Saturday, October 30, 2004

Gimme Some Lovin'

Concert Report

Folks who have read Cyber Chocolate, Jr. on AOL know that hubby and I go to oldies concerts at Westbury Music Fair on Long Island, NY. We're members so we get the good seats--usually in the first 3 rows. Also, Westbury Music Fair is a theater in the round with a revolving stage. And that concludes the fill-in for you newcomers to my niche in the blogosphere.

Tonight's concert was 4 acts:

  • Spencer Davis Group
  • Gary Lewis and the Playboys
  • Mickey Dolenz
  • Peter Noone
Spencer Davis was on first and he told we the audience upfront that they were just going to sing and that it didn't mean they weren't being sociable. And sing they did, ending with "I'm a Man," and "Gimme Some Lovin'." They did a nice job.

We'd seen Gary Lewis before at Westbury: many years ago from the faraway seats and last year. I don't recall the first time, but last year, he seemed uncomfortable, perhaps because Paul Revere ran late (because he talks way too much) and Gary didn't get on when he was supposed to. But tonight, he was in fine form. He squeezed a lot of hits into his half hour, probably due to his songs being under three minutes each, as most songs were back in the '60s. He appeared relaxed and to be enjoying himself, talking and dancing and seeming to be having as good a time as we were.

Mickey Dolenz was next and he put on quite a show. We've seen Davy Jones twice now, and have been underwhelmed. He's fine when he sings, but he spends a lot of time telling dirty old man jokes on himself that are downright embarrassing. With Mickey, I wished he had talked more. He's very funny. He also performed a nice variety of songs, not just ones from his Monkees days. He had his sister, Coco, with him and they did some duets and Coco sang a song or two solo. She has a nice, strong voice.

Mickey was a bit manic on stage and really played to the audience, which hubby and I always appreciate in live performances. He was using a small towel to wipe sweat off his face and at one point, tossed it into the audience. Imagine our shock when it headed our way. Hubby's fairly tall and it was headed straight for him, so he snagged it and handed it to me. It was in my lap -- and somewhat damp, actually -- and one of the three bitches behind us, who had moved down from the cheaper seats when they saw the ones behind us empty, actually reached over my shoulder to grab it out of my lap. It was bad enough they'd been talking obnoxiously most of the show, but that was the height of worse than juvenile behavior. They're adults for crying out loud, not teenyboppers at their first concert. Back in the '60s, I would have felt like I'd died and gone to heaven if I'd had a towel with Mickey Dolenz' sweat in my lap (he was my favorite Monkee, after all), but now, I didn't care. It was just a fun thing, an exciting moment, but nothing that would make a real difference in my life. Still, I was damned if I was going to let the bitch get her paws on it. My icy "Excuse me?" put her off enough for her brain to catch up with the fact that someone had beaten her to it.

There's a bit of history here, too. Back when the Monkees were still together, my best friend at the time, W, and I had tickets to see them perform at Forest Hills Stadium. And they cancelled. So we chose tickets to see The Fifth Dimension instead, and had a great time. But missing out on seeing the Monkees was sitting there in my memory, a regret, a disappointment. After college, W and I drifted apart (okay, it was more proactive than mere drifting, but that's a whole 'nother story) and after 25 years or so of no communication, she found me online and emailed me. We had a reunion. She'd finally gotten to see Davy in concert (I don't recall if she'd seen the others). Her favorite of the group was Peter Tork, by the way. So I've since told her about finally seeing him live on stage, and now I can tell her I've seen Mickey. That's half, which is good enough for me.

Back to the concert. Growing up (and to this day), I've had crushes on actors. Ed "Kookie" Burns. David McCallum. A few others no one's heard of since their shows went off the air. But before the Monkees, I had a crush on one rock 'n' roll star: Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits. We've seen him perform before and he was wonderful then and he was wonderful tonight. He still looks great, with his longish, blondish hair and his big, toothy grin. He's only 4 or 5 years older than me, and looks to be in great shape. And he's funny and fun and still sings up a storm. I fell for him all over again.

Tonight, he was wearing black leather (leatherette?) jeans and a pink sports jacket which he made fun of a few times. He talks to the audience. He visits with the audience. He throws things at the audience (tee-shirts, CDs mostly, one bottle of water, no towels). He dumped a bottle of water on the head of the drummer after some masterful drumming. He's playful and seems to genuinely like the people in the audience, even the crazed middle-aged and older woman screaming at him as if this was 1964 and it was the Beatles onstage. And of course, there was the singalong part of his last number, "Henry, the Eighth."

Needless to say, hubby and I had a great time. Now all I need to figure out is what to do with Mickey's sweaty towel.

So, for those keeping score, that's two handshakes this year so far -- Tommy James and Frankie Valli -- and now, one sweaty towel.