A Glimpse into Hell

music musings, beaverdamusa.comVacation time is typically a time where I will read two or three books.  My book selection can range from fiction (Coban, Baldacci, Grisham, etc.) to history books and everything in between.  Over the last few years, I have enjoyed reading autobiographies by some of my favorite musicians such as Sammy Hagar, Jimmy Buffett, Heart, and all of the KISS members’ take on their rise to fame.

nikkiOf all the music books I’ve read, Peter Criss’s Make-up to Break-up – My Life in and out of KISS has been by far the most graphic depiction of the hedonistic “sex, drugs, and rock & roll” lifestyle we all imagine.  Until now.  Meet the new champion – Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue with his 2007 Heroin Diaries.  

I never have been a huge Motley Crue (don’t know how to get those dots above the u) fan.  It’s not that I didn’t like them, I just wasn’t that big of a fan.  I knew their radio hits, but didn’t see them live until 2011 on one of their reunion tours (see Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad from a previous blog life).  The show was loud, foul, and full of every rock and roll cliché’ possible.  I remember seeing a Motley Crue Behind the Music which documented their rock and roll lifestyle.  The one thing I recall most vividly from that show was Ozzy recounting the story of how they were touring with him and basically had a contest to see who could snort what.  Ozzy threw in the towel when they stopped the bus and the Crue snorted a line of ants in the parking lot.

Enough background and on to the book.  Sixx describes himself as one who is constantly scribbling notes, journals, tapes, etc. regardless of his state of mind.  The Heroin Diaries is a one year journal of Sixx’s writing from Christmas 1986 through Christmas 1987.  Alongside each entry, SIxx or others mentioned in the entry, would document their reflections on the entry.   This allows the reader an additional perspective on the entry.  

Not only do you get a glimpse into Sixx’s mind, but you get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the world of a big time rock & roll machine.  You see how when a band or artist can be used by the record label.  Regardless of what is going on, the label puts the cash cow out there and uses it until it is used up.  

Several things stood out while reading this book – Tommy Lee (Crue’s drummer) and Sixx are dangerous together.  Put Slash from Guns N Roses on the tour with them – hold on to your women and children.  It was exactly what you would expect from a sex, drugs, and rock & roll fantasy on steroids.  Throughout the year there were people that had to see what Sixx was doing to himself, but they apparently turned a blind eye to him.  There were times in his writings that Sixx would acknowledge his addiction and confess to trying to hide it.  He admitted how hard it was to find a vein to shoot up, so he even went as far as shooting up in places (starts with a “p”, ends with an “s” – 5 letters) that make you cringe.

The yearlong diary ends with Sixx resolving to quit cold turkey after he literally died and woke up in the hospital.  Word had gotten around and he actually walked out and saw a candlelight vigil outside the hospital.  Over the last few pages he covers several years and hits the high points of being sober, getting married, having kids and the low points of divorce and falling off the wagon.  

Currently, Sixx can be heard on his syndicated radio show and his new group Sixx A.M.  He is also working on a photography project and who knows what else he has up his sleeve.  The book is truly a glimpse into hell and how someone came out on the other end.  It is a story of reaching out for help and then someone finally pulling themselves out of hell.  All I can say is that I have a new admiration for Nikki Sixx after reading the Heroin Diaries.  I suggest you do the same.

Musing in Music City


Beach Music

music musings, beaverdamusa.comIf you read my last musing, you know that I headed to the beach with the family, and we actually made it back.  While I was lounging in the pool or at the beach, I had plenty of time to think about what kind of music I relate to the beach.

Zach beachMany artists have carved a niche labeled as beach music or perfected the beach bum lifestyle – I wish I had that job!  Names come to mind like the Beach Boys, Pablo Cruise, Kenny Chesney, Sammy Hagar (of late with his Cabo brand) and the king of them all – Jimmy Buffett.  In the case of Mr. Buffett, not only has the beach lifestyle and persona contributed to music and concert sales, but sales of food, liquor, restaurants, and now even retirement villages.

Often we associate songs with the beach even if they aren’t by a “beach” singer/group.  Years ago, it seemed that the radio stations in Florida played songs earlier than the stations at home.  Whether that is true or just perception, I remember many times hearing songs for the first time in Florida.  If you don’t know, I am a beach bum at heart who loves the ocean and all its beauty.

