They’re Just the Singers in a Rock ‘n’ Roll Band

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In my July column, I mentioned that when I was a kid, I saw Creedence Clearwater Revival at a campground bandshell, long before anyone ever heard of them. That was just one of my early musical experiences.

When I was a high school freshman, I often walked to a girlfriend’s house a few blocks from mine in Niles, IL. On one of those walks, I noticed a very cool car down her street. The guys climbing into the convertible had long hair and were dressed in purple velvet suits with a riot of pink ruffles spilling from the fronts of their jackets. I remember thinking, “How dumb! It’s the middle of July. They must be sweltering in those outfits!” Those guys were The Buckinghams – they sang “Hey Baby (They’re Playing Our Song).” One of the members, Nick Fortuna, lived in that house.

Years later, I lived in an apartment complex adjacent to a small shopping center in Wheeling, IL directly across from a bar called Haymaker’s. My friends and I often hung out at that bar where we frequently enjoyed live music played by Illinois rock band, Cheap Trick. Between sets, the band members always sat and drank beer with us. This was before they became famous.

I have enjoyed many concerts, too many to name; but they include The Rolling Stones, The Who, Led Zeppelin, REO Speedwagon, Jethro Tull, Fleetwood Mac, Alice Cooper and many others. But my absolute favorite was and still is The Moody Blues. The last time I saw them was with my late husband’s cousins. Before we found our seats, one cousin told us to “wait a minute” and then disappeared behind an unmarked door. A minute later, he opened the door and motioned us inside. It was his company’s private suite. Not only were we able to enjoy free adult beverages and a vast array of hors d’oeuvres, I was able to step out onto the balcony and practically touch lead singer Justin Hayward during the concert. I was in heaven!

My stepson and his wife love attending concerts more than I ever did. What I learned from them is that for an additional fee, some bands will host “meet and greets” when you can actually meet the band members and get a picture taken with them. They have paid $1,000 or more for the privilege. WHAT? How long has this been possible? They have been able to meet all the members of Poison, Aerosmith and Foreigner, as well as Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac, Ozzy Osbourne and a few others, and they have the photos to prove it. They say you can get information about meet-and-greet opportunities through your ticket-purchasing source.

In late July, Cheap Trick performed at Pine Knob Music Theatre in Clarkston. The VIP meet-and-greet tickets ranged from $1,500 to $3,000! And to think I bought pitchers of beer for those guys.

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