Diane Vogel Ferri is a teacher, poet and writer. Her essays have been published in Scene Magazine, Cleveland Christmas Memories, Raven’s Perch, and by Cleveland State University among others. Her poems can be found in numerous journals. Her chapbook, Liquid Rubies, was published by Pudding House. The Volume of Our Incongruity was published by Finishing Line Press. Diane’s essay, “I Will Sing for You” was featured at the Cleveland Humanities Fest in 2018. Her novel, The Desire Path can be found on Amazon. She is a graduate of Kent State University and holds an M.Ed from Cleveland State University.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Music I Missed

I think I missed a lot being a good girl. I grew up ensconced in the safety of a church. It sat at the top of my street and it gave me music, friends, and a deep love of God. There is nothing wrong with any of that. I was happy, but I missed a lot of good music, and maybe some coming-of-age experiences I should have had then––not later.

In the 70s it was James Taylor, John Denver, and Seals and Crofts. I went to their concerts at the Coliseum and Blossom Music Center. At Blossom, James Taylor was so popular that we sat in my car in the parking lot until 1:00AM just trying to get out. Seals and Crofts was so popular that we parked all the way out by the street on the grass, walking for 20 minutes to get to our car. John Denver was so popular that he filled up the Richland Coliseum––something very few artists could do today (especially since the Coliseum no longer exists).  So I wasn't alone in my love of these artists.

In the 60s it was definitely Motown. In the 80s it was contemporary Christian music all the way––especially Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith. I was a youth counselor at my church and we constantly took the kids to concerts of "famous" CCM artists like Petra, David Meece, Steve Taylor, Randy Stonehill, Kathy Troccoli, Phil Keaggy, Sheila Walsh...whatever happened to all of them? I lived and breathed that music. I sang solos of their songs in church. We taught the youth group their songs. It was a lot of fun. My kids still hear Amy Grant every Christmas morning at my house. It's all good.

I always liked the Beatles, of course, also Elton John, the Eagles, Crosby, Stills & Nash. But what I never listened to was Pink Floyd, The Who, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Queen, The Doors,  Grateful Dead, Fleetwood Mac, Aerosmith, Santana, Genesis, Deep Purple, Allman Brothers....

In Cleveland that was WMMS––never listened to it. 

But here's the strange thing. I LOVE this stuff now. I married a man who went to all of those concerts. When we met he was puzzled by my lack of classic rock knowledge since I am a bit older than him.  I'm learning to appreciate all this innovative and amazing music now, when I'm old! Even weirder is the fact that I have had the opportunity to go to the concerts I never saw forty years ago!

The first concert I ever begged to go to was The Monkees. I'm sure it's a big surprise that Davy Jones posters hung all around my bed. My parents felt I was too young to go and I was devastated. I still have my diary. I wrote: "Today is the worst day of my life because Mom and Dad won't let me go see the Monkees." (That turned out to not be true.) However, I saw Mickey Dolenz and Peter Tork at a small venue of other 60s idols. (Gary Puckett was even creepier as an old man singing "Young Girl.")

But in the last decade I have seen: Elton John––I missed the goofy costume era though, Eric Clapton––really fun to hear Layla,  Roger Waters–– the Pink Floyd concert I never saw, including the laser pyramid, Paul McCartney––I cried shamelessly, Diana Ross––still fabulous. We've also seen Greg Allman and Bonnie Raitt, and next week I'm going to see The Who!

Who would have ever thought I'd be seeing these icons in the 2000s? 

So, yes, I missed the true era of classic rock, but as long as these rockers are still alive there is always the chance that they'll come to Cleveland, and I'll try to experience what I missed––so long ago. 

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