For what it is worth, below is a few (in no particular order) of the songs which I associate with the beach-

  • One Particular Harbor – this Buffett song speaks to going to a particular harbor where the days just disappear.  To me, it is about going to that harbor in your mind.
  • Changing Channels – this Buffet tune is written by the great Mac McAnally and really doesn’t mention beaches.  It is on my beach list because one night many years in Destin, I got to see Mac at Harbor Docks.  He warmed up by playing this intricate song.  Will never forget that.
  • Boys of Summer- this Don Henley classic just naturally begs of the beach since it talks about summer love.  Whenever this song comes on, you just naturally picture yourself cruising in a convertible with your shades on.
  • Rock & Roll Fantasy – I always think about playing this song over & over on the jukebox in the game room at a campground in Destin when I was a mid-teen.  Those times at the Destin campground were examples of lightning in a bottle – met some great people who I still call friends today.
  • Diver Down – this whole Van Halen album takes me to Panama City Beach in the summer of 1982 and our senior trip.  This album had been out a month and Joe Dillingham & I wore it out on the way south.
  • Sailing – yes, the Christopher Cross song from the 80’s.  How can you not imagine the beach and water as this song plays?
  • Second Wind – this is the deep cut on the list.  This song on Darryl Worley’s debut album is about going away and getting your second wind.  It talks about watching the tide roll in until you catch your second wind.
  • When the Coast is Clear – continuing the “getting away” theme is my favorite beach tune.  This Buffett song (written by McAnally) talks about going to the beach after the tourists have gone.  I guess that is why I am drawn to the more remote beaches in my progressing years – it is a time of reflection and rejuvenation.  

As always, thanks for indulging me as I go down memory lane – or should I say, memory beach.   I hope you find your beach wherever it may be and unwind.

Musing on the sand,


The Family That Travels Together…

music musings, beaverdamusa.comAs I type this, I am sitting on a deck looking over the ocean on St. George Island, Florida.  It is my family’s annual pilgrimage to the beach so we can refresh and rejuvenate.  We also need to recover from the ride down which is the premise of this musing…..

Imagine putting Eddie Van Halen, Zac Brown Band, Aretha Franklin, and Lil Dickey in a car together for eight hours.  That happened on the way down to the beach.  Nothing will start a family bickering quicker than music selection.  

The rule used to be that whoever had the wheel controlled the music.  Somehow, this rule got tossed away like last week’s leftovers.  It seems there was a mutiny against my beloved music by the rest of my family.  Keep in mind that there are over 10,500 songs in my library now. I could probably meet their needs, but alas, I was thwarted.  I even attempted to placate them by selecting the 70’s on 7 Sirius channel, but that didn’t work either.

Whether it was my sweet bride’s “do you have anything other than John Waite” or my youngest blurting out “oh my, it is a throwback to the 1930’s”, it was a solid eight hours of verbal abuse at me or tonal abuse to my ears.  The eldest tax deduction proceeded to play something out of an underground dance club in Harlem.  My virgin ears were tormented and there were words that I had to look up.  

However, there are bright spots in this mash up – like when the eldest sings along to Heart’s These Dreams”.  I must have done something right along the way.  I think the lesson learned is we each have our own musical tastes and if we open our ears, we may actually find something new we like.  We just have to listen…..

Working on my playlist for the trip home……


Journey – a Long Road

music musings, beaverdamusa.comI recently watched Pat Monahan of Train induct Journey into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.  I would like to say I had a hand in that…..  If you recall, a few months ago, I mused about the Hall and the fact that I voted in the online poll (Rock HoF).  Well, Journey won, so I had a hand in it since I voted for them.

I found a documentary (thought they were just about nude pygmies & polar bears) on Journey a few weeks ago and spent a lazy Saturday afternoon watching it.  Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey  explores Journey’s lead singer, Arnel Pineda’s rise from lounge singer to performing with the very band he idolized.  It is definitely worth the two hours since it also gives a concise history of the band.  

Journey has seen its share of personnel comings, goings, and even comebacks.  There was a time where it really looked like they might implode, but they persevered.  Obviously, the biggest going was Steve Perry’s departure and the search for a lead singer.  During the Hall induction, it was great to see Steve Perry back on stage with his former bandmates.  He showed class in acknowledging his love for the band and especially calling out Arnel and his vocals.  

