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Old 03-29-2008, 12:21 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 15,941
Default Appleton writer coming to Massey

I posted this article last November: (scroll down a few posts)

Jennifer will be attending the Friday May 9 Massey Hall show! She will be at tomorrow nights Appleton concert as well..
I think Jennifer is a VERY smart lady!!

Posted Nov 25, 2007; 4:00 AM

Jennifer Perry column: No such thing as too much Lightfoot

According to a recent article in the USA Today magazine, men don't know what women want until we tell them. So I say this to all men, and of course by "all men," I mean "my husband":

I want you to not use my toothbrush. Ever. Again.
"I didn't think you'd mind," he said with an alarming absence of remorse.
I suppose the best way to look at it is to be happy that, even after 30 years of marriage, there's still much to be discovered. Naturally, I tend to look at it in terms of how many articles there are still to be written, because clearly there's much to talk about.

But I don't want to talk about oral issues today. I'd rather talk about aural issues.

For the past seven years, I've worked at Basic Books in Oshkosh. During that time, our store has played music during our business hours. So I've heard a lot of the same songs over and over, and occasionally I reach the point where I would prefer to not hear a particular song again.

When this occurs, I do what any sane and rational person would do I threaten to disembowel myself with a scissors until the music is changed.

Aural issues.

So with that in mind, it might surprise you that I can listen to the music of my favorite artist, Gordon Lightfoot, over and over, and I never get tired of it. My car has a 6-CD changer and, on any given day, at least two of the slots belong to Gordon.

There are some, including some in my own house, who might find this obsessive.

But I ask you, is it obsessive to know that you can listen to "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" exactly 4 times between the Basic Books parking lot and my driveway?

Surely it's not obsessive to watch the "Andrea Doria" episode of Seinfeld because it references Lightfoot.

("Yeah," says Jerry when Elaine insists that Gordon Lightfoot is the name of the ship, not the singer. "And it got rammed by the Cat Stevens!")

And who among us hasn't called their children on Nov. 17 to make sure they're observing Lightfoot's birthday in a manner befitting the occasion?
OK, maybe it's a little obsessive.

My only explanation is that I first heard his music at that impressionable age when music imprints itself on your soul. The combination of the songwriting, the guitar and that amazing, unmistakable voice held me fast and has never really let go.

Apparently, I'm not alone.

In September, my friend Jenny and I drove to Milwaukee to see Lightfoot in concert. The Mapquest directions instructed us to take exit 310A and exit 310B. You can do both those things, just not on the same trip, and that's why we ended up at the lakefront and had to work our way back, miraculously finding ourselves at the correct parking garage underneath the Pabst Theater.

We walked around that beautiful facility, joking about concocting a Lucy and Ethel scheme that would bring us face to face with the great man. (I did actually meet him once, but that's a whole other story.)

Lucy and Ethel would have found a way to get onstage, but Jenny and I got no closer than row Q, where we sat next to a lanky, elderly gentleman who wanted to show me his detective badge.

It wasn't real, he admitted finally. He had been in law enforcement, though. In security.

"But we were armed!" he insisted.

All the concerts in all the halls in all the world, and we were sitting next to Barney Fife.

Before the show, we had talked with some younger fans, people about the age of my sons. They were wearing T-shirts with Lightfoot lyrics printed on them.

"We had these made," one of them said. "We're huge fans."

When Jenny told them that I had been to previous Lightfoot shows, they looked at me with awe.

"When was your first time?" one of the boys asked.

"Seventy-one or seventy-two," I told him.

"His heyday," the boy whispered reverently.

I had become their queen.

The concert was outstanding. At one point, Lightfoot apologized because last year, he was having trouble with his strumming hand and this year, he said, his head was blocked.

"You still sound great!" someone yelled.

And really, he does. The voice is a little raspy these days and he can't glide to the high notes like he used to. But his excellent band knows how to help him, and the overall effect is wonderful.

The physical gifts may have diminished somewhat, but for those of us who love him, that just makes us appreciate all the more what he's still able to do.

I have loved his music for almost 40 years, and in all that time, he has never violated my aural sensitivities.

Or my toothbrush.

For that and for everything else, Gordon, thank you.

And happy belated birthday.
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