This will be my first blog entry since my beloved 17 year old dog Simba died a few months ago.
I really haven’t felt like myself lately, having experienced multiple losses in the last couple of months, and I more or less just felt like I was going through the motions, kind of phoning it in on a daily basis.
It was my best friend Simba that seemed to always get me through the most challenging times, but he was no longer here, and I just had to deal with everything on my own.
Everyone has their own lives, and their own troubles, I think that’s one of the best things about dogs, they help you through those troubles, and take on your troubles as their own.
I have always believed in the healing power of music, to cure a wide variety of ailments, anything from depression, grief or anxiety, to plain boredom and numbness.
One of my lifelong dreams has always been to see ” The Rolling Stones”.
My all – time favorite band, with my all time favorite charismatic front man, the amazing Mr.Mick Jagger.
I remember as a small child being mesmerized by pop anthems like “Brown Sugar” and “Miss You”.
I remember being eight or nine years old and riding my bicycle and hearing thundering bass coming from the neighbors house down the street, and I was so mesmerized by the catchy tune, I rode my bike back and forth in front of that neighbor’s house until the song ended.
This of course was the Stones’ foray into disco, “Emotional Rescue”, which is an absolute delight in all of it’s cheesiness.
As I became older I developed a deeper appreciation of this fine band, they covered every genre -blues, country, pop, disco and rock (Hey! It’s Only Rock and Roll but I Like it!)
I learned to appreciate the more meaningful lyrics to the Vietnam protest anthem “Gimme Shelter” and the haunting lyrical mastery of “Sympathy for the Devil”.
I even tried to force them on my daughter when she was very small, and at two years old she could recognize any Stones song from the first three guitar riffs.
She was once asked by my former employer if she liked “NSYNC” or “The Backstreet Boys” better.
She replied that I had taught her that those weren’t real musicians, and that there were only so many good songs to write, and that Mick Jagger and Keith Richards had already written all of them.
So imagine my surprise when I arrived home a couple of weeks ago, to my roommate’s announcement that we have free tickets to their concert in Boston, this past Sunday July 7th.
No one but my mother, daughter, and those closest to me can really fathom what a bucket list moment that was for me.
A ten hour drive later, and a little sight seeing in Boston, and there I was.
By the time they reached the stage at Gillette Stadium, I was so energized and excited I thought my heart was going to pound out of my chest.
At the risk of sounding like my mother, the energy was so high and so pure here, I have never felt anything like it and I never will again.
All of the aforementioned songs were performed ( with the exception of “Emotional Rescue”, apparently there isn’t a very large market for disco these days, much to my dismay.)
They opened with the classic “Street Fighting Man”, to set the stage for this fabulous evening of musical genius, where of course “Gimme Shelter” and ” Sympathy for the Devil ” were the standout performances.
I think I must have danced to every song, and felt peaceful and relaxed for the first time in months.
Hell, maybe even years.
I thought of my dog for a moment while I was there, and that he was probably smiling at me from somewhere far off, content with my smile.
Maybe “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”, but if you try sometime, you just might find ,that what you need is to see some rock legends that are pushing EIGHTY , prance around with more energy and passion than I had in my twenties.
Damn that Jagger’s got moves.
By the time we got back to our hotel, I was still so pumped I couldn’t even sleep.
I thought about how The Stones have been with me for all of the joy, sadness, exasperation, grief and celebrations of my life.
And from the looks of it, they will be here for many more.
I thought of Simba, and how he and this great band had healed my heart more times than I could count, and how very grateful I was to them.
There are not many feelings that are better than gratitude.
Well played Boys, Well played.