Journey was part of what I consider my best value concert ever.  Back in high school, I had purchased tickets to see Blue Oyster Cult at Nashville’s Municipal Auditorium.  Why was I going to see Blue Oyster Cult?  To this day, I really don’t know, but I was.  In the days before the internet, one relied on radio stations and newspapers to announce concerts.  Pollstar, Ticketmaster or Stubhub didn’t exist.  The local rock station KDF teased that a major concert announcement was coming and everyone was speculating who it could be.  The Escape album has just been released and I had a hunch the major act would be Journey.  Well, I sold my BOC tickets and waited for the announcement – sure enough, Journey was coming to Nashville.  So my friend Joe & I drove (remember, no internet) to Nashville after school to buy general admission tickets at the Sound Seventy ticket outlet next to Centennial Park.  

Fast forward to the night of the show and we were down on the floor about two hours prior to show time so we could get up close.  Back in those days, there were no “seats” on the floor – you stood, the entire time.  If you hit the floor that typically wasn’t good and involved people in uniforms, etc…  Well the opening act was Loverboy who had just released their sophomore album – Get Lucky. The lead single from that album was Working for the Weekend and they opened with it that night.  I will forever believe for that first song, they were lip synching.  They didn’t any other songs, but for some reason it looked as if they were on that one.  

Next, Journey came out with Steve Perry in the trademark jeans, yellow shirt, and black tuxedo tails.  For the next couple of hours, I had a front row view as they played through their previous songs and most of the Escape album.  One interesting memory is of Jonathon Cain playing guitar while Steve Perry played part of Stone in Love on the keyboards.  I have seen Journey since, but nothing compares to being that close and being blown away by the music and its volume.

So, it was great to see Journey get inducted into the Hall finally.  Oh, I mentioned it was the best value, didn’t I?  The ticket cost $10.  ‘Nuff said.

Musing on Cheap Concert Tickets


The Bathroom List

music musings, beaverdamusa.comI don’t know how it started, but I have always had a phrase to describe artists I have no urge to see.

“I wouldn’t walk across the hall to see ___________ if they were in my bathroom.”

I think this dates back to college and I may have even stolen it from my college roommate, but it still applies today.  There are some artists who I really don’t care about seeing.  I’m not talking about those who I don’t want to see, but those I really wouldn’t go to see even with a free ticket, limo ride, and open bar.  

I started thinking about this when a particular artist was in town recently and everyone I knew was going.  They were asking if I was going and I actually used the phrase.  This made me think about other artists who would make my “bathroom list”.  So here are the top five on Zach’s Bathroom List:

  • Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers – this was the band playing in Nashville last week that made this musing possible.  I really think this can be filed under the “everyone likes them, so I don’t” category.  It seems that like in the early 90’s, someone said “let’s make Tom Petty a rock icon” and it started.  He really wasn’t that popular and then BAM!, the is up there with Elvis & Dylan.
  • U2 – I guess I don’t like people with one word names.  What is a Bono anyway?  
  • Hall & Oates/Brooks & Dunn – I lump these together because they are basically the same – one is pop and one is country.  They each have a singer and what I call a tag along.  John Oates & Kix Brooks have a great gig – stand there, play guitar, but you get equal billing and 50%.  Before you start, I know Hall & Oates have that classic gem Maneater [sarcasm font].
  • Adele – while members of my family love Adele, I don’t.  I get her on a songwriting level, but when she sounds like a cat in a rusty blender – no thanks.
  • Dixie Chicks – as I have said it before – you don’t cover my girl Stevie Nicks and get away with it, especially Landslide.  Throw in that “other thing” and I for sure don’t like them. That “other thing” was just another nail in the coffin, so to speak.

So there you have it.  I realize each of these artists probably wouldn’t go see me in their bathroom either – they would actually call 911.  Thanks for indulging me and reading.  Until next time.

Musing in my bathroom (not really, but it tied in with the musing)


King G

music musings, beaverdamusa.comIn my last blog, I mused about my lovely bride and my trip to Memphis and our visit to Elvis Presley’s Graceland.  Of course, that blog was so long ago that April the giraffe was still getting dolled up to go out on the night she got knocked up.  I apologize for the delay.

The Graceland visit was an add-on to the itinerary for us.  Our primary purpose for the visit was to see the one and only Garth Brooks at the FedEx Forum.   I admit that when Garth first took the music country music scene by storm, I didn’t jump on the bandwagon.  First, I wasn’t a country music fan and secondly, I typically am not a bandwagon person.  I mused about my growing admiration for Garth before (Garth Anonymous) and his “secret” show in Nashville (Garth Wows at Secret Nashville Show), so I was excited to get to see the full blown show that was selling millions of tickets across the country.  If you don’t know, Garth will come to a city for a weekend and keep adding shows until demand dwindles.  I just saw that he is doing seven shows in Kansas City.  The Memphis weekend saw three shows (Friday night, Saturday afternoon and night).  

