Tuesday, March 8, 2011

#162 Sweet Baby James

Seeing James in concert always brings up memories of my very first JT concert in 1997. I was playing basketball in Seattle at the time and was home for the summer. I usually went to the gym at noon to play pick-up ball, but this day I went later in the afternoon, around 2. I decided to run on the track. I usually notice tall people (i.e., men) and as I ran around in circles on the track I noticed a tall gentleman in sweats and a ball cap lifting on the machines. I remember thinking he looked like a professor. Thin, scholarly. I don't know how many laps I'd run until it finally registered who he was - James Taylor!! I stopped on a dime, walked up to him, and told him I loved his music. He asked if I was going to the show the next night and I said no, that my friend Kathy was going and taking her mom. He asked if I would go if he left me a ticket at Will Call. YES!! Then he asked if I could find someone to go with me, and he'd leave two tickets. YES!!! I told him my name (he didn't write it down or anything) and then we talked a little about the Nike boys basketball camp that was going on. He asked a few questions and then I was on my way. Well, before I left, I said something like, "I'm going to go home and fall on the floor."

At the time I'd been talking to a guy and had gone on one or two dates with him. I thought I'd impress him by inviting him to the concert. When we got there we picked up our tickets (name spelled correctly!) and saw these little stickers in the envelope. I asked a security guy what they were and he said they were back stage passes. What!!??? We went back stage and there was food and drinks. After hanging out a short time I asked someone if James was coming out. I had brought him a t-shirt from my team and wanted to give it to him as a thank you. James did come out and was so gracious. He thanked US for coming. He also said to come back at intermission.

Our seats were in the eighth row center. My date said at one point, "You know, I can never take you to a concert now." At intermission I took Kathy's mom (a lifelong fan of his) back stage to meet him. She got a great picture with him and put it on her desk at work. People used to ask her if that was her husband and she would just say, "Yes."

The show was great! I must admit, even though I love his music, at that time I may have had one dubbed cassette of his greatest hits. I'm not one to buy a lot of music. So after that concert, I went out and bought several CDs. I now have almost his entire collection.

What is it about James? To alter the lyrics to one of his songs, there's something in the way HE moves. Or sings. He's just so talented. And on top of that, so humble and gracious. He is my all-time favorite musical artist. How sweet it is to listen to his music.

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