Tuesday, December 09, 2008



I had the worst seats in the house.
Row Double Z, up in the Crows Nest.
The nosebleed section.
I could barely see as three magicians came on stage with big building blocks.
They juggled 'em, they threw 'em, they spun 'em.
They stacked them in the middle of the stage with the spotlight on them.
A minute passed as the crowd got restless.
Then in a flash of powder and a cover of smoke, the boxes exploded and left one guy on a stool strumming his guitar where the big blocks had been.
It was Cat Stevens.
The crowd went wild.

I don't remember how many songs he did, just him and that guitar on that stool. You could tell he was way into his music, eyes closed, swaying in a soothingly frenetic manner, seeming to be singing to himself, for himself by himself, playing like he was the only one there.
It was awesome, but it wasn't awesome yet.

As he played "Where do the Children Play" I turned to my girl, Susie, and said
"This is really great, but where is his Band?"
Well, at about 2:20 of the following YouTube you will see the answer to my question.
I remember the curtains opening much slower, and the crowd going even wilder, but HEY, what do I know?
I was up in Double Z.

Any Major Dude that was at that show will tell you it was the best concert he has ever been to.
No one would have expected that.
The crowd would not let him leave.
We'd seen Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and the Who the previous year.
We'd seen ELP roll through with the Laser lights, we'd seen Yes fly in with Three Real UFO's...
Next year Pink Floyd would bring a Big Pink Pig.

But we'd never seen nuthin' like the Majikat.
One guy, in love with his music, nothing to hide behind but a stool, a microphone and his own inexorable talent.


Angela said...

I also have Tea for the Tillerman! And I hate it when they do cover-ups of his songs (like Father and Son). No one could do his songs as he did. So I am with you there! (never saw a concert, though)(I only saw a concert of Percy Sledge in Johannesburg, in 1970 - and that was fantastic, too)

cornbread hell said...

i wish i could have been there.

i was just thinking about/humming "father and son" yesterday. thinking about my son. and how things come full circle...

cornbread hell said...

check this out: http://www.pbs.org/kcet/tavissmiley/archive/200811/20081120_yusuf.html

petra michelle; Whose role is it anyway? said...

Couldn't agree with you more, Es!
I never saw him in concert, but he was in one with himself, one with the universe, you name it. He became a monk didn't he? He was so spiritually in tune. He was sooooo in tune!

bulletholes said...

Yeah, that album is a masterpiece the way "Blood on the Tracks" or "Sargent Peppers" are.
Great sing-a-long Album.
i'd hoped to pull someone out that had seen that show that year. I have to imagine it was as great everywhere the way it was great in Fort worth.
And truly, I run into people who were thwere from time to time and we all say the same thing.

Lily said...

Wow, Cat Stevens is one of my all time favourites. Wish I'd been at that concert.

Kellyann Brown said...

Cat Stevens... Let's not forget Buddah and the Chocolate Box!

I loved Cat Stevens. I think I spent most of my high school days daydreaming about him!

Kim said...

I can sing every word to every song on every album.
well, practically.
I'm not much on remakes, but have you ever heard Carly Simon's version of Into White?
suprisingly, the second best concert that year was John Denver. I was never a fan but we had free tickets from the Coors rep. He was amazing.