IMG_0533We were lucky enough to get to tour backstage before the show.  While I can’t remember the exact number, the wattage from the amps was well north of one million and the sound board was nothing less complicated than a NASA control panel.  I also learned that all of Garth’s stage and equipment takes 18 tractor trailers to haul.  Wow.

Garth came out a few minutes late, but made up for it by providing two and a half hours of pure showmanship.  He proceeded to put on a greatest hits show and then some.  The 15,000 or so fans sang every word to every song.  Garth could have just had the band play and just sit back and listen to the crowd.  His wife, Trisha Yearwood, came out to sing In Another’s Eyes with her husband during the show and while Garth rested, Trisha treated the crowd to some of her greatest hits.  One of the highlights for me was Georgia Rain in which she had the songwriter, Karyn Rochelle, come sing it with her.  Karyn just happens to be a longtime backup singer for Trisha and Garth.  Speaking of the band, it was a blend of his and her longtime members.  I believe the least tenured member was around 20 years while the longest was Garth’s longtime keyboard player, David Gant who has been with him since before he was signed.  They were all top notch.

IMG_0528One of Garth’s tradition is to come out for his encore and basically take requests.  He spots posters that fans are holding up and then plays those songs.  While the entire show was great, two things stick out for me – the first was a cancer patient on the front row who Trisha highlighted and dedicated a song to early in her set.  When Garth came back out, he found her and then gave her the cowboy hat he had worn for the show.  The other moment and favorite was hearing The Dance.  It is by far, my favorite Garth tune.

IMG_0524In summary – go see Garth.  He gives 120% and was visibly exhausted at the end with his shirt hanging out and he was huffing and puffing.  The man knows how to perform and leave them wanting more.  The irony that my weekend in Memphis was about two kings is not lost on me.  Elvis took the world by storm when he started swiveling those hips and then decades later, the reigning king of entertainment wows tens of thousands in Elvis’s Memphis.  

Musing in Memphis 


Graceland: A Step Back in Time – or History

music musings, beaverdamusa.comFirst, I must apologize for the delay between blogs. I could blame it on the Russians, the time change, or the March snow-pocalypse we just had.  But then again, I could tell the truth and let you know I had writer’s block.  My web host has docked my pay accordingly.

(Photos at the end!)

A few weeks ago, my beautiful bride and I went to Memphis for a quick overnight getaway.  Since I live in Middle Tennessee, it takes a lot to get me to Memphis.  I will muse about the primary purpose in the next blog (that is called a tease), but I want to devote this installment to a by-product of our trip.

We took a step back in time and history before we left Memphis – we went to Graceland.  Yep – went to Elvis’s house.  Plopped down about $50 each and it was worth it.  The whole tour was very organized and easy to navigate.  At first, we took a shuttle bus across the street to the actual house itself and were given iPads with headphones to listen to John Stamos narrate your tour, along with pictures and additional photos and visual aids. After the house tour, you could tour a museum with his cars and even go on his two planes.  Below are the quick hits on the whole experience:

  • The house was not overwhelming in size.  It was probably big for its time, but compared to today’s McMansions, it was small.
  • It was like stepping back in time.  The furnishings were exactly as they were as the day he died in 1977 from the green percolator to the shag carpet.
  • The upstairs was considered private when he was alive, so the tour did not go upstairs out of respect.
  • The kitchen was small.  Really small.  
  • The grounds were beautiful with horses and a huge barn.  Elvis loved riding horses when he was home.
  • He built a large building in the backyard just to house a racquetball court.
  • The jungle room lived up to its reputation – maybe the missus and I could convert one of the kids’ room into a jungle room when they move out.
  • The largest plane included a dining room, bedroom, den, and galley.  Everything was covered in plastic.  Creepy.
  • The car museum was great.  It contained some of his original cars, including the Stutz Bearcat he drove the day he died.  It also contained a lot of “toys” like golf carts, tractors, and a snowmobile that had wheels instead of tracks so he could use it in the yard.
  • They had converted one of the buildings into a room with all sorts of memorabilia like receipts for building the pool, Lisa Marie’s (daughter) crib, Elvis and Priscilla’s wedding outfits, etc.  
  • The house and grounds were right in the middle of a neighborhood with houses right next to it.  Wonder if Elvis’s neighbors hollered across the fence “hey, want to snag a beer and grill?”
  • The graves were right there in the back yard.  The area around his parents and Elvis’s graves was very solemn – not a lot of talking.  
  • Throughout the tour, it was obvious that Elvis loved and revered his mother.

