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Best night of 2012

Wine and cheese
Wine and cheese

Ian Hunter
Ian Hunter

Sherry and I headed to Buffalo last night to spend time with some longtime friends and then see Ian Hunter in concert.

Our friends were nodressrehersal, whom Sherry and I have known for 36 years (Sherry has known her a year longer), and her husband, whom I met in the fourth grade 50 years ago. We met in a wine bar for some terrific wine (Sherry and I drank a German Riesling that was criminally good) and some light food — cheeses and the like.

The greatest thing about old friends is that when we meet, we pick up where we left off the last time. We're laughing within minutes. Conversations are in full flow from the get-go, and even when they turn serious (life, after all, is not all mirth), they don't stay serious for long. It may sound trite, but the older I get, the more I value such friendship. They are rare and should be cherished.

As for Ian Hunter, he's no longer a Young Dude at 73, but he still rocks, and so does his band. The band opened with "What For," a killer rocker from Hunter's nearly-flawless new CD, When I'm President, and the show was a mix of songs from the new record, Hunter's 40-year-plus solo career, and songs by Mott the Hoople, a band Hunter fronted in the early '70s.

Dick and I were Mott the Hoople fans as soon as we heard the album All the Young Dudes back in 1972, but the band broke up about three years later and we never got a chance to see them. Seeing Hunter last night was almost like being in a time machine. Hunter's lead guitarist played a Les Paul, and he squeezed out the meaty sounds the instrument is best-known for — the sounds that Hoople guitarist Mick Ralphs, and later Mick Ronson, brought to Mott. The rest of the band (another guitarist, a keyboard player, a bassist and drummer) were having a great time. Hunter played an acoustic rhythm guitar when he wasn't at the piano, fingers flying like a young Jerry Lee Lewis for the Mott hit "All the Way from Memphis." But in a step back from the rock and the hits, Hunter performed a slower, quieter, and poignant tune, "Michael Picasso," about Ronson, a victim of liver cancer at 46. Despite Hunter's age (he's 73), he sounded much like his old self, although there were some vocal passages he knew better than to take on.

Largely because of the times, Mott had its fair share of a glitter quotient, but there was nothing glitter about the band last night: jeans (black or blue), sneakers, untucked long-sleeved casual shirts like you might see at almost any bar. The band played two hours, ending, of course, with the anthemic Hoople hit "All the Young Dudes."

Great show. Great company. It doesn't get any better. Just before Sherry and I climbed into our car for the drive home, Dick said it had been "the best night of 2012." He was right.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 9th, 2012 06:26 pm (UTC)
I get all goose bumply and throat lumpy thinking about how perfect last night was for all the reasons you so skillfully detail here.

Thank you, thank you, thank you ~ to the universe, to Ian, to you and Sherry, to friendship.

(I was going to go back and edit my post from yesterday to try and explain how great last night was, but we share so many of the same ljfriends, you've taken the words right outta my mouth and made them perfect)

Edited at 2012-12-09 06:29 pm (UTC)
Dec. 9th, 2012 09:31 pm (UTC)
And thank you and Dick, too. What a great night.

I missed your post yesterday, probably between cleaning out our gutters and getting ready for the show. I hope standing for the show didn't aggravate your back pain. Maybe some yoga to routinely stretch things out? As for those "trigger points," I hear you. I go for a massage when I'm all wound up like a cheap watch, and the woman who does it hits my trigger points. It's good pain, if that makes any sense. I have routine appointment for my brain. Maybe you should consider routine appointments with your therapist.
Dec. 9th, 2012 11:51 pm (UTC)
Normally, my back would've been sore after a night of standing like that (although well worth it!) but it wasn't bad - I'm going again tomorrow, and the following Monday, and I plan to make this a regular appointment for tending to self. It's time, and time well spent. I have some dvds I wrote about at least a year ago, Qi Gong, that I ordered from a PBS thing, and I love the movements. I already told the massage therapist about them and plan/hope to incorporate them into my tending-to-self routine.
Dec. 10th, 2012 12:27 am (UTC)
I thought you had written Qi Bong, and I thought at the time it would be most relaxing.
Dec. 10th, 2012 02:45 pm (UTC)
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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• Journal title and subtitle: Ian Hunter, “Man Overboard”


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