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.
“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.
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.
It was 40 years ago today that Chicago’s original and most brilliant lead guitarist, songwriter and vocalist, Terry Kath, died here in Los Angeles. He shot himself in the head. It was a horrible, ghastly accident; he thought the gun was unloaded. He was eight days short of his 32nd birthday.
The news came through to me in Sydney as I lay in bed on a summer morning during school holidays in January 1978.
or: The Interview You Do When You’re Not Doing An Interview
23 July 2017, Dallas, TX
Sitting in the front row at Don Henley’s Runaway Tours Q&A in Dallas the day after his 70th Birthday Concert, I could almost have been at a press conference, except that most of the questions being asked at this fan event were more thoughtful, and for the most part more educated, than anything the average journalist would ask.
15 July 2017. Dodger Stadium, The Classic West, tonight, starring the Eagles, and I was not there.
My summer concert season has been in full swing and I have a backlog of at least seven reviews and reports to write with a lot of great photos from great shows. And yet here I am on a warm Saturday LA night writing about a show I didn’t even go to. An absence that has caused me much more anguish than I expected. An absence I will regret always.
7 June 2017, Grammy Museum and 8 June 2017, Greek Theater, Los Angeles, CA
It’s been a few months since I last wrote here (my Liv On review had a huge response), and now that my summer concert season has begun, it’s great to return with another strong woman artist, Sheryl Crow, who has intrigued me for more than two decades and always drawn me into her musical ventures.
At the risk of appearing somewhat Eagles-centric, I offer one more post on this subject for now. Don Henley once wrote “Don’t look back, you can never look back”, but those of us that come from a simpler time and were raised on music that is still at the core of our very being today will always look back.
It’s right about this time of the day on January 18 last year that I saw the news appear on my screen.