YES, I CRIED DURING BRIAN WILSON
Again, last night!
I can't stand that I cry at concerts.
The lights go down, the band comes out, they start playing, I start tearing up, I do my best to no-sell whoever I'm with, my glasses begin fogging up, the trickle of water starts sneaking down my face---I HAVE TO FINALLY WIPE MY EYES!!!
What is it with me? Why do I always get so damn emotional at concerts? Man, when the light go dark I do my best Tim Robbins self affirmation, "You're not going to cry, you're not going to cry", but then before the first freakin' chorus---I'm a 14 year-old girl who just experienced love for the first time!!!
OK, maybe I get a pass for last night. I mean, this was BRIAN "FREAKIN" WILSON, perhaps one of the greatest musical geniuses of my time. Add to that the fact that I've been a fan of the Beach Boys for over 40 years. I saw them for the first time when I was about 13 at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, Long Island. That's when the brothers and the cousins were at both the prime and the peak of their careers. Dennis was there, Carl was there, it was an experience that I'll never forget. Since then every time the Beach Boys came to town I was there, there was 81' when I was in college and dragged all my frat brothers to Six Flags in St. Louis to see them play. There was the tour with Chicago, Jones Beach, the Coliseum again, man . . . even though I've never been on a freakin' surfboard in my life . . . there was just something about those songs. It seemed like every single one of them had a meaning in my life.
And, perhaps that is it. I think it's fair to say that music is the soundtrack to all our lives. It identifies who we are, and where we were at the time. I was not even TEN when my parents took me to see Sonny and Cher at the Westbury Music Fair. That was the one that broke my cherry. From there, I snuck into the Coliseum to see Stevie Wonder play a few songs when my father and I went to pick up my sister and her friends from the concert. A few months later--it was Elton John, right smack in the peak of his career ---MSG--just doesn't get better than that. But it did . . . high school . . .Boston, Bachman Turner-Overdrive (never forget that I made out with my girlfriend at the time during entire show, while having one hand on her right boob--great then--looking back now---STUPID!) and my first of dozens of KISS concerts at 17.
My love of music just never stopped. I remember the songs--where I was--what they meant. I remember the second love of my life breaking up with me, and me driving my Camaro home and crying to Elvis Costello's This Year's Model. Man--I am so ashamed of that moment. Then, moving onto college, adding Styx and Foreigner to my live list. My friend Beans hooking me on Steve Perry and Journey which changed the entire dimension of my life. Then when I got married it only got better---let me see if I can remember some of the names: Don Rickles (had to mention him--classic) , Tony Bennett, Liza Minelli several times--who is still one of my all-time greats, Mellencamp, Kansas, REO, Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Solo, the Go-Go's, Belinda solo, Expose--those freakin' girls were hot, Neil Diamond, Cher solo, hate to admit this one--Barry Manilow, a full Stevie Wonder concert, James Taylor, Art Garfunkel without Paul Simon, then Paul Simon without Art Garfunkel and Ace and Peter without Gene and Paul . Then I got my boys involved--AC/DC twice, dragged my son Will to Las Vegas to see my idol Tom Jones, escorted my son VJ to see Pat Benatar, got hooked on Tenacious D, my kids took me to see Corgan and the Pumpkins, KISS reunion tour and the most memorable one of all . . . SIR Paul McCartney.
So, I don't know, is it the memories, is it the nostalgia, or was it perhaps just spending special moments with my wife and kids. I took my daughter to two concerts and cried both times---once because I surprised here when she was very young with Avril Lavigne, and about two years ago when we went together to see Rhianna. I still don't know why I cried over that aside from being a sissy-mary. I don't know--looking back I think it started with KISS. My friend Chykirda and I were just so excited to see them that we "guy-cried" with emotion--that's a shoot---and that's where it all started.
But still, man, it's different now. I wasn't crying because I was "excited" to see Brian Wilson--I'm not 17 anymore. I really think what moves me these days at concerts is seeing my own mortality right before my very eyes. Just remembering how young and innocent I once was, and now the end is closer to the beginning. Stevie Nicks has gotten a lot older, my God--Paul Stanley can't even sing anymore and in my wildest imagination I never thought I'd see the Demon having to take a break between songs. And, last night, Brian Wilson was 73 years-old. SEVENTY-THREE! And, Dennis was gone, Carl was gone, and much younger guys were singing their songs in their place.
Time just goes. It's here one minute and just gone the next. When you're my age and you start looking at all the hours wasted---all the time---all the energy---on just shit that didn't matter. You want to be able to take a lot of it back---but---you can't. You just have to live the way you wish you would have then---now. That's all we have.
"Wouldn't it be nice if we were older, then we wouldn't have to wait so long."
"Wouldn't It Be Nice"--1966
Wonder if Brian still feels the same way today.