I was 13 years old when Elvis died.  I remember watching some of his specials on TV, but his mainstream popularity was waning and he was probably destined to a residency in Vegas and then maybe even Branson.  The number of people who remember Elvis is dwindling and it made me wonder how much longer the crowds will go to Graceland.  The mobs of girls who swooned and screamed when he shook his hips are dizzy for different reasons now.  

If you ever get a chance, I would recommend taking a step back in time and visit Graceland.  Who knows, you may like shag carpet.

As I mentioned, the next musing will be about the primary reason for the Memphis visit – “g” is your clue.

Musing about Memphis









The Grammys – My Take

music musings, beaverdamusa.comLike a wreck on the interstate, you try not to look, but you just can’t help but stare.  That is the way I am with the Grammys.  I know I will come away from it saying “Damn, music has gone to hell” or “Who?” in my best curmudgeon voice.  So, I watched. 

  • Adele opening the show – noticed they didn’t use just a piano.  Guess they didn’t want to a repeat of last year.
  • J Lo – she almost joined the F (fast forward) club with her political speech.  Shut up and sing/present the award.
  • Best new artist – They chose Chance the Rapper over Kelsea Ballerini?  Please.  Kudos to Chance though for the God shout-out multiple times.  Still like Kelsea better.
  • Paris Jackson – who is that?  Google tells me that is Michael Jackson’s daughter.  Looks like the weirdness gene was passed on.
  • The Weekend and Robots.  I feel the curmudgeon rising up.   
  • John Travolta – presenting, and I love the dig at himself regarding his bad eyesight.
  • Keith Urban & Carrie Underwood – Mercy.  If she drops the mic and she picks it up, they will have to switch to HBO.  Momma C chimes in from the couch – “Wonder if the people in the front row can see up her dress?”
  • Nick Jonas – Did he join the Army?  Grow that hair out. Momma C with another zinger – “He doesn’t need to have that short hair with those ears.”
  • Best pop/duo award – award went to Twenty-one Pilots who stripped down to their underwear and accepted the award.  I started to go curmudgeon, but I listened to why they did this.  They said they were sitting around last year watching the Grammys in their underwear and said if they ever got one, they would accept it just like they were then.  Great story.
  • Kelsea Ballerini and Lukas Graham- why is that dude out there?  She doesn’t need someone else.  Don’t like the mashup of the two songs
  • Beyoncé – Weird stuff.  I didn’t drop enough acid for this to make sense.  
  • Best country solo -  Maren Morris – Miranda should have won.  Did I ever mention that Miranda wore spurs last year?
  • Best urban contemporary album – Huh?  Hush Beyoncé. Why isn’t she shushed by music like others were when they ran long?  
  • Maren Morris and Alicia Keys – what the hell did Alicia Keys do to her hair?
  • Adele tribute to George Michael – Kudos to her for starting over. Also, proof that they were live.  They could have picked a different song. 
  • Metallica and Gaga performance.  James Hetfield’s mic didn’t work for the first half of the song.  What is it with sound and awards shows?  
  • Sturgill Simpson – sounds a lot like Dwight Yokam.
  • Bee Gees tribute – can’t believe it has been 40 since Saturday Night Fever.
  • Song of year – Adele.  Deserved.   Better than green haired dude that was nominated.  
  • A Tribe Called Quest – Oh please.  No comment.  
  • Prince tribute – Morris Day still has the moves.  I love Jungle Love and The Bird.  Bruno Mars killed it.  Great guitar at the end.
  • Tribute to those who left us – Very long list this year.  Way too long.  Damn allergies. 
  • Tim McGraw & Faith Hill – Faith’s lips were as red as her dress.  
  • Record and Album of the year – both to Adele.  Not a huge fan, but deserved.

Thanks for indulging me again while I go curmudgeon on the Grammys.  

Until next time, I’ll be trying unsee that Beyoncé number.  

Musing in Nashville


It’s 5150 Time!

music musings, beaverdamusa.comI’m headed to Memphis in the next couple of days for a concert that you will hear about in the next installment of Music Musings.  While I was thinking about this upcoming excursion, my mind went back almost 31 years to the last time I journeyed down I-40 west to Memphis for a concert.

