

I simply can’t make heads or tails of the video morass that’s “Lost.” Nothing against dense plots, I mean I loved the way Babylon 5 set up plot points in Season 1 that weren’t resolved till Season 3, but gimme a break. I understand this season, someone may go back in time to insure the airplane crash never happened. Does that mean we’ll get back the hundreds of hours we’ve wasted trying to make sense of this show?
I had high hopes for Live on Mars, so, of course it barely lasted one season. I was a huge fan of the original BBC series. And I do have to give ABC credit for letting the producers give the show a real ending, and for cooking up an original spin on the “it was a all dream” plot device.
Way better than how Fox left the 8 viewers of “The Sarah Connor Chronicles” hanging, stranding young John Connor in a future where no one had ever heard of him. Of course, by my count, there couldn’t have been that many people left in the future. Connor had sent them all back to torture his younger self.
“Daybreak” was another good show that never got traction. So, I guess I should be pleased that ABC continues to swing at Sci Fi shows, and has invested some pretty heavy promotional time in Flash Foward.
Which largely delivered. Since the Flash Forward happened to the entire world, we get to bypass the tired “I’ve seen the future but no one believes me” device. The Flashes we’ve glimpsed thus far represent the kind of variety in experience you’d expect from a random sample of viewpoint characters. Hopefully, each of them won’t end up carrying around a vital (& obvious) piece of the puzzle. And, having one character whose entire Flash consisted of him taking a crap was too great for words.
I have high hopes, and will keep watching. I am also increasingly intrigued by the promos for “Stargate Universe,” not normally being a fan of Planet of the Week shows, and am looking forward to the return of Sanctuary.
Although I do think the person who suggested the normally-excellent Amanda Tapping adopt that atrocious British accent should be forced to listen to an Ipod whose entire contents are recordings of Carrie Fisher’s similarly-inflected lines from Star Wars: ANH.

I Got Your らどうぞ Right Here…

So, over on the Jazz 88.3 Blog, a post I made several weeks ago has been the subject of dozens of comments, way more then usual for any conversations about KCCK.
All in Japanese.
All nonsense in both Japanese and English.
The original posting dealt with the installation of our new 106.9 translator, which improves our signal coverage in Iowa City, and also extends our new HD Radio service. So, imagine my surprise when I open my email a few days later and read…
素人 has left a new comment on your post “The New 106.9 – Dennis“:

さびしい女性や、欲求不満な素人女性たちを心も体も癒してあげるお仕事をご存じですか?女性宅やホテルに行って依頼主の女性とHしてあげるだけで高額の謝礼を手に入れる事が出来るのです。興味のある方は当サイトTOPページをご覧ください

Now, because of our webcast, we do actually have a few listeners in Japan, (one contacted us just today. Hi, Erin!) but most of them communicate with us in English, and it’s difficult to believe they would have anything substantive to say about a transmitter in Iowa City.

So, ever the curious type, I pasted the characters into Babelfish and not surprisingly, discovered the posting had nothing to do with us. It was vaguely pornographic, but mostly nonsense. So, I deleted it moved on to more important work.

But, they kept coming. One or two every few days, till deleting become a daily task.

In case you’re curious, here is a translation of one of the cleaner ones:
The man with the amateur host of the leading part, just healing the body of the woman can receive large amount reward. The frustration human wife and the man the woman who does not have the coming out meeting seeks the man with this site and others the [tsu] plain gauze is. The one which has interest please from the TOP page.

Well, I’m glad we cleared that up.

So, I’m tired of cleaning them up, so they are probably just going to keep coming. I still have no idea what their purpose is, whether this is a live person generating the text or a robot of some kind.

Maybe it’s code. Perhaps even now foreign agents are logging on to our Blogger account to receive the secret instructions for their nefarious missions. Homeland Security, are you listening?