Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Survived ; )

I survived. ; ) The weather held, the party is over & done -- 40 people in my backyard last Saturday -- and I think it's safe to say it was a success. While it was mostly a blur for me -- running back & forth between the kitchen and the yard, keeping the chip bowls & drink coolers filled -- the guests seemed to have a good time. They loved the food (catered) & if they noticed the slightly dilapidated condition of the shed in the corner of the backyard, they had the grace to refrain from commenting (at least to me). ; )

I took Thursday & Friday off from work to complete party preparations -- and Monday to recover, lol. Sunday I was mostly comatose on the couch -- so tired! -- but we did some fun things on Monday. Since I was only just recently off for two weeks before this, it felt like I'd been away a long time when I returned to work today. (Eight days and counting until the next long weekend, lol...!)

*** *** ***

Last Wednesday night (before two days of party prep), I didn't go straight home from work. Instead, dh met me in the city and we went out for dinner and then over to the beautiful Royal Alexandra Theatre to see 1960s blue-eyed soul group The Rascals in their reunion show, Once Upon a Dream. As I wrote a few weeks ago,  their "Groovin" album was one of the first I ever owned when I was about 7, and -- since I was a little young to see them back then (not to mention in the wrong place -- I don't think they ever came to Saskatchewan in the 1960s...!), I couldn't resist the chance to witness the original four band members together again after 40 (!) years.

Dh came with me -- albeit without much enthusiasm -- he claimed not to know who these guys were. He perked up when I told him I thought I spotted Steve Van Zandt (of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band and The Sopranos, and the show's producer) & his wife sneaking into the back beside the sound board just before the curtain rose -- they showed up onstage for a curtain call, so I was right!! 

Of course, both of us wound up having a blast (and I couldn't resist the opportunity to whisper "I told you so" in dh's ear... he just grinned). He recognized more songs than he thought he knew, and he was blown away by the drummer, Dino Danelli, still amazing to watch after all these years. Felix Cavaliere is still an awesome soul singer, and we both got a huge kick out of singer Eddie Brigati and guitarist Gene Cornish, who were clearly having a blast. Whatever the problems that drove these guys apart, they seem to be enjoying being back together, doing something they love and connecting with their fans again.  They were fabulous. : )

Perhaps the passage of time has lent them a new perspective. And maybe it's because I'm getting older myself, but I find it inspirational, not only to connect to the music of my youth but to see these guys and what's still possible when you're pushing 70.

As Rod Stewart pointed out in his recent memoir (which I reviewed here), "There is no template for growing old as a rock star." Last year, rhapsodizing about another band from my youth, The Raspberries (who also reunited briefly a couple of years ago for a few shows), I wrote:
When I was younger, my friends & I used to snicker at Mick Jagger, who once famously proclaimed he would rather be dead than 40 and still singing "Satisfaction" -- and then continued doing so, well past 40. These days, he is pushing 70 and is STILL at it -- but I'm the one who has changed my tune.  If the Stones, the Raspberries, and other bands from the '60s & '70s still have the stamina & the chops to be doing what they did in their early 20s, & still doing it reasonably well, more power to them. It's great to see a great band not only get back together, but truly kick some butt while they are at it. ; )

The Globe and Mail reviewer helpfully pointed out that, originally known as the Young Rascals, they are "absolutely not that any longer" -- but then, neither are most of their fans (dh & I were probably two of the younger people in the crowd...!). 
As the Rascals went, so did the sixties; the People Got to Be Free singers are a living, breathing allegory for its era. They were young, then they were not, then they were gone. Now they are back, with Van Zandt hoping that, with the band’s resurrection, the generation’s make-a-better-world optimism might offset today’s cynicism and discord... And as a soul-warmed audience exited, the house system blasted the Rolling Stones cover of Time is on My Side. For a couple of hours, it was.
Said the Toronto Star:
Ultimately, the true value of The Rascals: Once Upon a Dream is realizing that you’re only as young as you feel: that even though time is fleeting, age is only a number.  
And The Rascals’ number, as a solid performing entity, is far from up.


  1. Glad your party went well!! I have not had that many people over in many, many years!

  2. I don't think I know them either, but I'm sure I would recognize the music. I wasn't a huge fan of Styx, but they came to the River Rock a few years ago, and we really enjoyed it, they had more songs than I realized. Part of the fun was watching the crowd, mostly sedate, but a few diehard fans in clearly in their late 50s rocking it out!

  3. I had no doubt your party would be a success, but I'm glad you survived! Catered food - very wise decision. I think we are always very conscious of things we know aren't perfect in our houses or gardens (dilapidated sheds etc), but guests rarely notice, and if they do, they probably think "oh thank goodness someone else is like me, and doesn't have a perfect garden."

    And now it won't be your turn again for many more moons. You can breathe again!

    (Translation for North Americans: Garden = yard).