I’ve railed against ageism in recent years, ageism for women particularly, as it has affected my professional life. But there are a number of women in music whose lights are shining more brilliantly than ever in their old age and, in some cases, ill health, and I think it’s an interesting and powerful movement. If they are anything like me – and they must be, because I am a woman and I am human – they likely still feel childlike beneath their lined and weary skins and bones.
3 March 2020, Fred Kavli Theatre, Thousand Oaks, CA
I guess it’s just complicated. Like so many relationships in life. Relationships to family and loved ones, relationships to work and relationships to certain music. Music I love, musicians I am ambivalent about as time goes on.
“As time goes on I realise just what you mean to me…”
It’s hard not to throw in lyrics and even pun some when it comes to talking or writing about Chicago.
27 and 28 September 2019
MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, NV
This was something quite extraordinary. Not just another Eagles concert. And not just another “band plays full album” concert, which have become quite common as albums commemorate their 40th and 50th anniversaries. Hotel California is not just another album. Eagles is not just another band.
30 March 2019, Saban Theater, Beverly Hills, CA
I’ve been a fan of Rick Springfield for 45 years or so, and yet I only know a handful of his songs well.
I have several friends who are die-hard super-duper travel-all-over-the-country Rick fans, who have met him and talked with him and gone on music cruises with him and he knows them too. Of course they know every word to every song and so they might be appalled when I say I knew him long before they did and yet I hardly know the words to his songs. “Jessie’s Girl”, you bet. “Don’t Talk To Strangers”, pretty much only the chorus. Ditto “I’ve Done Everything For You”. I love Rick, I do, but my admiration for him is about something greater than the songs themselves.
“How can you mend a broken heart?” So sang one sibling group, the Bee Gees, and now the last man standing from that musical family, Barry Gibb, carries on, brilliant as he is, with an inescapable sadness over lives ended too soon, things that can never be said, or unsaid. Maybe that notion of the shortness of life is what’s prompted Ann Wilson to reunite with her sister Nancy Wilson and go back on the road as Heart this year. The what-can’t-be-said-or-unsaid concern, or just the lure of big money, has brought these goddesses back together for a 39-show “Love Alive” tour that will culminate at the Hollywood Bowl in September.
22 January 2019, Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
Elton John just completed the six-show Los Angeles run of his very long worldwide farewell tour – Elton’s never done anything in small measure – and how very thankful I am that I saw a concert, because it was a glorious and preciously poignant occasion indeed. Elton’s signalled his intention to quit touring before – I’m pretty sure there was at least one “farewell” tour some years back – but I really got the impression he means it this time.
11 November 2018, Tacoma Dome, Tacoma, WA
There was hugging and kissing and gratitude and wide-eyed wonder at the Joe Walsh-organised Vets Aid concert on Sunday night, and I’m not talking about what was going on in the Tacoma Dome audience of 20,000 or so. It was on stage, and it was genuine, as music veterans paid tribute to war veterans and as Joe’s friends gave kudos to Joe for caring enough about the vets to start a charity and mount a concert and raise $1.4 million dollars in the event’s second year.
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.