Frank took me to see a Ringo Starr concert the other night. Ringo, that’s what I call him because we’re on a first name basis, brings this motley crew of haggard looking “rockers” with him on the tour that he (Ringo) calls his All Starr Band.
Frank and I were the youngest people in the concert…. No contest. We walked in just as the clan was taking the stage (right at the time the concert was supposed to start, no opening act or delay whatsoever, which should have let us know that this wasn’t our version of a “standard” evening of rock).
So we’re sitting in this concert of honestly talented musicians with quite the combination of experiences under their ever widening belts (purchased in 1979 I’m sure) and though I knew that the stage was filled with huge talent, they certainly didn’t look the part. These “All Starrs” consisted of Sheila E, some old man with long hair who played a song called Frankenstein and claimed to have invented the mobile keyboard or as he called it “the strap-on keyboard” and let me tell you that I’m quite sure that wasn’t the first time he relished the use of a strap-on something or other, an old man named Billy, some other old tired looking folks, and then, the man I didn’t know I loved….. There he was. I barely recognized him at first, looking skinnier than I remembered but the trademark poofy hair (that I don’t remember being noticeably poofy in his heyday) there stood Richard Marx.
How did I never know how much I loved him and his music??
The first clue that it was true love for Richard was that I apparently know all the words to all of his popular songs, “Don’t mean nothing,” “Should’ve known better,” and “Hold onto the night.” By the bland response from the audience I was clearly the only one at the concert who had ever heard these songs. I don’t understand how anyone who has ever owned a radio can claim to not know the words to “Right here waiting”. I am sure that everyone I went to high school and college with not only knew the words to that song but had also taught themselves to play it on the piano (we were artists after all). No one sang in the audience during the candle lit serenade and my heart reached out for Richard at that moment and knew that my love was true. Frank on the other hand did not feel the love quite as strongly as I did, I can’t imagine why, but at least he tried to sing along. I was so moved by the soft lighting and the smooth melodious line that I tried to get Frank to make a grand gesture and re-propose to me in front of the crowd in celebration of Richard’s many gifts and beautiful song. Needless to say, Frank wasn’t quite that moved.
Anyway, Ringo and his band of has-bins aside, I am on a mission to spread the word of Richard Marx and his many gifts to the public. Go ahead, Google him. I dare you to not be reminded of a time when you were so moved by a song that you took the time to learn all of the words (even if you had to squint over the backside of a cassette case)…. Well, that may only be true if you graduated from high school between 1994 and 1998 but if you were a part of that lucky few from my generation I congratulate you. I know you are instinctively humming those tunes in your head right now and I encourage you to find a copy of his greatest hits cd (it came out in 1997). By the reaction of the audience I saw, I’m guessing that the stores did not sell out and that they will be available at a store near you….. It’s not crazy, you know you’ll love it too if you just listen to his lovely voice.
Who knew that a trip to Clearwater and Ringo Starr could make a girl like me fall in love???