Fifty years ago I was just six years old. I was growing up in Sydney, Australia. The major music landmarks of 1969 in the United States were worlds away. Yet this year I will find myself preoccupied with many anniversaries of great albums and monumental events. Woodstock, for one, and Crosby Stills & Nash, Sweet Baby James, Morrison Hotel… and today I am thinking about Chicago Transit Authority.
2 November 2018, Agua Caliente Casino, Rancho Mirage, CA
A couple of years ago when the huge Desert Trip festival was staged in the Coachella Valley, I was happily not there. When the mammoth line-up was announced with great fanfare, it was a relief to me that none of my favourite acts was on board and I didn’t want to see any of the acts on the bill badly enough that I would subject myself to a weekend in a vast dusty field in the desert with many thousands of people.
12, 14 and 15 September 2018, The Forum, Los Angeles, CA
Finally I saw the Eagles play in the band’s hometown. After seeing them fifteen times before, in Sydney, Brisbane, London, Vancouver, Las Vegas, Seattle, Detroit and Portland, at last I saw the Eagles play in the city where they formed, in a venue of great significance, where the sound was pristine, where the entire venue was decorated as a monument to the band, lit up and inscribed, so nobody had any doubt who was in residence. The most successful American rock band of all time, which holds the honour of having the biggest-selling album of all time, was home.
12 August 2018, Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles, CA
When you are in a fairly packed Hollywood Bowl audience and can hear a pin drop, you know you are in the presence of something very special. I have never been in an LA audience that was so hushed and reverent at the same time as so joyful.
If you’ve been reading my words on music for some time and have an interest in hearing my voice, here’s an impassioned Debbie being the latest guest on The Music Dissectors, an Australian-produced podcast that devotes each episode to an album that has made an impact on the life of the guest. There are many albums that have had that impact on me but I could not go past Hotel California as the number one. So this is 90 minutes of me talking about that, with various tangents as well.
Well these pictures have been a long time coming. They are from a Chicago concert I saw back in February, more than four months ago, at the Fred Kavli Theater in Thousand Oaks, CA. I had not planned to see the band live again after their 50th Anniversary show at the Whisky a Go Go last year, and then on February 18 I found myself at this show in an excellent seat due to a gift from a friend…
28 May 2018, Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles, CA
It was a cold night at the Hollywood Bowl as it usually is in LA in May, but my heart was full of warmth as I watched and listened in wonder at Paul Simon. My mouth must have been wide open in amazement too often through the nearly three-hour show, as I woke the next morning with a sore throat and chesty cough that I am still trying to shake. But how could I not be breathing in the brilliance? How could I not smile widely and sing along with everyone else?
22 May 2018, Moda Center, Portland, OR
It was a wild crowd at the Moda Center in Portland last Tuesday night. Boisterous, talking, singing, hollering, on their feet, snapping every moment of the show on their mobile phones, videoing away despite omnipresent burly security men. Rarely did they take the cue to quieten down. At one point Don Henley looked as though all he could do was surrender to it. So he smirked and said, “Must be the coffee.”