The year was 1986 and Van Halen had just released the first album with Sammy Hagar at the mic -5150.  For the uninformed, 5150 (pronounced 51-50), is the police code for the criminally insane.  My fellow VH enthusiast Joe and I bought tickets for the March 29th show in Memphis at the Mid-South Coliseum.  I can’t remember how we purchased the tickets – keep in mind this was pre-internet.  But, nonetheless, we had them and off we went.  We were young and was going to go down and back in the same day/night.  We miraculously found the Mid-South Coliseum (no GPS, Waze, etc.), rocked, and then made it back home.  

The excitement to see the new Van Halen was over the top for me.  I was curious to see how this incarnation would be.  While I wasn’t the biggest DLR fan back then, the jury was still out as to how Sammy would fit in the lead singer role.  From the opening note, there was no doubt with me that he had taken the band to the next level.  Not only did he bring energy, he also played guitar which allowed him and Eddie to swap licks on stage.  I remember thinking that it took …… guts to strap a guitar on and get on the stage with Eddie.   Here are a few memories from that night:

  • The sound – my ears hurt for two days.  There was a rawness about the sound that was hard to describe – it was like they said “acoustics? We’ll just overpower them with our amps”.
  • During Ain’t Talking ‘Bout Love, Sammy sings the song from the catwalk high above the floor – even standing on the top rail and leaning out over the crowd.  Believe it or not, Eddie joined him up there as well.  Funny thing, about a month later in Nashville – Eddie stayed on the stage while Sammy went high.  Always wondered why the change – did Valerie or management pull that plug?
  • Sammy was all over the place and constantly establishing himself as the anti-Dave.
  • During Best of Both Worlds, I remember Sammy getting Eddie and Michael Anthony lined up at the front of the stage and start this crazy marching thing.  You could tell it was the first time they had done that, but they did it every single time they played that song in the years to come.  
  • The opening act was Bachman Turner Overdrive (BTO).  These classic rockers were a departure for VH who typically had no-names in the opening slot. 

At some point on the tour, the band released the video Live Without A Net.  It captures a great deal of the energy from the tour.  You should watch it at some point.  The one thing I saw that night and the video captures it is that they acted like a band.  They were excited to be there.  They were having fun playing music.   

Isn’t that what it should be like?

Zach, Musing about Memphis

Tonight’s the Night We’ll Make History

music musings, beaverdamusa.comI saw something on Twitter today that made me feel old.  No it wasn’t a picture of Maureen McCormick or a list of who’s performing at Bonnaroo.  It was this:

styx tweet

On January 19, 1981, Styx released Paradise Theatre.  That’s 36 years ago.  That album has seen six (almost seven) Presidents.  Jimmy Carter was on his way out the door when this album was released.  Hard to believe.

If you aren’t familiar with the album, it was Styx’s first concept album which was loosely based on the life of the Paradise Theatre in Chicago.  It spawned the popular hits Too Much Time on My Hands (never been a favorite), Snowblind, and The Best of Times.  The latter was the “theme” song of my senior prom (1982) – how you lived without that piece of information, I will never know.  In my opinion, this album shows the diversity of Styx’s contributors with rocking songs (Half Penny, Two Penny and the aforementioned Rockin’ the Paradise) and the softer ballads of The Best of Times and She Cares.  While diverse, it still plays well today. 

Believe it or not, I did not buy the album as it came out, rather I bought it after I saw Styx on this tour.  My friend Joe gave me a ticket to the show as a birthday present.  If you have read my musings previously, you might recall that this show made my top concert memories (favorite concert experiences), you know this show is in my list of all-time favorites.  

Back in the carefree days of general admission, you would get to the venue at least two hours early so you could stand up front by the stage.  Joe & I did just that and wound up right at the rail on Tommy Shaw’s side of the stage.   As the lights dimmed, a lone janitor came across the stage with a broom as A.D. 1928 was played.  There was piano, dry ice, and I was beginning to zone out and then BAM!  The curtain dropped, flashpots flashed, things went boom as Rockin’ The Paradise kicked off.  As the show literally wound down with A.D. 1958 and State Street Sadie, it truly was a downer.  Whether it was the music, the fact that I had never seen Styx, or the fact that I had never been that close to the stage, it was truly a memorable show.  

If I remember correctly, I went and bought the album the next day on the way home from school.  When the occasional Paradise Theatre song pops up, it takes me back to one great show filled with lots of memories – Will it go down as a classic album?  Nah, but it is still a classic in my mind, as old as it is.

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