Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Another Impossible Request?

A picture of your favorite memory. That’s today’s photographic request. Holy crap really? I mean, kind of like yesterday, how in the hell will I narrow down close to 14,000 days worth of memories into just one photo? Too bad I don’t have a montage!

Because I don’t have a montage of memories in picture format I’m going a little outside the box again on this one.

Let’s break it down Barry Manilow style.

Back when I was about 22 years old I was the Assistant Manager of a record store. For those of you who are too young to remember record stores they were places where you actually had to drive to and purchased a physical copy of a piece of vinyl, a cassette tape or CD. Don’t even get me started on 8 track tapes…

But I digress, as usual.

While working at that store I was fortunate enough to be the operator of a Ticketmaster machine because we were an authorized purveyor of concert tickets in the area. Generally when tickets went on sale there was a line of about 6 guys outside. I got to know them well because it was the same scalpers lined up for every ticket sale date.

When I heard Barry Manilow was playing at (it was then called) Great Woods, I called my sister immediately and suggested we do the tickets for my mom for Mother’s Day. Wendy was all for it. The only stipulation, I told her, was that I had to provide for the line before I could get my own so they might not be the best seats on earth. We both agreed it was no biggie seeing as though it was still Barry.

My mom had been in love with Barry Manilow since about the second his first record hit the scene. I’m not sure I was even born yet when he started releasing music. At any rate, growing up in a Barry house meant lots of Saturday afternoons acting out the scenes from “Copacabana”, shedding tears as he crescendos during “Even Now” and getting reflective every time “Weekend in New England” plays. He was everywhere back then too; you didn’t even need to have a tape deck in the car because his songs were plastered on the radio. Mom knew all the words to every song.

It was the perfect gift.

Because Wendy was already living in Arizona at the time it was just going to be me and mum at the show. I knew that getting two tickets closer to the stage would be easier than three. The morning arrived when tickets went on sale and I made sure to schedule myself as opening the store. Being a manager had its perks sometimes.

I got everything ready, turned on all the machines and waited for the clock to strike 9:00 AM so I could open the doors and release the 30+ tickets the scalpers were sure to buy.

But then a funny thing happened. There was no line. It was one minute to 9:00 and none of the usual guys were outside. No one was outside. I had the machine all to myself. The first available tickets were mine!

At the dot of 9:00 I hit whatever button it was you had to click back in those days. My tickets printed. Sixth row, stage right. Oh. My. GOD!

She was thrilled of course and weeks later we took off for the concert. He did all the classics, all the songs we both knew by heart and damn it if that man could put on a show! His piano was set up right in front of our side of the stage and I think mum and I both squeed like little girls before either of us knew what squee even meant.

But back then you weren’t allowed to bring a camera to most shows. Back then they actually searched bags and confiscated stuff like that so I had to leave the camera at home. So what’s the memory part of the picture today?

There is nothing creepier to a 22 year old than a multitude of 60+ year old women flinging their bras onto a stage (at a man who probably couldn’t care less that you’re currently going girl-commando).

So as my little tribute to the memory of that experience, here’s the lyrics to…

By Barry Manilow

Not a sound from the pavement
Has the moon lost her memory
She is smiling alone
In the lamplight the withered leaves collect at my feet
And the wind begins to moan
All alone in the moonlight
I can smile at the old days
It was beautiful then
I remember the time I knew what happiness was
Let the memory live again
I must wait for the sunrise
I must think of a new life
And I mustn't give in
When the dawn comes tonight will be a memory too
And the new day will begin
Burnt out ends of smokey days
The stale cold smell of morning
The streetlamp dies
Another night is over
Another day is dawning
Touch me
It's so easy to leave me
All alone with the memory
Of my day in the sun
If you touch me you'll understand what happiness is
Look a new day has begun
All alone in the moonlight
I can smile at the old days
It was beautiful then
I remember the time I knew what happiness was
Let the memory live again

Catch up on anything you missed  30 Photos, 30 Days


Judi FitzPatrick said...

If this comes out all wrong it's because I have tears streaming down my face and blocking my eyes.
Love you and am so happy to be part of your memorable day(s)!

Bridgete said...

lol, great photo choice for this memory! :D

Maine-y-ac said...

Love this post! Glad you had a memorable time with your Mom.

#1Nana said...

I attended a Manilow concert a number of years ago just because he was appearing close by and, what the hell, it's live music. We had seats on the floor in the 4th row. It was a terrific evening. He sang the soundtrack of my youth. He was a terrific perforner. I had forgotten just how many hit songs he had. Thanks for the memories! What a great bonding experience with your mother.

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Of course you are Mum! :-) It was definitely one of those really memorable experiences and music has always been a big part of our lives so it was a perfect fit for today's post. ♥

Thanks Bridgete, figured you'd like that one!

Thanks Sue! Me too!

Jann he is amazing on stage isn't he? I mean he's lost a little of his vocal power over the years but I seriously still get goosebumps to hear him sing because he just demands presence. Glad you enjoyed seeing him live too.

KC McAuley said...

OMG - we totally have to trade on sale stories some day. I still have dreams about them. Oh - and a great story. :-)

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

The scalpers were just totally laid back but there were always times...that one time when a new buyer showed up...haha Thanks KC!

Almost Precious said...

Manilow was and is music. Even though there are generations that would roll their eyes in disbelief that anyone could give his music such accolades, the truth is his music and style transcended many generations.

He's the embodiment of; "I am music and I write the songs." :)

Joan said...

Oh Jenn, you are a great storyteller! Love it.