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.
This month I’m taking some time out to celebrate the 15th anniversary of my book, Songwriters Speak, on my social media platforms. So I thought I really should acknowledge it here, too, now that I’m expanding the content on Debbie Does Music to cover the Australian music I was raised on and worked with prior to moving to Los Angeles.
Because I am in fact starting work on a new book about music, I’ve been diving back into the memories and archives of the conception, writing and publishing of Songwriters Speak.
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.
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.
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.
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.
22 July 2017, American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX
Don Henley decided to invite us all to his birthday bash and so off to Texas in the midsummer sweltering humidity of Dallas I went. My name is Debbie, after all, so any excuse to do Dallas…
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.
5 June 2017, Whisky a Go Go, Los Angeles, CA
This year Chicago is marking 50 years since it formed. I was hoping for a seriously celebratory tour, or a handful of extra spectacular concerts with special guests, perhaps even – foolish fantasiser am I – a one-off reunion with former members. But no, they just decided to go on the road with the Doobie Brothers again, because it’s become standard now for Chicago to tour in a double bill each year, be it with the Doobies, Earth Wind & Fire, REO Speedwagon or some other classic rock band…
8 April 2016, Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
Finally the greatest ever rock band with horns has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. After many years of following and befriending and interviewing and adoring this band, I had to be in the room to witness the event, especially with their co-founder and original drummer Danny Seraphine reuniting with his former bandmates.