Ooooh, duckies, have I got a story for you!
Friday morning, at six o'clock, I, your humble narrator, and two droogies, Michele and Nicola (alphabetically) got up to catch an early ferry to head over to Vancouver. The plan: spend the day shopping (if you read Nicola's blog, Nicola's Vintage Boutique, you know she's a serious vintage shopper) and then go off to an Arlo Guthrie concert.
I purchased a lovely Prince book ($20, ridiculously overpriced)
and a Temptations anthology ($3.50, 2-album, ridiculously underpriced).
We were solicited for change dozens of times, and no, Nicola had no vintage-flavored luck. Then it was off to the Chan Center to see the sainted Arlo Guthrie, who is oh so near to my heart.
The concert was incredible, easily the best I've ever been to. Arlo Guthrie exceeded every expections, and I'd set them pretty high. I burst into tears of happiness as soon as he walked onstage. I don't know what your favorite song is, and if the artist is alive or dead, but there is no feeling comparable to hearing your favorite song in the world performed live by the original artist. As soon as he started telling the hilarious story leading up to my favorite song "Coming Into Los Angeles", I started crying again because I knew what was coming. And then I bawled through the whole song! I'd never been so happy in my life.
I meet up with Nicola and Michele because we had been sitting in seperate parts of the theatre (we all had great views, by the way) We're all pretty much dying from excitement when my friend Genni, who we'd been staying with runs over.
Sorry to stop the story at such an exciting moment (didn't sound exciting? Well it really was at the time) but if there's one thing you need to know about Nicola is that she's the biggest Doors fan to ever exist.
Anyway, Genni runs over and tells us she'd bumped into one of her professors and her professor's boyfriend. It turns out the boyfriend is not only producers of most of the Doors movies, but he's also Ray Manzarek's (The Doors keyboardist) best friend. The look on Nicola's face, to use a cliche, was beyond priceless. His name was Rich Schmidlin, and I'm sorry if I'm boring you with this story, which if you're not much of a Sixties obsessive or have met lots of 'celebrities' is probably kind of tedious. So we met Rich Schmidlin and he said he would introduce Nicola to Ray Manzarek at a concert coming up with him.
At this point, intermission ends and we go back to our seats.
The rest of the concert is amazing. It's the Guthrie Family Legacy Tour, so he's touring with two of his children, Abe and the beautiful, beautiful, Sarah Lee, along with Sarah Lee's foxy husband Johnny Irion. Arlo Guthrie is a fantastic storyteller, very very funny. Near the end, Sarah Lee and Jonny's four-year-old daughter Olivia wandered onstage and they got her a little microphone and she sang along on "This Land Is Your Land". They encored with a beautiful song called "My Peace", lyrics by Woody Guthrie and music by Arlo.
Thank you for your patience thus far, and now you will be rewarded by the uberexciting part of the story. Rich Schmidlin had backstage passes (He's good friends with Nora Guthrie, Arlo's sister) and we followed him backstage.
(Polaroids taken by the lovely Emma, who was in the front row. Photography wasn't allowed so she got them quickly at the very end)
Standing around backstage was Johnny Irion with Olivia. I asked him for a picture and he obliged, even picking up little Olivia.What a great picture. Me with Johnny Irion, Arlo Guthrie's son-in-law and Arlo Guthrie's granddaughter Olivia.
Then we saw Rich Schmidlin motioning to us from a dressing room. We went over and there in the dressing room, was Arlo Guthrie, the Arlo Guthrie, My Favorite Act at Woodstock, The Creator of my Favorite Song in the Universe. Being very emotional, I burst into tears.
And lo and behold, my prized possession: me , Arlo Guthrie, Nicola (who's a little shy) and Michele. In Arlo Guthrie's dressing room. Please note Arlo Guthrie's hand touching my shoulder.
Was it the greatest moment of my life?
Will I never be the same again?
Can I die happy?
Yes, yes, yes.
And that's the story of the greatest evening of my entire life.