I’m not at an Eagles concert, which I would have been, twice, this weekend.
I’m not at any concert now or any time for the foreseeable future, as one by one the music events I was looking forward to – Joan Osborne at Pepperdine University’s Center for the Arts concert hall, Beth Nielsen Chapman at McCabes Guitar Shop, a Julie Andrews talk at the Skirball Cultural Center, the Eagles Hotel California shows at The Forum – were crossed off my calendar, along with other music and non-music happenings. My calendar is a mess of things crossed out. I sure hate a messy calendar.
And the concerts I would have jumped onto the Hollywood Bowl ticketing system for on their big on sale date of May 10, to get along to see Brandi Carlile and Sheryl Crow in June and September respectively, will likely be postponed. The Hollywood Bowl hasn’t made the announcement yet, but they surely can’t be putting individual tickets on sale for those shows. Subscribers have already grabbed their box seats but how can the Bowl’s 2020 season possibly go ahead?
My ticket for the Julie Andrews talk, which I was really excited about, was quickly refunded; that event and her AFI Lifetime Achievement Award event a few days later were cancelled even before the pandemic shutdown. She knew better. Joan Osborne’s show was officially cancelled, the ticket price refunded, and then the date rescheduled for next year with a pre-sale option to buy again, but I’m not counting on anything right now and not putting my money out for something that is so far away and still might not happen. The McCabes calendar says all shows are postponed, and there has been no communication from McCabes or offer of refund so we are supposed to assume the tickets will be valid for whenever the Beth Nielsen Chapman show happens. It’s not an expensive ticket, but still, it’s dead money. That one is a shame as the last time I was going to see Beth was at a Grammy Museum event a couple of years ago, which ended up cancelled for a completely different reason.
As for the Eagles shows, well, after seeing their Hotel California extravaganza in Las Vegas last September and thinking that financially that might be the end of it for me, and then through some good fortune ending up with tickets for two of their LA shows this month, I’m now one of the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of ticket holders for many major acts whose money is in limbo. Eagles have rescheduled their remaining Hotel California tour, several shows in different cities, for September/October. But we all know that is overly optimistic. Do we want to gather with up to 20,000 people each night in a big arena, all of us wearing face masks, including the orchestra? How does that work for the horn section? How does the choir sing “The Last Resort” with masks on? Don, Joe, Timothy, Deacon, Vince and Steuart can stand six feet apart on stage, which is what they do for the most part anyway, but is this in any way feasible for a nearly three-hour show? Of course not. The Mayor of Los Angeles and the Governor of California have both said that mass gatherings are highly unlikely before some time in 2021. And even then, if the shows are rescheduled for next year, will people feel the same about going? It truly will be a test of the fans’ devotion.
I was hoping to see James Taylor and Jackson Browne together in late May in Irvine. And if things went ahead as hoped, September would be busy at The Forum. Just a week before the rescheduled Eagles shows I have a ticket to see the Doobie Brothers reunited with Michael McDonald for their 50th Anniversary tour. They haven’t made any announcement about the fate of that tour, which is surely a fait accompli, but the last update on their website poignantly says:
So I sit here facing many challenges through this COVID-19 shut down, hunkered down in Santa Monica where I am staying at home, too far from the ocean to be soothed by its energy and too far outside the boundaries of the City of Los Angeles to benefit from most of the relief options for its residents, which the City of Santa Monica has fallen short of matching, isolated alone, as are so many around the country and around the world, wondering what I am doing here. Missing the home I sold in Byron Bay and my friends in Sydney, wishing I was closer in proximity to my cousins in London, doing lots of Zooms to see people, like most of us are, but still, wondering WTF.
I immigrated to the United States, specifically to California, in late 2014 because of music. Everything that has driven me to be here and keep me here in spite of obstacles and challenges that would defeat others less stubborn, or just much smarter, revolves around my passion for music. It’s generally those concerts and events on my calendar that keep me going. So the isolation I am now feeling is as much about being cut off from live music as it is about being apart from people. I have some work to get on with, but it’s slow out there in the PR world. Major artists transitioned quickly to doing live streaming gigs or appearances of one kind or another (check out Rick Springfield’s series on writing “Jesse’s Girl” – that man is a consummate comic) so they are getting the bulk of attention from the press. Those major artists are smartly keeping themselves visible, and ironically making themselves more accessible by showing fans their homes and being spontaneous and improvisational, and the opportunities to view these online appearances are overwhelming to the point where I can’t even try to keep up. I did watch the “Global Citizen One World: Together At Home” event tonight (when I would otherwise have been watching the Eagles) and there were the Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney and Elton John among others, but no Eagles. The Eagles guys are not participating in anything that might connect them to their fans during this time, other than Vince Gill, who does his own thing very openly. The three originals are staying invisible and silent, which sucks for their fans, but hopefully they’re all staying healthy.
Healthy being the key word, because the other thing we in the music business have had to contend with is the artists and industry people who have died from this hideous virus. So far that sad list includes John Prine, who I saw a few years back at the Grammy Museum, and too many others that have gone, leaving huge holes in the world for their families, their friends and their fans. It’s just so horrible.
My life really has been testing through my years here in LA, even while I was attending a lot of concerts and making it look like a whirl of excitement, and for various reasons many of those shows I’ve attended have not yet made it onto Debbie Does Music. So one thing I want to do during this time is catch up on posting photos and reports from those past shows. I’ll place them in the date order that I saw them, so if you enjoy my writing, please become a follower of this blog so you’ll get notified when I add something, or just check back in and scroll down my posts to find them. They will make the site look less Eagles-centric, if nothing else.
Also, if you really like my writing and could use my services, anywhere in the world, feel free to reach out to me via the Contact page here as I’m definitely in the market for some paid writing or PR work right now. Share my blog posts on Facebook if you think others would enjoy what I’ve written. Spread the word. Or just send me a message to say hello.
Connect through the music.
Life goes on, somehow.